Welcome to the Unitarian Universalist
Congregation of Oxford
We are a caring intergenerational community that celebrates diversity and fosters spiritual growth through free thought and discussion with respect for personal beliefs. We seek the wisdom of many religious traditions and of ourselves, and we encourage the expression of personal ideals in service to people, other life and our planet. Individuals and families of all size, shapes and ages will find a loving supportive community with the simple goal of becoming our best self through inner reflection and outward action. Join us for a service designed to engage both the heart and mind in the spirit of community and inquiry.
Sunday, December 11, 2016
Our UUCO Holiday Lovefeast is our traditional 'Tis the Season' worship service. We invite all -- youngest to oldest, visiting guests and favorite neighbors -- to join in! We will sing the familiar songs of the season, read words from historic texts, share traditional Lovefeast buns and warm cider, and hold aloft our candles at the conclusion of the service. Our offertory will go to help families in our own congregation and community who could use a little extra this season. All are welcome at this multi-generational gathering, which is our own adaptation of the traditional Moravian Lovefeast.
The Lovefeast service is very simple and is focused upon love of humankind: a communal meal is shared in love. Music and readings are offered to support reflection about the meaning of this season of the year. The distinctive feature of the gathering is that sweet rolls and cider are served to the congregation and all hold lighted candles to end the service. Within the Christian tradition it has been noted that the Lovefeast is not a substitute for the Christian sacrament of communion, rather it is a simple, shared meal. Many Unitarian Universalist congregations celebrate Lovefeasts at this time of year.
The original Moravian Lovefeast had its roots in the early Moravian Church. Once, after a worship service, some Moravians shared a simple meal and were moved by the unity and good will they felt toward one another. This practice soon became a tradition and was called a 'lovefeast.' Moravian Lovefeasts are still held today to celebrate many occasions of special significance. Now practiced and adapted in many different faiths, it is a universal celebration and a calming way to engage the holiday season in a participatory and multi-generational service.
Open Letter to the Leaders of the University of Mississippi
Nov. 13, 2016
To all leaders at the University of Mississippi,
We, as members and friends of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Oxford, join with the Jewish Federation of Oxford and everyone who affirms freedom of religion to call on the University of Mississippi Administration and campus police for a swift and just response to the most recent use of a hate symbol, namely, the repeated drawing of a swastika on a residence hall elevator.
We call on the leaders of this University to draw on all of their skills and knowledge of leadership to find ways to shift the new emerging hateful norm.
The University has a responsibility to condemn threatening language and symbols that evoke eras of terror. Moreover, the University must move beyond reactive responses to incidences such as this, move beyond careful distancing from hate groups such as the KKK, to actively protecting its students, staff and faculty from the reality of terror that is rooted in history.
We call on the University Administration to protect the groups that are vulnerable to hate crimes: women, African Americans, Latino, Latina and Latinx people, Muslims and Jews and people not in a religion, the LGBTQ community and people with different abilities.
We call on the University Administration to provide active leadership on all levels to actively teach the Creed. We need leadership that speaks to the fear that many are feeling and to the elation and empowerment that others are feeling. We need leadership that can articulate a way forward that will shift the cultural norm on campus to more respect.
Perhaps the campus should have a day of reflection. Perhaps the campus should have a day or a week of listening. Perhaps there needs to be a University teach-in of history and an opportunity and encouragement for everyone to listen to someone who does not share their views.
Perhaps we are here for “such a time as this” (Esther 4:14). Perhaps the University of Mississippi is here for “such a time as this.” This is an opportunity for leadership.
Rev. Dr. Gail Stratton
Unitarian Universalist Minister
Affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Oxford
Lecturer in BIology at the University of Mississippi
Amy Pearson, Eunice Benton, Stewart Guernsey, Cheryl Conlee, Luanne Buchanan, Mary Queyja, Jane Alcaraz, Daniell Mattern, Katelyn Lee, Brittainy Westman, Martin Fino, Sue Fino, Matt Pearson, Sara Pearson, Whieny Sarver, Jay Sarver, Paula Shanks, Rev. Gail Tapscott, Rev. Beth Lefever, Cris Surbeck, Kate Lechler, Marge Holland, Vicki Reithel, Sandra Moss, Chad Franklin, Christopher Sapp, Dinorah Sapp,m Elaine Gelbard, Mari Kuhnle, Michael Jenkins, Carla Carr, Jason Taylor, Pat Miller.
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