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Fluent in Faith

Fluent in Faith

A Unitarian Universalist Embrace of Religious Language

Now available as an eBook in the Amazon Kindle Store.

Author: Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar

Price: $12.00

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Discussion about a "Language of Reverence" in the Unitarian Universalist community was propelled into energy and creativity in 2002, following a sermon by Rev. William Sinkford, then president of the Unitarian Universalist Association. The conversation since then has been both wide and deep.

Fluent in Faith continues that conversation, calling us to embrace our religious language in all its diversity and wide range of meaning. Jeanne Harrison Nieuwejaar sets forth a vision for Unitarian Universalism in which we can confidently and gracefully express our faith.

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Foreword by William G. Sinkford

Introduction

In the Beginning Was the Word

Talking the Talk

So Much to Believe In

Conversations with Children

A Vocabulary of Reverence

God

Faith

Hope

Love

Covenant

Doctrine

Sacrament

Prayer

Sanctuary

Sin

Atonement

Blessing

Grace

Mercy

Salvation

Final Words

Comfort and Joy

Afterword

Suggested Reading

It is my dream that we might grow in our capacity to use a language of reverence in church and at home, at work and in the marketplace. When we speak only in vague terms, as we often do, we convey the impression that our faith is wishy-washy. When we use the language of philosophy, psychology, ethics, and aesthetics-often making strong and healthy affirmations-others may not hear these as affirmations of faith. When we are tentative and conflicted, as we often are, when we are apologetic about our language, the great power of our faith is compromised. I know that we-you-are thoughtful, sensitive, articulate people. We should be able to talk more easily about the religious matters that center and sustain us.

For those beyond our congregations, my dream is that we might be able to speak fluidly and compellingly about our faith so that those in need of a community of strength and solace, a community to hold and guide their spiritual journeys, will have a clear understanding of who we are and what we can offer to them and to the world. But I also long for strength and clarity in how we talk about our faith so that those who may never choose our path still will understand it, and will respect it as a religious path with substance and meaning.

As one who has been dedicated to the work of faith development most of my life, I have a particular concern for how we nurture the faith of the younger generations. Our children and youth deserve open and clear conversation about our religious intuitions and understandings as well as our religious heritage. They need to hear our stories, prayers, and questions crafted in clear and imaginative language so that their own capacity to express their intuitions, prayers, and questions will grow clear and true, and so that the great gifts of our faith may become robust within them.

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