Where Are We From?

Where Did We Come From?

This question has two answers. The first is historical, where did our religion come from? The second is pre-historical, where did humanity come from? In theological terms, this is Cosmology. Of course we should begin at the beginning, the Big Bang, the Creative moment, and go on from there, but let us start with our religion first.


But where did we really come from?

 

COSMOLOGY or OUR MYTH

 

Every human group has a story of its origins, an origin myth. Some people take the stories as fact. Some hear them as metaphors for that great creative force from which the universe came. So some say we came out of the Goddess’s great womb. Some say a Supreme Being made us out of mud and breathed life into us. There are as many names for the Creator as there are human groups. The ancient Vedas say we came from the void, from nothingness, and Brahman breathed and we were brought into being. In our faith, we welcome your story, your understanding of our origins.

 

Here is an origin story, and an invitation.

Once upon a time, there was nothing,
no thing,
dwelling in absolute cold, absolute darkness, absolute quiet.
Some might say it was absolutely peaceful.
Others could only imagine emptiness, loneliness,
and the essence of potential,
possibility unrealized.

 

Then something cosmic happened.

 

Out of Nothingness came our universe—
first the energy, pent up for that timeless, eternal moment
then the coalescence of energy—
gasses, molecules, photons, quarks everywhere all heading toward their future,
all hurtling toward consciousness.
Galaxies of suns spun off like fireworks.
Suns exploded and planets were born.
Absolute heat met absolute cold.
Absolute darkness was filled with light.
And it was good.

 

Here on our planet time passed.
A moon came to court the earth, to dance around and around,
and wink at her paramour.
The clouds of vapor rained down upon the face of the earth.
The land was drenched and water covered the planet.
And it was good.

 

Mountains rumbled forth and stuck their craggy heads above the seas.
Lightning played across the waters and fused all manner of molecules together.
In time, out of that primordial soup came molecules that could replicate themselves.
And life came to dwell on the earth.
And it was good.

 

In succession, life swam, then crept, then flew.
Life mothered forth all manner of creatures,
fanciful, bizarre, adorable and fierce.
They chirped and roared and squeaked and rattled,
sang their songs of being to the universe.
"I am," they sang. "I am."
One law ruled this world. Survive.
Live long and prosper came the blessing. Multiply your kind.
And it was good.

 

Simple creatures evolved into more complex creatures,
And soon the creatures were talking to one another,
listening, plotting their survival, and celebrating their successes.
And all this drama of creation, of becoming, of becoming life, of life becoming aware of itself,
was good.
So sayeth the scriptures.
It was good.

 

Come, you who sit on the top of time, peering into the future with wondering eyes,
feast your eyes on your past, and be glad.
For a moment cease your desires, all the yearnings built into your creature bodies,
and be at peace for a moment.
Sing your song "I am"
And learn another song, "We are."

 

Let us learn to give thanks, to glorify this creative force from whence we came.
Let us open our eyes to the wonder of it all, and sing, together,
"It is good. It is good. It is good."

An Anthropological Perspective...

Charles Darwin was a Unitarian. He was a devoutly religious person and a disciplined scientist, yet his theory of the evolution of life was met with outrage by the religious community of his day. But so were the theories of Copernicus and Galileo. Religion, especially fundamentalist religion, has been at odds with science throughout our history. Our Unitarian Universalist faith does not find incompatibility between science and religion. Why? Because we consider the search for the truth to be a sacred enterprise, wherever it leads.

 

And we have followed our noses into the nature of nature, into the reaches of our cosmos looking for our origins and into the molecular secrets of life itself. And what we have found has not lessened our thrall, our amazement and wonder, but has, with each discovery, made us more reverent.

 

Thus to look to the Big Bang and to evolution as the way we came to be here is not moving away from religion, but moving religion into the real world, and it is in the real world that our faith wants to be.

 

As for humanity “descending from monkeys” as the critics like to put it, DNA analysis has indeed put us as having 96% common DNA with chimpanzees and the great apes, less with monkeys. As we see it all of life is interdependent and interrelated. Thus we are an ecological religion and have an ecological theology. This brings us into a reverent relationship with the earth. And it reminds us that those who are called enemy are sisters and brothers, just as human, just as divine in their nature as any of life.

 

So yes, we accept and teach evolution in our church schools. Yes, we teach ecology and recycling and conservation. Yes we are sympathetic to saving the whales and any threatened species. They are, after all, our relations.

Our Covenant

  Mandala

Our Covenant

The outer circle contains the Affirmation of Horizon Church:

Love is the doctrine of our Church,
The quest for truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer,
To dwell together in peace,
To seek knowledge in freedom,
To serve humanity in harmony with the earth,
Thus, do we covenant together.


The center contains a flaming chalice. Unitarian Universalists use the symbol to represent the light of truth and the warmth of love.

Between our covenant and chalice are the symbols representing the major religions of the world from which the Unitarian Universalist draw inspiration and wisdom.

lotus
Lotus, Buddhism

crescent
Crescent and Star, Islam

natural world
The Natural World, Science and Reason

native
Native American, Earth Centered Spirituality

yin-yang symbol
Yin-Yang, Taoism


cross symbol
Cross, Christianity


om symbol
Om or Aum, Hinduism


star symbol
Star of David, Judaism


Sources of Our Religious Wisdom
Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and an openness to the forces which create and uphold life;

Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion and the transforming power of love;

Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;

Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;

Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit;

Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Principles

We, as a member congregation of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement of spiritual growth in our congregations
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and society at large
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

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Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church
1641 W. Hebron Parkway
Carrollton, Texas 75010
(972) 492-4940

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