This is something that perhaps we take for granted, we all nod in agreement; and then proceed to find reasons why we aren't doing anything!
We are too busy with repairing our roof/ struggling to fund our minister/ trying to find new members, but fail to see that many of these problems can be resolved, at least in part, by being more outward looking.
We have a lot to offer, if we would just let it be known to those outwith our congregations. We offer an environment where people can explore their spiritual beliefs within a caring, inclusive, outward looking community; a solid base from which people can explore their own spirituality.
As well as providing our own children with somewhere they can develop, flourish and grow, we can offer young people from our wider communities the same opportunities, those opportunities of regeneration, for the next generation.
How do we do this, how do we provide this 'service to the community'?
We do this by being amongst them, being with them, by being a spiritual home in a secular society. And if they find it difficult to see themselves in our churches, we must provide opportunities for them to see, experience and understand what we are all about, by our activities outwith our Churches.
We can do this in many ways, we can provide amenities for people to meet together with genuine connection, encouraging the use of our buildings by like-minded groups, Amnesty International, Fair Trade, and Mindfulness groups, groups open to all, not exclusively church members.
We can be with people at the important times of their lives, providing rites of passage ceremonies which reflect their needs, their situation, and their beliefs. But it doesn't stop there, we need to be willing and able to continue that involvement, as required, following on from these life changing events. To be seen to be willing to provide somewhere people can find their pathway in an open and dynamic community, and enable them to face life with confidence.
We can welcome, and act as advocates, for people who are marginalised within society, the poor, the homeless, differently abled, LGBT and refugee communities. Those with lifestyles which differ from the mainstream, sex-workers, or members of the travelling communities.
We can use our non-creedal foundations to facilitate discussions between other religious groups, especially those whose faith has become synonymous with fundamentalism, providing a multi¬faith venue in each town.
We should be prepared to take advantage of all opportunities which come our way, to ensure that Unitarianism is something that everybody has heard about, knows about, is there for everyone, and understood by the public. We should respond to letters and articles in newspapers, on the radio, or social media, to speak out against unfair taxes, divisive policies, and government decisions, national or local.
It is the responsibility of all Unitarians to let people know that we are;
a Faith for today,
a Faith that matters,
a place for roots to grow and wings to fly!