As Unitarian Universalists, we don’t often say, “May I share my testimony with you?” We are a tradition that doesn’t proselytize, we don’t try to convert others to our religious belief.
Often, when we do tell people about our church, we stammer a bit, and throw out a few bits of information that could probably be found on a Wikipedia page: “We aren’t just Christian!” “We don’t tell you what to believe!” “Emerson was a Unitarian!” (Well, maybe you are far more eloquent; I must confess that’s what I’ve blurted out before.)
On Facebook, several of us discussed the idea of “testimony.” Telling our stories of how being a Unitarian Universalist has changed our lives. Frankly, I think that’s more compelling that trying to come up with a short speech defining our denomination.
My colleague, the Rev. Gretchen Haley, wrote an excellent essay, “How to Write Your Unitarian Universalist Testimony.” In it, she recommends both that we own our own story, and that we understand we are part of a larger story, the living tradition of our faith. She offers a three point outline for structuring your testimony: What Brought You? What Keeps You? What’s Next? (To read more: http://revgretchenhaley.weebly.com/1/post/2014/03/how-to-write-your-unitarian-universalist-testimony.html)
Our stories are powerful. This church has transformed lives, mine included. Would you share your testimony with me? I’ve love to hear it.
Rev. Joanna Fontaine Crawford, firstname.lastname@example.org