Easter and Beyond

by Rev. Robert Francis Murphy

I was told, “This is how Unitarian Universalists celebrate Easter.”

That was many years ago. The speaker had a particular formula in mind. An Easter egg hunt was acceptable, but a crucifix display was not allowed for Good Friday or any other occasion. The choir was permitted to sing some songs but not other songs.

In reality, the Unitarian Universalists observe Christian holidays in different ways. Some Unitarian Universalist churches are very traditional. Others try to ignore holidays like Easter. In many, probably most, the congregation has developed its own way of working with themes like resurrection.     Unitarian Universalists enter the Easter celebration as individuals. No creed or catechism required.

Jesus of Nazareth asked, “Who do you think that I am?”

For Unitarian Universalists, it’s still an open question.

On Easter morning, the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tarpon Springs encourages people to think about Jesus. Our Sunday service includes traditional hymns and some familiar quotations. It’s a multifaith service that welcomes a variety of people, including skeptics and freethinkers. Our church is unusual but we have opportunities to do some good in the world.

What’s your opinion?    On April 21st, we’ll have a discussion about Jesus and Easter.

At the end of March, our congregation was asked to think about Islam. Fifty people were murdered at two mosques in New Zealand. Members of our church joined with other people, to mourn the dead and to express concern about the violence that has been directed against immigrants and religious minorities. Unitarian Universalists from our church were present for a multifaith event in Dunedin.

No creed or catechism required. We’re concerned about all of our neighbors. Including people who   are very different from ourselves and who may never visit our church. Unitarian Universalists affirm the worth and dignity of all individuals. That’s our first concern.