Introduction to Rootedness

Introduction to Rootedness

Unitarian Universalist theology arises from an orientation to place: that is, the UU religious experience arises out of being grounded in a particular place, or rootedness.  It is this rootedness in place that makes UU theology distinct from Christianity, which has a stronger focus on time – the time of Jesus, the promise of heaven. The rise of a UU place-based orientation traces back to the influences of transcendentalism, humanism, and religious naturalism during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

This orientation to the here and now, the place where we are, is expressed through our ceremonies and their adaptations to local culture. While we celebrate the flower ceremony in June at the end of our congregation season, UU churches in the southern U.S. celebrate the flower ceremony at Easter, when spring flowers are blooming. Here at UCM we have introduced a new Spring Ceremony with maple syrup to reflect our own landscape. As we continue to root our ceremonies in place, we help ourselves to fully inhabit the places we live.

This month we explore the concept of rootedness in a variety of ways – UU theology, being grounded in place, and being part of a family tree. We might find ourselves rooted to landscape, to people, to culture, perhaps through our family history or through circumstances. Sometimes our roots hold us close, keeping us stable and strong, at other times roots might bind us, keeping us from expressing an authentic sense of self.

I invite you to explore what rootedness means to you, considering all the ways you find yourself rooted to others and the planet.




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