Joy Berry, our Assistant Director of the Fahs Collaborative, was asked to be the editor of a brochure published by the Unitarian Universalist Association, UU Views of Jesus.
As editor, Joy wrote the introduction to the brochure, which reflects the diversity of UU views on the subject of Jesus by including contributions from six Unitarian Universalists. Joy was also one of those six.
The Introduction by Joy reads:
UUs’ thoughts on Jesus reflect the diversity of thought encouraged by our liberal faith. Our Principles include a commitment to “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”; whatever one’s views, there is likely a UU who shares them. Yet we are more than our individual stories. Unitarian Universalism is a religion that claims many sources, including the deeds and teachings of great teachers, the inspiring wisdom in the world’s many religions, and our Jewish and Christian heritage. Clearly, Jesus has a place in this faith.
UUs may view Jesus as a moral exemplar, practicing the compassion, generosity, and mercy that he preached. In his own life and in stories like the Good Shepherd and the Good Samaritan, Jesus calls us to connect: to transcend pride and selfishness and choose instead to love and serve, to do good, and to care for each other.
For some, Jesus is a prophetic leader and an instrument of the divine. They may or may not believe Jesus was the son of God or was resurrected but share with Christians a conviction that his witness has the spiritual power to redeem mistakes and save lives. Many describe a personal relationship with him that strengthens and inspires. Jesus calls us to discover new life and truth by following him.
Others view Jesus as a reformer and dissident, an underdog and ally. He was executed as a political criminal because of his teachings, but his life made an impact, then and now. He called out injustice in his own community and in the government. He stood with and spoke up for the most vulnerable, and he challenged his followers to feed the hungry and visit the imprisoned. Jesus calls us to transform, to resist the unjust systems that divide us, and reshape them for good.
Joy is a religious educator who has served congregations in three states over the last decade. As the Assistant Director of the Fahs Collaborative, her focus is on innovative practices in faith formation.Learn more about Joy
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