Building beloved community

I’ve been at Opus – the North American young adult conference. There were many fine workshops, environmental action helping to restore prairie, fun,  and inspiring worship. One thing in particular stood out in my mind. It was around symbols and expressions of Unitarian faith.

Out in the parking lot, most of the cars had Unitarian Universalist bumper stickers. One car had, as an expression of faith and identity, a Darwin fish – a satirical parody of the Christian fish symbol.

In the workshop on the history of the flaming chalice symbol, we created our own designs. One of the participants created a beautiful chalice which used the Christian fish symbol as its integral part.

Both of these people are equally Unitarian and each of these views of the Christian fish symbol – the parody and the inspiration – are equally Unitarian. Within the Opus community, these different people did not merely tolerate, or accept each other, but recognised each other as new  friends, whose opposing views form part of the tapestry of our shared faith.

This is what it will take for us to build beloved community.


  1. Brilliant. I love it.

    Have to say that the fish symbol, whilst its origins and mystical significance are interesting, has been totally tainted for me by its appropriation by evangelical Christians – but if some Unitarians want to reclaim it, well why not? Good for them. Lots of other things that looked un-reclaimable have been reclaimed, so why not the fish symbol.

  2. Recycling as a religious imperative | Live Unitarian-ly - pingback on September 3, 2010 at 9:37 am

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