MDMA District Service

15 May 2023

MDMA District Service

Vince McCully, the newly appointed General Assembly President, delivered an enlightening and profound sermon that left an indelible impact on our congregation. His journey from a congregation chairman to the GA president serves as an inspiring testament to a life dedicated to the service of Unitarianism.

The sermon underscored the importance of the General Assembly as a platform for connection and growth, bringing together individuals from varied backgrounds to explore numerous topics ranging from religious freedom to social action. It is through these communal experiences that we are reminded of the vastness and diversity of the Unitarian movement, and how each of us plays a vital role in it.

McCully's emphasis on the triad of 'Tolerance, Freedom, and Reason' was particularly striking. His exploration of 'Tolerance' as a composite of humility, generosity, and patience provided an actionable framework for the congregation. His view on tolerance is not passive acceptance but active engagement in understanding and empathizing with differing perspectives.

McCully's sermon highlighted the need for tolerance not just as a virtue, but as a necessary tool for survival and growth. As Unitarians, we are called to extend our tolerance beyond the confines of our chapels, into our communities, families, and personal lives. As McCully rightly points out, this isn't just an obligation; it is our 'vocation', our calling. We are called to be closer to our God, to value chapel life and what it brings to our communities, families, and personal well-being.

In his sermon, McCully drew on the wisdom of various influential figures such as Khalil Gibran, the Dalai Lama, King Asoka, and Nelson Mandela. Each of these individuals, in their own ways, emphasized the importance of tolerance in fostering a peaceful world.

In particular, Mandela's quote — "Our world is not divided by race, color, gender, or religion. Our world is divided into wise people and fools. And fools divide themselves by race, color, gender, or religion." — serves as a timely reminder of the unifying power of tolerance.

In conclusion, McCully's sermon was a call to action — a reminder of the need for tolerance in a world often divided by differences. It was an invitation to each of us to cultivate humility, generosity, and patience as we navigate the complexities of our diverse world. Voltaire's quote encapsulates the essence of McCully's message: "We are all formed of frailty and error; let us pardon each other's folly -- that is the first law of nature." It is this reciprocal tolerance, this shared understanding of our human condition, that will ensure the survival and prosperity of our faith.

We would like to extend our profound gratitude to the Wirral Unitarians, our gracious hosts for this year's District Service. Their tireless efforts and warm hospitality created an atmosphere of unity and fellowship that we will always cherish.

A special note of appreciation to the dedicated volunteers who orchestrated the delectable spread of food and refreshments. Your contributions were vital in making this gathering a memorable one. We also wish to acknowledge Richard Merritt for the stirring music that added a beautiful harmony to our service. Your talents truly elevated our shared experience. Finally, our sincere thanks to our District President for her opening and closing words. We especially liked each congregation giving a cheer when they were mentioned. Thank you all for your significant contributions to our faith community. Your efforts have not only made this event a success but have also strengthened the bonds within our congregation.

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