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First Things November 2013

November 2, 2013

On December 1, First Church will have our annual meeting. There’s more information about the meeting elsewhere in this newsletter.

A congregational meeting may seem routine, and maybe boring. Meetings aren’t why you come to church. A business meeting may seem completely disconnected from your spiritual life. But a congregational meeting does say something important about our Unitarian Universalist faith.

Members of a Unitarian Universalist church are the owners of the church. Decisions about the church are made by the congregation. The Unitarian Universalist Association is not a denomination managing local branches of one big church. The UUA is an “Association” of free churches: each church independent and self-governing. This is an important, even sacred, privilege of a “free” church.

But even in a free church, you are not free to do anything you want with the church. The members are the owners, but there is an even larger group of owners, call them the “moral owners” that the members must respect. The moral owners include the current congregation, but also previous members who had dreams for this church, and future members who hope the church will be here when they’re ready to join. The moral owners include Unitarian Universalists everywhere, and in the past, who want this church to be a worthy representative of their faith. And the moral owners include the neighbors of First Church who use our programs but don’t have a vote, and citizens of Los Angeles and people beyond who benefit from the justice work we do and whose lives may depend on our decisions.

So attend the annual meeting proudly, and vote carefully.

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