Aug 27 2018

September Journal- In Our Own Voices: What does it mean to be a People of Vision?

Published by at 3:11 pm under Minister's Musings

In Our Own Voices

September 2018: What does it mean to be a People of Vision?

The Practice of Intentional Imagination

“In Our Own Voices” captures congregants’ thoughts and feelings on the theme of the month. This year, our Worship Associates offer their first responses to each theme, in hopes that they will inspire you, too, to ask:

  • How does this theme relate to my life?
  • What does it inspire in me?
  • How does it trouble or perplex me?
  • How can it help us our Unitarian Universalist faith?

What does it mean to be a People of Vision and to practice Intentional Imagination?

  • It means to expand awareness. To behold possibilities. To appreciate growth.
  • We envision a future we can realize. We build our collective faith in who we are and our existence and our capacity for the expression of love. With an intentional and imaginative vision, we can overcome our fears and strengthen our faith. We can articulate that which we are sure will come, and guide ourselves into more perfect examples of love.
  • To be a people of vision is to see clearly, truthfully, harmoniously, in alignment, with “all/and” glasses on.
  • Lifting blinders and self-limitations à sudden clarity!
  • Vision is what motivates, drives, and inspires us. It’s what we dream about—our goals and ideals. What we want.
  • How do we know where to go without spending time figuring out what we want?
  • Vision armors and protects us as we go about our daily jobs. It nurtures and sustains us. It enraptures us.
  • Vision is part imagination. What does the future hold?
  • Nothing would ever be accomplished without vision. Look at Jules Verne imagining things that wouldn’t come to be a reality until much later. And at Steve Jobs imagining and bringing to reality things that seemed impossible. A visionary or imaginer who wants to bring dreams into reality must be inspirational and a good leader (or delegator). Vision and imagination are dandy, but there have to be action and goal-setting in order to make visions a reality.
  • With regard to church: As we strive to build the Beloved Community, it takes intention and imagination to move toward that goal.
  • The word intentional is a bit problematic for me. What about brainstorming, daydreaming, and so on, without a set goal in mind? These are key to visioning what is yet to be!
  • In creative imagining, we spend time imagining utopia, then we envision our progress toward it. But the counterpoint lies in appreciating where we are. We are a culture built on “progress”; we’re never satisfied. I’m not talking about complacency but rather about recognizing the good in what is. Here’s the both/and: Taking stock and appreciating what-is can go hand in hand with recognizing that change happens and that we want this change to move us forward.
  • Where does our vision come from? What does it mean to have a vision? Does everyone have a vision, or is it a gift? Are those who have “visions” special? What about drug-induced visions? Are they real? How much are visions based on experience? What is the purpose of a vision? How can we encourage visioning? Should we?
  • If we take a day at a time and live in the moment, why is visioning important … or is it? Does any change come without a vision? Whose vision do we follow? How does visioning influence society—and whose vision is it? When policies are related to a vision, it is important to know our leaders’ vision.
  • Is “vision” an ableist word? To be inclusive, do we need to eliminate all words that are a part of being human—words that refer to the senses, to physical activity, and more? I agree with attempting to include everyone, but I feel that the focus on these words does not increase inclusion. Actions—such as making sure the room is accessible, being sure that everyone can be included in the discussion and exercises, planning alternate but equally strong activities for when something does leave someone out—those are what embody inclusion.
  • Look more deeply into hymn #20 in the gray hymnal, “Be Thou my Vision.” Why is that re-worded but still high-falutin’ and theistic hymn even in our hymnal? (See Eleanor Hull’s translation from 1912 and other bits of history in Wikipedia and beyond.) Let’s challenge people to come up with modern language with the same essential meaning. Is that the story behind Thomas Mikelson’s writing the words for #298 “Wake, Now, My Senses”?
  • Dreams, inspiration from dreams. Perspective, binocular vision. Headlights will show only so far, and that’s all we have to go on. Theodore Parker in his 1853 sermon “Justice and the Conscience”: “I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.”

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