HELPFUL SHORTCUTS

All Souls Unitarian Church

Worship Sunday Mornings
Traditional @ 10 am
Contemporary @ 11:30 am

2952 South Peoria
Tulsa Oklahoma 74114
918.743.2363

info@allsoulschurch.org

CALENDAR

CONTACT US

JOIN US

LOGIN

 

 

 

 

 

Monthly Themes

 

Our church program-year (September-May) is fashioned around nine theological themes. Each theme plays a part in the development of a well-grounded religious and spiritual life. The church’s offerings each month are by no means limited to the themes. However, these topics provide an axis around which many elements of church life gain more meaning and depth. They provide us with a set of common stories and ideas that become elements of an ongoing community conversation. Be warned: Seriously engaging these themes could transform your life!

We suggest the following ways to go deeper with our 3 year cycle of themes:

  1. Attend the First Sunday of the month service where the minister will explore the theme in detail in Sunday worship and we will introduce the story for all ages that is used in our Children's Religious Education program for the month.
  2. Attend Soulful Sundown on the first Friday of the month where we use a more secular exploration of the theme using popular culture including: live music, drama, video, slam poetry, and improv.
  3. Attend our Wednesday Night Adult Religious Education Programming throughout the month that relate to the theme.
  4. Read Simple Gifts. Simple Gifts (SG) is our monthly journal and can be used to explore ideas on the theme (ideally to begin considering the theme before hearing the sermons)
  5. The SG list of quotes. Inside Simple Gifts is a pull out list of quotes on the theme to consider as part of a daily journaling or meditation practice.
  6. The SG book list. Inside Simple Gifts is also a book list for further reading. Choose one to add to your reading for the month.You're probably getting the idea that SG is a great resource!
  7. SG Theme tips for parents.In most issues of Simple Gifts is also a section designed especially for parents including practical help about how to answer our children's questions on the themes.
  8. Consider sharing your gifts and talents with our children by volunteering in our All Souls Kids program as a workshop leader.

2014-2015 Monthly Themes 

Sept- Faith

Oct- Death

Nov- Forgiveness

Dec- Hope

Jan- Love

Feb- Justice

Mar- Brokenness

Apr- Transformation/Resurrection

May- Transcendence


Click here to find out more about adult, youth and children's religious education. 

 


For a more in-depth overview of Theme Based Ministry, visit www.themebasedministry.org.

All Souls has a theme each month for its programming and worship. It is something we have been developing for three years and it is starting to get national attention within Unitarian Universalism. Here is an overview of what we are creating, called "Theme Based Ministry".

UUA Article: Monthly Themes at All Souls, Tulsa, Help Congregants Go Deeper

To engage and empower our congregations and members to think theologically and live their ministry and calling at home and in the wider world.


Vision

To provide North American Unitarian Universalist churches with a transformational approach to ministry that includes the entire congregation and equips their members with resources for living each day with faith, integrity and wisdom. Unitarian Universalists prepared with the language and religious understanding to play a substantial role as shapers of our country and its culture, and to engage in dialogue with people of other backgrounds regarding issues of faith, values, ethics and religion. 

The Basics

The program is anchored around monthly theological themes (one theme per month) that are the focus of church life and programming across the lifespan. There are three years worth of monthly themes and the cycle begins again in the fourth year. Each theme has a story associated with it and the story offers language, symbols and metaphors on the theme. The congregation is offered multiple ways to engage the themes through worship, classes, small groups, newsletter articles, spiritual homework, at-home family practices, a reading list for further reading on the theme and more.

The resources are provided so that members can decide at what level and depth they want to engage a particular theme. Children maintain journals on the themes each month, so that if they are in our program for 12 years they will have 4 sets of reflections on each theme at different stages of their own personal, spiritual and cognitive development. The themes offer the congregation (across the generations) a common set of stories, ideas and topics to be in conversation about each month. The story each month is primarily Bible based, but occasionally the lead story is of famous Unitarians and Universalists or from other world religions and cultures. Each month, however, stories from other cultures and religions are utilized to demonstrate how similar topics are dealt with in other traditions. The congregation attains biblical literacy and is given the opportunity to develop a theology informed by many faiths and rooted in Unitarian Universalism.

First Year Themes

Second Year Themes

Third Year Themes

Faith

Vocation & Calling

Vision

Death

Unity & Diversity

Evil

Forgiveness

Gratitude

Democracy

Hope

Peace

God

Love

Grace

Creation

Justice

Prayer / Spiritual Practices

Religious Authority

Brokenness

Letting Go

Redemption

Transformation / Resurrection

Salvation

Freedom

Transcendence

Truth

Mercy



Why is this model important?

Most Unitarian Universalist congregations today do not offer their members a common language of faith, a common set of stories, or a clear and systematic map for developing their own understanding of theology and liberal religion. Members are rarely provided with ways to engage their religious life at various levels of depth and understanding. The result is many congregations with members who are not being offered competency in the areas of liberal theology, biblical literacy or religious ways of dealing with loss, betrayal, addiction, evil, etc.

UU congregations rarely have significant coordination or collaboration between the Sunday school programming for children and what is being discussed by the adults in worship, classes and small groups. The lack of integration across the lifespan is a missed opportunity for community building and hinders intergenerational religious learning.

Offering a systematic approach to theological learning in churches gives people the resources for dealing with life's challenges prior to encountering particular challenges. It is often difficult to suddenly try to develop a spiritual life and an understanding of the most important concepts for living when one is in the midst of dealing with a major life crisis. For example, it is often when someone receives a terminal diagnosis that they begin to explore death and the meaning of life or when they have been betrayed that they begin to try to understand forgiveness. However, when a person has a basic understanding of major life issues prior to encountering them and also has an ongoing spiritual practice, this allows the person to move through life's travails with greater integrity, gracefulness and acceptance.

With a theme-based approach, people develop resources for living throughout their lives, and at times when they are not in the midst of a crisis. Therefore, they carry these religious resources with them and are able to draw on a well-established religious understanding and perspective as they deal with the vicissitudes of life.

Read an article written about us by the UUA: Monthly Themes Help Congregations Go Deeper