Fellowship in Religion
Human Fellowship, in the broadest sense of the words, rests upon the great fact of life that the things wherein men are alike are greater than the things wherein they differ. Beneath all divisions into class and color and race and condition we strike the bedrock of human unity. Just as beneath all the multiform shows of Nature we strike, if we go deep enough, a unity of law and substance. “The solidarity of the human race” is the ethical phrasing of the science of evolution: and it is the modern translation of the New Testament gospel, “We are all members one of another.”
Fellowship in Religion is the recognition of the unity of mankind in its highest life. ... Fellowship within our own Religious Home is that near and dear tie of those who believe so much alike that they can be one in all things of word and deed. This Fellowship, to be truly helpful, must be upon the large and not the small elements of belief and of service.
Fellowship without our own Religious Home is sympathetic understanding of those from whom we differ, constant effort to join on with them, and keep company, where we can, all the more that at some roadways we must unclasp hands and walk apart for Truth’s sake.
— Anna Garlin Spencer (born April 17, 1851)
With eyes bright with the vision of the good life we seek; with minds alert and active in the search for the truth that shall make us free; with hearts responsive to the call to serve our neighbours in love; with reverence for all life—may we find true and lasting happiness and fulfillment in our relationships with one another. Of all human associations, none is more beautiful, nor more sacred, than the free comradeship of men and women drawn together by their common devotion to a great cause. Such an association we would like our church to be.
In a world where the channels of communication are clogged with lies, we would seek the truth, fearing no one. In a world sick unto death with hatred and violence, we would bring love and conciliation and mutual helpfulness. Into a world bewildered and confused, we would bring knowledge and understanding, that people may find their way to the necessary adjustments in a rapidly changing human world.
For these ends we seek divine strength and guidance. May our bond of fellowship bear much fruit, by bringing us closer to the promised land, the land of our heart’s desire. Amen.
— Albert E. Kristjánsson (born April 17, 1877)
Freedom of Belief
We are resolved to protect individual freedom of belief. This freedom must include the child as well as the parent. The freedom for which we stand is not freedom of belief as we please, ... not freedom to evade responsibility, ... but freedom to be honest in speech and action, freedom to respect one's own integrity of thought and feeling, freedom to question, to investigate, to try, to understand life and the universe in which life abounds, freedom to search anywhere and everywhere to find the meaning of being, freedom to experiment with new ways of living that seem better than the old.
— Sophia Lyon Fahs (died April 17, 1978)