For the Humanists: a United Nations calendar for themes

I’m not really kidding here. I’ve written in 2003 and last year about the prospect of a sanctorial calendar — commemoration of saints — for liturgical purposes in Universalist and Unitarian churches, Christian or not.

Here, I’m thinking not. It isn’t so far a stretch from saints-as-faithful (not demigods) to thematic communities (commons) of saints to themes in worship. Follow me here.

The United Nations has a very full calendar of themes of concerns and commemorations that would fill the year for one of those cool, lean Midwestern kind of Unitarian humanist societies (I almost typed churches) that I have a certain odd affection for.

Perhaps not the International Day of Solidarity with Detained and Missing Staff Members (this Friday) or World Rabies Day, but International Book Day, International Day for the Right to the Truth Concerning Gross Human Rights Violations and for the Dignity of Victims (if repackaged), World Interfaith Harmony Week and others have worship hooks.

And I’d totally be there for International Day of Cooperatives.

About Scott Wells

Scott Wells, 45, is a Universalist Christian minister doing Universalist theology and church administration hacks in Washington, D.C.

One thought on “For the Humanists: a United Nations calendar for themes

  1. What this would bring to more Humanistic congregations, is a flow to the religious year, which allows it to transcend the limited interests of the minister or most dominant lay leader. This is my beef with congregations where there is no lectionary cycle or Torah cycle. What we end up paying attention to, ends up being held hostage to the limits of the imagination/interests of the person who presently leads the religious service. I’ve seen this in Christian circles where the preacher can’t seem to preach from anything other than the Gospel of Matthew; and I’ve seen this in Humanistic circles where the preacher can never seem to get away from a few favorite pieces of literature, or their own preferred social justice causes.

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