Coming of Age Credo

As I look out at the world and all the things in it I think: what an absolutely magnificent place!

I believe the sacred surrounds us through nature, beloved community, and ourselves. God is the divine goodness that thrives in each and every one of us.

I consider humans to be imperfect beings who are born with both a seed of divine goodness and the potential for harm and destruction alike. Greatness, I think, will only come through our understanding and acting on that divine goodness and striving for what we aspire to be.

At the heart of my world are the hearts of others. My beloved community is where those hearts come together. In my opinion beloved community is an ideal with fragments scattered throughout our lives. It is the concept that we welcome each person with an open mind, the desire to get to know them and an equal chance for our love.

This idea of reaching out to total strangers and greeting them with totally nonjudgmental minds is utterly unrealistic. People will always judge others and there will always be prejudice in the world. My hope is that I will take the concept of beloved community and incorporate it into my life and that others would do the same.

Each of the people we connect with in beloved community help our divine to grow a little stronger. When we lose one of these people I think we cope by finding something about them that inspired us and embodying that in our own lives.

The sacred is present in my life through all the things that bring me closer to the divine. This happens in spiritual practice when I connect with the wonders of nature, the beauty of music, and the expression of art. I also find the sacred in all the people in my life who love and support me.

So with these beliefs, I take my first wobbly steps into the realm of adulthood and with them I am confident that when I reach out, my hand, to this vast world of open opportunities the world will gladly take it.

Originally completed: Spring of 2012

Last Edited: 12/30/2022

This credo, or statement of belief, was written by me in 9th grade as part of coming of age, a class and right of passage in my Unitarian Universalist faith tradition. In coming of age I was asked to contemplate the answers to what we call the five big questions:

(1) What does it mean to be human and alive?

(2) How do we live in the face of death and loss / what happens when we die?

(3) What is the nature of the holey / God?

(4) What is the role of the church in creating beloved community?

(5) Sacred …

This is the credo that resulted after a year of lessons and discussions with peers, mentors, and teachers.

Since this time my beliefs have evolved. Over the past few years, I actually completed a new credo to reflect that evolution. However, I still hold many of these beliefs, just in a more complex manner.

My greatest critique of this credo relates to the line, “People will always judge others and there will always be prejudice in the world.” I think what I would say today is that there will always be the potential in each of us for judgment and prejudice. I think this plays into the statement that I make at the beginning, “I consider humans to be imperfect beings who are born with both a seed of divine goodness and the potential for harm and destruction alike,” emphasizing our need to continually examine who we are and how our actions impact the world, calling on us to check our negative qualities and cultivate our positive potential. I feel as though the way I originally wrote it, although probably not my intention, creates a sort of loophole to excuse people's dysfunctional and destructive behaviors and does not focus the writing on what we need to do in our lives to cultivate beloved community.

Overall I think this credo has the seeds of the beliefs that I hold today and I am so immensely grateful that I was introduced to this process of learning, thinking, and communicating about meaning and how we live that meaning out in the world.

Originally completed: 12/30/2022

Last Edited: 12/30/2022