Our Theological Diversity

Last month our middle school youth polled the congregation during coffee hour, asking each person to choose from a list of fourteen theological statements* to select the three they most agreed with.

The class did the exercise themselves, and we put it online for anyone else who wanted to add to the tally. Last Sunday the group added up all the results and put together this report to share with all.

Here are the theological statements, as ranked by survey participants:

1. We can use science and reason to understand our Universe.
2. There are probably as many ideas about God as there are people.
3. There’s no way we can know whether or not there is a God.
4. There’s a spark of divinity in each of us.
5. God and the Universe are the same – God is in everything and everyone.
6. I find God in Nature.
7. Creation is on-going, and we are co-creators with God. (tie)
7. God is my conscience calling me to make the world a better place. (tie)
9. There’s no such thing as God, and even the word is meaningless.
10. God is present in relationships among people.
11. God is like a loving mother who sustains us and all life. (tie)
11.My beliefs about Jesus make me feel closer to God. (tie)
13. God created the universe and then left it to run itself.
14. God cares for us and listens to our prayers.

The class took some time to think about what all this means, tying it in with a general overview of theology. We considered which beliefs might be held by theists, deists, agnostics, atheists, humanists, pantheists, and pagans. We considered the many combinations of beliefs an individual might hold, and how choosing just three can be tough!

Does anything here surprise you? If you could add another theological statement to the list, what might it be?

*This exercise is part of Compass Points, the middle school curriculum we are using this year. The curriculum was written by UU Religious Educators Michelle Richards and Gaia Brown.