We want you to tell us what you believe.
Specifically, the FOCUS newsletter includes an occassional series titled This, I Believe. It's modeled on the National Public Radio series of that name. That series, in turn, is based on a program hosted by the great Edward R. Murrow in the 1950s.
We'd like to publish your concise statement of your core belief. We hope that through these short essays, we'll all get to know each other better. Plus, we'll get provocative food for thought.
Here are guidelines and ground rules, liberally adapted from the book This, I Believe by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman:
Tell a story: Be specific. Ground your belief in the events of your life. Your story need not be heartwarming or gutwrenching - it can even be funny - but it should be real. Consider moments when your belief was formed, tested or changed. Make sure your story ties to the essence of your daily life philosophy and to the shaping of your beliefs.
Be brief: Your statement should be between 350 and 500 words. The relatively short length forces you to focus on the belief that is central to your life.
Name your belief: If you can't name it in a sentence or two, your essay might not be about belief. Rather than writing a list, consider focusing on one core belief.
Be positive: Say what you do believe, not what you don't believe. Avoid preaching or editorializing.
Be personal: Make your essay about you. Write in the first person. Read your essay over several times, each time editing and simplifying until you find the words, tone and story that truly echo your belief.
You can use this form to send your statement of belief. Using the UU Principles as a guide, the FOCUS co-editors reserve the right to edit submissions and evaluate their suitability.
Watch for installments of This, I Believe in upcoming editions of the FOCUS.