Rev. Michael Tino Unitarian Universalists have a proud tradition which emphasizes reason and an appeal to the intellect. Often people assume this means worship can’t also appeal to the spiritual self or a person’s emotions. According to Rev. Michael Tino, one of the keynote speakers of this year’s District Assembly, worship doesn’t have to be "all in the head." In fact, when a congregation attempts to reach out to a diverse population, it may be cruical to expand ideas of worship since so many people have a need to be moved spiritually and emotionally as well as intellectually.

Tino says that dynamic worship engages the feelings of a person -- and not just their intellect -- to provide a connection to something greater than the self. While some people can have their emotions stirred by an intellectual appeal, others need to be visually, kinetically or spiritually engaged in order to come away moved by the experience. This concept of worship engages the whole person and not just the mind.

Choosing to include elements which appeal to different ways of thinking and learning reveals we mean it when we strive to be inclusive of diverse persons in our congregations. While many congregations have attracted a number of people to their congregations through programs and services, if those persons don’t find a spiritual home through worship, they won’t stay around. Tino believes it is always important to consider new ways of looking at things, and it is crucial to examine who is being excluded by doing things the same way over and over again. If we don’t want to intentionally exclude others, then its important for us to consider how different people have different needs for worship.

Rev. Michael Tino will present these ideas and more as part of his keynote speech at District Assembly and in an interactive workshop on Saturday afternoon. You won’t want to miss his presentation or any of the other wonderful events we have lined up for you.