All Souls Miami is a congregation of non-traditional, progressive Christians, and others, seeking spiritual growth -- like-minded people who affirm that the Divine can be experienced in a myriad of ways, not confined by any one creed or tradition. We are welcoming; inclusive of all and exclusive of none.
Why we affiliated?
In the beginning, the experience of many members of All Souls Miami found that religious institutions too often act as “institutions” do and that is not always in the best interest of individuals seeking, questing or exploring one’s faith. We decided to remain independent. However, with the passage of time, the stability of the congregation and a sense that All Souls continue, the congregation felt it was time to connect--with like-minded spiritual travelers and seekers. The obvious connection for us was the Unitarian Universalist Association. This faith community has a very liberal Christian component, an open commitment to seeking, a commitment to justice, peace, civil rights and civil liberties issues that are grounded in an ongoing faith journey. They are us and we are them.
Why we are not in or want our own church building?
Some members of All Souls may miss the aesthetics of a church building, with beautiful glass, wood, art and even real organ music. All of this comes, however, at a great cost—literally. What our members don’t miss is the enormous amount of time and energy that goes into raising money for a building, its interior and exterior maintenance, its mortgage, insurance and on and on. When viewing an annual local church budget, it is amazing just how much money a building requires. Our members have consciously decided to avoid this part of church life and instead concentrate on worship: word, sacrament, and fellowship. Besides, with a beautiful view of Miami’s lush foliage, a few tablecloths, some flowers, candles, comfortable chairs, inspiring words, music and good company, any room can be transformed into a wonderful sacred space.
Our Style of Service
The first thing that may strike a visitor is that the order of worship of All Souls looks like a traditional order of Word and Sacrament. However, a closer look reveals that what forms the content is a blend of traditional and modern. “Call to worship” may come from the Sermon on the Mount, but the responsive reading could come from E.E. Cummings and Maya Angelou; we have Jewish prayers, Muslim Sufi mystic prayers and words of Ghandi. Although sermons are based on readings from the Bible, other modern day references are used as well.
The music is also mixed, combining both instrumental “classics” and contemporary Christian-and non Christian influenced recording artists. Do you sing? Do you play an instrument? Join us!
All Souls has now gone "inner generational." Our children meet at 10:30 am… altogether, as in a one-room school house for "faith development." Believe it or not, this works. At 11 the children stay and join all of us in worship where they are very active participants. Our children will often lead in readings and prayers, take up the offering and share in the sermon. All Souls has tried this for 1 year now and remains committed to inner generational gathering and worship.
Membership is open to any person who wishes to become a member of All Souls. "Belonging" adds to a person's identity and to the identity of All Souls. It is a mutual strengthening and sharing of the faith journey. While not everyone agrees with all of What We Believe, most members do feel that these comments express the nature of what All Souls is all about. Members give voluntarily to the support of All Souls. There are no dues or fees or annual financial drive. Generosity of the heart and one's ability are all that is asked. Membership is inclusive of all and exclusive of none.
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