Ironicschmoozer’s Weblog

Voices of the Beloved Community, #1 — Worship service 10/28/12

We had a beautiful ensemble of members’ voices last Sunday, talking about how this religious community has touched their lives. This one is by  a dad and horticulturist in his mid-30s.

I can’t believe it; it’s only been 3 years since I walked through those main hall doors for the first time, but it feels as though I’ve never been anywhere else.  I came through those doors with my head and heart agreed on the spiritual path on which I traveled.  The primary reason for braving the inside of a church was that this place, these people, this religious sect offered a home and a community to this religious derelict, who has never quite fit in.

I think many of us had reservations about walking through those main hall doors for the first time.  Myself, I was terrified of any sort of organized religion, but the Unitarian Universalists expressed acceptance of all.  Not only were my polytheistic, earth-based, pagan beliefs accepted, but I could talk about them, be understood, and not be scorned.  There was even an active group called CUUPS, the Covenant of UU Pagans.  Here I found others that were like minded and held beliefs similar to mine.

The family that raised me does not even know of what I believe, much less tolerate my spiritual viewpoint.  When I walked through those doors my mind was made up.  I knew what I knew, believed what I believed and that was that.  But if I could be a part of a community that understood and accepted me, then that was great.

But very soon I began to sense a change, an internal mind-shift regarding my stubborn, steadfast, unalterable beliefs.  I began to realize that I did not know it all.  I began to see that what I did know to be true was only one piece of the very complex puzzle that we call the mysteries of this life.

I began to open, to soften, to allow the spirituality of others to broaden my view and open my heart.

When I first began to sing our UU hymns during service, I would purposely skip over the word “God” or simply just replace it with “goddess.”  I remember one of our fantastic ministers saying that singing the word god, during a hymn, might not be for our benefit at all or even help to serve us personally.  But the person standing in front of me, behind me, or right next to me might need me to sing it, so they could benefit, and it might serve them.  I began to understand that using the word god, not necessarily the name, held similar connotations as using the word church.  These words give us a place to start from, and common ground to stand on.

I discovered something new, a huge part of my spirituality was fulfilled when I was helping someone else find what they might need, standing beside me as they travel down their own spiritual path, offering a warm smile or a great hug as they entered this hexagon [our main hall].

I was hooked.  I couldn’t get enough.  I dove in feet first, and right up to my neck in committees, groups and organizations that needed a body or a smile or just a little help.

One thing I know is that everyone needs to be loved, for themselves, for who they are–whether it is from a partner, a parent, a child, or from the outpouring of a congregation as great as this one.   We all need love and I have never been among a group of people who give so freely.

I have had the pleasure of working with many of you here.  Washing dishes, putting away tables and chairs, making copious amounts of polenta, flipping pancakes, helping you get connected with groups that share your interests, honing our spoken reflections, guiding your children, rehearsing lines for our stage, grieving, loving, laughing, and learning and working toward the implementation of this wonderful architectural Master Plan.

This beloved community is one that I will always treasure.  Thank you.

1 Comment so far
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Really nice. Thanks for printing this, Roger.

Comment by Lauren Davis-Todd

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