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Monday, March 27, 2006

This week at

Not every Unitarian Universalist is an "exile" from another religious tradition, Barbara Wells ten Hove writes, so why don't we focus more on the experiences of lifelong UUs among us? (She writes in response to an earlier UU World sermon excerpt by Victoria Safford.) Meanwhile, Don Skinner offers a round-up of UU events marking the third anniversary of the invasion of Iraq and Sonja Cohen links to a number of related war anniversary news stories in the ol' news blog.

Copyright © 2006 by Philocrites | Posted 27 March 2006 at 6:20 AM

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March 27, 2006 11:48 AM | Permalink for this comment

I am a lifelong UU. Neither my sister nor my brother have any interest in UUism now. I'm very involved. (My sister is now Baha'i, my brother is "secular").
What makes the difference? I haven't a clue. My sister prefers something more structured. No idea about my brother. Years ago, my sister taught UU Sunday school, my brother and I both went to LRY.
But, the thing is, I don't really know why I am so involved either. I love UUism. I miss church if I don't go. But I haven't really felt accepted and I haven't really found friends there. We have good friends who belong to other UU congregations in the area, but not ours.
I have some religious beliefs, but we rarely talk about what we believe. Our congregation doesn't talk much about what is the basis for our liberal values. Our congregation has a number of politically conservative members, and some who are kookoo ultra liberals, and lots in between.
Maybe religion is about the urge to "be good" and the feeling we want that we are not alone in trying to "be good", which would make us stupid. Being good is not something one can do alone, because then everyone would take advantage of you, but if we all agree to play by the rules together, then the whole world can work in a peaceful and harmonious and kind way. So we band together to reassure each other that we are in this together, and we're not being gullible, but are making the world a better place. UUs just like a more flexible and less material definition of "good".


March 27, 2006 10:13 PM | Permalink for this comment

I resonate with Barbara's article as it describes the tension I feel between the UU church in which I was raised and the church that I experience now. I grew up thinking of UUism as a "universal" church, a nondogmatic religion that was so anchored in spiritual strength that one could go anywhere, experience anything in the religious world, and find some value to take home. The church I experience now is about "what I don't believe", "beliefs I don't like", and "religions I don't like." Spiritual practices come and go like fads and one has to move quickly to keep the adherents of one fad from trampling you on the way to another one. I was an atheistic UU for many years; when I became interested in spiritual practices I found the church too rational and too political for spiritual nurture. I am training for UU community ministry and hope to model spiritual practice with an open UU mind so that those who are in flight from other religions can find a spiritual base on which to rest while they explore.

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