Tuesday, November 22

Church

For those that have know me a long time. I want you to make sure you are seated before you read on.

Seated? Okay.

I went to church this Sunday morning. Not only that, I went on my own. For those that haven’t known me for as long, this may not seem that odd, but, trust me, it is.

The last time I went to Church was 18 years ago when I slipped out of service on Easter Sunday during the congregation response readings. I felt like a hypocrite for being there. There are some aspects of Christianity that I just didn’t believe, couldn’t believe, had explored, discussed, and tried to rationalize and understand. I felt like I was being untrue by following the crowd. I have never once regretted this move.

Several years ago, I realized I really missed the community and fellowship of belonging to a church. When I got pregnant the first time I thought about joining a local church because I wanted to have a moral community and structure to raise my child in. However, there were still many lingering doubts as my believed had not changed and I really wasn't convinced that I could see pass the differences that made me leave in the first place.

It may just be my nesting instinct kicking in again, but this week I finally looked to see if there were any Unitarian Churches near our new home. I really didn’t know that much about them, but had been assured that they were open-minded and encouraged individual interpretation on religious matters. I found there is one just a few minute away and committed to go.

I'm so glad I did. While I have no plans to immerse myself whole hog into their community, I really liked the people I met there and I felt at home. The people seemed to be very like minded to me, some a little more liberal and some not as so. Plus there was a tone of spirituality, not blind devotion. Instead of being told what to believe people and how to live it, they encouraged discussion and individual interpretation of not just Christian teaching, but of wisdom from all over the world and all faiths.

I had an opportunity to talk to a good number of Church members because I hit upon the one Sunday out of the month that they serve lunch after the service, which I might add was vegan.
The service itself was short and sweet. The message was simple, but not preachy or scripture bound.

The congregation seems to very child focused. In fact the children almost out number the adults. There are no big hierarchies of people in charge. The minister was somebody that felt very comfortable speaking with. This was a whole church of people that give long explanations to simple questions, in other words, people like me. People seem to come there with all different backgrounds and the UU approach seems to be open enough to bring people together.

For now I’m just going to slowly ease in. I really have been neglecting the spiritual side of my life for a long time now and I think that this will be a very nice way to start getting my life back in line with my ideals again. Plus now that I've moved to a conservative area of Austin, it's a great way to meet like minded individuals.

10 comments:

utenzi said...

Good luck with the nesting situation, Lora. The Unitarian Church is a strange beast. Each congregation is different and it sounds like you've found one that matches your interests.

Catez said...

Lora,
I came over to say Happy Thanksgiving (even though I am in NZ). Hope your holiday has been a good one.

tapestrygirl said...

i'm glad you felt the good things going on at church. i hope you find what you are looking for!
happy day!
xoxo

Sue said...

I don't know anything about Universal Unitarians - maybe we don't have that group in Europe. Anyway, I'm glad you found it welcoming and friendly, and hope you find what meets your needs.

Contemplative Activist said...

Sue - there are certainly Unitarian Universalists in the UK :). I considered trying them out a while ago after I left church. In fact I used to joke, 'Well I've narrowed my religious choices down now. I can either be a Quaker or a Unitarian.' Quakers won, I'm afraid. I attended their meeting first (what can I say, they meet 15 minutes later than the Unitarians and I like to sleep in) and I felt so at home, I didn't quite get round to visiting the Unitarians ;).

UK Unitarian website here: http://www.unitarian.org.uk/

Rest of Europe here: http://bob.swe.uni-linz.ac.at/euu/

Lora - that's sounds lovely and I'm really glad you enjoyed yourself!

Bearette24 said...

I like the sound of the vegan lunch ;)
I'm glad you enjoyed the service!

gypsy said...

Yea! UU! I am UU too! It's the only "church" (we don't even use that word; we say "fellowship") I can tolerate.

Glad to have another brilliant person in the fold!

Blueberry said...

Just a shout-out here from another Austin UU who attends the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. Good sermons, and the only place that a secular humanist (me) and liberal Christian (husband) both fit in and can be ourselves.

Pearl said...

Sounds positive for you. Nesting instinct or not support is good to seek out. :-)

Catez said...

I was wondering - are you vegan Lora? One of my family was vegan for a while - and some friends of mine. I get anemic very easily so I need my meat (OK - I like my steak and lamb chops!)