5/14/2008

I Love My Church

Attitude of Gratitude

Thanks to Stacy, for suggesting I take part in Attitude of Gratitude!

Today, I am grateful for... my church. I love my church. And am surprised as all get out to be saying that out loud. I never thought I'd be the church-going type, my beliefs are so... out there. And personal. I'm very-very open-minded, so even in the most open-minded of churches, I'd always end up hearing something that was "our way IS best, but we can love those others, bless their little hearts" and I'd have to leave, because I SO do not want to go down that particular rabbit hole. But I found Unitarian Universalism. And specifically, my church.

An example: This past Sunday, I saw one of the songs the choir would sing was "Gate, gate", taken from a Buddhist chant. I figured it would be just the chant, maybe layered and harmonized - but damn! They took the chant, sang it, added words that would be at home in any Southern church, and added some "Hallelujahs" to boot! I loved it, and it was just so... my church. A Buddhist chant with an Hallelujah. (The song was arranged by Brian Tate)

Before I joined my church, I went to an interfaith service there after 9/11, a mourning service, and was in tears the whole time -- but I was sobbing when we sang "This is My Song" with the lyrics:

My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.

Wow - a church that recognized we are interconnected! A minister who's easy on the eyes who challenges us to look within, to live the seven principles in all areas of our lives. A welcoming, affirming church, no matter your sexual or gender identity. A group of people where I feel at home.

The boys do, too - Evan especially has made some nice connections there, and we still talk about stuff he learned in the OWL classes. (open-minded, inclusive sexuality classes - yay!) Seth's happy to go play with friends, at this point, and he's glad to be accepted for who he is there.

I remember, as a child, at the Methodist church we went to, our Sunday School teacher asked us to draw a picture of our church. Initially, we all drew the church building, but with some prodding, we saw that what she wanted us to draw was the people -- that's what makes a church. I love my people. I love my church. I'm grateful it's there.

I have found a faith large enough to hold my beliefs. I am very, very grateful.

edit: OMG! I found a new video about Unitarian Universalism - if you're curious and you've got ten minutes, check it out!


5 comments:

diana(hahamommy) said...

Oh I know!! UU makes *so* much sense- mind body & soul :) I loved my first fellowship, oh I'm teary thinking of them, in Rapid City, SD - all 50 of 'em! They were my oasis! When I went to fellowship #2, it was different which is strange to my Catholic way of thinking of church (same service in every church all over the planet, every day) - I was program committee (no minister) and I facilitated OWL (which I love, love, love for the same reasons as you!). I was really disappointed I didn't find more Unschoolers among UU -- it seems to line right up with the whole Principles not Dogma thought -- then I did some research and found that the push for public schools actually came from UUs (with the lofty goal of having education given to the people, regardless of the family's ability to hire tutors). Ironically, I went to my first Live and Learn Conference in Peabody, MA - named for the PS founders!!
Hannah's UU funeral was BEAUtiful :)

MamaShift said...

I, too, have been surprised by my emotional attachment to the UU church. I don't get to go often, but the last time I went I was practically in tears I felt so at home.

BOSSY said...

Gratitude is a great approach. Better than "attitude" any day.

Pam Genant said...

we sang "This is My Song" with the lyrics:



My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean
And sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too and clover,
And skies are everywhere as blue as mine.<<<<<<<<

I remember singing that in church as a kid. Love the song as well. Don't have a UU church here so have never been, that's what happens when you live "in the country". LOL
Pam

tysdaddy said...

"Distinctions of power, privilege and estate that apply outside our doors do not apply within them."

I need to find a church like this. I could break bread there . . .