I pondered not going to church, it was Mother’s Day and Michael had prepared breakfast for me. I thought about just staying home and planting all the beautiful plants we purchased on Saturday. But it was the first Sunday after I “signed the book” which is Unitarian Universalist (UU) language for becoming a member. I had read the first two chapters of “Behind the Kitchen Door” for the Forum discussion so I got ready and off I went. The discussion was a good one. I highly recommend the read. Then I had to choose between going home or staying for the service after the Forum discussion. As a Unitarian, attending church is far from mandatory. I always enjoy the service so I popped in, sat down and became drenched in loved. During the service I realized I don’t want to ever have to leave this community. I feel completely at home.
Part of it is that I no longer have to change the pronouns in the hymns. UUs don’t use gender specific language in worship. Part of it is that I can enjoy readings from Rumi or Gibran, or a quote from the Bible, or a reference from the Koran or a poem that is breathtakingly beautiful any of which might be used to introduce the sermon. My understanding of Source has no gender and a few years ago the term God slowly became a misnomer for me. God, Source or nothing are all acceptable to me now.
Our minister confirms that there are those who will disagree with her somethings she says and that is okay. “That is what I am here for,” she will say, “push against me.”
A big part of the loving feeling comes from the welcoming words, “No matter who you are, no matter where you are on your spiritual journey, no matter who you love, welcome to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Greater Lansing.” It is a sincere and heartfelt welcome. So my previously Presbyterian self (60 years of membership) joins with some previously Roman Catholics and previously Jewish worshippers (while maintaining their Jewish ethnicity) and current agnostics and atheists and “you name it” folks in listening to beautiful (often folk) music. We are encouraged to live our highest and best lives while actively pursuing social justice as best we can. Unitarian Universalism is inclusive, not exclusive and that is what is most important to me. One of our beliefs is “we do not have to think alike to love alike.” And so I say … to church!