Pages Navigation Menu

Why I am UU

UUAlogo2014

Things are quiet on the site, so, I thought this would be a good time to share why I, YON, am a Unitarian Universalist. Gail and I got to First Parish by an invitation to the Service Auction, but, why we came back has to do with the old joke:

What do you call an atheist with children? answer: A Unitarian. We heard very early on. For us, it was the truth. What got us to First Parish the first time was the feeling that we wanted our kids to have some religious background. We certainly struck the jackpot. The UU Religious Education program is rich. It covers Unitarian Universalism of course, but also the Bible, Judaism, various Christian denominations, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and others. In 6th or 7th grade, there is a program that was called “Faith Across the Street” when I went thru it with my kids. In 8/9th grades there is a Coming Of Age program.  As a result, I believe my kids are very well grounded in their own beliefs – neither is particularly devout, but, comfortable with their own beliefs.

My second reason for being UU is for my own personal search. I was born the grandson of a minister and the great grandson of THREE (3!) ministers. My grandmother was very devout and we would attend church with her on holy days. I started Sunday school, but, dropped out. I was the only sibling – last of six that did not get confirmed. Growing up we would have wide ranging discussions about whether god existed, what religion was and other spiritual questions. I was not big on the afterlife, nor am I today. I am skeptical of any single religious truth, I believe in many mysteries and miracles.

When I am in the ocean, I feel a tremendous connection to something very large. I have also had these feeling in the woods and on mountain tops. They are local place specific feelings and I choose the think of them as connections to local gods. This was quite amorphous when I arrived at First Parish in the spring of 1987. Our second service was the Easter service where the minister described the many symbols and stories that come from ancient pagan traditions, including the name from Ēostre. That service made me feel very much at home and my own search was off to the races. With help, I found out about Tiamat, the Babylonian goddess Tiamat of salt water. There were a core of pagans and the minister helped us create a Winter Solstice/Yule Ritual as well as others, which we continue to celebrate 25 years later.

My third reason is that the congregation is a “community of like minded persons”. It is a rich fabric of amazing individuals who I would be unlikely come across in my daily life. Living out in the suburbs, especially if you do not live in a neighborhood, it can be hard to meet people you expect to develop a strong friendship with. The phrase like minded does not mean we think the same way, but, rather we can assume that we can agree on facts and use reason to understand each other.

We are social creatures and to gather as a community with no agenda other than to witness, worship and celebrate is gratifying on a primal level.

You will find a little bit more of the story here: Why I am UU.