I have attended Unitarian Universalist Churches for about six years now and I have been a member of one for about half that time. Now that we live in South Dakota, the closest UU church is about 150 miles away. Probably won't get there every Sunday. Our minister from Michigan, Jill McAllister, took the time to visit us today while on her way to a retreat in Oregon, and it made me realise how much I miss them. I was perusing the UUA site looking for the online UU congregation which Jill recommended and sure enough at http://clf.uua.org/# I found the Church of The Larger Fellowship. Yes, it has a minister you can call(toll free) or e-mail, a religious ed person, materials for study and home services and what all. Pretty cool idea. Not sure about joining because the great thing about church for me is going to be with others of similar mind set. But I am going to spend some time with the website and consider joining. If you aren't familiar with the UU, they are from Christian roots, but you can't nail them down to any theology. Lots of my UU pals are secular humanists, some are Buddhists, some pagans, you just never know. I like the guiding principles a whole bunch.
There are seven principles which Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote:
- The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
I especially like the wording on the last principle which avoids the term "creation" which avoids offending the atheists in the crowd. I think I'll copy these and keep them handy for to see how I'm doing measuring up.
I have been thinking and reading a fair amount about religion, faith, whatever you like to call it and while I have no interest in converting or convincing, I am interested in writing about it some and exploring the religious connection to living an ecologically responsible life. So I will.