Author Topic: "Religious" community  (Read 1096 times)

Michael Reilly

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"Religious" community
« on: April 03, 2017, 06:34:55 AM »
Greetings, godless ones. I realize that many of the people on this forum are English, but I wonder if any of you are familiar with Unitarian Universalists? They are a small denomination here in the United States that began as an off-branch of Protestantism, then has morphed, slowly, into a group that does not profess a belief in a higher power. In the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association),  belief in the supernatural is not required. Instead, in a UU 'church' (because I don't know what else to call it) you will find humanists, atheists, theists, pagans, you name it, all mixed together. There is no creed in the UUA; there are statements of principles (which you can read http://www.uua.org/beliefs/what-we-believe/principles).

I am the dad of two young girls. There are benefits to belonging to communities. Here in the US, the most common community people belong to is a church. Being an atheist, I am not interested in going to church, but this group is quite different than other 'churches' around here. What do you all think?

In Cambridge, Massachusetts--Harvard University, specifically--there is a burgeoning group of humanists who meet each Sunday to create community and fellowship. I'd love to go there, but it's a bit of a drive. The local UU church is, literally, a mile from my home (which is like kilometers, but I don't speak metrics).

Do you think the benefits of community outweigh the issues of faith that will pop up in a setting like the UUA?

Pasta Chick

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Re: "Religious" community
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2017, 07:37:20 AM »
I'm not really sure what issues of faith you're expecting in a UU group in Boston?

BooksCatsEtc

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Re: "Religious" community
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2017, 12:54:16 PM »
I'm not really sure what issues of faith you're expecting in a UU group in Boston?

I would question that too -- my understanding is that East Coast UUs are particularly inclined to be atheists and agnostics.  On the West Coast a UUC congregation has more a mix of people who do believe in higher powers.  The UU church I sometimes go to is mostly split between liberal Xtians, Buddhists and Pagans.  The current pastor, who was raised in the UUC but whose parents were Hindu, usually ends her sermons with "blessed be".   The Xtians eventually got used to it.

You might ask the UUC down the street just what the make-up of their congregation is, and how they handle members with different beliefs.  The UUC here has meetings on Sundays where the sermon (if it can really be called that) is confined to philosophy, personal improvement and social justice issues that would be of interest to everyone.  The different religious groups set up side meetings in the church to get into the weeds on their particular beliefs.  A UUC I follow on YouTube (I like the pastor's style) deals with it by having two sermons every Sunday: a more traditionally (tho liberal) Xtian one, and a "modern" one which is more like the sermons our pastor gives.

I certainly think it's worth it for the sake of community, esp. the involvement with social issues.  I also think it's worth it to get to know people of different beliefs, and you couldn't find a better setting for that (esp. for kids) that one that's free of fanaticism about any belief and inclusive of no religious belief as well.
Sandy

  
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Recusant

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Re: "Religious" community
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2017, 01:03:23 PM »
Thanks for that, BooksCatsEtc. I know you've mentioned your occasional attendance at a UU church before, but that description was particularly fine. I'll also add my voice to the chorus welcoming your return to more active participation here!  :dance:
"Religion is fundamentally opposed to everything I hold in veneration — courage, clear thinking, honesty, fairness, and above all, love of the truth."
— H. L. Mencken


Michael Reilly

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Re: "Religious" community
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2017, 01:08:31 PM »
The times I've attended this particular congregation, things have been fine. A little hippy-trippy-dippy sometimes, but the sermons and services were almost always great. And the people are really nice, albeit quirky. In general, I really like the UUs.

Thanks for those who responded. One of the things I do miss about Catholicism is the sense of community. It's hard to find that in a way that can be baked into a busy schedule for a working family. UUs it is!

Peace.

BooksCatsEtc

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Re: "Religious" community
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2017, 01:58:38 PM »
Thanks for that, BooksCatsEtc. I know you've mentioned your occasional attendance at a UU church before, but that description was particularly fine. I'll also add my voice to the chorus welcoming your return to more active participation here!  :dance:

Thank you, Res!
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver

BooksCatsEtc

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Re: "Religious" community
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 02:00:34 PM »
A little hippy-trippy-dippy sometimes . . And the people are really nice, albeit quirky.

Well, yeah, there is that.  But it's all part of the balance and, on the whole, better than fire and brimstone.
Sandy

  
"I think this is the prettiest world -- as long as you don't mind a little dying, how could there be a day in your whole life that doesn't have its splash of happiness?"  from The Kingfisher, by Mary Oliver