A response to this extremely popular post
1. Because farmer’s markets that close at 11:30 are open for lots of hours before that. Out of bed, Hippie!
2. Because I am, at heart, an extremely self-centered person. (IMHO, you pretty much have to be to have a blog and write about yourself, your thoughts, what you’re up to, your political views, etc) Going to church on Sunday, even if I don’t attend the service and teach youth group instead, reconnects me back outside myself. I need a time each week to remind myself that it isn’t all about me, and when I get it, there is a corresponding drop in my stress level over little stuff.
3. Because my local BFF goes to the same church and after church we often get burritos together and hang out with her family. No church, no queso and no laugher ringing off the walls as ZombieKid beats up on me.
4. Because when I lived in South Carolina and was depressed and lonely, I drove 60 miles every Sunday to go to church with a minister whose preaching reallysucked. Now that I have my pick of churches within ten miles, I’m so going.
5. Because lots of the people who mean most to me in this world met me through UUism. (Katy-the-Wise, Linguist Friend and Jana-who-Creates, for starters, and lots of other people.)
6. Because I’ve made a commitment to work with the youth, a commitment that has brought me lots of joy and given me a chance to do the most fun thing in the church.
And oddly enough, people think that it is a big sacrifice and fuss over me for it.
(When people say, “You slept in the youth cabin this retreat? You’re so brave!”
My stock response is “Yeah, last night we stayed up until 2:00am listening to Queen and talking about boys. And sometimes I let them do what THEY want to do...”)
7. Because the UUs I’ve known, even the annoying ones, have done so much for other people and the world, I like to keep an eye out for things I can do to help them and help UUism.
Also, church is the one place in my life where people accost me and ask me to make sack lunches for homeless shelters, pay for English classes in Transylvania and donate to canned food drives. Am I happy to do these things? You bet! Would I end up doing them if I wasn't asked? It's unlikely!
8. Because I can sing and pray and talk to people who are making the same spiritual trip I am, though usually by a different route. UUs are often really thoughtful and cool and well-educated and while I’m sure that makes us elitist in some ways, it also means that a high percentage of us are fun to talk to.
9. Because every once in awhile, UUs will peer-pressure me into trying some sort of hippie spiritual practice and I find some real spiritual value in it. I’m thinking specifically of walking a labyrinth and meditating*, which is the sort of thing I would not ever have imagined myself finding helpful. It just is.
10. Because I feel closest to God when I am refining spiritual ideas through reason, weighing them against each other and figuring out new ways to examine spiritual issues. So my big ol' church full of different ideas and groups is perfect.
I think part of the problem is that lots of UU churches are too small. Ironically, my church has lots of stuff geared toward childless adults, I'm just too busy with YRUU to do any of it. I'm sure the petty shit that bothers Ms. Theologian happens in my church, it happens in every church, but I'm not close enough to the base of power to care.
* People, especially Christians, who get snotty about this really irritate me. If you’re upset that the UUs “stole” this practice from the Christians (who presumably “stole” it from the Greeks) you need to get a hobby or something. IMHO, if a practice works for you, you should use it. Don’t pretend you’re using it the same way other groups did if you haven’t done the work to make sure that you are, but yeah, you should do whatever helps you connect with that which is holy. Duh.