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8 years ago  ::  May 25, 2010 - 11:06AM #1
RevDorris
Posts: 1,815

Many now call themselves Community churches.  They hide their denominational affiliations.  To draw you in they hide their doctrine.  Once in they ask you to sign their statement of beliefs.


 


This has the effect of turning people off.  When churches lie to get you in -- what does that say?  They have little faith in the truth they say they believe.  They have turned church into a money making business.


 


A community church should be for the entire community.  Regardless of denomination or religion all should be welcomed.  All faiths and beliefs should be openly shared.  The community as a whole would then gain a greater understanding.


 


The role of a community church should be based on the two great commandments:  To love and serve God; and to love and serve humanity.  To bring people to a greater understanding and love of God should be the prime focus.  To improve the local community and in turn all of humanity is how we demonstrate what we truly believe.  These are the roles the Jesus and all the great prophets taught us to strive to achieve.


 


Ministers like military chaplains would have to learn to tailor their message to all of God’s children not just those of a specific religion or denomination.  A variety of services would have to be developed to meet the needs of the members of the congregation.  Rites of passage services would be in many forms.  This would give members of the community a greater understanding and tolerance for the faith of others.  By participating in these various rites the community would grow and learn together as a family.  This would be a vast improvement over what many believe to be lies and covert actions to convert the members of the community to one faith or denomination.


 


Let me know what you think. 


 


How do you view the role of the community church?

With love,

Rev Dorris
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8 years ago  ::  May 25, 2010 - 12:42PM #2
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,483

I definitely agree with you, I have noticed that as well churches hiding their denomination pretty sad it you ask me  but this is what it has come to Religion Divides more than it unities


I personally think the UU is worth checking out for me any insights on that would be helpful.

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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8 years ago  ::  May 26, 2010 - 12:56PM #3
RevDorris
Posts: 1,815

Many of the UU churches are similar to the Community churches.  They hide behind the facade of being a church, but when many people go in, they are shocked when the minister announces we are all atheist, God talk is not welcomed.  Some are not this direct, but the message is the same.


This is not true for all the UU churches but is dominant in many areas of the country. 


Those who are fortunate have several churches in their area to choose from.  I would recommend that you check out each that is within a comfortable drive from where you live.  You will find more comfort in one that is welcoming and spiritual in nature. 


Check out the churches you feel you fit in by visiting them at least 3 to 6 times before making a final decision.  This will allow you to see a variety of services and maybe speakers too.  It will give you a greater understanding of where the church is going and the overall focus it maintains.

With love,

Rev Dorris
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8 years ago  ::  May 26, 2010 - 3:00PM #4
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,483

Thank you i will follow your advice, there is only 2 in my area  i sense you had a bad experience with the UUA  just an observation.


 


Peace and Blessings.

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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8 years ago  ::  May 26, 2010 - 10:24PM #5
Jcarlinbn
Posts: 7,212

 I agree with you that any church that does not welcome God talk is neither Unitarian nor Universalist.  As an atheist I quickly leave sometimes in the middle of the service.  I do not go to a UU church to commune with atheists, I don't commune with atheists in any venue.


Community churches, at least here in silicon valley are simply money pumps for the pastors.  They do provide a home for the "Are you Christian?"s but I don't see any other socially redeeming values.  


May 26, 2010 -- 12:56PM, RevDorris wrote:

Many of the UU churches are similar to the Community churches.  They hide behind the facade of being a church, but when many people go in, they are shocked when the minister announces we are all atheist, God talk is not welcomed.  Some are not this direct, but the message is the same.


Jcarlinbn, community moderator
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8 years ago  ::  May 30, 2010 - 9:52AM #6
Brownowl33
Posts: 443

I think if you want to have a church where you aren't forced to "commune" with atheists (whatever that means) then UU is the wrong place for you to be.  Like it or not, Unitarian Universalism is no longer a brance of Christianity, and they have to be willing to accept everyone that comes in, no matter what their religious beliefs might be.


 


Despite all the complaining I hear from theists about how their Unitarian church doesn't like "god talk," I've never yet heard a humanist complain about the theists.  Never.  Why?  I honestly don't think it bothers them as much.  I am dismayed when I see people demanding that their UU communities "put God" into their services.  Why? Which God?  The Christian God?  In that case, it's Christian and not UU anymore.  Pagan Gods? I don't think many of the God people would like that much.  There is no one UU "god" that everyone can agree on, and trying to fit ALL of them in would be madness.  Attempting to force a largely humanist congregation to worship whatever God it is some of the posters on here think exists would destroy the church and drive people away.


We all have to face the fact that most UU churches are largely agnostic/humanist, though some have a large Pagan membership as well.  While theists have many, many churches to choose from, non-theists really only have UU.  I don't think it's fair to try and make the majority feel unwelcome over the beliefs of a few, especially when those beliefs are really all over the map. The beauty of UU has always been that it's a church of "deeds, not creeds" and a place where actions speak louder than words.  I would much rather have a humanist church that did a lot of good things instead of one that got dragged down into the "god" debates.


If one really, really has to worship whatever god they believe in, there are plenty of Christian churches that will be glad to have you.  You simply will not get rid of the atheists in the UU churches, nor can you force them to worship whatever your idea of god is.  I MYSELF am a theist, but attending a humanist church doesn't bother me in the least because, again, I think actions are more important than words.  Trying to insert a lot of supernatural stuff into the service wouldn't do anybody any good.

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8 years ago  ::  May 30, 2010 - 9:55AM #7
Brownowl33
Posts: 443

May 26, 2010 -- 12:56PM, RevDorris wrote:


Many of the UU churches are similar to the Community churches.  They hide behind the facade of being a church, but when many people go in, they are shocked when the minister announces we are all atheist, God talk is not welcomed.  Some are not this direct, but the message is the same.


This is not true for all the UU churches but is dominant in many areas of the country. 


Those who are fortunate have several churches in their area to choose from.  I would recommend that you check out each that is within a comfortable drive from where you live.  You will find more comfort in one that is welcoming and spiritual in nature. 


Check out the churches you feel you fit in by visiting them at least 3 to 6 times before making a final decision.  This will allow you to see a variety of services and maybe speakers too.  It will give you a greater understanding of where the church is going and the overall focus it maintains.




 


The fact that you don't LIKE the church doesn't mean it's not a church. I am very unhappy with all the contempt I am seeing towards the UUA on this board.  I don't see any atheists whining about the theists, but I see plenty of people sniveling about how whatever chuch they visited "wasn't a real church" because it didn't cater to their beliefs.  Atheists have just as much right to a church as a Christian or Jew does.  There is nothing in the UUA that requires a belief in some kind of God.

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8 years ago  ::  May 30, 2010 - 10:04AM #8
Brownowl33
Posts: 443

May 25, 2010 -- 11:06AM, RevDorris wrote:


Many now call themselves Community churches.  They hide their denominational affiliations.  To draw you in they hide their doctrine.  Once in they ask you to sign their statement of beliefs.


 


This has the effect of turning people off.  When churches lie to get you in -- what does that say?  They have little faith in the truth they say they believe.  They have turned church into a money making business.


 


A community church should be for the entire community.  Regardless of denomination or religion all should be welcomed.  All faiths and beliefs should be openly shared.  The community as a whole would then gain a greater understanding.


 


The role of a community church should be based on the two great commandments:  To love and serve God; and to love and serve humanity.  To bring people to a greater understanding and love of God should be the prime focus.  To improve the local community and in turn all of humanity is how we demonstrate what we truly believe.  These are the roles the Jesus and all the great prophets taught us to strive to achieve.


 


Ministers like military chaplains would have to learn to tailor their message to all of God’s children not just those of a specific religion or denomination.  A variety of services would have to be developed to meet the needs of the members of the congregation.  Rites of passage services would be in many forms.  This would give members of the community a greater understanding and tolerance for the faith of others.  By participating in these various rites the community would grow and learn together as a family.  This would be a vast improvement over what many believe to be lies and covert actions to convert the members of the community to one faith or denomination.


 


Let me know what you think. 


 


How do you view the role of the community church?





 


You say a community church should be open to all from all religions and denominations, but THEN you say that they "should" worship "God."  If that's true, then you've just excluded the atheists/agnostics/Buddhists/etc.  How is that open to everyone?  If you require a belief in a god, there goes a huge chunk of the UU population.

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8 years ago  ::  May 30, 2010 - 10:12AM #9
Jupiter6208
Posts: 2,483

The UUA accepts everyone correct?  so what is the problem? i believe in a God so i have no problem with people who do not as long as everyone respects each other right? isn't that the UUA'S Mission so to speak?

"A person who is nice to you, but rude to the waiter, is not a nice person."  Dave Berry
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8 years ago  ::  May 30, 2010 - 6:18PM #10
findingmyselfgod
Posts: 32

We need to make sure that everyone who is willing to welcome diversity feels welcome. Monotheists are welcome to talk about God, polytheists about gods, atheists about our beliefs, and so on.


I'm not sure Rev. Dorris meant to say that UUs aren't welcoming to Christians. Of course some Christians would feel that way, because some Christians can only feel secure in a community of fellow-Christians, so they won't feel welcome in a diverse community.


But some Christians value diversity and liberalism, and for them the UU can be perfect. AFAIK we aren't chasing them away, but if we were, we would have to examine ourselves. AFAIK, he was very much exaggerating the intolerance of "god-language." But there are a number of UUs who are essentially in recovery from horrible experiences with fundamentalism, and are uncomfortable talking about beliefs in God. We aren't a perfect community, but we continue to move toward greater mutual understanding.

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