Post Reply
3 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2011 - 7:07PM #1
Antiochian
Posts: 72
I became turned off to revealed orthodox faiths some time ago, and have been doing a lot of seeking.  I'm currently on a Neopagan path, and am preparing for initation into Wicca.  I'm also gay.

For some time, I've been interested in UU, and finally visited.  My impression is mixed.  On the negative side, I'm suspicious of any church, maybe just baggage from my Christian experience.  I wasn't crazy about the hymns, or the opening speech about stewardship (more baggage from experiences with churches who can't get enough of my $$).

On the positive side, I liked that Christianity was given no special preference over other faiths.  The most Christian aspect of the service was the reading of a Psalm.  No specific god was addressed, and the speakers were interesting.  Was also glad to see literature about UUism and LGBT rights, and this specific church is apparently active in supporting the local LGBT community. 

I always feel awkward among groups of people I'm meeting the first time, so I was reserved.  Several people were quite friendly, and many in the small church simply gave me a look-over on the way out and went on their way.

I figure I'll give it a second chance.  I'm not sure how many gay witches there are in the UU denominations, so it'll be interesting to see how I fit in.  I realize there are lots of gay people in UUism, and even some Pagans. 

Some time ago, I considered joining the Episcopal Church, which I realize is strange considering my beliefs.  Liked the liturgy, couldn't hack the theology.  Some Anglicans actually directed me to the UUs.  Obviously, many Pagans don't want anything to do with any church, but for me, it's just another way to meet people and engage in discussion and activism on various issues.  I'll see how it goes.  The church I visited is very small, but there was a good range of ages.  Any suggestions for breaking the ice and further exploring the UU path?  I have already looked over the website.
Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2011 - 7:25AM #2
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

I swear that this thing of Beliefnet's claiming I'm not logged in even though I've been merrily posting for over an hour is starting to annoy me no end. I just had a posting vanish into cyberspace after I was forced to log in twice in succession when "Post Reply" insisted I wasn't.


Well, rants aside...


I'd suggest continuing to attend the UU church you found if you can stand that, Antiochian, or try out the UU Church of the Larger Fellowship, the online congregation intended for those too far from a church or fellowship to make attendance workable. It offers some possibly useful resources such as access to the CLF library even as a privilege of trial membership.


You can get more information here about the trial and full memberships if you click on "Join CLF" on the top toolbar of the site:


www.clf.uua.org


I've tested the trial membership myself and can assure you that no one will harangue you to join CLF. At the end of the three-month period, you'll simply get an email explaining what full membership involves and inquiring if you'd care to join. It truly is a no obligation trial membership.


You get the hardcopy CLF newsletter which I usually found informative and inspiring as well as an issue of UU World, the denomination's quarterly magazine. The content of both of these may give you an idea whether or not UUism is workable for you.


I was a member of CLF for a little over fifteen years, and it really can be helpful also for those who find their nearby UU church offputting for some reason.


I can sympathize with your distaste for the Protestant Christian "flavor" of the service format and elements. That's partially why I'm an unchurched Unitarian anymore myself. While I understand that most people find a predictable service order reassuring, I'm bored by churches that have one. The first "bricks and mortar" UU church I belonged to varied the services with a panel discussion or some other definitely "unchurchy" activity about every other month. I really liked that, but the last few UU churches I've attended were lockstep in their service format which I find stultifying, a good part of the reason why I gave up on UUism.


If there are more than just one UU church within a reasonable distance, do try them all. UU churches can vary somewhat, and you might find that another is far more congenial than this one.


Ah, just noticed from a look at your profile that you're a South Dakotan, so you'll likely have the same problem I had when I lived in Kansas, not another UU church or fellowship for miles and miles. In which case, CLF may be really helpful to you if you decide you want some level of affiliation with UUism and just aren't thrilled by your local UU church.

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 10:33AM #3
Antiochian
Posts: 72

Thank you for that link.  Since I fit the age range, I registered with CYF.  The discussion boards and groups appear to be pretty dead, but I'll give it a try.  I assume I have access to the same recources I would in CLF, including the pastors, and that I'll receive a newsletter?  Or if things remain stagnant in CYF, perhaps I can switch to CLF, assuming it's probably got more members and therefore more going on?


 

Quick Reply
Cancel
3 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2011 - 7:14PM #4
DotNotInOz
Posts: 6,833

Apr 8, 2011 -- 10:33AM, Antiochian wrote:


Thank you for that link.  Since I fit the age range, I registered with CYF.  The discussion boards and groups appear to be pretty dead, but I'll give it a try.  I assume I have access to the same recources I would in CLF, including the pastors, and that I'll receive a newsletter?  Or if things remain stagnant in CYF, perhaps I can switch to CLF, assuming it's probably got more members and therefore more going on?



I've no idea what benefits CYF offers, but if I recall correctly, the trial CLF membership does not give access to the minister's toll-free number. That's a benefit available only to full members, I think.


You're pretty much limited on the 3-month trial to borrowing from the library and getting the publications I mentioned as well as being added to the email list groups if you wish. Access to the religious education minister for advice regarding your children's upbringing is part of the trial membership, too, I think, but obviously you've as much interest in that as I did.


I tried one of the email lists but soon got bored with my email filling up with people sharing what I regarded as uninteresting life trivia such as cute things their kids had done. I wanted lively discussion of spiritual and political issues. Sadly, you won't find much of that even on the discussion forum. I'm not sure why. I asked that of the religious education minister when I tried out the trial membership thinking I might re-join CLF and was told that the subscription email lists seem to appeal more to most members. She shared my concern about the boards not being more active but like me had no idea how to increase activity on them.


You can access UU World and Quest, the CLF newsletter, online these days anyway, so unless a person really wants some kind of church affiliation, CLF may not be all that useful.

Quick Reply
Cancel
 
    Viewing this thread :: 0 registered and 1 guest
    No registered users viewing
    Advertisement

    Beliefnet On Facebook