Sunday, November 8, 2009

Notes from the Pew

I'm a Buddhist, my husband is an atheist (even though I have tried to talk him for years into being an agnostic) and we are raising our children as Unitarian Universalists. My mom is pagan, my dad southern Baptist and my granddaddy was a preacher. My story is not unique, we all come from a patchwork of religious belief systems. The woman who had the most impact on my spiritual beliefs is my grandmother who attended the Church of Christ, a fundamentalist Protestant religion. The Church of Christ believed that you couldn't have music in church, women could not hold leadership positions, and that you had to declare that Jesus Christ was your personal savior to get to heaven. My dad told this joke to me several years ago: Saint Peter was bringing a group of newly dead folks on a tour of heaven. As they passed one room, he started whispering. One lady asked why? He responded, "Oh, we are passing the Church of Christ people..they think they are the only ones up here."

A couple of years before my grandmother died, I brought her and my mother to church with me. It was the annual UU animal blessing service and the parisoners did not disappoint. They brought their dogs, rabbits, and even a goat to receive words of compassion from Margaret, the director of Religious Education who also raises Llamas. My grandmother sat with her purse clutched in her lap, looking like she was going to be mugged. Later, she couldn't get over the fact that the minister was a "lady preacher." My mother still talks about that sermon being one of the most wonderful she has seen. Although my grandmother gave me the discipline and the longing for church, my mother gave me her open heart so I could find the right one.

Take the best your parents and grandparents gave you and find a spiritual home. It may not be church, for my husband it is the local climbing gym, but the gift of exploring something that is outside yourself and doing it mindfully within is a noble use of time.

I wish UU's were more evangelical, because our blessed community kicks ass....there is singing, laughing, crying, fellowship in the sense of being there for each other when things go awry, and much, much love. I wish the same for each and every one of you.



  1. Wonderful post! Nice to meet you. :)

  2. Rachel: Thanks for stopping by..I am enjoying your blog, as well:)