Tom and Len from Columbus’ First UU Church came to talk to us about… about… well, about American society today and how much good we can do by being an inviting congregation. Or something to that effect. The problem is that a lot of congregations from all denominations have been losing members. The big gainers have been unaffiliated churches. It turns out that the religious institutions have been alienating their own members.
There is a phenomenon that church going people were more content than non-churchgoing people. But, upon further study, it turns out that being in a community of like-minded (therefore supportive) people is what brings on greater well-being. We come together because we are a social species. We need community in order to thrive. We make music together, we recite stories together, we feel joy together, and we doubt together… at least those of us in communities who allow doubt will doubt together.
The unknown exists. The religious person is a person trying to explain himself within that context. The Unitarian person is comfortable living with the unknown. The Unitarian does not need a creed to cordon himself from the unknown. But the sense of belonging still lies within us. The sense of belonging is one of the more important functions of any church, particularly ours.
So the next person you meet might be a seeker of a free-thinking home. Have a 30 second elevator speech ready for those occasions when you meet such a person.