The question is: Why are you a Unitarian-Universalist?
The answer is hard to state in a simple statement, but certain life experiences tend to be helpful in coming to an answer.
My background is similar to many here – growing up in another church, attending weekly services (Sunday School as well as Sunday Service) and always having a little something to put in the basket to support the church. After years of that, I found that I really didn’t agree with many of the things others accepted.
Two instances stand out from that period and led me to realize
I no longer fit in.
1. One of the more zealous members of our church came to our Junior High. group one Sunday and wanted all of us to sign a pledge to “Never smoke or drink”. I refused. Even at the tender age of 12 I knew I didn’t want to be bound by something I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep.
2. Our church held a rare communion for adults when I was 16 and I was expected to take part since I was almost an adult. When I heard the explanation for the “bread and grape juice” that was served, I just couldn’t accept that and refused.
I did continue attending church and being involved but mostly with singing in the choir. I like music but learned to ignore much of the religion that was practiced. The last years of high school, my naval career, and college were spent in other ways, though I did try a few churches, including a Unitarian Church, which I remember was very impressive – the building, the service, and the music.
The next few years were like a lot of other people – not much interested in organized religion, but in building a career, meeting new people and traveling.
I eventually got to Mt. Pleasant, met Gisela, and got married, and with her encouragement, joined a small group of UU’s in Mt. Pleasant, which was very interesting but short-lived.
A few years later another group was started but quickly became more of a social group with growing children, busy careers, and involvement with civic activities.
We did try the Lutherans for a while, mainly because the minister was an outstanding story-teller and very personable. For me, the opportunity to sing in a choir had to be balanced against the communion aspect. Singing won out. That minister left and we started
That lasted until Bob Franke and others started our present church. We were among the first signees of the book.
What does it mean to sign the book? The best part was that we were a part of a group that was interested in each other, free to agree and disagree on many matters, and willing to contribute both money and time to keep our Fellowship healthy. My involvement has been as a treasurer, outside landscaping, Reader’s Theater, member of the choir (I still like music!), search committee, leader of services when needed, and contributor to the finances.
It is important to me that this Fellowship continue – not only as a liberal religious voice in our community, but also as a place for others to find the satisfaction I have found. I know it takes time, effort, and money but, for me, it has been an answer to my lifetime search.