inicio mail me! sindicaci;ón

the overdue uu story

Okay, so even though Pete and I had been talking about the Unitarians for months, our plans to start going to the UU church over the summer kind of faltered. Mostly due to my affinity for sleeping in on Sundays. After our vacation, we decided that it was time to really check the place out. We’d visited there a few times, but hadn’t really gone on a regular basis.

I also was having a hard time visualizing what it would be like to be “real” members. The service is very different from the ritual that I had become accustomed to as a Catholic and then an Episcopalian. The faces in the congregation were unfamiliar. It helped to know that open minds resided behind those faces, but still.

Then one Sunday we went to church and saw that the week’s theme was something to the effect of “What being Unitarian means to me.” During the service, several different people from the congregation went to the podium and spoke about their spiritual journeys. A youngish guy talked about being a devout Methodist but always questioning his own beliefs. A cute teenager told a funny story that ended with a kind of a punch line about Buddhism. I felt a real kinship stirring in my heart. Then a distinguished elderly man with a booming voice went up to the podium, spread his arms wide, and said something in Latin.

This obviously wasn’t his first time speaking before a congregation, he said. He was a former Catholic priest. I was astounded to hear his story, which included a complete break with organized religion — until his wife coaxed him into checking out the UU.

After the service, I looked around the room and saw those unfamiliar faces in a different light. Any reluctance I had melted away. Pete and I ended up introducing ourselves to the ex-priest, and we discovered we had a few things in common:

  • He had been a priest in the diocese where we grew up.
  • He had been editor of the diocesan newspaper. The same newspaper, coincidentally, where I landed my first job out of college. (I stayed there four years.)

We also talked with the music director, another great guy. And we haven’t missed a Sunday since. (We also signed up for the new UU orientation, so I think that means we’ll be official in a few months.)

The weird thing is knowing that nobody is going to think my weird beliefs are very weird. But it’s also cool.