Thursday, 8 December 2011

Why do I attend my local Unitarian meeting House for services?

Another Facebook inspired posting.

So what are services for?  Whilst they need to be inclusive of new comers they play a significant part in community building for our local community. The traditional view of Christian service, whence we came, is that people go to church to worship God. However as Unitarianism has evolved and morphed is this still the case? Clearly there will be different views on this and mine might not be the same as others - it would be interesting to find out what others thought.

The question asked in the Facebook posting was 'Do we worship God?'  Which I answered, 'Not in a traditional sense'. I then went on to say ...

Everyone has a different view.  I cannot understand a god that is one entity with human feelings and emotions.  So for example I don’t understand the concept of ‘God loves you’ or the idea that god has a gender, female or male. It is all so difficult to understand that I tend to rely on experience – my experience is of an otherness and of a strong need to live a principled life. This is part of my everyday life and I don’t need to go to chapel to connect or to strive towards being a better person. 

However I do need to go to a Unitarian service of a community to which I belong to get a sense that (a) what I believe is OK; (2) there are others who have a similar faith; (3) together we can move forward in our understandings; (4) in doing this it’s fine to change one’s mind; and (5) by creating intimate bonds with others I am challenged to be a better person by being vulnerable, opening myself up to receiving love, and by being strong to giving love – in real and tangible ways.  I also expect to be moved by words and music which embody beauty and the best in human behaviour – I expect to be inspired. At times I just come for an hour of peace or respite from difficult times.

Using the word God and having things such as the Lord’s Prayer do not mean much to me.  But I have learnt that to be an inclusive community we actually have to be inclusive, so we don’t always get what we want.  Respect for that is easy to say but often more difficult to do. 

Not sure that I can add anything more to this.

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