Today was Ingathering Sunday at the First Unitarian Church of Philadelphia, and despite it being the first Sunday of the church year, I was five minutes late, which is normal for me. I found my regular seat, on the left side, near the back. The place was full, and our new interim minister was up front. Sitting there, I remembered why I go to church. It’s the feeling of belonging to a community, in which people know me and I know them. It is a space where you don’t have to be careful with your smiles, but instead can grin at all who you see, surrendering to the joy of being. Where we watch kids, who we remember as bumps in their moms’ bellies, old enough now to pour their summer memories into the water communion bowl. Where we sit quietly, with our feet flat on the floor, backs pressed against the pew, breathing deeply, the whole congregation taking and releasing air as one unified body.
I think it’s so good that George Bush Jr has really gotten people into family values and into going to church.
Amen, Marisa. Amen.
It’s the whole congregation that keeps me coming back.
In fact, I was just commenting on that early on in the service, how after seeing everybody all at once, I felt so relaxed as if I’d just come home to my true Home.
Sorry I missed you, I caught a glimpse of you during Water Communion! You rock star, you. 🙂
My experience of church has nothing to do with Bush, family values, or really even religion.
I don’t think commenter # 1 has ever been to a UU church.
Anyway, I feel the same way you do when I make to the UU church (The Unitarian Universalist Church – Cherry Hill, NJ) once a year or so. It’s that sense of fellowship and that lack of Dogma.
I really need to get back into my churchgoing.
It is a space where you don’t have to be careful with your smiles…
What a profound thought…. I had never considered the way we pass others on the street with a solemn gaze or averted eyes in just that way.
Bush gives us another reason to go to church. Quietly, to myself, I say “Dear God, can’t you do something about this idiot in the White House?”
I to go to church for many of the same reasons. It’s my church family that keeps me at the church I go to. We’ve been thru 2 pastors in 7 years and now are in the midst of another interim minister. It’s the people who keep a church together.