Where Is My Church?
I left my faith two years ago. Before that time I was very committed to the faith of my birth, Unitarian Universalism. Ever since my children were born I served my church in various roles: teacher, membership chair, governing board member and past president, personnel committee chair, leadership facilitator, and docent of its historic site.
Unitarian Universalism is described as a liberal religion characterized by a “free and responsible search for truth and meaning”, open to all persons, and without a creed. Long before gay marriage became legal, we affirmed this right of passage and performed many of these unions. Born out of the Judeo-Christian traditions, the faith now preaches that Love is their doctrine.
I have come to see that my church has lost its way during this time of racial upheaval and that it is trapped in today’s climate of identity politics. It started after the 2017 presidential election when the Unitarian Universalist Association began to promote the “Resistance”. During that time the Faith in Action Committee became heavily focused on social justice issues like the Black Lives Matter movement and White Privilege re-education. Now they march for the Poor People’s Campaign, everyone’s right for employment, and sustainable living wages.
The members of Unitarian Universalism have a long tradition of being inclusive and justice seeking which aligns well with the faith’s democratic governance structure. This method of “doing church” helped me to ground myself in governance models that are inclusive and sensitive to just action. These models I easily applied to my role as a city councilor, and I was able to create needed change in my community of diverse hearts and minds. However, “doing church” and “creating communities of justice” is not the same as “worship”.
Worship is the feeling and expression of reverence for a deity. One should not worship money, a privilege, or a social cause in place of God…this will cause emotional suffering when one comes to understand that the object replacing the worship of God is fallible. I see this happening in our larger cities…Government is expected to solve all of humanity’s problems. The more troubling thing is that most if not all churches now are misguided in their worship practice.
Like Jesus turning the tables of the greedy and manipulative money changers at the Temple, we must shake ourselves awake to our true purpose as caring individuals spreading the Good News that God wants us all to know; our Creator loves us and our prayerful good deeds lead directly to Him. This would be my church and my proudest affiliation. Does this worship experience exist for me here on earth without racial creeds or social justice dogma? Like Jesus, each of us must find our direct link to The ever loving God.