If I were going to be any religion at all, I’d be a Unitarian Universalist, being as I’m mostly atheist (strong agnostic at the very least) but really appreciate spirituality and spiritual/mindful/empathetic life, and I want to raise my son that way. (I have been identifying as spiritually but nontheistically pantheist, but that fits very well into UU.)
Historically, when I’ve tried UU services, I’ve been left sort of underwhelmed, like I attended a Thursday night lecture at a local community college. I like feeling a bit whelmed, at least, in a church service. Back when I knew I was feeling something and identified as theist, I attended Grace Cathedral quite a lot, and that was fabulous … but ultimately, I failed to find any reason to believe in the divinity of Christ (I guess “reason” is the clicker, there, if I’m looking for reason, then faith-based religion isn’t in my brain or heart), and I couldn’t get over the idea that if there’s a god or gods at all, that any one is more correct than any other.
But over the years, a few different things are leading me back to a UU fellowship, mostly that I keep meeting kids (you know who you are) who were raised in UU families with UU religious education, and they’re almost uniformly wonderful kids. I know a Jewish UU kid, and Pagan UU kids, and agnostic UU kids, and whatever it is those programs (and parents) are doing, the kids are thoughtful and respectful and open-minded and awesome. And I want that for my kid. So here I become the parent who goes to church for the kid.
But here are the obstacles I perceive for me:
- My kid’s other parents couldn’t give a whit about going to services, from what I can tell.
- I’m currently having a hard time with my rheumatoid arthritis and getting up and about and really moving before 11 am or so is hard. And Owen’s a toddler, so it’s not like RE now is important outside of what we do at home, so I’m not feeling urgency but I want to be in community before he’s “old enough.”
- Just like I’m sick of treatment-shopping for my RA and jeans-shopping for my hips and thighs, I’m sick of congregation-shopping for my spirit. Or rather, I am not so much sick of it, as that I have been sick of it in the past, and I don’t feel like delving into it.
These are congregations I’m considering at this point:
I hear the minister’s pretty good and it’s local enough:
I get the sense this one is very queer/bi-friendly:
When I say something is “too far,” I mean a combination of “it’s hard enough for me to get somewhere in the morning without having to get there” and “wow, gas and bridge toll are expensive.”
Maybe I’m being too fussy. Maybe I want more spiritually than UU fellowship services have to offer, and would be better off getting the rush out in the world, and the lectures (because that’s how sermons there often feel to me) on Sundays.
Maybe the first thing I need to ask is, “What do I do with this toddler while I’m in the service?” as he’s sure not going to sit quietly.
I certainly wouldn’t mind your opinion about any of this at all, including suggestions of other things to consider or try.