As most of you already know, on Aug. 9 we began our new church year and welcomed Florence Caplow as our new minister. (Our new minister who actually lives here!) Over 70 people filled the Calaway Room as we shared an inspiring service, followed by a potluck luncheon featuring the usual fabulous TRUU home cookin’ and warm camaraderie that accompanies these events. I am always moved by the friendships, the caring, the laughter and the love that we feel for one another. I walked around the room, smiling at the groups that had pulled their chairs in a circle and put their heads together, deep in conversation. Love really is “the spirit of this church,” and not just on Sunday mornings, but every time we accompany a friend to a doctor, or visit someone in the hospital, or comfort someone who is grieving, or volunteer for social justice causes, we are living out our covenant—we are living out our religion. Gasp! The dreaded R Word! Can I really say that?
According to Peter Morales, President of the UUA, I not only can, but should. In one issue of UU World, he wrote that “we must begin to take ourselves seriously as a religious movement. We are not an alternative to religion. Nor are we religion lite. We, like all religious movements, deal with life’s core struggles and humanity’s most profound questions about life’s meaning. We have a rich tradition that we want to share and pass on to future generations.”
So as we begin our new year—as we cross that threshold that Florence spoke about so eloquently– let us honor and cherish the uniquely special institution that is TRUU.
How do we do that? Oh, I was hoping you would ask! Make it a priority to attend Sunday services, and bring a friend or two. Encourage your kids to invite their friends. Participate on a committee. Volunteer for a special event. If you are not already a member, take that step and join up. Whether you are a member or a friend, make a meaningful financial pledge. Don’t be afraid to tell others what TRUU means to you. In other words, commit yourself to making a difference! Our religion is not a spectator sport!
Here is Peter Morales again, writing about what happens when a congregation “gets religion:” What happens, he says is that “members of such a congregation really know one another and deeply love one another. They have shared their stories and their dreams. They have worked together doing important things. They share a vision for the future.” Let’s be that congregation. In so many ways, we already are! Let’s take it to the next level.