The Old Dominion State

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Inside architecture of the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists' Sanctuary
Inside architecture of the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists’ Sanctuary

Our second Sunday found us in the middle of America’s Historical Triangle and the birthplace of American Democracy, amongst Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown, Virginia.  Deeply rooted in charm and nature, we spent our weekend at the home of the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists.

Arriving on Saturday, we stumbled into a spring work day at the church.  With our parking lot electrical outlet blocked by winter overgrowth, Austin took a lesson and a hand at the pruning shears, helping a church member to cut our way through the briars to the pole and thus securing our comfort for the stay.

Although I would have loved to meet the sitting minister, Rev. Jennifer Ryu, she was off sharing with another congregation while the Williamsburg UU hosted its own guest minister, the Rev. Barbara Gadon, a far distance from her home congregation at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago.

John 5:8 “Jesus said unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk.”

With this simple and short passage, Rev. Gadon spoke of how, when in need, it is then that we search out and find the church, find God, and find the community that we need in order to lift ourselves up and become healed of our ailments.  In the passage above, the man lay waiting by the water for many years, waiting for it to be “troubled,” yet he never rose to its edge, always fearing that he would not be the first to reach the water and therefore would never be healed.  But Jesus told the man to “rise,” to take that step beyond his doubts and do what was necessary to be healed.  With this simple direction, the man found his strength and did what he felt had been previously impossible to him.

Williamsburg UU Sanctuary
Williamsburg UU Sanctuary

Rev. Gadon shared this message with the introduction that by coming together, as a community, with each of us individually seeking what cannot be accomplished by one, we are aiding in our own personal healing and in the healing others within our group–and within society as we reach out to aid and support the struggles of others.

Stressing “Coming together and finding joy,” Rev. Gadon talked about how groups in society use this practice to bring about healing, such as with meetings by Alcoholics Anonymous where members meet, share, and find social cure through joint endeavor.  A joy also found in those that are born again, using the event as a personal step to finding their own personal journey to both physical and spiritual healing within.

To learn more about the Williamsburg Unitarian Universalists: www.wuu.org, WUU is a Welcoming Congregation with active outreach programs within the community

For information on Alcoholics Anonymous: www.aa.org

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