journey

Traveling on

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Just a quick note to say thank you to everyone for supporting our journey! 

We’ve had to make some changes to our schedule and slow down a bit, but we are continuing with the spirit we began.  This week I’ll be catching up on the blog with the two visits made since Maryland and we’ll be working on our planning for May, June and July.

Boo to bad mojo!
Boo to bad mojo!
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The Land of Enchantment

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Today we are in beautiful New Mexico!  The first state of our year-long journey on the road.  Although we have traveled within her borders many times, it’s always a new and exciting experience driving through the desert river valley of the Rio Grande as the mountains guide us north.

Picture from the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque Order of Service, January 6, 2013
Picture from the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque Order of Service, January 6, 2013

This morning Austin and I attended the First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque, led by Rev. Christine Robinson.  The church has 785 members, including three branches in Carlsbad, East Mountains, and Socorro.  With it’s community growing in size, First Unitarian is in the midst of building a new, larger sanctuary, as even attending on this cold winter day I found the existing sanctuary full to the brim with fellow UUs.  This was only one of three Sunday services held at the Albuquerque sanctuary each Sunday, and did not include children from the Religious Education (RE) classes which Austin attended.

Rev. Robinson’s message was a popular, annual “Obituary” service, honoring with esteem (and much friendly humor!) selected people from our world that passed during the year 2012.  Along with uplifting and inviting music and song by the church band, Spare Parts, and a familiar singing of “Spirit of Life,” the community provided a warm, meditative, and inspiring contemporary service.

If you live within the reaches of First Unitarian and would like to attend, you can find information on their upcoming services, events, and locations at www.uuabq.org or by calling (505) 884-1801.

The Fates have finally eased up!

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It’s been two weeks with an ER visit, broken window woes, and a winter storm from Mother Nature.  But now we are finally getting back on track and back on the road.

New Year’s day was to be our ‘send off’ day, but Austin had a bad cold that got so severe that we ended up spending the day at the William Beaumont Army Medical Center Emergency Room.  He still has a cough, but I finally let him break out of our tiny camper for some errands today with me after a week of being couped up.

In November we had a broken dinette window.  That was a fun one!  I went to open the window the day before Thanksgiving and just as I slid it about three inches out it shattered.  The glass company came about a week later, and now, after two previous misfits, they finally installed a properly fitted working window today.  (Yes, that’s right, over a month later!)

The first El Paso snow in 2013
The first El Paso snow in 2013

In the meantime, between the ER visit and the window being installed, Mother Nature picked the perfect timing to send us our first winter snow here in El Paso.  Of course, so rare is the snow and ice here that the roads are never cleared and the drivers are without enough practice.  The main juncture here, affectionately called the “Spaghetti Bowl” has steep and twisting angles not meant for days without sunshine.

But today we find ourselves ready to roll.  We’ve gotten things organized and stored and squirreled away, ready for travel.  Austin keeps talking about tomorrow like it’s Christmas all over again and even the dog is looking at me like he truly understands our imminent departure.

One last dinner at Chico’s Tacos, one last glimpse of our beautiful snow covered mountains, and one last drive west out of our city for 2013.  Our journey has begun!

Hey you, over there, even you are welcome here!

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“Whatever the faiths you have known or the flags of your heritage, you are welcome here.  Whoever you are and whomever you love, you are welcome here.  Whether you ran in here today on little feet, or walked briskly, or ambled in, or rolled in, you are welcome here.” 

(UUCEP Worship Associate Script)

Above are some of the first words you will hear when attending a Sunday Service at the UU Community of El Paso.  They are truly heartfelt by those among us.

Ours is a faith of acceptance and each one of these words can be taken in the most literal sense.  Whomever you are, no matter your background,  you are welcome without regard to race, class, national origin, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, or gender identity/expression.

UUCEP
Unitarian Universalist Community of El Paso

Unfortunately, many are in search of our faith without realizing it even exists!  If you would like a more liberal, educational, and accepting faith environment, visit a UU community this Sunday.  If you’re unsure where your beliefs lie, a great way to get help is to take the “Belief-O-Matic” quiz at Belief Net: http://www.beliefnet.com/Entertainment/Quizzes/BeliefOMatic.aspx  It is a truly fun and enlightening quiz that can both affirm your chosen faith, or show you a new path to spiritual exploration.

As a creedless faith, UU’s rely on the support and acceptance by our members of our 7 Principles:

Our 7 Principles

1. The inherent worth and dignity of every person

2. Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations

3. Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations

4. A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

5. The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large

6. The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all

7. Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part of

As I go on my 2013 pilgrimage, I hope to bring the meanings of these words to heart and to share.  It’s simple to list words as they come–simple to list the principles.  But what I hope to convey is the emotion behind the words and more importantly, the belonging to the words that come with our faith.

To learn more about Unitarian Universalism, or to find a community near you, please visit: www.uua.org or click on the chalice in the right-hand column of my blog.  If you are unable or unwilling to attend a physical location, you can explore UU’ism through the Church of the Larger Fellowship: http://www.questformeaning.org/

For more information on the UU Community of El Paso, visit: www.uuelpaso.org

Welcome!

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Thank you for visiting our site!  We are now in preparation for our January 1st launch on a year long journey to every state, Washington D.C. and Ottawa, Canada, in search for the true identity of modern Unitarian Universalism.

We hope to see you in our travels!