Still with the goal of seminary swishing around in my thoughts, I decided to take some graduate courses in literature. With my bachelor’s degree in English, I chose a liberal studies program focusing on gender, religion and social issues, while also working to improve my writing skills.
Needing to write about an epiphany in my life, I was facing a deadline and had settled on something plain-Jane to get the job done. But when I began writing, the story was not so plain at all.
What fell onto the page was my early steps to finding my own religion, or even so, finding Unitarian Universalism.
From my early years as a veritable latchkey kid, spending more time tromping between school and (insert name of the latest-independent-fundamental-Baptist-church here) than I did getting my ass home.
It all spilled out, bouts of brimstone by greased old men in cheap suits, missed Sunday evenings with Mickey and The Wonderful World of Disney, and years of over-involvement, prayers for heathens, and groups of righteous people joining to discuss the second coming while eating ambrosia salad with tater tot casseroles, always ending our prayers with the name of Jesus because only heathens prayed only to God.
It was the awareness of an awakening. A growth that I hadn’t acknowledged. The discovery of my faith in the joining of words, in poetry, in writing, in essays and speeches, and my transcendence beyond the faith of my fathers.
I was 16-years-old, and I had taken the first step to my own freedom of religion.
Back on the blog and writing again feels so good! I’ve got a busy schedule ahead, beginning on Monday when (Arctic blast willing!) I begin the Purdue University Master Gardener Training Program.
Deer have been passing through the woods behind us every day so in preparation for the weather a salt lick is out, the bird feeders are full, and we’ve got some loose seed ready to put out during the negative temperatures expected this week.
Jeep is ready and packed with emergency supplies for the heavy snow expected tomorrow and I’ve got lots of UUA reading to catch up on. Putting on a slow cooker with homemade soup and baking some bread. Hopefully we’ll all make it through warm, cozy and well fed!
To learn about the Purdue University Master Gardener Program, visit: http://www.hort.purdue.edu/mg/about.html
Since beginning my travels in January, I’ve been wanting to write a book based on what I’ve seen and experienced in the many worship services I’ve attended. Although a topic was elusive to me before now, I magically awoke this morning with not just one, but two book ideas that I could begin on today! Excited and eager, I’ve already begun blocking out one and writing topic points for the other. I guess this will be a simultaneous project in the works, but I’m not complaining, I’d rather be working two projects than none.
Part of what I’ll be working on is listing things that all congregations should either be doing, or not be doing, when it comes to worship services. This comes from the many pages of notes I’ve taken while attending in the different locations. Whether I felt welcome. Whether I felt lost during the process of the actual service, etc. All things, even simple, create either a warm community or a place to avoid. And while I’ve not found a place to avoid, I have noticed little things here and there that could be shared among the many congregations as a means of improvement to all.
What I would like to hear is what all of you feel is a pet peeve when attending a service, or what makes a special moment when attending a service. Was the signage bad when entering and you felt lost? Did you feel awkward because the order of service didn’t say when to stand or when not to? Did joining in with a certain aspect make you feel more spiritual or accepted?
If used, your name will appear in the book with your comments so please feel free to join in! You can also share on our Facebook page, traveling tUUsome, with a link to the right.