I’ve been attending the local Unitarian Universalist Church for the past few Sundays, and I have mixed feelings about it.
One, it dances a little too close to monotheism for me. “Oh, spirit of love and light… we pray to you…” Oh, spirit? Only one? Which one?
And two, they strive so hard for neutrality, they border on spiritual meaninglessness. Sermons are about the power of humanity, the greatness of the human spirit, the troubles we face, the things we can all strive for as individuals. That’s all lovely, but it doesn’t quite fulfill the spiritual need. We were told in parting to go with God, if we were seeking God, and to go live life, if we were striving for rounded living.
The UU Church is, in my opinion, a product of secular humanism. The focus is on the individual, on justice and ethics, and on reason. Anyone can attend, anyone can participate, without becoming a member, I was assured, as if the commitment of becoming a member might frighten me away. But what about community? What about being united, one in a group of many, lending our power to create the magic of prayer? I realize that this comes back to my ongoing dilemma of doing-versus-believing, faith-versus-action, but what holds us together if we’re only drawn together to go through the motions? Where do we draw the line between a group of individuals worshipers standing near one another and a group of worshipers standing together?
I’m a little off-topic already.
But the UU Church is one of the few where I, as a Druid, feel welcome. And how else can I fulfill that desire, born of years of attending Catholic Mass every Sunday, to join together and worship with my peers? My grove does not meet once a week, nor, I think, would they if someone suggested it. Who has the time, the energy to put together a full ritual every week? Ministers get paid for a reason: it’s their job to lead, to guide. And I realize that many people have no desire to meet a group weekly. They like solitary worship. I don’t think I’m built for a completely solitary path, though.
I guess I dream of the day when there are local groves where we can go to worship every week. (Maybe on Saturday, since Sunday worship gives many of us — including, to a degree, myself — the heebie-jeebies.) Perhaps not full rituals, but myth-studies and discussions, contemplation or guided meditation. Remembrances of our ancestors, how they fit into our religion. Devotionals to the nature spirits by communing in nature and doing our best to help the Earth Mother.
Call me a dreamer, but I like to think I’ll see that day.