March 16 Small Discussion Group

Here is the discussion of 3/16. It was attended by only two of our four CoA-ers, and two of us mentors. But we covered a lot of ground.

We went around the group and shared an experience we’ve had explaining our religion and/or spiritual beliefs to another person.

  • Did I tell them I am UU?
    • I have told people I am UU, and stress that it represents “God is Everywhere, God is Love.” Then I have to explain that I only use the term “God” as an easy way for someone else to relate.
  • Did I talk about my beliefs regarding God. an afterlife, fate, or good and evil?
    • Sure. People talk about that all the time, if they are close enough. But I don’t push the issue.
  • How did the person/people respond?
    • Because I seem to be a reasonably sane person, at least sometimes, people take me as I am. This is because adults usually just shake their heads, and can walk away.
  • Did I feel prepared?
    • Of course!
  • Was I proud of my religious convictions?
    • Totally, absolutely, very.
  • Was there anything I wish had been different about the conversation?
    • I wish that people would be more open-minded and willing to “try” my congregation. There is nothing threatening about an all-encompassing, loving group of people joined together to work for social and religious justice and peace.

Here is how I would present my faith to someone in a tiny short time:

  • What parts of this religion are most important to me?
    • Our 7 principles and the sources of our tradition.
  • Which aspects of my spiritual beliefs do I think do I think a person will have the toughest time understanding and the easiest time understanding?
    • Toughest call is the ability to hold many positions, not a single one. Easiest is that at least I acknowledge some kind of other out there. Or do I?
  • What do I like best about participating in this community, and how do I talk about that to someone who isn’t a part of it?
    • I love the camaraderie between services, being able to walk over to almost any one and start a meaningful conversation. I love having a minister who is friendly and talkative and who is willing to listen. I talk to people about it with a sense of awe that I found this place.
  • If I wanted to convince this person to consider UU (or just my church) for themselves, what would I say?
    • I would point out that there is a place where anyone can be free to follow their own truth.
  • If I only had 30 seconds to describe UU, what would I say?
    • We are a faith that accepts the universal truth that there is something above us, that runs through all our endeavors, and that is love. It comes from the Earth, our Mother and permeates all we are and can be.
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