I was in New Bedford, MA, some weeks ago from my maternal grandmother’s memorial service.  The service was held downtown, where many other churches clustered.  The Unitarian Church was there.  SO, my mom had to run an errand at City Hall, and as we drove down William St we saw a church that had been turned into a gallery.  And what kind of church was it?universalist-new-bedfordWell, a Universalist church.  Or, it was once.

universalist-new-bedford-close-upIt made me recall at time when my partner come across a church in New York state on line.  It was a Universalist church.

It was on ebay.

No joke.  Going cheap.

As a minster and a lover of our faith and our living tradition, I am filled with a certain anxiety that Unitarian Universalism could indeed become an endangered species.  The sad part of it all is that we as a religious tradition have special gifts that no other tradition possesses.   The best intentions of our faith invite the larger community to foster openness, compassion, and justice.  In communities where populations become more and more diverse,  we could model to our communities and to other houses of worship how to commit to unity in pluralism– if we are willing to reach out of our comfort zones.

If we cannot, I believe someone else will figure it out just like mainstream denominations figured out that the Universalist theology of a loving, benificent god who saved us all would be the better route to go over the hellfire and damnation of Calvinsim and other traditions.

We cannot risk becoming obsolete.  I do not want my church to become an art gallery.  It is a house of worship, a locus of transformation where we come together, with all our differences, and unite in covenant in the presence of the holy.  And then we take these sacred promises out into the world and

risk failing,

risk loving,

risk

changing who we are and the world around us.

Here’s to our future.

Advertisements