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Went to attend the Covenent of Unitarian Universalist Pagans meeting this morning at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin (Do not pronounce this acronym, it only leads to tears.)


Of course, it being July 4th, the pagans, so proud of their "disorganized religion" thing, opted not to attend, without notification. Grr. I loathe that sort of behavior. People--if you're going to INVITE someone, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure you're there to shake their hand when they arrive on time! Or at LEAST make sure the frikkin' greeter knows you're out. Growl. And they wonder why mainstream Christianity has so much clout--Christians actively recruit and invite people in, and then at least half the time welcome them, take them to their seats, and in fact get seriously in their personal space. Bark, snarl.

[/bitch]

That being said, and out of my system, it was a nice experience. I've missed church, a LOT. I'm just on very bad terms with Yahweh right now, I love services, people, crappy coffee, all that good stuff. The FUUCA (hee...) gave a good service. The chapel was neat--it screamed "religion!" without having any particular signs of a specific religion. Definately sacred space.

Two things I was particularly impressed by--though they overlap--the Unitarian hymnal is SO COOL!!! It's got slavery era spirituals, "We Shall Overcome," and this cool piece, which really hit me in my "Discordian, former Christian" song-spot:

Name Unnamed
Name unnamed, hidden and slow, knowing and known.
Gloria! Spinner of chaos, pulling and twisting,
freeing the fibers of pattern and form,
Weaver of stories, famed or unspoken,
tangled or broken,
shaping a tapestry vivid and warm.

I loved that! It's got some neat verses later on that I didn't write down, but that one really stuck out.

They were also amazingly GBLT-welcoming. I thought St. David's was, since they were progressive enough to have a weekly discussion group during Lent for the non-mainstream-sexuality folks, that's something that many churches wouldn't think of doing. But it's hush-hush, only church insiders knew about it, no publicity at all. These folks had the church's logo picked out in vivid rainbow colors over the visitor's center, and one of today's hymns, from their actual, national hymnal--this was for the Fourth of July, mind--was "We are a gentle, angry people, and we're singing for our lives...we are old and young together, we are singing for our lives...we are black and white together...we are gay and straight together...we are a gentle, angry people, and we're singing for our lives." Wow, impressive. Kind of tacked on as an afterthought to a 1946 hymn, but still impressive.

I forgot to bring any money for the collection plate, bit of a faux pas there.

They also have...dark chuckle, steeple fingers...a church bookstore. It's small, just a closet with a few shelves and a table, and the nice lady there didn't really know the first thing about bookstores, she didn't even have a merchandise distributor.

I will not be my father, I will not take over anything, I will follow the prime directive, but this just screams out for some friendly guidance.

Then, I had church coffee. Yay. Crappy sacred beverage, it's like the eighth sacrement of the Anglican church.

Comments

( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
spottylogic
Jul. 4th, 2004 11:56 am (UTC)
Grr. As it turns out, they had changed their meeting date to the second sunday, not the first and third sunday as they'd said. But not updated their website.

Not...newbie friendly.
spottedhyena
Jul. 5th, 2004 04:07 am (UTC)
but this just screams out for some friendly guidance

A Chick tract rack might liven their bookstore up ;?)
spottylogic
Jul. 5th, 2004 10:46 am (UTC)
It would, but while the unitarians have no specific creed, Jack T. Chick, love him though I do, would probably violate one of their Nine Strong Suggestions.
vioxel
Jul. 5th, 2004 07:04 pm (UTC)
If this is the UU church near Grover and Sunshine, I've been there once (1999, I think). I liked the big symbol in their sanctuary-- two overlapping circles, with the lamp of knowledge spanning from left to center-right, with the flame on the far left.

Of course, I might be reading too much into that when I see it as a political statement.
spottylogic
Jul. 5th, 2004 10:31 pm (UTC)
No, I think that's fairly accurate so far as symbolism goes, though the audience reads more into signifier-signified than the author might :)
(Deleted comment)
eris_star
Jul. 5th, 2004 10:11 pm (UTC)
I've been to a concert at that church.
It was when Wes Lunsford was singing with the Capital City Men's Chorus. They had pretty tapestries, and in general seemed pretty cool. And yes, very BGLT-friendly (the CCMC is a gay group).
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )