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Monday, December 26, 2005

 

all souls

on christmas eve this year my family and i tried a service at all souls, a universalist unitarian church in adams morgan. it was so much more fulfilling than the methodist services we usually attend out in suburban maryland - the minister began the service by saying, "welcome - believers, non-believers and half-believers." the associate minister sprinkled her comments throughout the evening with references to peace. the pews were filled with people of different ages, skin colors, walks of life - some all dressed up, others in jeans and tshirts, families, single people, teenagers.

it's hard to explain how comforted i felt, how much i felt i was with "my people," even though i was among strangers. i just felt much more of an instinctive bond with this congregation than i ever have in methodist churches - maybe because they were city people, and that implies a set of values in and of itself, even if those values are arguably often more myth than fact, something to aspire to rather than daily experience: sharing of cultures and ideas, building a community of diverse people, honoring and contributing to the history of a place -- more than just co-habitating on a particular street or in a particular neighborhood. unquestionably, i felt a connection with people who care about the values the church espouses - justice, peace - unobstructed by a particular religious creed.

a sermon about atonement seen through the lens of race relations in america, on yom kippur. a series about the meaning of life. poetry readings. this is my kind of church. this is my kind of worship. i expect i'll go back.

[related link: past sermons at all souls]

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