Trying to Find “Home”
Or how Christian privilege affects me and my family
Or my problems with the Unitarian Universalist Church.
I am a Kemetic Pagan, and as such, I believe in a higher power. I am not, however, an “exceptionalist.” I don’t believe that my way to the Gods is the only right way. At their very basic level, all spiritual paths include similar teachings about love and doing good and helping each other. They are designed to help us grow as individuals and as a society.
With that being said, when I go to church, I like to feel connected. With some really big stuff happening in the next few months, Erin and I decided that we needed to start our search back up for a community of people.
As Pagans, and especially as Kemetics, our places of welcome are very limited. Many of the coven groups up here are full or not accepting new members, and most of those are Wiccan or Celtic based paganism, which is fine. However, as with any place, we’d have to take a serious look at their practices for any “this is the only to believe” or “this is the right way.” Granted, I don’t think that will be a problem with pagan groups; however, like I said, I haven’t found any in the area yet open to new people.
When Erin lived outside of Asheville, NC, there was a church there that we use to go to when we would spend the weekends there that we both felt connected to. I’ve written about it (Jubilee Community Church) before. This is the Christian Church that helped me to rekindle my own faith as a pagan. They taught from the Bible, but also taught that all creation was divinely inspired; therefore, all creation is of God… And it didn’t matter if you worshiped the God specifically mentioned in the Bible or some other God, as long as you worshiped or served someone.
They take Joshua 24:15 very seriously: “But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites,in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (NIV)
Now that Erin lives here, we’ve struggled finding a place of worship where we belong and feel connected. It’s difficult when the majority of places in the area are strictly Christian (in the sense that they believe they are right and everyone else is wrong) places of worship, and the others are all very hidden.
We started attending the local UU churches, but neither really felt like home. We stopped going for awhile, but then started going back recently… and the same feelings came back. I didn’t understand it until I really started breaking it apart. Why did I feel more at home in a Christian place of “open” worship, but not in a place that wasn’t Christian?
Some would say that it’s the Christian God calling to me to have a relationship with Him, but that doesn’t feel right. My Gods still feel right, and I still feel connected to Them, just missing a community.
Then it hit me: I didn’t leave the local UU churches feeling any more enlightened than I did when I got there. There was a lot of talk, but not much in the way of worship. A friend of mine put it that they’re so afraid of offending anyone, they end up not really doing anything but talking. They talk about welcoming everyone wherever they are on their spiritual journey, but then it feels like they never do anything to help guide you on that journey. There’s a lot of talk, but not a lot of teaching… A lot of stories, but very little connection..
I find myself listening, but not actively. I catch myself dozing off in the middle of the message, not processing it. I’m like the little kids that color through a sermon, but never really getting anything out of it. It’s all very flat…
But it puts Erin and I in a situation where we don’t really know where to go or what to do. We thought about going to various different places around to see what we come up with… We thought about driving all the way to Asheville every Sunday, but it’s a lot of driving and a lot of gas money for a weekly trip.
I put out a blurb on Facebook saying, “Aside from the UU churches in the area… Are there any places of worship that accept GLBT folk AND…
Aren’t one of the “big three” faiths (Christian, Judaism, Islam)… or
Don’t require you believe the same way they do… or
Accept and affirm people from other faith backgrounds… or
Aren’t “exceptionalist” churches (aka our way is the right & only way)… or
Don’t require a belief that Jesus is the Son of God… or
Jesus is the only way to get into heaven…??
The first response I got was “I believe you’ll only find that in the comfort of your own home! Welcome to the South!”
That’s so sad… and I really hope that it’s not true.
Posted on July 21, 2014, in Faith, Religion and tagged Belief, faith, GLBT, God, Gods, kemetic, lesbian, LGBT, pagan, religion, Spirituality, Unitarian Universalism. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.