Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque

Posted On March 6, 2010

Filed under Religion

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Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Dubuque. Dubuque, Iowa.

January 24, 2010.

Enthusiasm level (1 to 10, highest 10): 10

Average age of congregation: babies to elderly

Serves donuts/coffee: cookies and treats after the service

Dressy attire: super casual

Believes in Hell: each person is encouraged to discern their own beliefs on various spiritual topics, including hell

Sermon quote: “Those who dare affirm human goodness are regarded as foolish.”

Stacey never heard of the Unitarian Universalist church and Courtney didn’t know much about the church, other than what she overheard from someone of a more religious persuasion: “Those hippies don’t even believe in Jesus.”

Well, Courtney would be remiss if she failed to mention there were two women who announced they were training for yoga teacher certification, and the name Jesus didn’t come up once.

Now, we’re no experts on the denominations we write about, nor do we research them. We simply show up and soak it in. Luckily, the back of the program explained the Unitarian Universalist principles, which also don’t mention God or Jesus, but does regard a “direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder affirmed in all cultures.” We don’t think you would describe it as Christianity, but maybe a spiritual community with similar practices to a Christian church?

The conversation centered around moral and ethical quandaries with a philosophical approach, such as is human nature good or bad?

I’d like to say it’s good, the reverend said. Stacey had always believed human nature was evil. However, the reverend made compelling points that made even her question that belief. The reverend spoke about how people tend describe bad things as human nature, but never describe good things as human nature. After the sermon, the congregants chimed in.

Meanwhile, a coffee pot bubbled in the back, adding a pleasant aroma in the chapel. The mood was more like friends sitting around a kitchen table, talking about philosophy and borrowing theological tenants from different religions, but never subscribing one way or the other.

The sermon ended with everyone holding hands in a giant circle. It reminded Stacey of kindergarten, a time where things were a little more peaceful.

We took a little bit of an unintended break from church, but will back in full force very soon. You know, this whole going to church thing every Sunday is much more difficult than it may seem.

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