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Does anyone here attend a UU Church, or have any experience of one? From what I've researched, it looks quite interesting and inclusive, not shoving their views down your throat, allowed to believe what you think is right etc.

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Does anyone here attend a UU Church, or have any experience of one? From what I've researched, it looks quite interesting and inclusive, not shoving their views down your throat, allowed to believe what you think is right etc.

 

Yes, I went to a UU church for several weeks back in Spring of 2008. They were a nice bunch of people, and I enjoyed it for the most part. There's a real mix of people there, including christians, atheists, wiccans, buddhists, jews... probably a few others, but those are the ones I recall. They're all very liberal both socially and politically, and it would be fair to say that most are secular humanists along with whatever other religion the self-identify as. The church service was loosely structured similarly to you run-of-the-mill Protestant service on Sunday morning, but they changed it up quite a bit.

 

At the time when I showed up, they were between 'pastors'. So random people in the church would give a talk on this or that- sometimes if was religiousy (but not anything remotely like fundamentalists or even run-of-the-mill christians). Other times they'd talk about history, usually with a liberal bent (one time they talked about the Civil Rights movement here in Wichita). Or they'd tell their personal story, or a few would talk about why they're UU's. I don't know how typical this is, and I don't know how different it would be had they had a regular 'pastor'.

 

They're really big on 'human dignity', and shared religious searching or something like that- which I liked. But the fact is that I couldn't really take the whole thing seriously. They're very liberal, and I don't have a problem with that- but turning it into a religion was a little much for me. Not only that, but at the time I was working full time and going to college. Combine that busy schedule with my normal lack of initiative on sunday mornings, and I just kinda quit going. I've nothing against them whatsoever, and overall it was a good experience. I'm just not sure that it's for me.

 

Now that I'm done with school and have quite a bit of time on my hands, I've considered giving it another try. And I probably will at some point, but I haven't yet managed to work up enough initiative to get dressed and leave the house on a Sunday Morning. But if/when I find that initiative, I'll probably go visit them again.

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Does anyone here attend a UU Church, or have any experience of one? From what I've researched, it looks quite interesting and inclusive, not shoving their views down your throat, allowed to believe what you think is right etc.

 

Yes. Technically we are members of the UU church here. We like it. We started going because our kids had started asking questions prompted by the things their friends would say. The religious education classes have been generally very good, both for kids and for adults (full disclosure here I have taught both). It also provides community, which we as transplants to this area value. We have friends who belong, but they tend to come and go over the years, as do we, actually. Like any organization there are problems, and frankly it is pretty expensive to be a member of a church.

 

There are all kinds of people who are UUs, including many many ex-c's. However, people tend to be well educated and white so there is not a lot of socio-economic diversity. There is a range of real kind of religiousishness, if you know what I mean, praying and stuff, to alternative worship such as nature-centered, to pretty outspoken atheists who still enjoy many of the things that come with being in a church, such as community, social action, social support. Like any church we run a food pantry, offer pastoral visitors for the ailing, ceremonies to mark important moments in life like weddings, births, and so on.

 

I could tell you more some time if you like, but I'm going to sign off for tonight.

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The one where I live is just as RS and X say. I would go, but something of a social anxiety holds me back. I don't like huge crowds unless I'm in front of them. All the people I've met who go there are really cool. They're active in the community more than any other congregations around. I've thought of going during off hours to see if there's anything I might want to get involved in. I wouldn't go to any services.

I've heard there's always a stray in-your-face christian or two, as they do represent a slice of the population.

But yah, the UU is cool.

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Thanks for the replies. I'm in the UK, and there are not so many UU churches there, but I kind of like the idea of the UU church. Does anyone know of any online UU comunities?

 

I googled and found some in the UK too, so take a look around and let us know what you uncover.

 

Have not met any stray in-yo-face Christians at the UU church and really doubt there are any in our congregation. There is a Christian sub-group at our church, and one of our congregation is a former Christian minister, who will lead smaller services on the major holidays, which is what they find they miss, having grown up in a more traditional Christian culture. Myself, I do too sometimes feel like that. As a decidedly non-supernatural believing person that there tends to be an all or nothing attitude about Christianity, yet there are some aspects of the religion that derive from (often pagan) traditional rituals, such as spring ceremonies (aka Easter) that I want to be a part of.

 

Anyway, in our congregation you will also find Sikhs and Jews and Buddhists ....

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Yes! I love UU!

 

Here's my thoughts. I see UU as an excellent bridge between religiosity and secularism so I support it 100 percent. It's a great place for children to learn about religions and I really, really think it's important for atheists and agnostics to be sure that their kids know because if they don't they are going to learn it somewhere else. Better to help them think critically about it.

 

Having said that, it's not necessarily the thing for everyone NOR are any two UUs the same.

 

Our UU is primarily humanist/secular humanist with some pagans, a couple of Methodist ex-ministers, Buddhists, Sufi and Hindu. We don't talk about personal beliefs at ALL at our UU. That bothered me at first but now I realize that it is an important part of being in a UU community. Questions are our REASON for being and any one of us might change our beliefs as we continue to question so it doesn't really matter. Our UU tends to be anti-conservative though we try very hard to be welcoming to conservative political viewpoints of religiously liberal people. Each UU will have a different set of people with a different set of belief systems.

 

It definitely makes a difference when there is a full time pastor. Some only have a part-time and some have none at all. A UU with a full-time pastor will be more likely to have interesting programs for people of all ages.

 

Unitarian churches are the same as UUs pretty much. Here's the history: http://www.uua.org/beliefs/history/index.shtml

 

And there IS an online UU: http://clf.uua.org/

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the UU group here in my town seems pretty cool. If I'm still here when they have meetings again I will probably show up. I had a very interesting conversation with a buddhist monk last time I was there.

 

they all seemed like very open minded sensible people. but I'm sure like with everything else in life your mileage will vary.

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Yes! I love UU!

 

Here's my thoughts. I see UU as an excellent bridge between religiosity and secularism so I support it 100 percent. It's a great place for children to learn about religions and I really, really think it's important for atheists and agnostics to be sure that their kids know because if they don't they are going to learn it somewhere else. Better to help them think critically about it.

 

Having said that, it's not necessarily the thing for everyone NOR are any two UUs the same.

 

Our UU is primarily humanist/secular humanist with some pagans, a couple of Methodist ex-ministers, Buddhists, Sufi and Hindu. We don't talk about personal beliefs at ALL at our UU. That bothered me at first but now I realize that it is an important part of being in a UU community. Questions are our REASON for being and any one of us might change our beliefs as we continue to question so it doesn't really matter. Our UU tends to be anti-conservative though we try very hard to be welcoming to conservative political viewpoints of religiously liberal people. Each UU will have a different set of people with a different set of belief systems.

 

It definitely makes a difference when there is a full time pastor. Some only have a part-time and some have none at all. A UU with a full-time pastor will be more likely to have interesting programs for people of all ages.

 

Unitarian churches are the same as UUs pretty much. Here's the history: http://www.uua.org/b...ory/index.shtml

 

And there IS an online UU: http://clf.uua.org/

 

Thanks for the links, I'll check them out :)

 

It's interesting that they use the term "Pastor"

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As an atheist who still finds the "ritual" of church comforting, I'm a big fan of the UUs. I only attend sporadically but always leave thinking, "Maybe I should come here more often." Best musicians around, too!

 

My only caveat is, depending on the congregation, UUs can be very elitist if you're in a less-than-comfortable income echelon. Tread cautiously with "membership," and don't join without a clear idea of what the financial pledge expectations are. Our once-welcoming church got downright pushy when DH was laid off and we couldn't meet our pledge. We terminated our membership and haven't been back since.

 

There's another, smaller local congregation that seems more down-to-earth so far, but I've had enough of "membership." I'm a bass player so they'll probably let me stay anyway.

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As an atheist who still finds the "ritual" of church comforting, I'm a big fan of the UUs. I only attend sporadically but always leave thinking, "Maybe I should come here more often." Best musicians around, too!

 

My only caveat is, depending on the congregation, UUs can be very elitist if you're in a less-than-comfortable income echelon. Tread cautiously with "membership," and don't join without a clear idea of what the financial pledge expectations are. Our once-welcoming church got downright pushy when DH was laid off and we couldn't meet our pledge. We terminated our membership and haven't been back since.

 

There's another, smaller local congregation that seems more down-to-earth so far, but I've had enough of "membership." I'm a bass player so they'll probably let me stay anyway.

 

That's not so good, mind you I supose its like a lot of organisations, there are good branches and bad branches.

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As an atheist who still finds the "ritual" of church comforting, I'm a big fan of the UUs. I only attend sporadically but always leave thinking, "Maybe I should come here more often." Best musicians around, too!

 

My only caveat is, depending on the congregation, UUs can be very elitist if you're in a less-than-comfortable income echelon. Tread cautiously with "membership," and don't join without a clear idea of what the financial pledge expectations are. Our once-welcoming church got downright pushy when DH was laid off and we couldn't meet our pledge. We terminated our membership and haven't been back since.

 

There's another, smaller local congregation that seems more down-to-earth so far, but I've had enough of "membership." I'm a bass player so they'll probably let me stay anyway.

 

omigosh I am having that issue currently. We got hit real hard by the recession and we just cannot afford ANYthing extra - so far I have bartered teaching and design services to the church but I definitely get a bad feeling from the board about not paying my share - which I REALLY wish I could do - but for those who have a retirement account and own their home and don't have kids to raise and educate it may seem we are freeloaders but we do NOT have $ at this time - maybe in the future?

 

So glad you posted that, it has been a source of bad feeing for me in recent years

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I attended an UU church for quite a while after I deconverted. It was nice to be surrounded with supportive people who believed as I did or who did not stake salvation and one's worth on their beliefs. If you are lacking a support group, it is a great way to stay connected to humanity. I have since made enough friends and such to where I don't need the community, but those kinds of churches fulfill the need for human connection that is essential to a godless spirituality. It is more than just a comforting ritual. I believe being involved in community, whether through a church or just some real life friends, is essential for good mental health.

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It's interesting that they use the term "Pastor"

 

Oh, well, I said "pastor" but they usually say "minister". smile.png

 

 

My only caveat is, depending on the congregation, UUs can be very elitist if you're in a less-than-comfortable income echelon. Tread cautiously with "membership," and don't join without a clear idea of what the financial pledge expectations are. Our once-welcoming church got downright pushy when DH was laid off and we couldn't meet our pledge. We terminated our membership and haven't been back since.

 

I can't disagree with this because I have seen it in some UUs. On first look it might appear that way at ours, too, but what I've come to learn is that it's more about protecting what they have than truly being "elitist". Some of our members have been UU since the 60s. They were the protestors of the Vietnam war and so many other social justice issues of the past, and unfortunately some of those issues are returning or haven't left. Rather than being elitist I think that they worry about us newbies coming in and trying to turn it into something that fits our own personal needs. UUs are definitely unique.

 

 

As an atheist who still finds the "ritual" of church comforting, I'm a big fan of the UUs. I only attend sporadically but always leave thinking, "Maybe I should come here more often." Best musicians around, too!

 

My only caveat is, depending on the congregation, UUs can be very elitist if you're in a less-than-comfortable income echelon. Tread cautiously with "membership," and don't join without a clear idea of what the financial pledge expectations are. Our once-welcoming church got downright pushy when DH was laid off and we couldn't meet our pledge. We terminated our membership and haven't been back since.

 

There's another, smaller local congregation that seems more down-to-earth so far, but I've had enough of "membership." I'm a bass player so they'll probably let me stay anyway.

 

omigosh I am having that issue currently. We got hit real hard by the recession and we just cannot afford ANYthing extra - so far I have bartered teaching and design services to the church but I definitely get a bad feeling from the board about not paying my share - which I REALLY wish I could do - but for those who have a retirement account and own their home and don't have kids to raise and educate it may seem we are freeloaders but we do NOT have $ at this time - maybe in the future?

 

So glad you posted that, it has been a source of bad feeing for me in recent years

 

The whole money issue is a touchy point for any church and UU is not excluded from this problem. It is even more of a problem for UU because members don't give because they feel compelled to so they won't be sinning against some god or for fear that they will go to hell. It's been especially difficult these past few years because of the economy. Unfortunately some UUs don't handle this well. I think of the entity of UU as an organization with Asperger's Syndrome that wants to be social but is very awkward at it. Lol. Some UUs are definitely much more obnoxious about money than others. Rather than becoming a full-fledged member consider just being a "friend" of the church. You can donate as you please and still enjoy the benefits other than being able to vote in the congregational meetings. When your finances are better and if you've decided that it benefits you, you can become a member then.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My first experience with UU was at some services provided at Navy bootcamp. Having been so burnt out on Christianity, it was very refreshing and found I had some interesting conversations with the people there. Since then, I've been stationed on a base that only has Christian services (my luck...) and there doesn't seem to be alot fo online communities other than a facebook page, so I'm a bit bummed by that. I've been trying to listen to various UU sermons I find online to make up for it though.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm technically a member of First Unity, which is very similar to UU, though more Christian based in terms of tradition... just not in the way you would imagine. They embrace and teach from many religious texts, but don't particularly believe in heaven or hell. They believe that those things are things we create here and now in this life, not something to attain when we die.

 

It's really refreshing and amazing talking to people that have a different perspective and ENCOURAGE free thought, questioning, doubt, and absolute disbelief. They teach that God (and I use that word lightly cause they refer to the spirit, the universe, whatever... just not a man in the sky) would want us to live a life of joy and positive being, not of guilt and fear.

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My first experience with UU was at some services provided at Navy bootcamp. Having been so burnt out on Christianity, it was very refreshing and found I had some interesting conversations with the people there. Since then, I've been stationed on a base that only has Christian services (my luck...) and there doesn't seem to be alot fo online communities other than a facebook page, so I'm a bit bummed by that. I've been trying to listen to various UU sermons I find online to make up for it though.

 

Hey HanSoto,

 

I haven't looked at this much so I don't know how much help it will be but this is a UU site especially for Military. http://www.questformeaning.org/page/welcome/military-ministry

 

A lot of UUs have podcasts these days plus look for UU on YouTube. We've only been doing podcasts at ours for a few months and it always depends if our sound "tech" remembers to turn it on. :( I also don't have time to edit them so somehow never get around to editing the ones that need it. http://www.uupensacola.org/sunday-services/sermon-podcasts-2012/

 

We also have some older sermons that you can read. http://www.uupensacola.org/sunday-services/sermon-archives/

 

Our UU is mostly intellectual for the services. I know of a couple of ministers that are liberal Christians that podcast. Rev. Naomi King does a lot of podcasts but she must be working for UUA because I couldn't find her at a specific church. Here's a BUNCH of UU podcasts by various ministers. Many of these look like they might becoming from a liberal Christian perspective. http://uuclearwater.org/content/podcasts.htm

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