Some years ago, a friend loaned me a Unitarian Universalist hymnal. I was pleasantly surprised to see the meaning, depth and beauty in the songs and readings. That got me interested in coming to a service.
I was circumspect for many Sundays before I knew this was the right place for me. I had been wanting to find a church that reflected my values and inspired my spiritual experience and growth, and that would be a trustworthy religious environment for our young daughter, but I hadn’t been sure if what I was looking for even existed!
I was very happy to find Evergreen, and I continue to be greatly appreciative of it. Looking back, I remember how when I first came here, I would be sitting in a service and feeling emotionally moved to the point of crying at times. It felt like I was kind of “calibrating” myself to a shared place of spiritual depth and acceptance, releasing the old and making room for the new.
Every Sunday I am here, one of the many things I enjoy is simply this lovely sanctuary – its spaciousness, artwork, colors, light pouring in through the windows.
And I am moved each time I come here by you – “us” – at the gathering of so many deep, growing, multi-faceted people, who care for each other and our fellowship and the world, and give of their time and abilities to make it thrive.
I was born and raised overseas. I have a special interest in perspectives which include world cultures and traditions, and that is another reason Unitarian Universalism appeals to me.
I value the centuries of UU’s development, and UU’s Six Sources – the first of which is:
“Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder,
affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of the spirit and
an openness to the forces which create and uphold life.”
And our Seven Principles are so right-on that it’s worth stating them right here and now:
1 – The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
2 – Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations;
3 – Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
4 – A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
5 – The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
6 – The goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all; and
7 – Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.
It’s interesting for me to look back at my gradually deepening involvement in our fellowship over the years. I noticed early on the freedom here – freedom from dogma and coercion of any kind, and the freedom to get involved as you are inspired to, or not.
My first involvement was the bliss of singing in the choir, which led to additional fun and varied musical expression such as being an occasional accompanist and performer.
Next, I became a volunteer teacher in the Religious Exploration program with Evergreen’s amazing children – a fulfilling experience which continues to evoke creativity and deep thought.
I have become a member of various committees and task forces, and attend workshops and groups occasions, which continue to offer enjoyment and personal growth.
And, nearly three years ago, I joined our team of worship associates, which is a deep honor for me. It is wonderful to have a new perspective of this spiritual community when I’m a worship associate, and every Sunday I come away more awed by, and thankful for, you – “us.”
I feel that Evergreen is, true to its name, ever growing and evolving in its vitality and meaning. I am so excited about each new church year, and I can’t wait to continue being a part of this fellowship which I value so much!