Sunday, July 26, 2009

Putting Up

Not much blogging will be going on in the next couple of weeks. I finally got my canning mojo back and I am not sure how long it will last! Today: herbs drying, pesto in the freezer, garlic harvested, and Rhubarb/Orange Jam (super yummy). Tomorrow: Lemon Sage Mustard and more pesto!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Needing More

Yesterday I had a wonderful lunch with a small group of UU friends. We had a really interesting discussion about spiritual depth within Unitarian Universalism and, specifically, our experiences at our local UU congregation. I first want to note that I feel there needs to be a church like Unitarian Universalism. Acting as the Membership Coordinator last year, it became very clear to me how important this denomination is to so many people. It is really one of the few truly open religions. As we so like to declare - we welcome all spiritual seekers. We are needed in the larger religious landscape.

As we started discussing our experiences, though, it quickly became evident that we all were looking for something more. Something is missing. My children attend an ELCA Lutheran school (this is a long topic for another day) and, like most Abrahamic religions, the church year is pretty well defined. The service has a set format. Similar prayers are said. This is standard in most denominations. The year and and the day have a certain rhythm. Behind that rhythm, whether you realize it or not, is spiritual meaning. People all over the world are performing the same ritual you are. I find that to be pretty awe inspiring and something that is really lacking in our denomination.

Our roots are in Christianity, yet so many of us try to disavow any sort of connection to that source. We also draw from Judaism and earth-centered traditions. But, for some reason, we have not really taken to their cyclical traditions. Sure, we may have a Christmas pageant, a Seder dinner or a Solstice celebration, but after awhile, they feel empty. It feels like we are just cherry picking certain ideas, but not really giving ourselves over to their meaning. When a Jew celebrates Seder - they are doing it along with Jews all over the world and it something very powerful to them. Not only is it a part of their religious tradition, it is part of their cultural identity.

I miss that. I miss the spiritual depth. I know many people who come to UU are trying to free themselves from the various obligations they feel their former religion has placed on them, but there has to be some sort of happy medium. Maybe UU is all about the journey into finding the traditions that work for you. Maybe that is enough. I, though, feel like there needs to be more and I am not sure I will find that in a UU congregation. What are your thoughts?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Eight

You are the one that I know will always come home. You don't like change and thrive when you are surrounded by the familiar. Sounds like someone else I know ;-). You are so loving and caring and your hard won smiles warm my heart. You are my biggest challenge but also my most tender hearted. Your sly sense of humor cracks me up and your ability to solve complex puzzles amazes me. Are you really only turning eight? You are wise beyond your years. Happy Birthday, sweetheart! I love you.


Monday, July 6, 2009

Christian Business

I was reading the paper* this morning and came across an interesting article detailing the growing number of Christian businesses. By this I mean, businesses based on a Christian philosophy - mostly the Golden Rule. The article exampled Christian Brothers Automotive, an $80 million company. Supposedly you would expect them to give you a fair deal. In fact, at one location a mechanic even stated he would pray with you if you felt the need. I was also surprised to see that Chick-fil-A is a Christian based company and, as such, are closed on Sunday. I am beginning to wonder how many more businesses claim this faith, but just don't have it stated in the name.

I am not sure how I feel about this. I certainly am not opposed to Christian businesses. There are many businesses under lots of different faith umbrellas. My main concern is that they live true to the golden rule value and don't discriminate in hiring or customer service. I also don't want to walk into their (or any other faith-based, non-church/synagogue/mosque, etc.) profit-based businesses and be evangelized. I think it is a fine line to be a profit based business and adhere to state and national regulations. It is ok to have a company value statement, it is not ok to use that statement to the exclusion of others or to the "skirting" of local laws.

I am curious, though, would you be more likely to frequent a business if you knew its owner's religious leanings? According to the article, because the above examples espouse to be Christian, they are hoping to tap into the large Christian market. Is it ok to use this for marketing? Is it ethical? What if they claimed to be Unitarian Universalist? Then would you be more likely?


*St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 6, 2009