I am a parish minister currently serving the Eliot Church of Natick MA. Eliot Church is a Community Church affiliated with the Unitarian Universalist Association and the United Church of Christ. Any statements made and postions held in "Unity," however, are solely mine(of course, they may be used with appropriate atribution). Therefore if you disagree, please do not blame the church!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Is my face Red!!!!

Well, I can't believe how tragically neglectful I have been to this poor unfortunate blog. I am so sorry!

The fall has been crazy with major work being done to the parsonage and the church, itself. ramping up our RE program and getting back in the swing of things has taken up a great deal of our time here at Eliot. Never far from our minds, however, has been the issues surrounding our own broad and inclusive brand of Christianity!

This is just an observation. And unscientific one at that, but it seems that we see the most tension (and by "tension" I mean the creative kind) in a couple of areas. Not suprisingly, they have to do with how we describe ourselves to others and what we teach our children. In many respects, though we appreciate our UCC/UUA affiliations for all that they give us, Eliot church is a movement with only one congregation when it comes to Sunday School. We have spent a HUGE amount of time discussing how we ground ourselves in the Liberal Christian tradition and how to convey this to our children. There aren't any pre-packaged curricula that truly gets to who we are. How could there be? The UUA and the UCC are, naturally, invested in promoting their own group identity. There is nothing wrong with that. However, it does mean that the "identity" work falls to us. This is entirely a blessing, but it is hard work.

We have similar challenges in welcoming newcomers, particularly those who are familiar with the UUA. The cross on the wall, the readings from scripture regular communion and even the hymn selection can be suprising for many expecting a "more UU" service. But we are conversing with them and working on our won presentation to help folks understand who we are and our place in that particular movement.

Anyway, that is an overview of what is going on here. I will try my best not to let such a long time go by again! However, the mission remains the same. I hope to provide some thoughts about life in a UUA/UCC chuch. A better description of the purpose of this blog is described in what I believe is the second one in the July archives. Of course, there are always digressions for mountain biking and other spiritual disciplines. Digression are important, after all....