Monday, May 14, 2007

My friend's wedding

Yesterday I went to the Sunday service of the Arlington Street Church in Boston—a majestic historic house of worship with glowing Tiffany stained glass windows.

We were there because my friend and his partner will be married in the church in a few weeks. They've asked me to officiate and wanted to show me the church. (Here in Massachusetts, you can get a one-day license to perform a marriage.)

The ceremony will be filled with music, including selections with the Boston Gay Men's Chorus (which my friend belongs to), and my address as officiate will be short so I only have to be profound for about five minutes. And, I finally figured out what I’m going to wear. I can't wait!

Yesterday's service included the Unitarian Universalist Affirmation and Covenant, which I thought I'd share today:

Love is the spirit of this congregation,
And service is our gift.
This is our great covenant:
To dwell together in peace,
To speak our truths in love,
And to help one another.

Simple, to the point. I liked it.

So much of the spiritual journey is taken up with internals—discovery about who we are and who God is. The flip side of the coin, I believe, is how we express what we've discovered to others. Do we love as we are loved? Do we accept as we want to be accepted? Do we serve as we'd like to be served?

I can't always answer "yes" to all those questions. On a good day, though, I know I've tried.

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 5/14/2007 11:01:00 AM, Anonymous Emily said...

I expect you'll get quite a few comments on this, as society is still sorting out the gay-rights/gay-marriage issue ... but let me be the first to publicly place myself squarely in your corner and commend you for supporting your friend and being part of this very important day in his life ... and the first to wish him and his partner much happiness and growth as they embark on this spiritual journey together.

I've always found it interesting that a woman as far ahead of her time as Mary Baker Eddy never bothered to address homosexuality in her writings. A little guidance would have been helpful, but I think her silence speaks volumes. She wasn't exactly a shrinking violet about expressing her thoughts on issues, no matter how controversial, so I am sure that if she cared, she would have had something to say. I could have missed something, but I've never been able to find anything in her writings to indicate that she gave a rip about this particular issue.

At 5/14/2007 12:14:00 PM, Anonymous chris said...

Laura, your friend and his partner could have no better "officiator" than you. You express unconditional love, internally and externally, by standing with them on their very very special day.

At 5/14/2007 02:39:00 PM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

thanks for sharing this affirmation and covenant - it is terrific - simple and profound. HOw important it is to live what we are learning about God and ourselves. this really hits that nicely.

Looking forward to hearing about the wedding! I am sure it will be wonderful and an incredible experience!

At 5/14/2007 08:04:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

just loving this post...and you...I also think you are the perfect wedding officiator!


At 5/14/2007 09:53:00 PM, Blogger Becca said...

How cool! I can't wait to hear about how the ceremony goes. Five minutes isn't much time to be brilliant in, but I'm sure it will be great. After all the wedding planning from last summer, I still love to hear about how other people structure theirs.

At 5/14/2007 10:03:00 PM, Blogger MARIA... said...

I appreciate this blog and the comments shared. My hope is that regardless of where people stand on the issue of gay rights, that they will remain Christian in expressing their opinions. My middle school daughter has been trying to gently correct friends who throw homosexual slurs back and forth at each other thinking they are funny insults. Sadly, her efforts to encourage kind, nonjudgmental thinking and actions are often met with self-righteous indignation. I’m grateful for people like you and my daughter who boldly give honesty and compassion greater weight than what others may say or think, who truly live the spirit of the Unitarian Covenant.

At 5/15/2007 07:46:00 AM, Anonymous Dennis R said...

I honestly believe that the homosexual life style is immoral, but at the same time, I do believe that each person is entitled to be treated with respect and dignity. We all have issues that we deal with, so we have enough to do with our own beams without worrying about the specks in someone else's eye.

At 5/15/2007 07:54:00 AM, Anonymous Jessica said...

Wishes to your friend's wedding.I can imagine your excitement. Good luck!

At 5/18/2007 08:10:00 PM, Blogger Kim said...

I have a fun story to share. A very dear (and very experienced) practitioner friend told me of a time that he had a visitor come to talk to him in his office. This man was nervous and introduced himself and then quietly added, "I'm gay." Then my friend introduced himself and leaned forward and said, "I'm Norwegian." That broke the ice, answered the unasked question and they happily resumed their conversation!


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