Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter

Hello! Yes, it's been a while since you've heard from me. The time since my recent trip to L.A. has been minute-to-minute, filled to the brim with work and planning. (It seems like if you go away for one week, it takes three to catch up.) This weekend I finally had a chance to catch my breath, so now I have something to write about. I do expect my blogging will still be more occasional than regular, but when I have something to say, I'll be here!

This weekend for Easter I went with my girlfriend who's writing the book about 52 Churches to the Unitarian Universalist church in town. Another friend of mine, Lynne, was participating in the bell choir, a wonderful ensemble of little hand bells.

That alone was jaw-dropping. But it was also a perfect sunny spring day (albeit still too cold for my SoCal sensibilities), just right for resurrection morning. The service was inspiring, tear-jerking, joyous and welcoming. I felt embraced as the call to worship included my favorite poem, "thank you God for most this amazing" by ee cummings.

Here are the opening words from the service, which it seemed the entire congregation knew by heart and recited together:

Love is the doctrine of this church,
The quest of truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer.
To dwell together in peace,
To seek knowledge in freedom,
To serve humankind in fellowship,
To the end that all souls shall grow
into harmony with the Divine—
This is our great covenant,
One with another, and with our God.

The message throughout, even though they did focus on Easter in recognition of the holiday, was that you can find truth everywhere and all will be respected in that search. Jesus was acknowledged for the work he did bringing truth to the world, and all opinions as to the literal or figurative nature of the events of his life were accommodated. In other words, those who believe in the literal death and resurrection would have felt as comfortable with the message as those who do not.

My friend and I wound up sitting right next to a group of teenagers. I kept recognizing faces, then realized that I knew many of them already from the contra dancing I used to do up in Concord. So when we got to the "greet each other" part of the service, I said, Hi, I know you from contra, and several said, Oh, yeah, hi! The girl sitting next to me explained that they all sit together in this one spot of the balcony, and they have youth group on Sunday nights. Too weird. I felt like I had friends there already.

So it was a nice start to the Easter morning. What did you do for Easter? What insights came your way?

Your ideas and inspiration are welcome! Please comment below or Contact Laura.
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At 3/24/2008 08:49:00 AM, Blogger Magdiel Martinez said...

I love that opening statement! We use it at my UU church sometimes to start the service.

I am glad you liked the UU church service. :)

At 3/25/2008 07:51:00 PM, Blogger Kate said...

Hi...welcome've been missed. I too have loved the openenss of heart we've expereinced when we've visited the Unitarian Universalist church...hugs, K


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