Sunday, December 19, 2010

I've Got "U" Babe

Leading up to this morning I had 3 choices in mind when it came to attending a Sunday service.

I could attend the Unity Centre where I have been regularly attending for months now. (But I could skip a week since I'll be there on Wednesday night for a candlelight service.)

I could attend First Unitarian, where I attended for quite awhile - and I still have an affinity for the congregation. This particular Sunday a retired Anglican priest was speaking. Very tempting.

But at the last moment I decided on First United Church, at the corner of William and King in Uptown Waterloo. Why did I choose United this morning? My friend Felicia, the former minister at First Unitarian, is now the minister at First United. We once led a book group at First Unitarian; the book was The Heart of Christianity by Marcus Borg.

My first impression when I walked into the sanctuary was "My goodness this is big!" The service was full of music, with the choir in the balcony, a children's choir, a youth ensemble, and a handbell choir; all did a good job, though I have to admit I kept thinking Saturday Night Live could do a great spoof on the handbell choir - call me a dingdong but it just looks funny!

There was very little in the service that didn't sit well with me, except for the prayer of confession, that, although not as offensive as I've heard in many Christian services, still asked God to forgive us for our disbelief.

The sermon, or homily, was the best part of the service. It was wonderful to see my friend in her usual ministerial stoll (like a religious scarf) complete with the Unitarian chalice symbol on it!

The gist of the sermon was that God is not some celestial being who is distant from us. Rather, in the birth of Jesus we see God connecting with humanity. Rev. Felicia took it further (much to my inner applause) by saying that each of us - not just Jesus - is born without sin and has divinity "stamped" upon our very DNA. Bravo! I loved it! It went along well with the book I am reading by the late Unity minister Eric Butterworth, "Discover The Power Within You."

3 choices. Unity, Unitarian, or United. I'm glad that this Sunday I chose the latter.

...And oh, tonight I'm going Anglican for a traditional carols and lessons service. :)

Blessings from Cafe 1842 in Uptown Waterloo,

Mark Andrew

Sent from my Tricorder.