The following tweet by fellow Unitarian Universalist (UU) twitterer J.F. Crawford has got me thinking.
Indeed, wen you have a crisis of faith, who walks with you? Who helped you interpret and deal with the events? What about your feelings? Your brother or sister? Maybe only if you have one and are close to them. Even then your sibling may not be the right person to turn to in this kind of situation. Maybe your parents? Well possibly only if you are vary close to one or both of them. Even then not likely. Lets face it most of us just don’t share thing this deep with our parents regardless of how good the relationship we have with each other is. Maybe then it’s your minister, assuming you go to church and your congregation has a minister. Not all congregations have a minister. This can be do to many factors. Such as the congregation being in transition from an old minister to a new one. The congregation’s decision to be lay lead. Lay lead congregations are commonplace in UU circles. And if you go to church, and your congregation has a minister they may still not be the right person. This may be do to your crisis revolving a new found belief in God and the fact your minister is an atheist. Yes in UU circles many of the ministers are indeed atheists. So who is the right person to tern to in this kind of situation? It may well be determined by many factors. Is this crisis of faith a crisis of new fond belief or is it a loss of belief? Is this crisis causing you to hold beliefs different then those held by your community, family?
If you are having a crisis of faith, the best thing for you may be to take time to read some of your favourite religious/spiritual bloggers. If you do not have any then it may be a good time to find some and to start following them. Also finding some music that reflects your new state of beliefs and listening to it I would say would be another good thing to do. Also reflecting on what these blogs and songs have to say and why it is you find yourself drawn to their ideas and opinions, would be in my opinion a good next step. It may take you several years to come to terms with your new beliefs, but I would say it is not a good idea to run from them. The best cores of action is to start to posses your new found beliefs. Some people as a result of their crisis of faith find themselves going into the ministry. Going into the ministry can be a wonderful and right next steep for some folks. For many others who also have a crisis of faith it may not be the right chose.
So if you have don some reading, listening and reflecting, and have found someone you can talk to about your crisis of faith, what next? For some it is of to become an ordained minister. What if ministry is not right for you? Lets face it, it’s not right for the majority of people who go through a crisis of faith. What then is the right next cores for these folks? Well I will say for my brother the answer seems to have been the ministry. For me however I know the answer is definitely not ministry, at lest traditional ministry. By traditional ministry I mean becoming a parish mintier. If not traditional ministry then what? Well some have decided to become community ministers and serve folks in hospitals and other medical settings. I feel this kind of thing suites even less folks then parish ministry dos and lets face it the process of becoming a hospital chaplain is just as long and debt ridden as it is to become a parish minister. I would say for some the answer is simply they wont to from now on live a life that is more spiritual/religiously grounded. For UUs this can be the hardest thing to grapple with. I would say in UU circles it can be even harder for some then the process of becoming a minister. This is do to unlike those on rout to becoming a minister who have resources and a clear path to follow, those seeking to live a more spiritual/religiously grounded life having little to no UU specific resources geared to their particular spiritual/religious needs. What then should we do about this? The answer has been to help them have a personal spiritual search. For most of theme they are past the stage of simply needing to be supported in undertaking an individual search for spiritual truth and meaning. What they need is a community that will walk with them as they try to live a life guided by their new found beliefs. This can often be hard for a UU congregation as they feel that making the changes that will help folks in this situation, things like deepening the Sunday services and adult religious classes can lead to an environment that is to intimidating to possible newcomers. I would say the answer for us as UUs and as spiritual and religious folks is not to just let these folks go it alone, but to start to take their needs into consideration wen we as congregations and as UUs more broadly go about planing our activities. For it is only by having activities geared towards people in all stages of their spiritual/religious walk that the likelihood that folks who are going through a crisis of faith will be able to find some one appropriate who can walk with them on this journey of theirs.
This blog of mine was up until today called Ramblingsofmymind. But Today I have renamed it Realmdee. The first reason for this change was I rarely write posts that are truly rambling in nature. The other reason is both my Facebook page and my twitter account are at realmdee, and so is my Gravatar profile and my Polldaddy account among others. What then is the meaning of this new name “Realmdee”? Well Realmdee stands for the realm of D. D being the first letter of my first name witch is Devin. So again what is the meaning of Realmdee? Well Realmdee stands for the realm of Devin who is me the writer of this here little blog.
As I have changed the name of this blog to Realmdee, I feel a change in address is now also in order. So in the coming days this blog will be moving from ramblingsofmymind.wordpress.com to hopefully realmdee.wordpress.com. So you do not miss any of my soon to come posts do head on over to Twitter and fallow me (@realmdee) if you are not already doing so. And I will be tweeting this blogs new address as soon as it has been made official.
Update: This blog (Realmdee) is now official at https://realmdee.wordpress.com/.
I have been thinking the last few years about religion and my beliefs. This religious thinking off mine it has really intensified over the summer. I have been working on a farm for the summer in BC as some of you who read this blog of mine already know and, If you read some of my other blogs including my poetry one (Lyricsofmylife) and my strictly Unitarian Universalist (UU) focused one (UU Quest) this thinking of mine will be even more obvious to you. Yes this summer I have been working on a farm and most afternoons including must Sundays (my day off) have been spend engaged in this thinking. This thinking has been accompanied by me reading my favourite UU blogs (primarily Sunflowers & Spirituality) and listening to Christian rock acts like Superchick, BarlowGirl and Kristal Meyers. Also those who read this blog will remember that I tried to read the whole Christian Bible both, the Old Testament and New testament last summer. I never got past the part in the Old Testament ware God tells this chosen people (the Israelites) to commit genocide against their enemies and steal their land for use as their new home land. The reason I could not get past this was I detest violence of all kind and find its promotion reprehensible. As well last winter I tired studying the New Testament in University but I could not take the historical and literary approaches that my teacher she had us use wen looking at it (mostly the Synoptic Gospels). In addition to all this I have had for a few years the feelings that Trinitarianism makes so much sense for me. not to mention I have Benn having great feelings of needing God more in my life. This Trinitarian feeling of mine and my great feeling of needing of God in My life are aliening with my emerging agreement with the sentiments that are expressed in some off the Christian rock songs I have been listening to such as; I Belong To You, Enough, The Beauty of Grace and In Your Hands. In addition the last two times I tuck the Belief-O-Matic quiz which is intended to help you determine which religion or spiritual philosophy is most compatible with your beliefs Christianity came up on top of the list and Unitarian Universalism my current religion and religious home was also near the top of the list. So What is this all saying? Well I think firstly it is saying I need to live a more God centred life and, secondly I think it is saying I need to explorer Trinitarian Christianity more and, thirdly I think it is saying I need to do this within a UU setting.
I had a strange dream two nights ago. It was a dream abut my brother and me having to go on an epic journey. First we had to go back to our homes in Montreal to get what we needed for the ultimate end goal of this journey. I never fond out in the dream what we needed to get in Montreal. The end goal of this journey was for us to end up gowning our dad and our uncle Rick Murphy (I say Rick Murphy as my dad was raised in foster homes and as a result he has another brother named Rick) in Toronto at a dedication for a plaque that was being installed at the gravesite of our dad’s biological father. I remember telling my mom in the dream it would be quite arduous for me to get to this dedication but, she insisted I had to go saying “this is REALLY important to your dad”. Notes I emphasized the word really. I did this because my mom did the same in the dream. Also in the dream I can remember thinking why would my dad be making such a big deal about my brother and me going to a dedication to honour someone who even he had never met. The dream had my brother and me asking for directions in shady metro stations and dingy bus stations from lowlives of society. We even after having been walking for days ended up almost getting submerged by water which was coming at us fast like it did in the Titanic when it was sinking. The water it was coming at us just as we came to vary big but not true to life replicas of french structures like the Eiffel Tower. The way we survived this water was for us to grab life jackets, ones that had just floated of of those who had recently drowned do to its rushing fury. I hesitated for a brief moment in tacking a life jacket do to it having come form someone recently drowned and the fact I thought if I took one I would be dishonouring the memories of the dead. But my brother convinced me to tack one by saying “they are already dead and if you don’t take one so will you”. I woke up just after having grabbed a life jacket.
Posted in journey
Tagged dream, family
I enjoyed going into Kelowna not this past Tuesday but the one before that. I saw most off a Doc Walker show. It was being filmed for Country Music Television (CMT) here in Canada and Wilk-TV in the US. Wilk-TV was filming it in 3D. I won’t be seeing it in 3D because modern 3D uses polarized glasses which I fond out when I went to see Avatar this past winter and polarized glasses hurt my eyes. But I will try and catch it on CMT. I also finished a Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (ST:DS9) book that same day called “Wrath of The Prophets”. It is only the second novel that I have read and finished, well that is if you exclude all the ones my mom has red to me and the ones I have listened to on audiotape. It was a good book staring the second in command from ST:DS9 Kira Nerys and Ro Laren from Star Trek: The Next Generation. On Saturday evening all of us here on the farm we went to the Komasket Music Festival on the Okanagan native reserve near Vernon. We all had a good time. The headliner was The Wailers of Bob Marley fame. I danced a lot at the fest, because it was just that kind of fest. On the farm I had been picking a lot of raspberries but I won’t be anymore because raspberry session is over. So now it is on to Apricot picking session. Also today marked the end of pea (shelling and snow) session with me poling out all the pea plants. Yes I am having a good time for the most part here in BC but I am looking forward to going to the young adult camp at Unicamp in southern Ontario in early September. That is all for now folks until the next update.
You went into the trailer that you are staying in for the summer the other day. It was Friday evening if memory serves right and you got down on your knees and knelt over the bed and you prayed to God. Well what’s so remarkable about praying knelt over your bed, many do it regularly. Well it’s just not how you normal pray. You normally do pray, but not like that. It was a desperate prayer, the kind one dos when they feel it is their last resort. You prayed for direction and you rambled a lot. You seem to recall telling God that ware you are is inhibiting you from being fulfilled in all the areas you need to have tended with nurturing care if you want to not get sick. Areas like your religious and spiritual practice and expression, your sense of self, and your diet. Speaking of your diet you have continued to order soymilk tea lattes when stressed and off the farm and near a coffee shop. It’s not like you are being asked to do a lot of outrages tasks on the farm of anything like that, its just your mind wont let you not deal with things, hard to deal with things like your parents split (still need to write a response to your moms response to your letter), your lake of spiritual fulfilment and your deep need for a God centred life. So what are you going to do abut it all well… what are you going to do about it all?
Stress leads you to do things you would not otherwise do, even if it is just the ordering of a tea soy milk latte from Starbucks two days in a row. The first day was wen I went into Westbank and the second was wen I went into Kelowna. I am not in any way a fan of tea. I would have preferred to have ordered a hot chocolate but, coffee shop ones have milk in them too which I am allergic. Coffee too which I also don’t like the toast of was way out of the question. Not just because I don’t like the taste of it but, because they also give me a headache wen I drink one. Yes I gout a latte two days in a row because they are sweet and I always wont something sweet wen I am stressed and stress leads you to crave caffeine. So why then did I not just get a dark chocolate bar well, because I also wonted to nears something. Now I know why some people will go to a bar and order a beer and spend all night drinking it slowly lost in their thoughts. Yes this may not have been the best thing for me. To much sugar (in the soy milk) and to much caffeine (from the tee a chi the first day and a green the second day).
Why in the world am I stressed so much? I am after all having a wonderful time working in the BC’s Okanagan valley on a certified organic farm for the summer, to be precise in the town of Peachland. I have gotten to do so many things like help with the baling and staking of the hay, help to pick and put together the weekly salad mix plus pick raspberries and yes weed all kinds of things. I am even getting to eat wonderful organic meals many consisting of produce groin right on the farm. So then again I say why am I stressed so mush? Well I think I am finely letting myself come to terms with the fact my parents split up several years ago or, more accurately my mind is finely forcing me to come to terms with it.
This stress it really got bad a few weeks ago flowing me having the most sad dream I have ever had. This dream its main theme was about my parents split. It woke me up with big sobbing tears that lasted for about ten whole minutes. I would never wish this on anyone. I for one wish it had never come to me. But what can you do about it but deal with it. I know I could just say I am not going to deal with this and pretend I never had this dream and the fact me parents spit is bothering me. But that would just cause me to explode with uncontrollable rage sometime in the future. So I am just going to deal with it.
I am dealing with it by sending an e-mail letter to both my mom and my dad. Yes the same letter to the both of them so they both now they are reading the same thing. I could have sent them individual letters but I need them to hear the same things from me. We will see how they respond to the letter. Lets hope it is in positive ways.
As I’m a strong Unitarian Universalist (UU) identifying person who grew up and is still active in the UU religion, it might come as quit a shock to those of you who know anything about UUism that, over the past at least seven years or so I’ve come more and more to believe in God. As you might know it’s ok for all those involved in UU community, be it official member UUs or just mere friends of UU to openly give praise and show support for the gays and lesbians within the UU fold and their right to live as who they are within UU community. But do the majority of UUs show the same courtesy for anther of the minorities within UU, the God loving UUs (of which I’m now one myself)? I would say not. To borrow a phrase often expressed by the gay and lesbians in our society at large, I would say sometimes I feel I have to hide in the closet, well my belief in God and my need to honour and praise him from my fellow UUs that is. I say this ought not to be so seeing as my fellow UUs like to loudly proclaim that they respect and even welcome those who have different beliefs from them into the UU fold (so long as they don’t impinge on their right to express what they individually believe, or intentionally heart anyone, which I think is only fair).
So how did I come to this belief in God? One only has to look at the forth principle of the UU list of seven principles which is as fallows “a free and responsible search for truth and meaning”. Yes it was through a search for truth and meaning, well more accurately, a need to find truth and meaning, that has led me to this belief. But I have always kept in mind the other parts of this principle as well. For one my responsibility to have a responsible search. By responsible I interpret it in great UU fashion as my responsibility to not assume that what I find to be truths that work for me (that include my belief in God) to be truths that will work for others or even things to which I should impose on them. But then there’s the last part, the free part. This part of the principle is the part that I fell some UUs don’t fully grasp. To me it doesn’t just mean allowing someone the space to search and seek for their truths, but also the space needed to tryout what is being discovered or may have been discovered as a result of this search and seeking.
So why would they have a problem with us, the God loving UUs trying out we have discovered and are discovering? Well one reason for this is likely the fact that many UUs came to UUism fleeing Christian denominations, like Roman Catholic and Anglican, and as a result have negative associations linked to the concept of God, to which many who come from a different back ground, take me for example, who was raised UU may not have. Well one of the things they may have observed is people in authority using the concept of God to justify harsh or restrictive rules or actions, those leaving their faith in God shaken. I for one never have observed this. In fact it wasn’t until I was having a sever crises of faith that I really started giving the concept of God any real consideration.
My belief in God came from a crises of faith. Well actually to be more accurate I have always been on the brink of taking the God belief plunge and it was only this crises that pushed my to certainty in Him (God). So why did it take me 20 years and a crises to start to believe in God. The reason for this I would say was the fact that as a child I had mostly secular humanist and atheist for Sunday school teachers, who in my children’s religious exploration classes told me more about human sexuality and things about science then what they believed about religion (all worthy thinks to teach to children). Sure they did encourage me to search for my religious beliefs, but it was only through brief and as I now know insufficient glimpses of what others believed in, and rarely what UUs believe and never what they believed abut religion. I guess even if the concept of God was something that I needed, it was always going to take a crises for me to believe in Him. Well ‘cause I knew no UUs that believed or at least expressed openly a belief in God as a child. But I could never fully go join them in their rejection of God. And with this crises of faith I began to come to my belief in God over the past seven years or so.
The crises of faith of mine was precipitated by the fact that I had bad thing don to me as well as hearing of bad thing having been don to others. Things like bullying and the divorce of parents. All things that I could not and still can not accept as having happened for no reason. I felt and still feel they most have happened for some divine reason, either to teach use some lesion or to move our lives in a better direction. Also the fact that I could not accept the fact that evolution to which I did and still do believe in, just some how spontaneously started to happen and evolve over time. I still believe this about evolution.
So why do I believe in God? Because I believe that creation was not something that just spontaneously started to happen one day and the fact that bad things to which we experience must be brought to be for some useful reason. And ‘cause I believe in God I feel the need to honour Him and yes even praise Him. Yes all things to which leave many of the former Christians within the UU fold uneasy.