I have discovered this Bible reading program called The Bible in 90 Days. It divides the Bible into 88 day chunks, with two lag days, thus it enables you to read the Bible in 90 days like its name applies. And yes I am going to attempt to do this program starting on Monday, meaning I should be finishing reading the bible by the end of August. As one who was raised in a Unitarian Universalist community, I did not get much bible education back in my childhood Sunday school’s religious exploration classes. Well except a bit about Moses, the Passover story and yes the Christmas story. So this is going to be quit a learning experience for me. So why am I embarking on this summer reading challenge? Well the more I hear about liberal Christian beliefs, especially Trinitarian ones, the more I find myself feeling yes these things seem right for me. So I am going to read the bible to find out more about them. Yes there is nothing better then an exploration of the sources of something to understand it better. And the bible translation I have chosen to use is the New Living Translation. So at least ons or twice over this summer I will post about this. And I will do a overall review of this and post it in early September. So if you won’t to take this challenge up too, just head over to BibleGateway.com and search for 90 Days under the Reading Plans section. And yes you don’t even need to own your own copy of the bible because over on BibleGateway.com you can choose from many of the most popular translations and read it right there in its entirety.
I thick before I go any further I should disclose that I was raised in UU community. So here goes. This is what I have to say. And I mean no offence by it.
I feel to often UUs (individuals and their communities (churches, fellowships and societies)) go out of their way to make newcomers feel welcome. This is done throw providing things like special green mugs during the Sunday fellowship hour and courses such as “Introduction to UUism”; intended to give them some further knowledge on their new spiritual community and the history of the religion it’s a member of (UU). This is all fine and well but sometimes it feels to me that this is all done at the expense of the needs of the ones who grew up in UU communities. Well maybe this is only do to the fact that most of those that are active in UU communities came as adults having either grown up in another religious tradition or a lack of one, that this mite be going on. I mean maybe the adults are thinking on an unconscious level that you can’t expect to find the spiritual fulfilment that is right for you in the places you grew up in, you see we didn’t.
So I am not suggesting we as UUs stop trying to welcome new people and our attempts to help them feel welcome in our midst. But I do think this will never help UU communities to grow which, I always hear is a big goal for UU communities and the wider UU movement. Well I mean that they will never grow unless we try and respond to the needs and honour the religious/spiritual discovers made by those of us UUs who went throw UU religious exploration classes and YRUU. Just tack a look at the current results of this poll being don on FUUSE the online community for UU and Unitarian youth and young adults. It should be noted that most of the members of FUUSE either have gone throw the YRUU experience and or a young adult one modelled after the YRUU one. So what is this poll saying? Well, it asks the question “Do you feel yourself connected to Unitarian Universalism?” and these are the options and the results (as of 10:45 pm EST).
“Yes, better than ever 34 (28.10%)
Sometimes 25 (20.66%)
I used to, but not so much anymore 37 (30.58%)
Nope 16 (13.22%)
No, I never identified as a UU 0 (0.00%)
No, I’m in the process of finding a new faith community 9
So as you can see out of the 121 respondents 62 (51.24%) a little over half of them are struggling with their connections to UUism or have decided it’s better to go look for a new religious/spiritual community and another 25 (20.66%) only feel connected to UUism sometimes. And 34 (28.10%) said “Yes, better than ever”. So what does this all tell us abut the way UU treats its young long time members? Well if the results of this poll are representative of UU identifying young folk (and I think it is) then I feel UUism and its communities thy have a major problem which needs urgent addressing if UUism is to stay vibrant and flourish for a long time to come.
Well slowly but surly my life is going towards better things. Ok I must believe this or I will fall into a deep state of panic. And I don’t want to panic because I have panicked enough over the last few months. So I am going to focus on creating a great life for me. And I think that this is going to involve me getting financially and emotionally ready to actualize my dreams. Dreams that I hope will accumulate in me teaching in the alternative high school that I hope to help fawned. But to get there I must first get a job to pay for my room in the shared apartment I am now living in. Ok I did have a job but I was not what they wanted so they let me go even know I was a hard worker, so I am back on the job market. And to prepare myself to tech at my future school I am as well as getting financially ready, also one of four facilitators of my churches coming of age class (a welcoming and preparation class for preteens to become youth). And next year I hop to be doing an internship at the Albany Free School, as well as this coming summer possibly going to one or two conferences on alternative education.
These days it seems that my life is changing to fast for me. Well I have always been one who has fond it hared to adjust to new situations, but adjust I must and fast. And that’s because coming up latter this moth I will be one of the teachers for the coming of age class (12-yearolds). The coming of age class it’s one of the many Sunday school classes offered this year as part of the children’s religious exploration program at my home church The First Unitarian Congregation of Ottawa. Also because starting tomorrow I will be a, YEEKS employee of a company which shrink raps products like boxes of facial tissue, which then get sent to stores for sale to the general public. And to add to it all I also have to find a place to rent because my Mom is moving out east to become the music director of the UU church in Halifax. Wow I guess I am staring to now what it feels like to be a grownup, and don’t grownups have a lot of responsibilities. YEEKS, YEEKS! Also I was earlier this summer made the representative for all UU young adults (18-35-yearolds) in eastern Ontario, Quebec and the Maritime Provinces and that includes Labrador. So I will be doing a lot of UUing this year, but that is ok because UUing is something I love dearly to do. But shrink raping and abode hunting, I am not to sure weather I like that or not, but only time will tell.