Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Elevator testimony

Lizard Eater (here) comments that as proud as we are of our "elevator speeches" (short answers to the question, "what kind of a church is UU?") much more important and much more potentially transforming, is a testimony, which answers the question, "What has belonging to a UU church done for you?" She gives some guidelines for this sort of a speech which boil down to, keep it short and keep it personel and keep it focused. And she suggests that we write our speech down and memorize it.

An interesting Challenge...lets call it the Elevator testimony. Here's my first crack:

I've been a UU all my life, and belonged to five UU churches. They were very different, but all of them offered me the opportunity to grow in spirit while belonging to a religious community that encouraged and facilitated that growth. We believe that an infinite deity has many names, and no name, and honor religious diversity. That means that everyone is exposed to a variety of religious understandings and hears about many different kinds of religious experiences and practices. I've been an atheist, and I found a God I could believe in. I've been an agnostic, but when I had a mystical experience that began a relationship with God, I didn't have to change churches, because that kind of personal and spiritual growth is something we value as UU's. It's a very rich place to be a person of faith.

You try!

2 comments:

Kelsey said...

Here's a go.

I'm a UU, not originally by choice, though other religions were always open to me, but I have remained with the church as it has provided a religious community that values reason without excluding faith, and that has allowed me to develop as a functioning, religious human being, without giving me a set of beliefs from which to do that. I remain a UU because it has given me a definition of the sacred, and the possibility to experiance that without professing something that is untrue to me. I am a UU and remain a UU because it has given me a sacred community, which has done more than enough to convince me of something greater.

Whee, that is a good thing to do/have.

Turtle Mountain said...

I am so very different from Christine. I came to UU very late in life after my faith, Rinzai Zen Buddhism, had been set solid, while evolving, for decades and I was, to put it gracefully, a "senior citizen." I was not, and am not, involved in some "spiritual search." I do not believe in spirits, no matter how sophisticated the language used to obscure them. But I am glad to be in a UU fellowship, even though it does not call itself that. Therefore, I should give the new "elevator" speech a shot:

"Belonging to a UU fellowship has made me aware of how the very decent and generous membership recaptures, for me, the wordy affectations of the academic faculties among whom I have spent my life, They are more blatant, unapologetic consumers, but that is because they are much richer. At the same time, they resemble my former students, who were wealthy and from financial elites, but whose intellectual curiosity was genuine and exciting. It is a challenge for me to live among such a group of people, and I have made good friends and acquaintances. The music is superb. The fact that most UU's do not comprehend the difference between Unitarianism and UU, and Protestant Christianity and UU, has been both a surprise and a valuable challenge for a man my age. It is balanced by the truly human, face-to-face integrity of Joys and Concerns, a primary reason for my joining."