Adam Snider

Archive for March, 2009|Monthly archive page

Choosing a spiritual home

In Religion on March 12, 2009 at 1:51 pm

I’ve been trying to write this post for far too long now. I kept thinking that, in writing about the fact that I have chosen a new spiritual home, I should write a post comparing the two churches I was choosing between—Unitarian Church of Edmonton (UCE) and Westwood Unitarian—and saying what it was about UCE that made me choose it over Westwood.

The problem with this approach, and the reason that I’ve finally abandoned it, is that in saying what I like about UCE the post kept sounding like I was criticizing Westwood. That was not my intention at all. It’s simply that UCE is better fit for Sara and I, so we have decided that it will be the church we attend regularly.

Without commenting on Westwood, then, what is it about UCE that made us choose it? Well, I can’t pretend to speak for Sara, but here are my reasons for choosing the Unitarian Church of Edmonton as my new spiritual home:

  • I like the belief system (or lack thereof, depending on your point of view) that Unitarian Universalists share. The openness and liberal philosophy have strong appeal for me.
  • I like the minister; his sermons are thought-provoking and insightful. He’s also got a good sense of humour and isn’t afraid to let it show when he’s at the pulpit—religion doesn’t have to be deadly serious.
  • The congregation is large enough that I will probably be able to meet some like-minded people and perhaps even make some new friends, but small enough that it still feels like a fairly close-knit community (of which I am very slowly becoming a part).
  • They offer a lot of opportunities to learn new things. Currently, Sara and I are taking two courses through the church: Our Neighbouring Faiths (an introduction to 6 major world religions) and The New U (an introduction to Unitarian Universalism, including the history of the faith in general and of UCE in particular).
  • Like all UU churches, UCE is welcoming of everyone, regardless of race, colour, creed, religion (seriously), gender, sexual orientation, income, or anything else. To be able to be a part of such a welcoming community is an amazing feeling.

There are lots of other reasons, too, but mostly I just feel comfortable at UCE. I’d probably have checked it out a long time ago if I had known about it sooner.

It feels very good to have found a spiritual home where I can explore my own faith on my own terms while still being part of a welcoming community who can help me in my journey (and, eventually, I hope to be able to help others, whether by volunteering at the church or by just talking about spiritual matters with other members of the congregation).

The next step, I guess, is to become a member of the church. I haven’t quite decided that I’m ready for that, but I think it’s likely in the cards. Hell, one day I might even start calling myself a Unitarian Universalist.

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