To be quite honest, this is an odd place to find myself in.
For the last few weeks, my partner and I have been visiting local Unitarian Universalist congregations looking for a place I can call home. It’s not that I need a CHURCH, but rather that I crave a dynamic spiritual Community.
Because my personal theology and relationship to the Divine is far too varied for any particular creed or schema, I find restrictions on my research to be shortsighted and inconvenient. Pluralism and unity are exceedingly important to me, but exceptionalism and doctinality can righteously go fuck themselves.
When we went to Congregation 1 (C1), we were welcomed. There was a faint weirdness though- almost like a psychic side-eye of “Hmmm, new people. Not sure if I am okay with this.” Don’t get me wrong, it was very faint and I may have misread it, but it was enough to raise an eyebrow.
Congregation 2 (C2) is further away than C1, but the difference in our welcome was striking. We were warmly welcomed, as we had been in C1, but we were also invited at C2. Invited to join the women’s group, invited to participate in the annual congregational meeting, invited to spend time and get to know people. It was rather incredible.
The other thing is that C2 has visible representation of people like me- people whose personal stories have significant intersection with my own. People to whom I am not an outsider, rather a long-absent family member returning home. From the minister to the folks that greeted us, we saw and met trans folks, same-gender couples, and allies. That was unexpected, and thoroughly welcome.
This is not where I expected to be in many ways, but it’s nice to feel like I came home to my room being ready and warm fire already lit. Home, where I can both relax and get to the work that lies ahead. This is good.