UU Mormon

Practicing Goodness

Posted on: December 21, 2009

Wow, I’m not doing so well here.  No posts in a month. It’s not that we haven’t been going to church, though we’ve missed a couple weeks because of weather and traveling.  I think I’ve been avoiding posting a little because I feel like I should be coming up with profound spiritual and religious insights and, well, I’m just not that person.

But anyway, at the last service I attended the minister spoke about joy;  she said it takes faith in the beauty and goodness at the heart of all that is.  At the moment, I wasn’t really feeling it.  But she also talked about “attending to our own part in the goodness.”  That was something I could grasp onto and understand.

One of the things I most like about this church is the many opportunities it offers to attend to and practice being part of the goodness in the world.  Just a few examples:

  • A percentage of the collection each week goes to a charitable organization that helps the hungry, the homeless, the mentally ill, etc.  A different organization is spotlighted each month.
  • The congregation is involved in working for local affordable housing.
  • The church opens its doors every winter to participate in a hypothermia shelter, providing a place to sleep and breakfast to those most at risk during the coldest part of the winter.
  • Raising money for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which promotes human rights and responds to humanitarian crises.
  • Fundraising for The Fistula Foundation to help women’s health in the Congo, Afghanistan, and Burundi.
  • Sponsoring Thanksgiving dinner at an urban homeless shelter; making pies beforehand and collecting food on Thanksgiving day.
  • Holiday giving tree (this was a good one for my kids– although NinjaBoy was a little worried after picking out a Transformer for a nine year old boy that perhaps it was too violent a toy.  “It shoots things!” he said.  I thought it was probably okay).
  • Food drives/grocery shopping for low income families in the area.
  • Arranging summer internships for teens at various local charitable and service organizations.  I want my kids to do this when they’re old enough!

That’s just what I can think of off the top of my head, not to mention blood drives and environmentally friendly landscaping and encouraging political participation in various ways.  They’ve got stuff like this going on all the time.

For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.

For a non-Christian church they do a fine job of putting the best Christian ideals into practice.  It was another bit of culture shock for me, actually.  I’ve never been to a church that had such hands-on involvement in charitable causes and I can’t quite figure out how they have the resources or the energy.  I’m still trying to get oriented, but I hope to get my kids and myself more involved.

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1 Response to "Practicing Goodness"

[…] at church, Phylomytha talks about practicing goodness with the Unitarians, Andrew imagines meeting the Mormon relatives for Christmas, and flygirl misses […]

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