Intern Minister's Messages
- Published Date
The summer before I went to college, my French host family spent weekends in the country. We would drive through tiny villages to get there, and each one had a small stone church with a squat black steeple. I’d ask Monsieur if we could stop along the way. Though I wasn’t religious, something in these ancient spaces fed me. I would go in alone, walk around the sanctuary, and then just stand there in the damp cold air.
Our church bustles on Sundays with so many familiar faces and with people every week visiting for the first time. A couple of weeks ago, with wonderful Christmas Eve in my recent memory, I looked forward to preaching the next Sunday, the last service of the year. Well, it snowed the night before…and what better time to take a long winter’s nap? It turns out that the hardiest few made it to the 9:15 service!
We had an opportunity for something different—intimate worship. We sang and reflected and laughed, as we do every week. Adults and children all shared our ideas of ways we could live from the heart in the next few days. At the end of the service, we gathered in a circle for the benediction and spoke our names to each other. What a gift that, during coffee hour, we had a new family to welcome! I dare say that everyone in the entire church welcomed them personally!
Unitarian Universalists are guided by seven principles. The first is, “We affirm and promote the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” In our fourth principle, “We affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning.” That snowy Sunday was a wonderful time to celebrate the inherent worth and dignity of every individual who braved the snow that morning and to honor their search for truth and meaning. How precious each person’s presence is in our midst.
We come to church looking for truth and meaning, whether many of us or a few. Making meaning can happen in a crowded sanctuary or a bare stone church in the French countryside. It can also happen right here, when a young mom and dad bundle up their baby on a snowy morning and try out the church down the street, the one with the rainbow flag.
Betsy Tabor is UUCR’s Intern Minister.