Sunday, November 30, 2008


Sunday Reflection: The Holy Spirit, Joy, and Unitarian Kitchen Dancing

I was lucky enough to have my sister Kathy ("Miss KO" of the Chicago Roller Derby scene) visiting for Thanksgiving with her husband Jim and their sons. The Chicago branch of the Oslers are Unitarian-Universalists, and particularly observant ones, too-- they are very involved and active in their UU fellowship. Obviously, we don't share the same religious views, but have learned a lot from one another over the years.

This holiday, though, it was Kathy and Jim who made things much more meaningful and spiritual for me. We made a big turkey and when it came out of the oven there was still a lot to do-- the table wasn't ready yet, the turkey had to be carved... but suddenly my brother-in-law turned on the music, and a half-hour of kitchen-dancing broke out, adults and children together. It really wasn't part of the plan, but it became completely infectious and joy-filled.

There was something about that which opened my heart to true, gut-wrenching thankfulness, the kind of thankfulness where I was profoundly impressed with how undeserved my abundance probably is. In prayer, I felt the spirit of the moment and God in a way which I too rarely experience, and was close to crying.

That is my favorite kind of surprise.

Unitarians ARE FUN! They question everything but they are usually quite good dancers.

You ARE very blessed. Are you just figuring this out now?
See EMPTY wine bottle in photo and dancing couple = spontaneity. Good for heart and good for marriage. Kitchen is secondary.

Life can be too serious ~ you need to enjoy it some.

Joie de vie. I think you need to experiment some. Obviously this sparked something in you that should be explored!

Happy Eve of December.
That is a great picture! Joy sometimes surprises me like that, flowing out of every direction, surrounded by family, it is in those moments when I begin to understand what is meant by "Deus caritas est".

We here in this fellowship are also very blessed, Professor. Thank you for sharing this and reminding us to give thanks and praise!

And, Tyd, we Catholics know how to cut a rug as I feel a dance off coming on?
I'm pretty sure we Baptists will lose the dance-off...
Just so long as it is not a "Pants Off Dance Off."
I have no idea even what that is...

Ginger to the Hunter,
Osler to the O,

You have been SERVED....

Peace out
Here's an unrelated but funny Unitarian story.

(I'm actually a lapsed UU (if there is such a thing). But I went fairly often to the UU services in Midland. This meant that not only did I have to wake up early on Sundays for church, I had to wake up extra early and drive 45 minutes to another city to go to church, where I generally sat in the back of the congregation and only spoke publicly one time, when I officially joined the UU Church.)

That aside, one of the "rituals" we performed during New Years' was to write all of our negative feelings, thoughts, etc. on pieces of paper, go outside, and then burn them while cheering the New Year. Directly across the street from us was the United Lutheran Church. As it happened, their service let out just as we were starting to cheer around this flaming brazier. All we got were some strange looks and a few shaking heads. One lady laughed. "I suppose they're all saying, 'There go those crazy Unitarians again!'"

An older gentlemen looked at the group and said, "Yep. Not much bad to say 'bout the Lutherans. 'Course, if they'd been Baptists they'd have thrown rocks and chased us with torches."
1. That is such a FUNNY story.

2. I really don't get how you could be a LAPSED UU??? I mean we don't even have church in the SUMMER. Plus I would think you would have to work pretty hard and get up pretty early in the morning to get kicked out of UU church hahahah

3. That thing about writing all of your feelings and then burning them... OMG. SOOO funny. We did stuff like this too! Like even in the Sunday School youth group thing.

4. My Presbyterian In Laws refuse to even set foot in a UU church, and my husband and I were not allowed to get married there. We got married outside but the thing is, My Mother in Law once told me that the UU church was "the Elks Club of Religions." hahaha

Bill still has not committed to a church here in Oregon and I told him that Spencer needs this and if he does not hurry up and get on the stick I will start taking the kid to the UU church, where he will talk about his feelings and be surrounded by Subaru driving lesbians. HAHAHAAH

I actually MISS the UU church and after this house nightmare ends I might start going there myself alone. Bill will not go.
I say "lapsed" because I haven't been to church since I graduated high school. I've been in two different cities since then with active congregations and just never gotten up to go. I'm actually agnostic and don't believe in the supernatural at all, but I'm perfectly groovy with people that do, because I've no real authority to claim I'm right. I just feel out of place in most religious ceremonies altogether.

And Presbyterians, really? Just tell them that they're Calvinists, which means that the saved and the damned were determined at the beginning of time and nothing you or they do gets to change that, so they shouldn't really worry about the danger to their souls from where they go.
LOL, yeah the Catholics kind of snatched up all the fun stuff the Baptists threw away...drinking, dancing, know, the country music sins.

Actually, I have always wondered if you guys can gambol? It's not dancing...

Now I have "Footloose" stuck in my head! Arg.
Footloose is still better than the song to the Wonder Pets. I had that in my head ALLLLLLLL DAY long yesterday.
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