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Author Topic: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches  (Read 3612 times)

Artim Sequoia

Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« on: March 10, 2013, 07:31:26 pm »
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

Jenett

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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2013, 07:49:27 pm »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

 
There's some historical reasons for that in the Twin Cities (some of which I know about, some of which I know less about. In briefest form, one of the main proponents of UU/Paganism in the area is someone who raises very strong feelings in a number of people who've been around the Twin Cities Pagan community for a while, and like it or not that has had an impact.

(This is one of those things where I'm more willing to discuss in private than in public, but feel free to PM/email.)

In general, my experience discussing this with people, there are some UU churches that are fine with Pagans. There are some where any kind of significant deism or structured ritual is out of sync with that particular community. A number of the larger UU churches in Minneapolis, in particular, have tended to be somewhat less ritually/deistic (at least as I understand it), and that's a different direction than a fair portion of the active-with-others Pagan community.
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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2013, 08:09:26 pm »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

 
I'm one Pagan who's had very good experiences with the UU church -- in fact, I'm the program director for the local fellowship, and this Sunday we're doing an Ostara service! -- but that's just anecdote. I think I can see where in other or larger congregations there being issues because of "Pagan" being conflated with "earth-centered Goddess worship", but since I've tended to be the only Pagan in my small congregation, I've gotten to call my own shots.
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Myrth

Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2013, 08:30:29 pm »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

I used to attend a UU church. It was dominated by secular humanists. They were uncomfortable with ritual. They were uncomfortable with deism.

Once one of the pagan members lead a service. As she cast a circle, secular humanist members started snickering. Extremely RUDE.

 Years later, the congregation formed a CUUPS group. It was supposedly non-denominational, but it was neo-Wiccan, following the wheel of the year, and focusing on the god and goddess in ceremony.

I am not sure how a congregation can do non-specific "pagan" services, but those who do not lean Wiccan may not be a good fit even in congregations with a CUUPS group.

That is just my limited experience. I can't speak for others.

mlr52

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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2013, 08:54:44 pm »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

 
I am a UU Pagan, at my congregation we have a number of members who self identify as pagans.  We have a pagan group which is in need of leaders.  

When there has been problems it usually was about the person, not paganism.  

Only one problem concerned celebrating the Summer Solstice, it conflicted with another planed event.
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mlr52

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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2013, 09:10:34 pm »
Quote from: Myrth;100540
I used to attend a UU church. It was dominated by secular humanists. They were uncomfortable with ritual. They were uncomfortable with deism.

Once one of the pagan members lead a service. As she cast a circle, secular humanist members started snickering. Extremely RUDE.

 Years later, the congregation formed a CUUPS group. It was supposedly non-denominational, but it was neo-Wiccan, following the wheel of the year, and focusing on the god and goddess in ceremony.

I am not sure how a congregation can do non-specific "pagan" services, but those who do not lean Wiccan may not be a good fit even in congregations with a CUUPS group.

That is just my limited experience. I can't speak for others.

 
At my congregation our GAIA SPIRIT CIRCLE Group usually holds any service on weekdays or after the main Sunday service (during the Summer we can do a main service).  

What is being celebrated is announced weeks in advance with a description of what is planned and what it is about.  

We are not skycladed, nor are weapons used (The Holly and Oak King).
Light Your Candle, In Love and Service, Blessed Be.
I am a Notary Public for The State of New York, - I do not charge for Notary Fee\'s, I Live in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Donal

Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2013, 09:27:06 pm »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.


I do not attend UU services regularly, but I agree with their basic philosophy and outlook of Faith, Freedom, and Reason. I have such an affinity for their views that I have long referred to myself (half-jokingly) as a Unitarian Monk. I am a Solitary UU Pagan by practice.

My Paganism involves Pantheism as well as Polytheism. My experience with individual UU people has varied. I have found that while most of them have no problem with pantheism as an idea, many of them (not all) have some problems with polytheism, esp ritual and worship.

While it would be nice to have a large, open ritual in participation with a UU Fellowship, I find that my personal spiritual needs are satisfied by my (mostly) solitary practice. I occasionally go to group rituals with a local Pagan Group, who in fact do their esbats and sabbats in the basement of the local UU Church.

I was a Secular Humanist for a good chunk of my life, and unfortunately was somewhat scornful of many spiritual practices. Then I grew up and learned some respect. I suspect the Secularists who snickered at that ritual need to grow up as well. Freedom of Religion requires that we all respect each others right to whatever relgious practice we choose. Snickering and mockery are not mature, and they should not be accepted at a presumably progressive place such as a Unitarian Church.

Donal
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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2013, 09:46:37 pm »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

 
I've been to a few services and felt very welcome. I don't go very much, but I've really like the people I met.
"In Hell, everybody loves popcorn."

Artim Sequoia

Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2013, 12:59:53 am »
Quote from: Cryfder;100560
I've been to a few services and felt very welcome. I don't go very much, but I've really like the people I met.

That is what I have found as well. We have gone to MVUUF multiple times and would still attend if we lived closer. I miss the community of it.

Jack

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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2013, 02:37:10 am »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

 
I've attended two local congregations. One I found tended to skew a little too Jesus for my tastes, the other seems to suit me just fine so far. It's only been a couple of months, though.
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Cliona

Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2013, 08:12:25 pm »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

 
I'm not particularly active in any religious community at the moment, due to a demanding job and school. I was, however, raised in a St. Paul UU church, and everything I learned there growing up is, I believe, directly responsible for me finding my way to where I am now spiritually. Thanks to my UU upbringing, I had the conviction to embrace an entirely new and foreign path when it presented itself. I have always felt my UU church to be an accepting community, celebrating the holidays and holy days of many faiths, and often incorporating pagan (albeit generic!) rituals. I can't speak for the individual members of the church, but the church itself is rather ritualistic in general, from my experience, and gives me, when I'm able to attend, structure.

I'm very proud of being raised UU in the Twin Cities, and I'm grateful my parents broke the Lutheran tradition of their respective families and had my brothers and me dedicated in a UU service instead of baptized.
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Jenett

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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2013, 08:56:48 pm »
Quote from: Cliona;100936
I'm not particularly active in any religious community at the moment, due to a demanding job and school. I was, however, raised in a St. Paul UU church, and everything I learned there growing up is, I believe, directly responsible for me finding my way to where I am now spiritually.

 
Was that Unity? I've heard very good things about them, and I sang briefly with One Voice (the Twin Cities GLBTQA choir) who rehearsed out of there, and I was always quite impressed with just the material they had up and around and the way they handled various practical things.

I hadn't known that they were doing Pagan things at all (as opposed to say, generally seasonal), and that's good to know.
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Cliona

Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2013, 10:44:25 pm »
Quote from: Jenett;100940
Was that Unity?

 
It was Unity :D I went through their Coming of Age program in 9th grade as a staunch atheist, actually. I love Rob and Janne, who encouraged me to explore my spirituality even in the absence of a belief in any god. Quite an eye opener for me.

I haven't been to a service in a long time, but my parents are becoming more active again. They're also frequenting a UU church in another town of which a few friends are members, though I'm drawing a blank on the name (I keep thinking it's in White Bear but I don't think that's right). They've told me what they do at services, and none of it sounds drawn from any specific pagan roots, but the influence appears there rather strongly. Like I said, though, it also sounds like a generic and (for lack of a better word) all-encompassing approach.

I do clearly remember learning about pagan religions in Sunday School as a kid. I don't think they ever used the word 'pagan,' instead calling them 'world' religions. I always thought polytheistic faiths made more sense, an impression I got by learning about them alongside Christianity and Judaism (and a little Islam, but I think that was brief).

I hope to start going to services again on a somewhat regular basis once school is done, but I work in public safety, which knows no schedule...
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Jenett

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Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2013, 10:55:44 pm »
Quote from: Cliona;100950
(I keep thinking it's in White Bear but I don't think that's right). They've told me what they do at services, and none of it sounds drawn from any specific pagan roots, but the influence appears there rather strongly. Like I said, though, it also sounds like a generic and (for lack of a better word) all-encompassing approach.


There is a UU congregation in White Bear (about which I've heard good things as well, and I know there's some Paganish folks there, or were a couple of years ago - though the couple of people I knew who were there were looking for family religious community everyone could agree on, and were fine with Pagan-friendly, but not Pagan-specific, as it were.)
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Aett of Cups

Re: Pagans & the Unitarian Universalist churches
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 01:09:04 am »
Quote from: Artim Sequoia;100524
It might just be me but I seem to have noticed that many Pagans that I have talked to around my area have a problem/dislike of Unitarian Universalist churches. I'm curious about whether it has just been me or if others have thoughts on this.

Personally, I know a few pagans who don't like the CUUPS organization, but, if any of them have told me why, I don't recall now.

I won't say there aren't some minor problems with the local UU (lack of initiative being the worst most of the time), but I still think it's worth visiting.  I'm on a nocturnal schedule and can't be at the services, but the Pagans Group (which isn't a CUUPS chapter and doesn't want to be) and the LGBTQ groups are great.  We were all looking for a community of accepting people who weren't creepy (hard to find in my American Bible Belt town), and we've found it there.

We generally follow the better-known holidays at our rituals because we feel that's the best way to appeal to the largest number of folks in the local community, but the regular members (there are official leaders, but really all the regulars are co-leaders) are very open to interpretation and suggestion.

We have a regular minister, but she isn't actually not there much, so about half the time someone else from the congregation does the sermon.  The only problem we've ever had was when one of the speakers said there was no proper system of ethics before Judaism, but a bunch of people (including some Jewish folks) objected; I don't know if he withdrew his remarks, but I don't know of anyone but himself who took them seriously.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 01:10:20 am by Aett of Cups »
Aett of Cups

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