Wednesday, May 23, 2007

First Unitarian follow-up letters

It has been a while since we received a non-form letter from a church, so I thought I'd post both letters that we received from First United. (I'm not trying to glib, I just think it's funny that we're getting some "not UU!" attitude, but they do so much to stand out from other churches!)

The first letter we received on Tuesday, from Reverend Sharon Dittmar herself.

The second we received today (Wednesday), from Linda, and though it is more form-y than the first, it still makes specific reference to the blog, etc.

I'm not going to type 'em up... just click 'em and they should be legible.


d-mc said...

EEbs-I totally udnerstand why the UU is appealing. I also understand why you should be impressed with the fact that they sent "real" follow up letters.

One of the reasons I love your blog is because through it I see areas where the "church" is dropping the ball left and right.

On this post you give us yet another great example.


JenLo said...

Impressive follow through!

CMW said...

Yes, the Church fails left and right. But that only only makes me a more convinced Christian. God still chooses to utilize his creation to redeem the world. Only the Holy Spirit can present the Church pure and Holy. Christ has not abandoned his flock, no matter who else does. I guess I like my Church choice to remain dirty and messy--why else would Jesus need to be there (St. Matthew 9:12)? At the end of the day I hope you will step away from this *whole* experience to think a bit before choosing (I don't even know if choosing is a goal). Remember then that there are those who pray for your good.

d-mc said...

...the Church fails left and right. But that only only makes me a more convinced Christian.

I understand what you are saying, but that is not a point that makes me a more convinced Christian.

Sure-we all make mistakes. Me more than anyone. But that doesn't enhance Christianity. In fact, it serves to hurt our efforts. I think this entire blog is making that point. Sadly.

Val said...

I only met you briefly but have heard so much about you from your proud father.Ever since he told me about your site here I have popped in from time to time,I find it very interesting.I was raised in a Southern Baptist atmosphere and always wondered what the other denominations were like.While I retain my faith in God I haven't been in a church since I got married.
The whole church experience
did fail a lot from my stand point
but then one must realize that none of us are perfect(although inside during services people will be different)thus leading to there isn't any perfect place besides one and it's not here on earth.
So with that I would say follow your own heart and inner voice,it will lead you to where you can be comfortable at.Other than that I applaud you and Brad!To take it upon yourselves to get up every Sunday and go search for what is your looking for says a lot...
Yes you do attend more than a lot of believers!Your gaining a lot of valuable information though so when and if you do decide to make a place your own it will be the right choice for you.That's what matters...

luckeyfrog said...

I liked that both letters were personal, but the second seemed a little... I don't know, almost forceful? I guess your blog gave them a bit more feedback about how much you enjoyed the service, but in a normal circumstance I think I'd be uncomfortable if they automatically put me on a mailing list.

Still, I'd guess it's probably not a typical thing, so no big deal.

Ryan said...

Strictly secular suggestion: consider blacking out personal phone numbers and contacts when posting letters.

Linda said...

I'm the Linda who showed Erica around when she and Brad visited First Unitarian Church. Just so you know, Luckeyfrog, we ask visitors if they'd like to receive our newsletter for a few months. If they would, they sign the visitor card. So, we weren't putting them on our mailing list without prior consent.
And d-mc, you wondered about the stained glass windows. Unitarians came out of the Christian tradition. The window with the figure of Moses and the one next to it wer given by the congregation in honor of a long-time minister and his wife. The window next to Moses is a mother and her children. These windows were installed around 1915 and the congregation would certainly have called itself Christian at the time.
The round Tiffany window is seen by some as a figure of Truth, others see Jesus or a woman or a holy figure. Around the circle are written the seven virtues of Truth, Love, Patience, Freedom, Righteousness, Courage, and Justice. The Tiffany window was installed in the church in 1900. There are only a few like it in the country.
Finally, Jenlo said she heard that UUs can believe "anything they want." That is not true. We are not bound by a single belief or a creed, but we do have a set of shared principles. We don't have one holy scripture which is the ultimate word, but believe that truth emanates from many places -- including holy writings of many religions, words and deeds of wise men and women from many eras and places, Judeo-Christian teachings, humanist teaching, spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions, and (importantly) the direct experience of mystery and wonder inside of ones own self.
We like to say we are a religion of deeds, not creeds. We don't believe that any one belief system has a lock on the truth. We believe in honoring each person's journey to find truth and meaning in their lives.

Linda said...

Ryan suggested that you might black out personal phone numbers and email addresses. I would like that to happen too.

Eebs said...

Thank you all for your comments! Sorry I haven't been an active part of the discussion-- I HAVE been reading the comments, but have been otherwise occupied. Keep the dialogue going and I'll respond to as much of as I can, as soon as I find a moment! :D

Yvette said...

I'm not surprised that you found a welcome and fitting seat in UU congregations. Ben and I discovered it with a similar "hey, this fits!" attitude when we were looking for a place to get married.

We never went to any of the UU churches while we were living in Cincinnati, though. Our Catholic-turned-agnostic upbringings probably contribute to our feeling that the formal "churchy" things (like singing and speaking in unison) a little annoying... but hearing awesome sermons about anything and everything, all without required dogma, makes it worth it for me.

Also, in the heart of Mormon Utah, it's good to have the company of fellow non-believers with secular faith in humanity! (btw, I'd be interested to read your report on attending a Mormon service, if you were to attend one. I've learned a lot about their faith by working with all Mormons, but I'm not a church hopper...)

I'm so glad that your journey has led you to the UUs, even if their company is only a stepping stone along your spiritual path. It's a very bouncy stepping stone, though, and will undoubtedly send you leaping forward on your journey.