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January 29, 2006



You know, I have to confess that I have never much enjoyed the UU Church. They have great politics on paper and all--go them. But I don't much enjoy the services.

It seems to me, you don't call and ASK "lifeline" to visit a parishoner in the nursing home. Seems to me, they call you, they bring you food, the pastor visits--partly because it's HIS JOB (not charity, but what he is paid to DO) and partly because you are members of the community and so, well...they treat you like members of the community.

I don't know, all this stuff you are talking about rubs me the wrong way as a life-long church-goer with a seminary education (I practically became a priest myself, and may go ahead and do it someday). It isn't how the Church is supposed to function.

And as genuine, died-in-the-wool LGBT person, I am sick of hearing how I should be UU. I don't want to go to some church that just wants my lesbian chic. I want to be part of church that is a church, doing what a church should do--welcome everyone. And while I do appreciate (especially since moving to the prairie where it can be harder to discern safe from unsafe spaces) the rainbow stickers on welcoming church doors, self-congratulation about how cool and hip UU's are on queer stuff icks me out.

Don't even get me started on a 99% white congregation doing Kwaanza. That's downright racist, if you ask me.

Sorry to knock your church, Lisa, and anyone else out there who is UU and loves it--I'm glad you love it. I just don't love it and I don't think their bending over backwards about gay stuff is a free pass to be old-fashioned, capital "L" Liberals instead of radicals like I think churches should be.


Hey, y'all, as a UU, and a happy one at that, I was really sad to see both the post and the initial comment here.

A few responses:

First off, Shannon, please feel free to go where the theology works for you. No one should try to convince you to be a UU just because you're a lesbian and I'm embarrassed that someone did.
If you don't fit in with us theologically, then you won't be happy as a UU. That's cool.

Shannon's point about the way she feels pandered to is part of why I'm none to crazy about the huge focus on gay rights and other political issues in our church. Speaking as middle/upper middle class white woman who is not disabled, it is really hard to know the difference between "reaching out" and "pandering." (e.g I'm sure the person who was so proud of that trip to the movies thought they were reaching out. I only ask people to the movies when I really want to see a movie with them, so I'm not pandering, but I'm not reaching out either.) The definitions of "reaching out" vs. "pandering" differ with the person.

As for the disability issues, I hate to use cluelessness as an excuse, but it just might be the reason. As you observed, "lifeline" programs can sometimes be very disorganized.

I think it is probable that the members of your church just don't understand how insensitive they are being. It looks like you've voiced some of the problems. Have you ever voiced them formally, like, to the minister or to the board?

My church has two blind members, and a couple more in wheelchairs and scooters, who are very active members. I think of them from the committees they are on and the active role they play, so when they need something from me, it never even occurs to me to think of it as charity work. I promise you that some UU churches can handle disability issues. But probably someone had to educate us first.



Lisa -

Thank you so much for what you have written here. I don't have any kind of answers or even much insight into your specific experiences, but I promise you that my eyes and my heart are open wider because of the things you have to say.

UUs are very self-congratulatory about the things we do right, sometimes to the point of blindness to the things we do outright wrongly. I would encourage you to bring these issues up directly with your minister and the board of your church, because your concerns are of vital necessity to the central mission of the Church - to embrace and accept all who would enter our doors, and to love them just as they are.

Again, thank you. Sometimes, okay, lots of times, people need to be (metaphorically) smacked around until we get it.

Jamie Goodwin

I have a theory that the 87% of UUs who are not GLBT are eventually going to stand up and tell the rest of us who are to quit talking about being gay all the time.

We have a bad habit of doing so, because there are so few areas in our lives where we can.

Your right we need to be paying better attention to other opportuanities of diversity. The good news is that a lot of GLBT persons are going to be some of your biggest supporters. I am willing to bet if you went to your minister and asked him to get the Gay community in your church together to create an initiative to reach out to mobility impaired people that he would be 100% with you.

We know how it feels to be left out.

h sofia

Much food for thought. Thank you.

The Emerson Avenger

"We know how it feels to be left out."

So do I Jamie. . . And I have saying what has been said here for about a decade now. In fact I long ago pointed out that Christian or otherwise theistic GLBT people would feel considerably less than welcome in no shortage of so-called U*U "Welcoming Congregations". . . N'est-ce pas?

Lisa T.

I am sad to see that as adults you are still gettting this treatment. My husband was injured at a c5/c6 complete spinal cord injury at 15. We were friends then and started dating at married at 24 (after we both finished college in separate states.) We used to get that attitude that you can't quite place your finger on that feels like it is someone doing a charity favor rather than what one does when you are friends when we were younger. I put it to my husband's assertiveness and upfront attitude that has put that to a stop. I will say at times it seems we avoid those places where it seems we might get that "you must be needy attitude." We aren't needy at all. However, we have found ourselves in the situation of pressure sore problems and that is very scary and time consuming. That is a time when you definately need extra hands and contact with the outside world. A friend of ours, who was injured a couple of years ago with almost the same injury was in bed for 3 years (similar bone infection problems as D) He is now up and at school but those years really cut him off for the world. Not many people visited him. We noticed over time when we hung out that he was having a difficult time with social interaction.
I can see if you are part of a church you would expect the church to be a part of you. I hope this improves. Do you or D like organizing? Perhaps you could help set up a new system of how things happen for weekly services...such as the readers check to see the mikes are on ect. Make those things part of the routine of setting up each week. run a suvey on church memebers needs during services, outside of services, initiate a group that gathers socially after services for movies or lunch so there is more of a network and connection between the people? Play groups with other moms and kids so you can have other moms to talk to and the kids get to play? I know you are feeling overwhelmed right now...I hope that this gets worked out. People won't know you're feeling this way if you don't tell them. We've found a lot of people hold back because they don't want to seem pushy or insincere. I get all that you were saying so I really feel for you. Best Wishes.

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