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An extension of #family, a second home; #joys and sorrows; shared #beliefs or principles

March 10, 2013

Another testimony from last night’s Fellowship Dinner:

By Michael Hardy

Chalice with words Love Hope Faith Justice Unitarian Universalist

Chalice design by UU Colaborative Works member, Shane Montoya

When I first became interested in Unitarian Universalism,  I visited several congregations around the area – Mount Vernon, Arlington and All Souls in D.C.  Somehow Davies didn’t really come to my attention right away. The other congregations were nice, but after a few visits to each, I still didn’t feel especially engaged.

Some time passed before I finally did come to Davies. Lynda came with me on that first visit. Things here felt different. The people at the other places I visited were friendly enough, but here we were greeted warmly, made to feel like we were part of the congregation from the moment we stepped insdie. Rev. Bruce had beguns his time here not long before our first visit, and we enjoyed the service and his sermon.

I began coming regularly. In time – and not all that much time – I volunteered to serve on what was then called the Growth and PR Committee, thinking I could use my skills to the good of the church.

All of that, those early days, feels like a long time ago now, even though it’ s been just a few years. Now we’re both members and both involved behind the scenes. We’ve discovered that Davies provides for us a real church home, in a truly UU sense of that phrase. We’re welcomed as who we are, celebrated for what we bring to the congregation out of our identities as people of faith. One thing Unitarian Universalism does well is to recognize that to be a person of faith is a highly individual thing, and here at Davies I see that principle honored in many ways.

So here in our church home, there are a few people I can specifically remember meeting. I remember when Bruce introduced me to Dave Phillips one morning during coffee hour, for example. But for the most part, the many friends I have here have just become part of my awareness little by little, so that I don’t recall the specific moment of meeting but can’t imagine not knowing them now.

That’s what Davies has come to mean to me. It’s an extension of family, a second home. When I have things to celebrate or mourn, the people here are among those I want to share them with. When others have joys or sorrows, whether they announce them during the part of the service set aside for that or not, it’s something happening to someone in the family.

A religious community is just that, people brought together by shared beliefs or principles, who choose to associate with one another to share our common journey through life. That’s what I’ve found here at Davies.

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