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“Go to church” hard to say #uu #princegeorges

April 14, 2013

This is Adrienne York-Minor’s testimonial from our Fellowship Dinner:Adrienne

Go to church

I haven’t actually said that to anyone yet, but it’s been on the tip of my tongue a lot lately.

Go to church

I want to say it to people who feel lonely and disconnected. I want to say it to people whose college friends have scattered all over the globe. I want to say it to people whose internet friends, friends who are true and precious and kind, are still too far away to give a hug when needed.

Go to church

I want to say it to my colleague who feels like maybe our job is working on the wrong side,
politically. I want to say it to the friend who thinks the schadenfreude, that joy in others’
misfortune, is a little too sweet and thick and abundant in her own office. I want to say it to
the guy who knows for a fact that he’s a cog in the company machine and it doesn’t matter
one way or another if he shows up.

Go to church

I want to say it to the man who tells me he doesn’t know any of his neighbors. I want to
say it to the woman who has a great group of local friends she drives an hour in any of four
directions to see.

Go to church

I want to say that to everybody who feels tired. I want to say that to everyone who feels
useless.  I want to say it to anyone who feels like their life has no meaning. I want to say it
to anyone who feels like nobody knows who they are, nobody knows where they are,
nobody would miss them when they were gone.

Go to church

But I know, and you know, that going to church is not a magic formula. Davies wasn’t the
first UU church I went to, but it’s the first one I’ve kept going to. And the reason is pretty
simple.

Davies is a pretty welcoming church. I needed a ride to get here, and Linda Powell gave me
a ride. When I got here, I got offered a name tag. And I got offered coffee (and then when I
made my I hate coffee face) I got offered tea. And people talked to me about Davies and
that it was a great place. Which was a good start, but it wasn’t actually enough.

All of that was a pretty decent start, really. But what really made me stick around was
helping people out. It was staffing the UU booth at DC gay pride. It was being asked to
bring dessert to my first fellowship dinner. It was being reminded that I could vote on the
next minister if I signed the book by a particular Sunday.

I stayed at Davies because you helped me to get here. You helped by having a big sign on
the road that I could see when driving by. You had a website where I could figure out some
of what I’m about. You gave me a ride to this building.

And when I got here, you told me that I could be one of you. I could join the Davies family.
And it wasn’t a no questions asked situation, because everyone had questions and wanted
to get to know me better. But it was clear that most answers a person might give would be
okay, that you would be happy for the things that were right in my life and sympathize with
the things were not so great.

And then, finally, and I think most importantly, you asked me to help. You asked me for
money, certainly. But you asked me to teach adults. And you asked me to get up on stage
and show off my terrible Irish accent. You asked me to sit on the Board and help shape
Davies’ present and our future.

So I haven’t told anyone to go to church yet, although I can feel it coming on. But I think, to
be absolutely fair to the person to whom I am giving this unsolicited advice, I’ll have to say,
“Go to church. And when they ask you to help clean up after coffee hour, say yes.”

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