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Nobody Can Make It Out Here Alone

From Our Minister
"One of the things that gets in the way of that struggle [for a life rooted in loving com-munity] is the ingrained belief that our deep needs for loving community are actually individual aberrations and holdovers from childhood fantasies or immature yearnings for utopia that the mature individual will eventually overcome."
By the time we get to be adults… typically, we are simply accepting as “common sense” … our isolation and our belief that the world is simply made up of a conglomerate of isolated beings like ourselves.”
- Rabbi Michael Lerner

In this congregation are people who believe that life will go on after death and people absolutely convinced it will not. In this congregation are people who have had a personal experience of a higher power that has saved their life and people who are firmly convinced there is no higher power but us.

Our tradition has an unusual answer to this challenge, declaring that our unity does not require unanimity or uniformity. We’re not bound together by a shared set of facts that we believe in, nor even by search or battle for the one right way to think. We say: deeds not creeds.

It sounds like the setup for a joke: a Christian, a Humanist, and a pagan walk into church. But the punchline is something like: they all do fine and thoughtfully recommit themselves to their shared values. They covenant, promising each other that being in relationship with each other is more important than being right.

As far as I know, every single one of our newcomers looks us up online before they walk through our doors. They’re not coming in to find out what we think in theory. They’re coming in, in person, to see how we act. Do we act our values?

A friend shared that a marriage counselor who works with couples who are contemplating divorce said "People tend to engage the question as 'Do I stay or do I go,' but this isn't actually the question. It's just the response. The actual, underlying question is 'Can I bring my full self to this relationship?' " Do I trust my partner to bring their full self to the relationship?”

This is the question our newcomers, and in fact, everyone, is asking. Can I bring my whole self to church? We gather in this house because we yearn for a community where that is true in practice, not theory. And we continually screw up, because we are totally human beings. We lose the thread, and find it again, or get called out and called back in, and keep working to make it real. We don’t do community perfectly, but we’re not called to be perfect, we’re called to be faithful to our values, and to live out our promises to be good to each other.

Our deep need for loving community is not a holdover from childhood fantasies. Our desire to know each other deeply and acknowledge our shared experience – fear, faith, compassion and pain -- is not immature yearnings for utopia that the mature individual will eventually overcome. This meeting of people, heart to heart, is deep toward the center of what gives our lives meaning and sustains them.

Maya Angelou writes:
Lying, thinking
Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don’t believe I’m wrong
That nobody,
But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Buddhist Meditation

Reverend Marcia Curtis is temporarily canceling the Sunday evening meditation until further notice. For more information please click redlotussangha.org.
We hope to resume the meditation and dharma talks in the next few weeks.

Religious Education

        

Childcare for our youngest is available during services.
                

All children are welcome!   

 

 

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