After Rev. Southern’s sermon on Enough! last month a long-time Member took me aside and asked if she could speak with me privately. Sure, I said, wondering what had bothered her. Instead, after we found an appropriately private spot in the gallery, she spoke earnestly for a minute on how much she valued the services Vanessa was conducting and how she especially appreciated the warmth she felt in them. She just wanted me to know.
I agree with her comments. Our services are interesting AND enlightening AND warming. Reliably wonderful.
And, I understand her desire to be understated and private in her praise. The quiet one-on-one comments felt more genuine and important.
The expression of appreciation was very UU. Very us. We don’t shout that we have The Answer. We don’t want to impose. We don’t want to claim even universally applicable opinion about a sermon!
But, I want you to consider committing an unnatural act: Invite at least one friend to attend a service with you during the holiday season.
Why? Because too many of my friends really should have heard Vanessa’s wisdom about what is ENOUGH! Some of the same friends, and different ones, would have felt better after considering her words on death during the Picnic at the Graveyard service. Wasn’t Big Music Sunday amazing? And, aren’t the stories for all ages both meaty and fun?
If my friends had been with me, if I had invited them, they would have felt better. And, we would have had another shared experience in our friendship.
I understand that inviting a friend to go with you at church is something uncomfortably unnatural for many of us. I mean, do your friends even know you go to a church?
But, think about it.
The 11 o’clock worship experience is something to share with other thinking, overcommitted, successful, struggling, sensitive people: your friends. In the time of precedent-shattering dispiriting political nastiness, it’s time for loving responsible people to break with our own precedents. Do it as a holiday gift for a friend you really care about.
I will invite friends to church in December. I don’t know if they’ll come. But, join me in this experiment!