Out of the closet...
Like UU churches everywhere, we are getting ready to start up a new church year in a couple of weeks. That also means a new church school year for RE. So yesterday after church we had a "retreat" for the DRE, RE board, RE committee (of which I am a part), the chair of the adult RE committee, and the president and vice-president from the board of trustees. It was a five-hour workshop with the purpose of
(re)defining our mission and vision for RE.
The first step of the workshop was to identify the diversity of personal views of the universe within our own program. Of the 10 people there, only 3 of us acknowledged a Creator (theists) and I was the only one who used the term "Christian" to define myself. It is interesting that there were a couple of people who acknowledged Christian influence, but didn't mention a belief in God. And I know the DRE considers herself a UU Christian even though in the workshop she didn't use that language but instead called herself a panentheist...which I am too. There were only three people who called themselves Humanists which surprised me. I expected more than that. The others identified with earth-based (pagan) traditions.
I was very uncomfortable with this confession. As we went around the room sharing with each other, I put it off until I was the last one to share. I admitted I was nervous about it and had told my husband that morning that I was going to "come out of the closet today". But when it was my turn I came out with it and explained that this is where my path has led me and it works for me and, unlike most Christians, I don't think Christianity is the "only" way. I confessed to reading the bible and praying every day. I also mentioned that rather than following the Christian church as it has been created by humans long after Jesus' death, I instead follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, two very different things. At the end I let out an audible "whew" and everyone laughed. I had several people, including the church president, thank me for sharing that with them. From there on out it was smooth sailing.
Why was I almost physically sick to my stomach with fear of sharing how Christianity works for me? Not only does it work for me, but it has opened up my life in ways I never expected. I shouldn't be ashamed of that.
On the way into church in the morning I was listening to the local contemporary Christian station (another one of my dirty little secrets) and the song You Raise Me Up by Sela came on and I asked myself what I was afraid of. I can stand in my truth without worry. And I did. What can anyone do to me really? Now I feel lighter...as if a burden has been lifted.
Labels: Church Relations