So I’ve started attending a Unitarian Universalist Church (info about the U.U. here, here, and here) in my area. They have a Pagan group but not a CUUPs Chapter. There’s another U.U. Church in the area that has an active CUUPs chapter, but I know folks at the first Church through local Pagan events already. I’ve needed some real-world spiritual fellowship for a while now, and I hope that the U.U. will help me find it… so far I’ve been enjoying the experience.
I’ve tried finding that fellowship in my local Pagan community, in part through a local Pagan church / community organization; but while there are a number of good folks involved in that organization I really just haven’t found a good fit for myself in that group. So I am still seeking fellowship.
I’ve tried attending a local meet-up or two but haven’t had much luck. Some of the problem has been that my school and work schedules haven’t left me much time for anything else, now with the hard times hitting the theme-park industry I am being scheduled one or two days a week, if at all; and I have to very carefully pick and choose what I want to attend. Some of this has also been due to the fact that all of the meet-ups in my area are of the ‘let’s-attend-a-lecture’ style of meet-up or social, which I cordially dislike.
The title for this essay comes from a sentence on the website of my chosen “local” U.U. church’s fellowship page. I’ve been thinking about it a lot in the last week or so. I have attended a few of the U.U. Sunday services and was made to feel welcome by everyone I encountered and it was obvious that there was a lot of thought and effort put into the newcomers experience of the service for those attending and for welcoming new folks.
I haven’t always encountered the same level of welcome, and ease of interaction, in Pagan venues. This has me thinking about how we in the Pagan movement seek to build community. It sometimes seems that building community or group relationships is one of the biggest challenges we in the Pagan movement have in creating Pagan community.
This sentence has me thinking about Paganism and the communities I have been in and encountered and of the building of relationships.
More on this theme soon…
6 thoughts on ““Being part of a community involves building relationship.””
I hope your experience with the UU church continues to be a positive one. My personal experiences with UU churches is that there are some great people there, and it’s well worth sitting down over a cup of coffee or tea with many of them.
I look forward to hearing more of your thoughts on this line. It’ll be interesting to see what some of your criticisms of current Pagan venues would be. I also look forward to tossing around some alternatives/solutions for consideration.
I’m not sure what it is within the pagan community. Perhaps so many of us have been burned that we enter into our relationships with each other very cautiously. Certainly, we don’t have a “church building” in which to gather and provide constantcy. So finding stable relationships and building stable relationships can be especially challenging.
I have had good luck with our local UU church. Then I went back to school to be a therapist and many of the people who come to our clinic are members at the UU. I don’t like those kinds of dual relationships and had to take a step back from the church. Which now leaves back to a need for more community! LOL The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Good luck with the schooling! If the U.U. nurtures and nourishes your spiritual growth then go for it!!! Do you know about the Church of the Larger Fellowship? They are an online congregation for U.U.s in remote locations?
Funny I’m actually in a similar boat with my U.U. church- I go to the one closest to me in St. Paul, but there’s another in Minneapolis that has a C.U.U.Ps chapter. I find the Unitarians have community resources available that I can’t find among Pagans, but on the other hand I have less in common with them spiritually.
I’ve been trying to figure out where I fit into things since I graduated from college, where I was very involved in the University Pagan Society. I haven’t figured out yet from your blog- if you don’t mind sharing- what local area do you live in, Pax?
I am in the Central Florida area off of I-4 around half-way between Orlando and Lakeland Florida!
I am surprised that you are having trouble finding community in Paganistan?! Is it just a matter of not fitting in the local groups or are you still seeking spiritually and try to find yourself?
Peace and Curiosity,
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