Church is Not Actually All About Community
Now I'm no enemy of the small-group, covenant-group, call it what you will movement among UUs at the moment. Hell, I facilitate such a group! (Though not much longer, too busy, will be glad to continue belonging to a group though).
But, folks, but ... when I hear ministers increasingly say things like "Ah, community is what church is all about" I feel like shouting (rather than muttering, which is what I actually do), "The Hell it is! Andrew Wizowaty didn't risk life and limb in Poland to create a cozy little family church, but to create churches that focussed on what was actually true in their religion as opposed to the falsehoods other churches, even powerful ones, taught.
Do you really think William Ellery Channing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Theodore Parker were all about creating cozy little communities? Well, I don't. And I worry that we are taking refuge in creating our cozy little sweet groups because we don't know how to raise meaningful religious voices about truth and falsehood in the world anymore.
We should listen up to the words of Justin Lee, reported in today's New York Times. Justin is an evangelical Christian, believing in the Virgin Birth, Heaven and Hell, and salvation only through Christ. He also believes he was born gay and is unable to change.
What he said that we UUs may particularly need to hear is: "Church is not about membership in groups. It is about what I believe."
And, for all those UU folk who take offense when some little something or otherthing isn't to their immediate delight and leave in a huff, he goes on: "Just because some people who believe the same things I do aren't very loving doesn't mean I stop believing what I do."