Monday, August 25, 2008
Unitarians. The Best Kept Secret?
I had the pleasure of attending a Unitarian church service in my neighborhood yesterday and it was lovely. On October 5, I will be leading a writing workshop on race and identity at the All Souls Unitarian Church in Washington DC. And my husband and I were actually married in a Unitarian church in Milwaukee ( to the great shame and horror of some of my husband's Catholic friends, but that's another story). And yet, I don't know very much about the Unitarian Faith/Religion.
What I do know is that Unitarian Churches are open to people of all religions, races and sexual orientations; they are very active in causes of social justice and peace the world over; and they've been around for a very long time. So I'm just wondering why they don't get more attention for having diverse congregations and likewise why more Black folks don't get with the Unitarian cause.
I spoke with a very wise African-American Unitarian on Sunday and he too seemed baffled by the low numbers of Black (and by extension other people of color) people attracted to the Unitarian church, especially considering how much work they have done and continue to do on behalf of civil rights. It was this man, whom I'll dub "The Professor" (b/c he really was a professor of philosophy), who said, "Yeah I call the Unitarians the best kept secret because I can't figure out why more Black people aren't attracted to this church."
The two of us stood in the garden behind the church and laughed about it, came up with some ideas but I'm still confused. So many people, especially us 20-40-something colored folks, who may or may not be connected to someone of a different color, seem to be searching for a religious home that respects and honors our cultural heritage yet isn't so foreign that we feel like we have to study up before we can commune with the divine. Is the Unitarian church the way to go?
Dear Meltingpot readers, anyone out there a Unitarian and want to explain why Unitarians churches aren't the rainbow congregations they should be by now?
I am intrigued.