In my late teens, I became uncomfortable with the religion that I had grown up in. Over the next ten years I looked for a new faith that I believed in and could not find one. I new what I did not believe more than what I did believe. I did not believe that the entire universe was created in six 24-hour days. I did not believe that Eve was created from Adams rib and that women must therefore be subjugated to men. I did not believe that all the troubles of this world are the result of Eve listening to the serpent and eating the apples of the tree of life. I did not believe that every word of the bible is the literal truth and the word of god. I did not believe that Jesus was born of the virgin Mary and I did not believe that Jesus rose again from the dead. That pretty much took care of the Judeo-Christian religions. I also found no comfort in the Book of Mormon or in the Qur’an or in the 5 Vedas. So what did I believe?

I lived through the civil rights movement of the 60s and I did and do believe that, as Dr. King said, people should be judged by the content of their character and not the color of their skin.

I lived through the women’s movement of the 70s and I did and do believe that while there are physical differences between men and women, both deserve equal rights to education, employment and control of their own bodies and destinies.

From 1950 through today I lived through the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the war in Grenada, Operation Desert Storm, the war in Afghanistan, the war in Iraq and countless other American military actions. I did and do believe that war does not solve problems and that most American wars are fought for the benefit of the military-industrial complex.

I lived through the start of the environmental movement in the 1980s and 90s and continuing to today. I did and do believe that we must care for the earth and its resources and preserve it for our future generations.

I lived through the gay rights movement of the 90’s and 2000’s and still ongoing. I saw DOMA overturned and many states allowing same sex marriage. I did and do believe that sexual orientation is not a choice and marriage is not the same as holy matrimony. If a particular church wants to discriminate against LGBTs, they do not have the right to impose their opinions on society.

I missed voting for John F Kennedy because I was only 19 and the voting age then was 21, but I have voted in every election I was eligible for since then. I did and do believe in democracy and in the privilege and responsibility of citizens of a democracy to vote.

I read books, newspapers, magazines of all kinds. I did and do believe in a free press and in the search for truth. These are the things my life experiences taught me.

When I found this church in 2008 what I found here was a confirmation of the beliefs I had spent nearly a half century building neatly summed up in seven principles.

The inherent worth and dignity of every person

Justice, equity, and compassion in human relations

Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations

A free and responsible search for truth and meaning

The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large

The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all

Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part

On Sunday, November 17th we welcomed and celebrated many of our newest members. We have more than twenty new members thanks to Chris Baker and her membership team. They have done a great job this past year greeting and talking to our visitors and getting them interested in joining our congregation. This is a great comfort to me that our UU family will continue to grow and thrive.

We have entered the busy part of our church year with a lot of events and activities coming up soon, the children’s winter play, the choir’s musical service, the generous giving campaign, the annual meeting with election and budget approval, the annual auction. With so many things going on, we all need to pitch in and help. You will probably be asked to contribute time and talents by different people for these events. If so, please help all you can.