Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How Long Does it Take?

I went to All Souls Unitarian Church this Sunday. It was different and quite refreshing. I often refer to myself as a failed Unitarian and then others remind me there is no such thing. The church was about a third black during the second service and believe me, that makes the music rock the whole building. Unitarians can now chose between the more traditional service and the second service. This gives more people more choices.
The election stimulated many like minded people giving thanks to the idea that maybe "all men are created equal" it seemed to really be happening. It was delightful to see my church more integrated. It seems that the soul that Carlton Pearson crowd has added to All Souls fits me and several others just right.

When I was in about the 6th grade our open minded Zion church invited the black choir to our church to sing. I still remember it and the dynamics it added to the surface. We considered that a very liberal move and it was in its own time frame. It was only once and it was "special."

Now I am 57 and finally the black choir is actually a part of my church. Our Unitarian church never had so many black members. It was good to see the cultures and religions finally meshing. Now it works. The extra words spoken out loud as they agreed with the minister was different for our services and I will get used to it. The warmth is beautiful.

Then there was Carlton. I only heard him speak once several months ago and all of a sudden I understood religious charisma. I also really like our minister, Marlin. He is a great thinker and I like to listen to his sermons and insights. He seems very thoughtful and respects other ideas without pointing fingers accusing others as they find their own spiritual paths.
I have never appreciated responsive reading unless I think of it as poetry read out loud and I am embarrassed to say, hymns sung with so little enthusiasm don't thrill me either. Methodists have been accused of singing in that sing-song way without much feeling but I think our church did it too. The hymnals in our church have been updated but still many songs are unfamiliar and difficult for untrained voices to sing. Our choir has always been quite sophisticated with several operatic voices. They know how to sing professionally and I appreciate them.

So, after 50 years I finally feel a bit more of the racial equality in our religion and politics. I feel like maybe anyone who really does try, can succeed. Perhaps we don't have to be born to rich white families to succeed. The door has opened further now. I am not saying anyone can be a leader but I do think perhaps with education and determination we have a better chance than I thought.
We should also have a woman President before too much longer. It was great to see so many people from so many walks of life voting, knowing how important it is now and that it can make a difference.

Now my faith has been restored to think we can make a difference. We will just have to watch and see what happens in the next 4 years. I hope we become a stronger nation by example. It won't be easy but with time and great patience things may improve. Things like health insurance, educational opportunities and the economy.

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