Sunday, October 14, 2012

A double dose of Sunday

Today I went to church twice.  My first visit was at All Souls Unitarian Church on Peoria Ave. for the 8:30 service.  They now have three services on Sunday: a Humanist, a Contemporary, and a Traditional.  The music was fantastic.  Rick Fortner played jazz piano, accompanied by a saxophonist.  Marvin’s topic this morning dealt with his recent visit to Romania, specifically Transylvania.  He was part of a group of people taking a tour of the area.  As they went by a school they noticed a sign that said something to the effect that the Unitarian church operated the school.  They decided to step inside for a visit, which resulted in the group being invited to return the next day and address the school children.
They were asked about where they would be going next.  Upon telling the group, they were warned about what to expect.  They were told the people in that country could not be trusted, to be careful and cautious.  However, once they got there, the people seemed okay.  However, before they moved on, they were once again warned about the people in the next country.  This seemed to happen repeatedly.  Each group of people was warning about the people in the next country.  But once the tour reached the next country, they found the people there just as trustworthy as people in the last country.
It seems that people are naturally suspicious of differences – all kinds of differences -- differences in race, ethnicity, and religion.  Why do we have the tendency to think the worse about people who are different from us?  Marvin then said that few people ever learn how parochial their beliefs are.  We grow up just believing the religion of our parents is the one, correct, true religion. 
Ask yourself this question: How much does my religion differ from the religion of my parents?  If it differs not very much or not at all, were you just lucky to be born into a family with correct beliefs?  Almost everyone thinks so, be they Islamic, Hindu, Jehovah Witness, Adventist, Primitive Baptist, Northern Baptist, Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Catholic, Methodist, Presbyterian,  Lutheran, Christian Science, etc .  There are literally thousands of denominations, and each believer thinks that he or she has the truth when it comes to religion. 
Few people ever realize that they were indoctrinated with the beliefs they hold to be true from the cradle onward..
Moving along, after the service at All Souls ended, I headed north on Peoria and stopped in at Gateway Market and bought potato salad for Second Helping, an after- the- service meal at Restoration.  Today our minister spoke.  I played the piano, since the regular pianist had to be elsewhere today.  There were about 15 people there today.  During the RE period, Mary read a paragraph which resonated with me.  I asked if I could make a copy of what she just read.  She handed it to me and five other people asked if I could make them a copy also.  Here is the statement:
It is very easy to pretend to understand what one does not understand.  Often the degree to which we oppose a thing marks the degree to which we do not understand it.  Sometimes we use our opposition to an idea to cover our own ignorance.  We express our dislike for things, sometimes for people, when we do not understand the things we pretend to dislike; when we do not know the people for whom we have the antagonism.
Following the service we had our Second Helping in the Congregation Life room.

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