Monday, September 11, 2006

I actually went to church

Yesterday I visited a Hindu temple in Stafford expecting a big ceremony that I wanted to witness. Didn't exactly work out, apparently due to a wet floor. Yes, I know, an ancient ritual postponed due to liabilitly concerns is, well, ridiculously American.

So then I didn't know where to go. It was Sunday. I didn't want to go to work or home. So I thought: church!

Wow, well since I may have like 2 readers of this blog (including myself), I can assume that I really don't need to explain my religious history here. But to summarize: I really don't go to church, have been an agnostic/athiest for years until quite recently. I was raised as a Unitarian Universalist, which is just a little hard to explain, so I'll save that for a later (possibly nonexistent) date.

Anywho, I made it the First UU Church of Houston in time for the second service. The sermon was "How Long Do We Grieve?" Honestly, if I had known it would be about September 11th, I probably would not have gone. But I am glad I stayed. Gail Lindsay Marriner, the minister, reviewed reactions to the tragedy as through the paradigm of the Kubler-Ross grieving process. It was a moving sermon and gave the listener time to think about and review the content and meaning of individual grief response as well as our nation's reponse. (I won't get into the controversy about Kubler-Ross and her "research" here although I am pretty tempted.) She led us through some important questions such as "What does it mean that our nation responded in anger, with war and blind retribution? How long will it take us to heal as individuals and as a nation? What is our responsibility for our nation's reponse?"

I won't summarize the whole sermon here, but I will give you the closing words, were written by the (now) retired minister Bob Scahibly 5 years ago in response to the tragedy:

"To those of you who died, we are so sorry,
For we wish no one ever to die with terror in their eyes.
We say to you that though you do not know the end of your story,
We who live resolve to remember you,
And to hold you in our hearts like little lighted candles.
And in your silence you speak to us, and say,
'Each day is precious
So, Love mightily!'
And we answer you as we do now, saying out loud and repeating:
'Al right! We will!
We will love mightily!'
Amen. Shalom. May it be so."


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