This January I did a brief reflection at South Valley Unitarian Universalist about why I love the community. I have had several requests for copies, so I am putting it up here on gnosticity for posterity. Its copyrighted with the creative commons CC-BY-SA license, so if its useful, grab it and use it any way you want, just share what you use in kind.
You can download a PDF of what follows.
January 13, 2012 Reflection
My name is John Cooper, I am a member here, and honored to serve on the board of trustees. It is my privilege this morning to reflect on why I am here at South Valley.
I was struggling with how to articulate what South Valley means to me, until I heard the song “Born this Way” by Lady Gaga.
“I am beautiful in my own way, cause God makes no mistakes, I’m on the right track baby, I was born this way.” (Born This Way, Lady Gaga)
The song is about being ok with who you are. Accepting that God, or if not God, creation made you as you are. Believing you were not born a mistake.
There is a spirit in this community, a longing to embrace people for who they are, to celebrate and protect their identity, to create a safe place to explore who we were meant to be.
“You are welcome here, no matter whom you love, how you speak, or whatever your abilities” (South Valley Unitarian Universalist Society, Welcoming Words, 2012)
Those words warm something inside me. I love this community, this church. I love that need to create a place where people can be themselves, where we celebrate their natural gifts, where we promote their freedom to find or not find God as they were meant to do.
We are not perfect. Nothing is so at times I have my frustrations here. But what is important to me is that spirit at South Valley that is tirelessly committed to accepting people for who they, and calling them to be more of who they were meant to be.
I love that.
I was born Unitarian Universalist, raised one, and have always been one. Becoming Unitarian Universalist was never in question; for me the question was which beloved community would I support with my membership.
I am proud to have chosen South Valley.