When I was DRE at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Denton, TX, I had several wonderful opportunities to attend retreats at Mo Ranch (where I also got to talk to Reverend Sinkford who changed the way I think about religion, but that’s another post). Mo Ranch is a Presbyterian retreat in the hill country of Texas. I’m a Floridian, so they looked like mountains to me. We went in January. It was beautiful. Lots of time for personal reflection, meditation, networking, and standing in line for breakfast with Presbyterians. “Do you know what the problem is with Unitatian Universalism is?” asked a Presb minister one morning. I eyed him. He looked friendly enough, but it was pre-coffee. I braced myself. I am only a DRE after all, and I am a guest here. I fortify myself with an extra helping of scrambled eggs. “Um….”maybe another waffle, too.”What?” I asked, ready to defend my religion to the death or at least to the end of the buffet line. “You only take smart people.” Bacon, sausage, pasteries. Yes, more pasteries. “Oh..well, it’s not really a requirement really,”I stammer lamely. Where is the butter? But truth be told…. ok, I got nothing. It’s true. The congregations I’ve attended are particularly well-educated. Is that who we are? The smart church? We ask people to think for themselves. That doesn’t mean they need a PhD. to do it. What image are we projecting that personal journies are entitlements only to the big-brained? Can’t anyone be a seeker? Arguments about IQ tests aside, do we offer nothing to the left slope of the bell curve? Or is that who we are? Intellectuals with science and reason on our side. Let the sheep follow the preachers, for perhaps they need someone to guide them. Are we suffering from the sin of pride (excuse my language) that we are the church of the intelligencia? Is that who we are? If we believe in the inherent and dignity of all people, can we not find a way to open ourselves to yet another population who is underserved: the average?
July 26, 2010