In Medias Res

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Thanks to the gentle nudge of a new friend and mentor, I am finally getting around to starting a blog. Where to begin? In the middle of things of course. This blog will be largely dedicated to documenting the progress of a liberal religious community in early formation that I’m a part of. We started on this journey in June 2012 learning quite a bit during our first year. I may get around to telling you our history and from whence we have come one of these days.

For now I will start right here, 15 months into it. We recently returned from a fantastic retreat weekend in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the site of the first Life on Fire un-conference. It was a fabulous weekend to network with other folks aspiring to live more authentically by enacting a mission-driven culture in liberal faith communities.

I made my way to Oak Ridge with thirteen fellow sojourners from our group, provisionally known as the Free Range Unitarian Universalists of Indianapolis (FRUU). What possessed me to drive 6+ hours through the Smoky Mountains on a three-day weekend, you ask?

Over the course of the last two years, I had reached a turning point spiritually. Thanks to a gifted preacher and spiritual guide, I found a way to integrate the religion of my upbringing with my current faith journey. I also realized that the way church is done in some Unitarian Universalist communities could be so much more—more joyful, more engaged, more transformational, more vital, more relevant.

Plato's Allegory of the Cave (click to watch the video)

Plato’s Allegory of the Cave (click to watch the video)

My experience was akin to what the prisoner likely felt upon rising up out of the cave into the sunlight for the first time in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave. I knew I could no longer be satisfied with the flickering shadows on the wall. I could not go back to doing church the old way. It was painful to even contemplate.

So we set out to build a new way to be in religious community with one another. One of our members, a former Disciples of Christ minister, preached a good sermon for us one Sunday framing our journey in the context of the Jews’ exodus from Egypt, “Welcome to the Wilderness.” The metaphor has stuck this entire year and proved quite apt at times. We’ve had to draw on faith to keep us going, unsure of what our next move would be or if it would bear fruit. Along the way we have learned to set aside small differences and build trust in one another to sustain us through the tough times.

5 comments

  1. Jim H   •  

    Lori, I look forward to following your blog!

  2. Lori   •     Author

    Awww, thanks, Jim! I appreciate your support.

  3. Pingback: Charisma, haunting churches, “arrest activism,” life-changing experiences, and more « uuworld.org : The Interdependent Web

  4. RonAld Lee Vaught   •  

    The cave is ofcourse where one goes within to see whats real on the outside realiztion unchains the mind and then the soul when true self is discovered Sat Nam in the Sikh and or Kundalini yoga Darma. The true self reconizes and honors the equality of all life we call humans. True power lies in the Aquairian ideal of community and cooperation with everything that exists in life balances.

  5. RonAld Lee Vaught   •  

    Activism is active in many ways we avoid arrest my recommendation we have enough bills already and time off from work and the family in a place of confinmentsint the best place to help. In activism make a point if confronted dont back down but leave when threatened or you percieve a subtle threat to your liberty. You can always sue after and even make a citizens arrest formally.Ive amd epoint many times and police were called i was withion my rights yet money and policy and ego brought them. So i stated my rights and made a point then i left to come back another day no poorer and with no court date or record. This is not to say there isnt a time to allow oneself to be arrested in protecting rights when violated, but this is not the rule. There have been cases that needed to go to court to bring attention to violations in small towns who were obeying the right to vote and desegragation.

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