Presented at the Unitarian General Assembly meetings, April, 2012:
Inspiration, drawing in of breath, coming alive, a sense of place, a worship full space, a welcome space, to grow, to breathe.
My first ‘breaths’ were at Ipswich during the ministry of Rev Nick Teape, he challenged me when I said that Unitarianism was too intellectual for me saying that my thinking and the path I travel is as important as that of any other person’. So, I started on my way, and am still travelling, not always in a straight line and even in circles! Sometimes alone, sometimes with company, It is within Unitarianism where I have found the freedom of thought to explore, confidence to challenge and the acceptance of differences.
It is important never to forget why you started on your individual journey nor to let go of your first experiences of Unitarianism, that which ‘brought you in and is still keeping you here’ Is it something you want others to experience or is it so personal you want to keep it to your self?
Do we want new people finding out about us or don’t we? Do we want heirs? Do I want others to have the opportunity & space in which to breathe, think and grow whilst travelling their own paths and if so, and you think so too, what am I, and every one who puts a bum on a pew, sits in a chair or places a foot in the pulpit, doing about it?
New members, especially younger ones, bring new ideas and technology and hopefully more new members; we may not like all of it, sometimes because it’s new and ‘we don’t do it like that’, but we have to listen, we have to trust that those who have come in alongside us will take up the reins when we are dead, will keep this movement breathing. Communication between generations is necessary in order to regenerate and, after all, we were all new members once and the generation before us must have had some faith & trust in our abilities to maintain this witness.