Why Did The Pagan Go To Church? » Nature’s Path

curiouschicken-IanSouthwellToday over on the Patheos CUUPS blog, Nature’s Path, I’m pleased (and, let’s be honest, a little bit nervous) to be able to share the first in a series of posts I’ll be writing on my experiences as a Pagan exploring Unitarian Universalism for the first time. In this introductory essay, I tell the curious, rambling story of how my spiritual wanderings first brought me to the doors of my local UU church:

If anything, my urge to find a church was selfish: as the classic not-so-very-evil stepmom, without kids of my own, I began to worry that one day I’d end up a lonely old widow shambling around in her slippers with only her cats for company. Sometimes Pagans can be a little bit scary about old women. They can idolize the hag on the outskirts of the village: call her a “witch,” give her some symbolic power as the outcast and edge-walker, and then get on with ignoring her. It might be a good idea to start making some nice Christian friends now, I thought, so there’ll be some folks to miss me when I die, or at least notice my absence before the cats got to gnawing on my bones.

The deeper truth, though, is that I often feel as if I have more in common with progressive Christians — those who are “unchurched” or “de-churched” or “SBNR” or merely ambivalent about church and prefer to call their communities “societies” or “fellowships.” And yet I never feel more profoundly Pagan than when I’m surrounded by people who aren’t.

If I was going to join any kind of church, naturally it would have to accept me as an out-and-proud, enthusiastically polytheistic, animistic, tree-hugging, dirt-worshipping Druid, and not ask me to water down my practice or box in my theology. But it would also have to offer something more than mere acceptance.

What did UU have to offer? I wasn’t sure… so I decided to find out.

You can read the full article here. And look for Part 2 coming next month…

Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

3 Comments

  1. K
    Nov 14, 2015

    I have been several times to my local UU church and am very pleased with it as an option. I want something open with community for a future hypothetical family ;) and feel this is the best option as a pagan. I was interested that in their latest sermon they actually said “the world might be becoming more pagan, and that’s a good thing.”

  2. Hestia
    Nov 17, 2015

    Literally just started attending a UU myself for some of the same reasons but the biggie I missed regular fellowship. 8 Sabbats/Esbats and WitchCamp once a year doesn’t fill many of the gaps I feel. Am enjoying it immensely so far!

    • Alison Leigh Lilly
      Nov 18, 2015

      I was feeling the same way… without even a local group out here in Seattle that practices in my particular Druidic tradition. Now I feel like most of my free time is taken up with church-related activities! Guess it’s a case of careful what you wish for. ;) But it’s been a wonderful experience.

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