Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Searching for Community: "Cheers"

A few years back, I identified myself in a letter to the editor of a state Baptist journal as:
"a liberal ex-Baptist contrarian heretic."

Actually, I despise labels.
As the great Syracuse University educator Sol Gordon said:
"To label is to disable."

But I probably fall somewhere on the broad spectrum of "Christian" ('fall' being the operative word.)

That being said, I realize that my spirituality is not simply a solitary matter.
No one is responsible for my spirituality but me; but I need the support of others on this journey.
I have that support in Janice, my life's partner...and she in me.
But we both need more.

Over my lifetime, I've been a member of 8 different Baptist  churches,  two Congregational churches, and  one Unitarian Universalist fellowship. Of those, I've served on the staff of 6.
But the spiritual community I seek I have only found sporadically in small groups...and the old denominational labels were irrelevant. What was relevant was mutual acceptance and support.

So, for better or worse, the best picture of the community that I seek can best be described by the theme song for ...

wait for it...

the classic tv sit-com about a bar in Boston titled "Cheers:"

Making your way in the world today
takes everything you've got.

Taking a break from all your worries
sure would help a lot.

Wouldn't you like to get away?

Sometimes you want to go

Where everybody knows your name.
And they're always glad you came.

You wanna be where you can see
our troubles are all the same.

You wanna be where everybody knows your name.

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