Upcoming Service

The Bhagavad Gita: A Peace Within a Time of War.

Fred Stella

This Sunday Fred Stella will be speaking on “The Bhagavad Gita: A Peace Within a Time of War”. The Gita is arguably the most beloved of all the many scriptures in the Hindu canon. It is on a battlefield with the war poised to start that Lord Krishna shares the most intimate knowledge of life and … Continued

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Our Stories

I was raised Catholic. My father was nonreligious. I learned Catholic prayers, doctrines, and traditions from my mother, her parents, and the nuns who taught me the Baltimore Catechism.

In my grade school, high school and college years I had many questions about Catholic doctrine, but what drove me from the Church was the finally unbearable crapshoot experience of being Heaven or Hell bound, depending on whether I had more recently sinned or confessed my sins.

Through my 20s, 30s, and 40s, I did not practice any religion. Writers on religion or philosophy influencing me ranged from Edgar Cayce to Karl Marx to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi to Wilhelm Reich, to mention a few of many.

Regarding Catholicism, the doctrine of papal infallibility seemed to me logically inconsistent with the doctrine of free will; most doctrines seemed to me speculative, and some doctrines remained part of my personal, life-guiding philosophy, such as Church teachings on moral conscience, just war, and social justice.

I married in 1995 at age 52. Within a few years my wife, who had had a career as a United Church of Christ minister, was a Unitarian Universalist minister. From 2002 to 2010, I was an active member in two UU churches in which she was the minister before she retired from that career. In 2011 we moved to Kalamazoo and soon after we joined the Unitarian Universalist Community Church in Portage.

Membership in UU churches has been satisfying for me because as a UU I:
* am free to speculate about speculative matters, unpressured to believe conclusively in this or that philosophical supposition;
* am encouraged to choose and to live by my ideals with integrity;
* am in a community of fellow seekers;
* am part of a tradition of making values real through activities to advance social justice.