I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth.
(bonus points for anyone who can tell where the above quote comes from)
I am so glad that there is no UU congregation within 30 minutes of this place. That way I’m not expected to go to and be a part of it. This gives me the opportunity to go worship with people who do more than think when they cross the church house door. So I’ve been going to the nice little black Pentecostal church about a block-and-a-half from my apartment for a while now. And of course, I study their services the same way I study UU services.
You might remember that a couple of weeks ago my post was about why UUs don’t sing gospel well. My basic premise is that the reason that UUs don’t do gospel well (aside from UU inability to get over the theology of many of the songs) is that UUs don’t do suffering well. After service today I have a whole new list of things that UUs don’t do. Here’s just a portion of that list:
1. Tambourines. Maybe with the exception of the second service at All Souls-Tulsa, my guess is that if a tambourine is at a UU church, it’s got something to do with children’s RE.
2. Liturgical dance. I know the word liturgy probably scares a number of you, but deal with it. Dance can be a way that people get in touch with the divine.
3. The minister have a sermon ready but decides not to give it and all the assembled do is sing.
What I’ve noticed is that all the things that I’m talking about require that emotions be a part of the worship service. And with all of the UU focus on reason, we’ve thrown the baby out with the bathwater. But even more than that, do UUs preach about emotional issues? And when I’m talking about emotional issues, I’m not talking about mental health issues or social issues that have strong emotions tied to them. I’m talking about real emotional issues like shame, suffering, joy, hope, mercy, forgiveness, loneliness, resentment, fear, anger and so forth. The churches that grow talk about these issues.
I know I’m on a rant these days, but I’m looking towards next year when I have to do my internship. And I have to say, the prospect is not that thrilling. If I have to sit through another group of UUs sing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” and do it badly, I’m gonna scream. Hell, if I hear another group of UUs sing “Spirit of Life” (a song I hate beyond measure) or “Blue Boat Home” (a song I love) half-assedly, I’m gonna scream even louder. I want a UU church that knows what it is, be it hot or cold. This lukewarm mess is driving me bonkers.