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First Things August 2013

August 2, 2013

The lives of churches are measured in centuries, not days or years.

First Church was founded 136 years ago.  The Unitarian Universalist Association in the United States was founded nearly 200 years ago.  And the earliest Unitarian and Universalist believers were part of the early Christian church 2,000 years ago.  Although what we call church might change radically in the future, the faith principles that we hold dear will never disappear.

Sometimes when I feel anxious about the church, or I feel stressed about some important work that I need to get done “this week” or “right now,” I remember the lifespan of churches, and it gives me comfort. I take a deep breath, I smile at my anxiety, and I go back to work, letting go a bit of the  urgency.

Churches don’t have deadlines the way we do at our job, or when we’re rushing around at home.  The church was here long before we arrived, and it will be around long after we’re gone.  The church doesn’t depend on any one of us, individually.  There are always others around who can do the things I cannot do.

One of the goals of spirituality is to connect with something larger than ourselves.  The church itself is one of those things.  It’s comforting to know that we can be part of that larger thing, and longer timeline.  The larger space of church gives us the chance to relax, to slow down, to lift off from the small worries of the day-to-day and to soar above.

And that’s a good lesson for summer:  relax, slow down, lift off.

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