I've only been to one church convention before and that was the 2003 gathering in Minneapolis for the Episcopal Church. It was that event which led to the creation of this blog.
But since the UUA's general assembly
will be meeting 90 miles from where I live I have to attend. I want to hear Jerome Stone's
presentation on religious naturalism. He's one of the few scholars who is interested in the same religious ideas and folks that I'm into.
I should note that I spent a number of years as a UU and went to seminary to become a pastor. Instead I went into philosophy and found my way back into the mainline. One of the events which led to my leaving was a UU theology course at my school.
It was called the way of the spiritual left and it introduced me to a number of religious naturalists from William James to Henry Nelson Wieman
. This provided the basis for me to affirm theistic belief, more than that to affirm the reality and presence of God.
When that started to become central to my religious belief, worship which did not point to that reality ceased to be worship for me. I've been to some UU churches
where I've seen God spoken of, pointed to in worship, but it's not common enough
Such a theistic framework opened doors to other central Christian ideas such as original sin, especially through reading the Niebuhr brothers but also seeing these ideas worked out concretely in the building of a mainline campus ministry. So I ended up in the mainline.
While I am currently a member of a Disciples congregation, there's a lot I carry with me from UUism. I did my master's thesis on Wieman I still dust off my Theodore Parker now and again. And I care and follow what's going on with the UUA. I appreciate their social stands.
In a way the blog name, religious liberal, comes from my UU days as the term usually is circulated in that context than in the mainline. There's a lot of great UU blog sites and I'm hoping to meet up with the folks behind those blogs in St. Louis.