Then off to church. We parked my bike and his scooter off to the side where I believe the minister parked hers. The service was by Cindy Worthington Berry, of Boxborough Community Church, formerly of Westford (at the dual affiliated church, UU and Congregational United Church of Christ, thus with both Welcoming and ONA designations). Everyone was very nice. There were between 2 and 3 dozen people, a range of ages that included some children a little older than T. We were seated directly behind 4 older ladies who seemed to know each other and who seemed curious about us but not necessarily curious enough to pursue anything beyond a smile. I didn't push it, because I think it's important not to frighten people. ;-)
There were two hymnals, which was initially confusing, and the flyer was a generic for the whole summer, so it had two hymns printed and the other three were posted on the wall; that took a little deciphering. They follow a lectionary, and the minister picked the Exodus story about the oppression of God's people in Egypt and Moses' birth and adoption by Pharoah's daughter. Eeeek. And from there, we were off into an analogy of what was going on in Ferguson, the many deaths of young African American men, offered in an effort to do some consciousness raising and perhaps induce a little motivating shame ... but without a target for what to do next, which I always find a little frustrating. Liberal white guilt may actually be necessary, but we could maybe give it something worthwhile to do, perhaps? Suggest including the NAACP in your annual charitable giving? St. Louis food banks? Push to improve education of police officers to do better with situations involving the mentally ill and also to better manage racially charged issues? I am not complaining here specifically about the service. Consciousness raising is necessary. And perhaps the world will only get better if white people feel some extended, unrelieved discomfort for their unthinking maltreatment of people of color. I just get all annoyed when the uncomfortable feelings of distant bystanders become the focus ("I am on Pharaoh's staff.) rather than on the grieving families who have lost someone whose whole life was still ahead of them.
Also, between the lectionary and other god-i-ness aspects of the service, I found myself pining for the simple joy I had felt at the UU service in Acton. While T. and I have agreed to try Littleton UU (which historically apparently had an above average religious education program in terms of inclusiveness), it looks like they are in the process of hiring a new RE director. In the meantime, we're going to go back to Stow for their Labor Day weekend service.
Because SACC combined with Boxborough for the summer, we still haven't met (I exchanged email) SACC's minister; we'll definitely have to go back to listen to her and see what we think. I don't think it's entirely fair to make a decision on a church based solely on a single, summertime experience. Especially not one within walking/biking distance. I _so_ want this to work out.