Merrill Thomsen Lifelong member
All my life I’ve been on a spiritual search. When I was a little girl, I was quite religious with a strong Methodist background. As I grew older, I began to wonder why I was Blessed just by virtue of my geographic place of birth…. like what kind of religion would condemn any little children to Hell for no good reason? None, as far as I could see. The Questioning had begun.
In college I attended my first UU church in Spokane, WA, and although it was only for several visits, the experience sent me searching for Eastshore UU Church (Bellevue, WA) when I started my teaching career. I loved that Church and the people, my interest diminished when a new minister replaced the charismatic, warm man I had so admired and appreciated. And as my life had many comings and goings, I did not return to a UU church–or any church–until several years ago when my husband died, and I realized that I needed a broader support system.
What I found at UUCY was a welcoming group of people who have become family. I am full of Gratitude that I made the step into this place where I can be myself–totally. A place where I can continue to investigate the meaning of life–the possibility of a Greater Universal Power….spiritual mysteries. A place where I can contribute my skills, my energy, and my resources toward improving our world–close and far away. A place with good people who hold shared values. It was what I was looking for. What I wanted. Come. Join us.
I am one of the few UUS who was raised in the church and has stayed a UU. I tried to convert to another religion when I married a wonderful man who was raised to believe other things about the here and now and the hereafter, etc. It didn’t take. I asked too many questions and didn’t accept enough of the doctrine on faith. It’s not that I reject those beliefs. Quite the contrary, I believe that anything is possible and that all of us has the obligation to ourselves, to explore every possibility. I have come to realize that just because I don’t believe something, that doesn’t mean it isn’t true, and of course vice versa. Greta Crosby once said “No one has a corner on the truth” meaning that we all see the same thing in a different way. I attend UUCY to learn about other ways of thinking about the world. I also come to be with people who share my values…and I come because there are some very good cooks in the congregation, and I like food.
Around 1964 I was listening to a Protestant Sunday school teacher conduct a class discussing various Christian denomination. Somewhere I had heard of Unitarians and asked about them. “Oh,” she assured me, “We won’t talk about them, they’re heathens.” That aroused my curiosity so when soon after I saw a UUA ad in the back of a Saturday Review Magazine, I wrote a letter of inquiry. I was astonished when I received a prompt reply and a church of the Larger Fellowship membership card. I kept that membership for over 20 years during live in five different states even where there were fellowship or churches that I attended or joined. In moving to Washington state I found the most satisfactory congregation with friendly, interesting people. Now that I have retired and moved to the Yakima area I enjoy, in addition to church services, book discussions, scrabble club, the quilter/crafter group, and Drinking Coffee Liberally. I value the life of the mind and Unitarian Universalism gives me answers that I don’t always realize I need to know until I hear them. As I said recently, I did not so much become a UU person as discover I was one.