Wednesday, October 31, 2012

alternatives to church

My wife is interning at a United Church of Christ near the hub and this past Sunday they hosted Allan Law, founder of the 363 Days Food Foundation, a group devoted to helping to feed the homeless.  Law is an interesting guy, a retired teacher who has for years spent his nights driving around giving out sandwiches that would otherwise be tossed out from convenience stores to people he saw on the streets.  Now he spends his days coordinating efforts by groups, usually church affiliated, to make thousands of sandwiches which he then delivers to the folks he serves.

I had the opportunity to spend Sunday listening to a Unitarian minister from Transylvania, a sister group to American Unitarian Universalism, but very different (European Unitarianism remains staunchly a Christian faith).  That would have been more than fascinating, I could have drank her words for hours, I'm sure, and friends of mine who did attend her service praised it highly.  But I'm happier I spent the half hour bagging sandwiches.  I felt part of something larger, part of feeding people I'll probably never see or know, but whose gratitude I feel (as I hope they feel my gratitude for their allowing me to do this for them).  While I was in a church doing this, I was serving something outside the church's provenance, something more like the larger fellowship of which I like to feel a part.  It's a little thing, putting handmade sandwiches into a bag to be frozen for future distribution; but its effects are not so little.  Someone is fed.  It may be akin to the "feeling" of nature or god  when an acorn drops to the ground.

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