Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Alive and kicking

We realise how comfortable we are with our place within this community and know that everything is as it should be.  And so it was for me on Sunday when taking part in a spirited debate about how to tackle the issue of making our worship space more accessible and even if it would be possible.  We may have to think the unthinkable and move elsewhere. But we have been here many times before - in spirited debate.  People get tetchy and passionate and exasperated and ... engaged.  Yes people are engaged together - knowing that our purpose is to improve the experience of everyone who attends or who would like to attend the Meeting House.

I have a sneaky feeling that we may still be a bit too rough in our debates - let us hope that we can learn to be a bit gentler.  The more that we do this, the more comfortable we become with each others' passions. The more that we understand each other, the more that we understand the process.  We know that there is a natural ebb and flow, squalls and storms, rainbows and sunbursts.  It is a kind of faith - faith that if we commit whole-heartedly to this open and inclusive approach we will come to a decision which is embraced by everyone and which works.

Of course it isn't easy - but often the best things aren't.  Any victory must by ours rather than yours or mine.  It isn't quick - but it is thorough. Michael posted this as part of a longer posting on Facebook ...

It takes patience and goodwill and courage for a group of people truly to reach a shared agreement on a joint decision . . . the very fact of everybody staying in the room yesterday (just!!) gave me reason to believe that these issues will be tackled . . . Unitarianly!!!!

I am reminded about national conversations about growth.  To my mind we are growing as a community.  We are growing in depth and breadth.  We are, if we let ourselves, developing as individuals and together as a community.  As I have written in an article for the January 2012 NUF Newsletter our community is good at talking - let us keep doing this. And let us keep challenging ourselves and each other as gently as we can to express our feelings as well as our thoughts and to consider changing our opinion. Doing things unitarianly means that we can change our minds, indeed it is to be expected. 

I was moved by Sunday's exchanges and felt sure that, whatever else we are, we are definitely alive and kicking.