However, I wanted some place to express my beliefs about the ultimate. After looking at various religious groups, I settled on Unitarian-Universalism as the place I wanted to be. What I especially liked was the encouragement to develop and maintain a religious belief without establishing a creed to rigidly go by. So in 1974, I joined the UU Fellowship in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, near where I was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base.
I have moved since then, and now attend the First Unitarian Church of Richmond which is in the Thomas Jefferson District. From 1986-1999 I attended before the Jenkins Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Petersburg, then Chesterfield County, Virginia, . I served as President of this congregation during a weak year, 1988-1989, when it almost broke up. But during that year, we developed new energy, found a new place to meet (in Petersburg), and named our fellowship after an African-American Professor at Virginia State, Joseph Jenkins. I have also served as Treasurer, Secretary, Newsletter Editor, and Webmaster for that congregation. I also provided music for the services.
I now go to the First Unitarian in Richmond. I have given several adult education courses at this church, including a Toastmasters Speechcraft. I have gone to several Unitarian-Universalist functions, including the General Assembly in 1998 in Rochester, NY (the 2003 General Assembly was held in Boston, Massachusetts) and several Thomas Jefferson District functions. I now go every year to the Southeast Unitarian Universalist Summer Institute (SUUSI), and now give four workshops there, on constellation stories, UUism online, mathematics, and weaving fancy paper polyhedra. In 1997-8 and 1998-9 I went during the year-end holidays to the Southeast Winter Institute in Miami (SWIM); click on this hyperlink to get a picture diary of my experiences in 1998-9.
My present beliefs can be described as a mix of agnosticism, humanism, nature religion and Eastern religion, as well as some of my own beliefs, and I find that I can express them all readily in the Unitarian-Universalist faith.
2003 December 26