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First Parish Universalist Church
790 Washington Street, P. O. Box 284, Stoughton, Massachusetts 02072 
(781) 344-6800
Worship: 10:30 AM
Children's Chapel:  10:30 AM
Church School: 10:45 AM

Coming of Age Sunday: Belief Statements

Rev. Jeffrey Symynkywicz, May 27, 2007

These are the belief statements delivered by the 2006-2007 Coming of Age Class.

Katherine Daley

"1 once believed that life was a gift. I thought whatever I wanted, I would someday possess. Is that greed, or only youth? Is it hope, or stupidity? As far as I was concerned, the future was a book I could write to suit myself, chapter after chapter of good fortune. All was right with the world, and my place in it was assured, or so I thought then. I had no idea that all stories unfold like white flowers: petal by petal, each in its own time and season, dependant on circumstance an fate. The future is something no one can foretell."

In the book, "Green Angel", by Alice Hoffman, the leading character takes on a rather cynical view of life. Despite this fact, I felt drawn to her ideas of fate and God, because I too have similar beliefs. Life is unfolding itself around us, even when we are too busy being caught up in our own lives to notice. I wouldn't call what I believe in "Fate", but I do believe that each individual has a purpose on Earth, whether God gave them that purpose, or it is merely a goal the person set for themself.

What I love most about life, is it's like one big Nancy Drew novel. ..minus the last chapter. No matter how we try, some questions will never be answered in our lifetime. The best we can do is find a theory that makes sense to us, and never stop looking more ideas. We may never be able to see God, or his plans for us, but that doesn't mean we can't look.
The more you look for something, the easier it is to find. It's like when my mom loses her keys. They've been misplaced so many times, that by now we just look in the top five hiding places. Maybe someday, we will each find a part of our lives that makes us feel closer to God.

I believe that God is so far beyond the human mind, that relating it to such simple, human senses such as touch, sight, and sound, is completely impossible. God cannot justly be described as "a beautiful sunset", or "a calm breeze", or "a child's laugh", because god is everything. God is the heart-beat of the world, and if we stay still long enough, maybe we will feel the beat reach inside our souls.

Rebecca Hyatt

I believe in multiple things from multiple religions, but I mostly follow the traditions ofPaganism. To clear up suspicions of most Pagans and Wiccans, I don't call myself a Pagan to get a rise out of the crowd. I don't scream it on every street corner and wear giant pentacles everywhere. I call myself Pagan because that is where the most part of my beliefs come from and it's what I have most participated in since I was about 8 years old or so. I also believe in things spanning from Buddhism, Hinduism, Modern Christianity , and Paganism. I believe in Nirvana, a place of eternal calm and tranquility .I believe in gods and goddesses, like Brigid, Freya, and Morgan, to name a few. I don't believe that there is one all mighty God. I don't believe that the human mind is capable of understanding or trying to explain it.

This excerpt from 'Catcher in the Rye' is a conversation between Holden Caulfield, the main character, and a friend from school, Arthur Childs. This excerpt in a way explains my views on the subject of God.

' Arthur Childs was a Quaker and all, and he read the Bible all the time. He was a very nice kid, and I liked him, but I could never see eye to eye with him on a lot of stuff in the Bible, especially the Disciples. He kept telling me if I didn't like the Disciples, then I didn't like Jesus and all. He said that because Jesus picked the Disciples, you were supposed to like them. I said I knew He picked them, but that He picked them at random. I said He didn't have time to go around analyzing everybody. I said I wasn't blaming Jesus or anything. It wasn't his fault that He didn't have any time. I remember I asked old Childs ifhe thought Judas, the one that betrayed Jesus and all, went to Hell after he committed suicide. Childs said certainly. That's exactly where I disagreed with him. I said I'd bet a thousand bucks that Jesus never sent old Judas to Hell. I still would, too, if I had a thousand bucks. I think any one the Disciples would've sent him to Hell and all-fast too-but I'll bet anything Jesus didn't do it. Old Childs said the trouble with me was that I didn't go to church or anything. He was right about that, in a way. I don't. In the first place, my parents are different religions, and all the children in the family are atheist. If you want to know the truth, I can't even stand ministers. The ones they've had at every school I've gone to, they all have these 'Holy Joe' voices when they start giving their sermons. I don't see why they can't talk in their natural voice. They sound so phony when they talk'

Don't worry Jeff, we all love you. We don't think your phony. That is just a peak into the head of a 16 year old, slightly psychotic, boy who might actually, to some degree, know what he's talking about. That the one thing I really, above all, do not believe is that Jesus, the all mighty savior, would actually send his people to Hell. It seems like a double negative. If someone were such a savior, why would they send their people to Hell? So I say you could call me a Pagan with very eclectic beliefs if you wish, or you could just call me Becky.

Harrison Stewart-Racicot

There are many things that different people believe in. Some people believe in many gods that have a specialty that they do or that they represent. And others believe in one almightily god that is all powerful. And others have a collection of many beliefs and put it into their own belief and words. I believe that we are all part of a bigger picture. I think that everything is connected and that everything happens for a reason. I believe in heaven and hell. I think that heaven is the place where you go when you die and you decide how you spend eternity there. You could relive the happiest time of your life but you can also just take a break and relax for a little bit and then when you're done just get back to doing
whatever. I also believe in hell. You go there if you have done something terrible and you pay for what you have done. I also believe that hell is somewhat like prison, when you have served your sentence then you are free. I also believe in living in the moment and having fun. What I believe in is good judgment and not doing stupid things, and using common sense. That is my belief statement.

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