Parish Universalist Church
790 Washington Street, P. O. Box 284, Stoughton, Massachusetts 02072
Children's Chapel: 10:30 AM
Church School: 10:45 AM
Coming of Age Sunday: Belief Statements
Rev. Jeffrey Symynkywicz, May 25, 2008
These are the belief statements delivered by the 2007-2008 Coming of Age Class.
I don't remember my first time coming to the First Parish of Stoughton Unitarian Universalist Church. At the time I was round three years old and the church was a place where I could always get lots of attention from people that genuinely cared about me. Growing up in the church I have gotten a lot of knowledge about religions that I wasn't a part of. I grew up learning about Vishnu in Hinduism, Buddha in Buddhism, and Jesus in Catholicism. But at the same time the adults that taught us always were trying to find ways to catch our interest and make it fun. Am example of this was when we took a break at the end of the year and we all went through the Hogwarts School for Young Unitarian Universalists. Personally, I loved the Harry Potter school because we all got the same materials and worked on the same stuff that Harry Potter worked on in his adventures, such as mixing potions and playing Quidditch. I know my friends never got to play quidditch in CCD or Temple. As a kid I can only remember fond memories from church school and great snacks at coffee hour.
Bur also as a kid I was much more innocent. I never really got the full idea of death until my Cousin Berna died. It wasn't that I particularly knew her better than any of my other relatives, it was that every year she would come by and bring me and my siblings gifts from england. We would all eat together spend some quality time and then she would leave in a day or two. But when my patents were explaining to us about our cousin Berna, who was a three time breast cancer survivor, I started to realize that she would be gone, left only in our memories. What really finalized this experience were the years after her death, when she doesn't come to our house anymore.
As I've grown up in the church I've realized that religions in general seem to deal with how you should live your life and what happens when you die. I believe that you should live your life to the fullest and work as hard as you can. I believe that you should always be trying to reach your full potential in everything but you should also try to make your peers feel good. From personal experience I have learned that life is much easier when you're nice to everyone than when you make someone feel bad or embarrassed.
I believe that the golden rule "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" is a very important rule and that it should be taught at a very early age to all children. Being a UU has also given me a very wide view of different people and I have been taught to respect and enjoy differences.
Wherever I go in the future I will feel lucky if I am able to find a supportive learning community like this church.
I feel that everyone is entitled to their own thoughts and should’t be told what to believe. That’s why I love being a Unitarian Universalist because I can believe whatever I want without feeling guilty or like I’m about to be struck down. I sometimes talk to my friends about their religions and ask them what they believe and most of them have no clue what they think about God and afterlife because they are just fed ideas about how to live their life and how to think. It seems like they are just put into these religions and they are stuck with it whether they like it or not. That is not a religion I want to be a part of.
It is great to have a church open-minded enough to learn about different religions because it teaches me to be an open-minded, tolerant, accepting person. When I was younger, I thought that all religions were the same. As I grew up, I realized that it could never be this simple. I became more religious and started to learn about different religions all over the world. It is so interesting to hear everyone’s perspective.
My idea about God is that he is a higher source and he is made up of many spirits. In the hymn “Bring Many Names”, God is a strong mother god, warm father god, old aching god, young growing god, and a great living god. I believe that this must be true because all of these spirits are the definition of life in my opinion. These spirits lead us through life and teach us important life lessons.
My opinion of the afterlife is that it is a place where all souls are equal and they are united as one powerful being. It is a clean slate for everyone and all of their wrong-doings are forgotten. The afterlife is a tranquil paradise where all of the mysteries of life are learned. It is a place to ask questions and learn everything you have ever wanted to know.
I think that every life is important to someone else’s life and all of our lives tie together. No life is a waste and everyone is noteworthy in their own way. We are all somewhat like a miniscule drop of water in a colossal ocean. If one of those drops of water is contaminated, it infects every drop around it until every drop in the sea is polluted. This shows how much a person can change the world if they really put their mind to it. Someone could completely change someone else’s life with the slightest of ease. They could change it negatively or positively.
Being Unitarian Universalist has definitely had a positive impact on
my life. I could never imagine myself as any other religion.