gimme that new-time religion

Not working, and not having been able to find a job (that’ll be a blog entry of its own, I’m sure), is frustrating and depressing in its own right, but I certainly haven’t run out of things to occupy my mind and my time.
Elsewhere on my site, I talk about my experiences with organized religion and alternative spirituality, from growing up in a conservative southern Methodist Church; to my flirtation with Episcopaliansim in college, nearly leading to my enrolling in seminary; through my continuing exploration of nature-centered spirituality largely as an agnostic pagan; to my current three-year involvement with the Unitarian Universalist Church, which seems to be leading — or pushing — me to the seminary yet again.
(If you haven’t already, check out the Belief-o-matic on; answer 20 multiple-choice questions about your personal beliefs, and it will give you a percentage match to the world’s religions, denominations, and spiritual belief systems.)

I have various organizational meetings at the Arlington UU Church three nights this week alone (to be honest, though, I skipped Tuesday’s), and VARUUM is assisting with a staged reading of Dylan Thomas’s Under Milkwood in a coffeehouse setting on Friday and Saturday nights. Then I’m co-leading the class I teach on Sunday morning, and have a Youth Adult Committee meeting after second service.
Tuesday was an organizational meeting for Working Together Weekend, for which I’ve volunteered to assist with publicity and communications. The event is scheduled for October (plenty enough time ahead that I don’t feel too guilty about skipping the meeting). Working Together Weekend is planned to be a large-scale social action event, building on the church’s strong ongoing commitment to social action, which we hope will engage a large percentage of the church community; we’re planning for as many as 600 people or more to be involved in the event. On Friday night, we’ll gather at the church for shared entertainment; on Saturday there will be dozens of opportunities for outreach and community involvement throughout the day, culminating in a shared meal Saturday evening; and the service Sunday will tie the theme to the UU principles.
Last night (technically, anyway; since I’m still up, it just feels like “earlier this evening” to me) was a meeting for all those who will be delegates or alternates at General Assembly in Quebec City next month. Last year I attended my first G.A., in Cleveland, as a last-minute bump from alternate to delegate. This year I’ll again be a delegate, but I’m also going to be a youth sponsore. The latter serves a practical purpose as well as an altruistic one: as a youth sponsor my transportation and housing are almost entirely subsidized; otherwise, given my situation of continued unemployment, I wouldn’t be able to afford to spend a week in Quebec. The price I pay, though, is that I have to personally drive (well, share the driving with the other three youth sponsors) the youth from Virginia to Quebec; it’s not so much that I mind the idea of being in a van with a dozen or so teenagers for fourteen hours, it’s that I don’t like the idea of being stuck in a van at all for four hours, much less fourteen.
Tomorrow night is an orientation for new and potential new members, and I’m on the agenda to talk about the Rainbow Cabinet and VARUUM, the church’s GLBT group, and to drum up participants for a new member covenant group, which in yet another moment of generosity mixed with idiocy I agreed to facilitate.
Fortunately, Friday and Saturday nights should offer some fun, as VARUUM will be co-sponsoring the afore-mentioned coffeehouse where the church’s Chalice Theatre will perform a staged reading of Under Milkwood by Dylan Thomas. We’re playing bartender and supplying desserts.