UUFA News

Belonging Without Belonging is Still Belonging

As we prepare to explore belonging as a fellowship in September, I have been reflecting on my past experiences of belonging. One experience keeps coming to the forefront of my heart. It’s about a perennial problem in communities seeking love and justice. I wonder how this resonates with your stories of belonging.

I once joined an organization where everyone seemed to have found their people. Even before arriving, the video testimonials had begun the promise: cheerful people who said “When I got here, I realized I had found ‘my people!’” They shared how they experienced a deep sense of belonging. But upon arrival, I quickly realized that was only true for some. 

I’ll admit, my mind jumped into problem-solving mode. Maybe it was my problem–I did not have that deep sense of belonging, so was there something wrong with me? Maybe it was the organization’s problem–was the culture based on cliques and failing at creating belonging? 

Hum, I wonder if any of you have had this experience, here or anywhere? I wonder if you have found your people, or felt a lack of belonging, or perhaps a mix of both at different times and in different spaces?

Over time, as I continued participating in the organization, I discovered a strange thing happening. I had developed a sense of belonging without feeling like I fit in! How could I feel a deep belonging without feeling like I belonged? The organization, as a whole, and each person in it, was working towards a mission that I also felt called to. In our caring service to something larger than any one of us, we belonged together, and I belonged there. 

As my sense of belonging to the whole deepened, I became at ease with lacking a sense of belonging to individuals. And paradoxically, I grew a sense of belonging to everyone there. It would have been nice to experience the sense of individual belonging too, don’t get me wrong! 

I wonder, where are you finding a sense of belonging in this community? To the mission and community as a whole, to certain groups, certain times, or individuals? 

The ways we find belonging are beautifully mysterious. And our paths to belonging are unique. Reflecting on our senses of belonging, and seeking to grow and expand them to every soul who touches our communil lives is a worthy task for this month and beyond. 

Come, let us journey deep into the mystery of belonging in community. 

Blessings,

Rev Pippin

Belonging without Belonging is still Belonging

As we prepare to explore belonging as a fellowship in September, I have been reflecting on my past experiences of belonging. One experience keeps coming to the forefront of my heart. It’s about a perennial problem in communities seeking love and justice. I wonder how this resonates with your stories of belonging.

I once joined an organization where everyone seemed to have found their people. Even before arriving, the video testimonials had begun the promise: cheerful people who said “When I got here, I realized I had found ‘my people!’” They shared how they experienced a deep sense of belonging. But upon arrival, I quickly realized that was only true for some. 

I’ll admit, my mind jumped into problem-solving mode. Maybe it was my problem–I did not have that deep sense of belonging, so was there something wrong with me? Maybe it was the organization’s problem–was the culture based on cliques and failing at creating belonging? 

Hum, I wonder if any of you have had this experience, here or anywhere? I wonder if you have found your people, or felt a lack of belonging, or perhaps a mix of both at different times and in different spaces?

Over time, as I continued participating in the organization, I discovered a strange thing happening. I had developed a sense of belonging without feeling like I fit in! How could I feel a deep belonging without feeling like I belonged? The organization, as a whole, and each person in it, was working towards a mission that I also felt called to. In our caring service to something larger than any one of us, we belonged together, and I belonged there. 

As my sense of belonging to the whole deepened, I became at ease with lacking a sense of belonging to individuals. And paradoxically, I grew a sense of belonging to everyone there. It would have been nice to experience the sense of individual belonging too, don’t get me wrong! 

I wonder, where are you finding a sense of belonging in this community? To the mission and community as a whole, to certain groups, certain times, or individuals? 

The ways we find belonging are beautifully mysterious. And our paths to belonging are unique. Reflecting on our senses of belonging, and seeking to grow and expand them to every soul who touches our communil lives is a worthy task for this month and beyond. 

Come, let us journey deep into the mystery of belonging in community. 

Blessings,

Rev Pippin

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