Coming of Age at Walden

Recently, many the UUCK congregation went camping at Walden, this fall located at Punderson State Park. During the camp-out, the youth in the High School Coming of Age class used the opportunity to further their curriculum. After a long rainy night and a cold fall morning, they conducted a survey. Consisting of five questions, the survey asked people about their religion and how they express it.  Here are some of the answers they heard.

Why do you go to church?

  • Cal: “Right now, that’s a damn good question.” (it was cold and raining)
  • Dan Flippo, Sr.: “Community. I enjoy a lot of the activities, and asking others about religion.”
  • Phyllis: “Inspiration”
  • Lois Weir: “Community, Inspiration, service”
  • Randy Leeson: “Fellowship”
  • Tanya Kahl: To renew my spirit, connect with people who have similar values, and to instill values in my children.
  • Kathy Kerns: “To help myself be a better person and be reminded of the good things in life. Also for my kids.”
  • Mary Leeson: “Because I like to be inspired by services and people. I grew up going to church, and I wanted to bring my children.”
  • Colleen Norris: “As a UU, I go because I love the messages and [the] people. You make lasting friendships. I like the idea of Unitarian Universalism, everyone is welcome.”
  • Blaine Vessely: “To be part of the music program, and for Nora.”

Do you consider yourself religious? / What is your definition of being religious?

  • Cal: “Somewhat. There are clearly some people hat get more deep interaction [with faith] than I grew up with.”
  • Kevin: “No, I don’t, but I respect other people’s religions.”
  • Phyllis: “ Yes, [to be religious is to] hope for a better community”
  • Lois: “No, to be religious implies dogma, my religion doesn’t [have this]”
  • Randy: “No, it implies believing in things without evidence”
  • Tanya: “I used to, but not so much anymore”
  • Kathy Herns: “Yeah, I think so. I identify with a faith.”
  • Colleen Norris: “Somewhat, I believe in a higher power. I believe that Jesus Christ may have existed, but that he may have been more ordinary.”

Do you consider yourself spiritual? / What is your definition of being spiritual?

  • Cal: “Yes, I have had some spiritual experiences, usually outside of church”
  • Kevin: “Yeah, more or less somewhat. I don’t consider myself spiritual, just more into science. I do get very spiritual sometimes.”
  • Phyllis: “No, not supernaturally spiritual at least”
  • Lois: “Yes, it is to believe in something bigger than ourselves”
  • Randy: “No, I’m not quite sure how that is different. Some people experience spiritual emotions”
  • Tanya: “Yes, I think, well not as much, more strong valued. I guess it [being spiritual] is someone who focuses on being spiritual”
  • Kathy Kerns: “Yeah, I could be doing more in terms of that, and it would help myself remain more grounded.”
  • Colleen Norris: “A little bit, but not too much. I believe in a higher being, but that’s about it.

What faith did you grow up with?

  • Cal: “United Methodist.”
  • Kevin: “Southern Baptist & Methodist. I was never really religious.”
  • Dan: “No church, my mom was atheist.”
  • Phyllis: “Disciples of Christ”
  • Lois: “Christian Scientist, but when I turned ten my parents started at a Unitarian church, and I am almost a life-long Unitarian”
  • Randy: “none”
  • Tanya: “Catholic”
  • Blaine Vessely: “Catholic.”
  • Kathy Kerns: “I grew up a UU. I lived in California until about age four, when we moved to Oklahoma. People started asking my parents about what church we attended. We never went to church before, but they started looking into it and so we found a UU church.”
  • Mary Leeson: “Methodist”
  • Colleen Norris: “Southern Baptist”

Why did you start attending our church?

  • Cal: “We were a family in crisis. We were looking for support.”
  • Kevin, while he doesn’t go to church, did say: “Many friends by at church.”
  • Dan: “I was shocked it existed. I wanted to know how they did things without dogma”
  • Phyllis: “My Children started to create their own religions from what they gathered from friends”
  • Lois: “Because of my parents, and we were looking for a community to be part of”
  • Randy: “My college roommate told me about it and said I might like it. We started coming here when we had kids.”
  • Blaine Vessely: “Because Vanessa got the piano position and we were ready for a change from our old church.”
  • Kathy Kerns: “When I moved here, I was pretty busy. I actually didn’t like it very much at first, so I went to the Akron church. But when they got a full-time minister at UUCK, I decided to come back.”
  • Mary Leeson: “I grew disillusioned with my previous church. I wanted my kids to have a community and I felt at home. And, being married to an atheist, it was a good option for all of us.”
  • Colleen Norris: “I tried the UU church of Akron too, but it was too upscale for me. So someone suggested UUCK.”
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