Religious Education Latitudinarian Article

Updated: Mar 31, 2020

Where is Our Church?

What a difference a week makes! I finished my newsletter article on March 12th. Now my reflections from that day seem irrelevant in light of current events. I hope that by the time you read this, nearly two weeks after I write it, my thoughts will still make sense.

I am thinking about the different homes this congregation has had. I have attended enough “history wall” meetings to know what happened before the Wellborn Road property was acquired. As I recall, people met in each other’s homes and on campus at the YMCA building.

I also remember learning that the Anthony building, the Jefferson building and the kitchen/office were additions to the original Wellborn Road church campus.

My family first joined this congregation in 1996. The church had been in the Wellborn Road location for decades. At some point in the the early two thousands, everyone began talking about the property being in the path of road construction. I think it was unfair of TXDOT to make us feel unsettled for so many years.

But now here we are at Hillel. It’s been a good place for us for the last three years. We do have to store everything we need in limited office space. I used to have five rooms. Now I have one bookcase, one file cabinet and a tub of toys. Joe Daigle and I have a lot of setting up to do every Sunday morning.

But not any more. We don't need a sound system. I always used to joke that my office was in my briefcase. Now it really is. I don’t need anything from the office. Not art supplies, toys, or snacks. Sometimes I need a book, but most things are online.

We aired the service live from Hillel on March 15th. I have heard we may do that again on March 22nd. Or we may create a service from our separate homes. It’s all up in the air. Just like everything else in the world. I don’t know what will change by the time you read this. Change is inevitable, always, but especially now.

There is only one thing that doesn’t change: people.

The people are the church. The church is not the building where we meet. The church has never just been a physical place. This church was started by people coming together. We can still gather together even if we can't be in the same room.

People everywhere are learning how to stay emotionally connected while keeping physical distance. We will too.

The church is not the building. We are the church.

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The Rev. Christian Schmidt is our interim minister, and first became a Unitarian Universalist in this congregation where he was an active member from 2006-2009. He has since served congregations in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and California. His interests include his family (including four little boys he and his wife are raising), sports, and theology.