As I write this column my mind is centered on diversity. We have a wonderful community at UU Church in Anaheim, made more wonderful by the breadth of our diversity. Our community is enriched by the wonderful opportunities this provides for us to share our lives with one another. The cultural and ethnic diversity that abounds here offers us many ways to celebrate and to explore the broader world. And the unlimited extent of our theological diversity invites us all into fascinating discussions and the contemplation of new ways to find meaning in our lives. I'm delighted about the generational diversity we present to one another that includes small children with their bright outlooks on life as well as wise elders who enjoin us to understand the history of our UU community as well as the larger community. It was a joy to share with you memories of my own young adult years during a recent service; to see knowing nods from those of you who are my contemporaries, and interested expressions on the faces of those who were learning a history lesson! We have so much to teach one another and life is indeed a rich tapestry because of all our experiences.
But diversity also creates struggles as we attempt to understand one another. The Beloved Community isn't a place where no one ever disagrees, but rather where the members [and friends] commit to working together to resolve problems when they arise. While this part of our inclusive community is not as easy or as much fun as our celebrations, we become more fully human as we work through the differences that sometimes seem to separate us. I'm so proud of how well we listen to one another, how willing we are to come together to talk through whatever we need to, and the wonderful forgiving spirit that is so prevalent in this community. The truth is that in any group -- no matter how homogenous it may seem -- there will be differences: of opinion, of goals, of understandings. And good communication is essential to good relationships. I had a friend back in the midwest, who had a list of what he called "rules of life." My favorite of all his rules was the one that read, "too much communication is better than not enough!" So kudos to all of us for staying in communication! Let's keep it up!
In the meantime, may you Go shining, Karen