Kath Forder’s August Service in Cirencester was a celebration of the words of the hymn ‘We come as we are’. Kath drew on writing by Simon Parke to help us to explore the idea that we need to acknowledge that our darker side is part of us, and consciously own it as we join in worship and other Fellowship activities. This turns the idea of Sunday being for ‘our best bits’, Sunday best, best manners etc., on its head. There is no formal place for confession in the Unitarian tradition. My experience of saying the Anglican confession was of somehow saying sorry for whatever I might have done, whether I realised it or not. It in no way suggested that my darker side was invited to the Service. Kath’s Service suggested that if religion is to be relevant to the whole of life, ours and other people’s, it must take account of all aspects of our being.
At our Swindon meeting Jane Howarth’s Reflection remembered the many people around the globe who have been working to save lives and help people affected by the multiple natural disasters of recent months. We also celebrated the hard work of those who, come rain or shine, flood or drought, produce food and care for our countryside. We then lifted our spirits with a reading of the playlet ‘The God Shaped Hole’ by the late Dr. June Bell. We were delighted that with help from Kath Forder and a willing visitor we had a full cast. The ideas in the play came from early meetings of the Unitarian Renewal Group and may be more widely appreciated today than when the play was written.