Becoming an Awesome Human Being, UU - spirit

Sunday, June 13, 10:30am
Zoom link
Password: 294513

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship Online Service

Becoming an Awesome Human Being

Speaker: Reverend Dr. Arvid Straube

By Joseph Plummer
UUF Secretary

Last year, for the first time since it began to measure religious affiliation, the Gallup Poll revealed the startling fact that more people in the United States do not than do affiliate with a church, mosque, or synagogue. In 2020, forty-seven percent of Americans claimed a religious affiliation, compared to the seventy percent who did so in 1999. Last year’s poll further revealed the decline for every major religion, especially among younger respondents. In this Sunday’s online UUFSMA service, the Reverend Dr. Arvid Straube explores the meaning of these findings in Western societies, where younger people seek to be spiritual without religion.

Organized religion has become a declining “brand,” Reverend Straube says. Consider these factors: the worldwide scandal of Catholic priests and other religious leaders who abuse children, Evangelical Christians who deify Donald Trump, and organized religion’s reputation for dogmatism and intolerance. People are choosing their own self-direction to spiritual growth. A yoga class here, a meditation or retreat there, and spiritual podcasts—appeals of the moment appear to fulfill more and more people.

North American culture glorifies individual choice and sacrifices spiritual commitment on the altar of autonomy while making North Americans lonely and unfulfilled. It is no wonder gringos in Mexico admire Mexicans’ warm relationships among family and friends. People cannot be spiritual by themselves.

A close-knit community completes our humanity. As the comedy “Cheers” reminds us, Rev. Straube says, “we need a place ‘where everybody knows your name’. We are higher-order primates, and our brains, bodies, and emotions cannot function optimally unless we are close to others of our species. We need a balanced diet of personal interactions to grow spiritually.”

Reverend Straube lives near San Diego with his wife Sonya Prestridge. He served Unitarian Universalist congregations in Durham, NC, and San Diego, CA, for 35 years. He earned an M.A. in Divinity at the University of Chicago and a Doctor of Ministry from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

To participate in our Sunday Service, visit the Fellowship’s website at and click on the Zoom Service button displayed on the home page. If requested, enter password: 294513. Sign-in from anywhere Sunday mornings between 10:15-10:25 am CST.

Through grants and awards, UUFSMA donates at least fifty percent of its budget to support nonprofit organizations that provide health, educational, and environmental services for underserved communities in the San Miguel region. Please support this work by clicking on the website home page Donate button. Now more than ever, your support is essential.

Due to coronavirus, UUFSMA has suspended in-person Sunday services and other gatherings. A collection of previous online services can be found on the UUFSMA’s YouTube channel. Go to and enter UUFSMA in the search box. The UU Fellowship welcomes people of all ages, races, religions, sexual orientation, and gender identity.

Click ads
copyright 2021