12/24/2006

PREVIOUS POST
Home church Boston's Arlington Street was not my first church experience. I didn't begin to attend Arlington Street until I was nineteen. I had been part of at least four Unitarian churches before that, not counting the one I was christened in. But in those churches I was always Clyde and May's son Clyde Elliot. Arlington Street was a place where no one knew my parents, and I was one of the young people. Jack Mendelson was minister then. I was not a loyalist. I went to King's Chapel, First Church and Charles Street Meeting House. When I went to San Francisco to finish to college, I went to the Bay area UU churches. When I came back to Massachusetts in 1965 to go Crane Theological School I did my student ministry at Second Church of Boston up in the Fenway. But I always came back to Arlington Street when I had to think about my life. I first made the decision to go into the ministry there sitting in a pew. It was sitting in that same pew that i decided to leave theological school in 1966 and throw myself into trying to stop the Vietnam war. When I became disillusioned with the leadership of the Unitarian Universalist Association during the Black Empowerment Struggle in 1969 and 1970, I found folks at Arlington Street who agreed with me, and was able to "keep the faith" despite my anger with those who we had designated to lead us. For years I travelled as an organizer, kept myself busy as a justice advocate, and experienced that Arlington Street was there when I had a free Sunday, when I needed to touch base with that childhood faith that kept calling me home. Finally it was at Arlington Street all most twenty years ago now...