For Nathan De Lee, going to church as a kid was an ordeal.De Lee, a Unitarian Universalist, grew up in rural Kansas, where members
of his faith were few and far between. Attending services meant an
overnight trip to Kansas City, Mo., where the nearest Unitarian
Universalist congregation was.
Today, getting to church is easy for De Lee, an astronomer at
Vanderbilt University. He’s a regular in the choir on Sundays at First
Unitarian Universalist Church in Nashville, which has a congregation of
De Lee is one of a growing number of Unitarian
Universalists, a group of people who believe in organized religion but
are skeptical about doctrine. The denomination grew nationally by 15.8
percent from 2000 to 2010, according to the Association of Statisticians
of American Religious Bodies.
Although they remain small in total
numbers with about 211,000 adherents nationwide, Unitarians believe
their open-minded faith has a bright future as an alternative to more
exclusive brands of religion.
They might be right, said Diana
Butler Bass, author of “Christianity After Religion: The End of Church
and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening.” Bass, who has studied
thriving progressive churches, said Unitarian Universalists can fill a
niche in conservative religious cultures such as the Bible Belt.
Written By: Bob Smietanacontinue to source article at washingtonpost.com