Friday, February 3, 2012

C is for CUUPS (Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans)

One of my previous blogs talked about my journey with the local Unitarian Universalist fellowship and my decision to join them officially.  This week I want to talk about what originally drew me to this UU fellowship, that is CUUPS, or the Covenant of Unitarian Univeraslists Pagans.  UUs are known for being open and accepting of many different faiths, belief systems, and individuals - them being a liberal faith.  There are several sources that UUs draw upon, the last one being the "spiritual teachings of earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature."  So Paganism is inherently a part of the source of UU principles just as much as the others, like Humanist, Jewish, Christian, and other World religions.  That being said, it just makes sense that there can be a home for Pagans in the UU community, and that home for many fellowships across the plate is a CUUPS group.  So today I wanted to talk a little about CUUPS and what I have found, and why I am hoping to find a spiritual home with a group just like this at my fellowship.

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When I first saw a this group online, I thought this would be a "safe" environment for me to start and build this exploration I had developed for the Pagan belief systems.  From the CUUPs website "The Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans (CUUPS) is an organization dedicated to networking Pagan-identified Unitarian Universalists (UUs), educating people about Paganism, promoting interfaith dialogue, developing Pagan liturgies and theologies, and supporting Pagan-identified UU religious professionals."  This group was chartered in 1987 to include the Pagan community members of the UU fellowships and give them a place and group to be together, share together, and share to the larger UU fellowship they are involved in.

Unfortunately for me, the CUUPS group at my fellowship was not meant to last, and after just a few meetings with them, they disbanded.  That was almost 5 years ago now, if I recall correctly.  Now, some friends that I have found, Pagan friends, at my fellowship are looking to start anew.  A new energy is rising at our fellowship with this group, it is positive, it is exciting, and I am glad to be apart of starting a group that will share our Pagan values and UU values, and then help spread this to our fellowship and maybe even the community at large.

Maybe I am idealistic about this, but being someone who lives most of my spiritual life "in the broom closet" so to speak, I envision a time that I might be able to be more open about my beliefs.  Maybe I would like to see a time when if someone asks me "what" I am, I can say Pagan with pride and not just UU - be able to say that I am a Pagan UU.  And not just to people in my fellowship, or Pagan gatherings, but also in the community.  Maybe not ever to certain members of my family, very Roman Catholics that are just happy I attend a UU "church", but barely (I'm sure some of you have family like this).  Maybe not blasting it all over my workplace or professional life, but certainly not afraid to say, if asked, that I am a Pagan.

If you are interested in CUUPS, they have a podcast that I have recently started listening to more and more, you can find it here.  They can also be followed on Facebook by clicking here.  You can also find them sharing and linking to any of the many CUUPS chapters across the country as well.

**Disclaimer: At the time of this post, I just want to be clear that I am not an individual member of CUUPS or a member of any accepted CUUPS chapter in the group.  This is me writing as a third party, looking from the outside in.  I am looking forward to working with this group and maybe even do a follow-up blog later this year or as we progress with our group.**

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