Spirituality... In an Open-Minded Way
DICKby Kristen Psaki kristen [dot] psaki [at] gmail [dot] com @kristenpsaki Dick Burkhart Church of the Larger Fellowship
“When you’re drawn toward something you don’t always quite know what it is,” says longtime UU Dick Burkhart. Looking back, there’s been a pattern in the spaces and relationships that make him feel most alive. For Dick, #LivingUU means life-long interfaith and multi-cultural learning.
He remembers feeling the tug when studying world religions in Middle School and learning about whole new ways of living, gathering and believing. “We don’t have to be embedded in one little aspect of it. I built on that through my life.”
In Seattle, Washington Dick was part of a UU fellowship that dissolved recently and he partly finds community through the Church of the Larger Fellowship. Eager for an offline experience as well, Dick has recently been meeting with “a new experimental non-denominational community” lead by a Methodist minister Rev. John Helmier.
“Everyone there takes spirituality very seriously, but in an open-minded way. We’re trying to build a diverse congregation in theology and justice work.”
While describing his interfaith spirituality Dick holds firm to a clipboard in both hands. He’s been collecting signatures for an Action of Immediate Witness and is encouraging Unitarian Universalists to respond to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP). Concerned about the secretive, multinational trade agreement and its guarantees for corporations at the expense of workers, Dick thinks that GA workshops and conversations often leave out an analysis of systemic economic injustice.
“The UUA is very strong on issues of personal justice, but when it comes to systemic justice like how the overall economy is creating all this inequality and what can be done to change a system, then you have to start worrying about big donors and things like that and people are heavily invested in the corporate world.”
Many of Dick’s proposed workshops in past years have not been accepted. “We’ve been partially shut out” he shares. “But, I think that’s starting to change.”
The authors of #Living UU are Beth Neavel-Cortez and Kristen Psaki. Beth is a free-lance journalist based in Austin, Texas. She is a life long Unitarian Universalist who knows that story-telling is what saves us. Kristen is a member of First Unitarian Society of Denver. She is pursuing ministerial ordination with Unitarian Universalist Association. Kristen loves chocolate and coffee, together or separately.