Rainbow Chapel and the ULC Experiment

Posted: February 23, 2011 by Ty in Pilgrimage E-Book
Tags: , , , , , , ,

In my wanderings there has been many that have said they see a call to “the ministry”.  What does this mean?  For some it means the title “Rev” before one’s name, for others it is the understanding that any of us that worship and try to live out of the heart of the Sacred Mystery, we are all apart of the ministry.

This inner struggle led me to a group called the Universal Life Church Monastery and the Universal Life Church, where I was ordained.  It is a universalist organization that ordains anyone who feels the call.  Essentially it is codifying the call, which each of us has, and then it is up to the individual to take the ordination seriously or not.

Unfortunately within this universalist group, is schism. There is factions that plague the internet airwaves with negativity and attacks in the name of the Holy, sigh, and there has been instances of stalking…essentially regardless of the label placed on the organization the same cancers boil and prosper.

But back to my journey through this, it was the time of questioning for myself and my family about where we belonged, we had found a spiritual home, but were wondering about other arenas.  At this time, a month after my ordination, several individuals had approached me about an alternative to the traditional church structure.

Out of this came the Rainbow Chapel ULC Calgary.  It was a house church designed for Christian Universalists, we wrote our own creed, worshipped with a mix of music, and followed a ELCIC Liturgy.  Unfortunately inspite of the desire, the willingness to commit never fully materialized, but during this experiment something else awakened within us.

The call of the Holy Spirit, to be fully present at our home church, Prince of Faith ELCIC here in Calgary, so as Rainbow Chapel ceased services (yet continues to exist as an online resource at rainbowchapelulc.tk), we realized the community that existed around us.

This was the step of faith, as I have always been leary of the institutional church, I had given up my discernment within the UCC due to negative reactions to my differently abled son, yet here at P of F, we were all accepted, fed, and allowed to explore our spirituality and journey to God individually and communally.  The next step was the offer, the offer to aid the church in ministry as an “associate pastor” which led to my commissioning as a Commissioned/Lay/Pastor/Pastoral assistant/Professional Leader depending on the resource the title changes, and the different style of service we tried to plant in our house, became a contemplative service during the week.

As well as almost two years with an in house bible study, with a potluck brunch, Brunch & Bible, that in two weeks comes to a close.  I am proud of this community group, it served well for a time to explore faith and understanding of where and how scripture works within our faith journeys.

So my journey has been varied, currently I am content, but constantly yearning for a new way to experience the Holy Mystery.

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