With the closing of the old year and welcoming of the new, spirituality naturally comes into the forefront, whether or not one is a member of mainstream religions. It's a wonderful thing in this country, the first freedom granted in our Bill of Rights that allows each person to seek whatever belief system is most meaningful for them.
I've long been one of those many "none's" now being given increasing recognition in our country - those growing numbers who don't fit into any neat category of religious preference and who question traditional religious parameters. I've always been a spiritual explorer: born a Methodist, finding my way through Agnosticism to Humanism, then Naturalism to Pantheism, and finally finding peace with Animism. Over the years, I've also found a home with the Unitarian-Universalists, a historic fellowship gaining increasing popularity over recent decades with their deep respect for all belief systems.You can be a Buddhist, Atheist, Christian, or whatever, and still find acceptance, comfort, and shared inspiration for growth within the UU framework.
Thankfully, a new Unitarian group has recently formed in Marshalltown, meeting at the YMCA on Sunday mornings, so I no longer have to commute 70 miles in any direction to find fellowship with other freedom-loving and thought-stimulating folks. May religious freedom long live!