Help is shared in the search for a spiritual path

May 12, 1991|By Diane Winston

Soon after Lynn Kelly and her husband moved from Brooklyn, N.Y., to Bethesda in 1985, they realized what they missed most was neither bagels, Times Square nor the subway.

They missed their church.

That loss would have been unimaginable a few years earlier. Back then, the couple was typical of many thirty-something baby boomers. Mrs. Kelly was a lapsed Lutheran, and her husband, John, no longer attended Roman Catholic church. Moreover, neither was searching for a spiritual home when a baby sitter suggested they take their children to a Brooklyn Unitarian Universalist church.

"We went for our kids -- to give them a religious education, and we found it suited us to a T," said Ms. Kelly, a business consultant.

"The church is like a family. It's someplace you go to share your joys, fears and concerns," Ms. Kelly said. "What we have in common is the individual right and responsibility to seek and define our own spiritual path. What we offer each other is help in doing that."

There were nine Unitarian Universalist churches in the greater Washington, D.C.-area to choose from, and the Kellys picked River Road, which they say has the best music and the friendliest members.

"We get a lot of people here who were unchurched beforehand," Ms. Kelly said. "And we get a lot of couples from mixed marriages.

"For me, it's the only church I have ever heard of that's for the whole person -- where you are accepted just as you are."

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