Idea: Unitarian Universalist Sports Ministry

Many UU congregations with their own edifices possess a room that is used as a lending library for books, DVDs and other materials. For example, the UU Fellowship of Columbus, which I’ve attended variably since last year, has a lending library which shares space with the fellowship’s nursery. 

But something that I don’t see mentioned on any UU church site is a sports/fitness space of any kind. 

I’m helping set up a youth/young adult group for this congregation, and we’re starting out small (as a Facebook group). I don’t mind that we’re starting out like this, given that the church’s demographic is largely within the senior citizen demographic. 

But in addition to the many events that we’ll probably do if we attract enough people, I think a solid way to attract young adults to the UU church is through an appeal to fitness and sport. 

I see that many UU churches sponsor trips to mountain resorts, camp sites and whatnot, but a dedicated space for storing sports goods and playing sports would be interesting to hear about from a UU church. I can imagine people coming to UU churches after school or after work during the week, at least to work off stress without having to join an expensive gym or use a recreation center. 

For the UUs, I think the benefit would be an opportunity to operate a sports/fitness space along UU principles. These spaces would emphasize equality, freedom and solidarity.

Finally, I think that such play spaces would start to expand the UU movement’s principles from the exclusively-“intellectual” stereotype of its members to people who are more interested in physical activity and engagement. I think those who are less interested in “intellectual/academic” pursuits are not being engaged enough, and can just as well benefit from UU principles in their personal experiences and social relations. 

Many UU churches also have a meditation room, so why not a gym?

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