Unitarian Universalist Church in Meriden
President’s Column, October 2015
“So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.” Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby (1925)
I thought about this famous last line from The Great Gatsby a few times this summer in some more whimsical moments of reflection (the past) and planning (the future). I was briefly persuaded by a critic who wrote that one must be over 30 to really understand the value, that Fitzgerald suggests will come from being “against the current” in the stream of life. Then I saw that this was a cranky “school of hard knocks” kind of critic. He likely enjoyed bragging to other people’s children of going three miles to school, on foot, uphill both ways.
No. I think that so many of our young family members, students, neighbors, and church members have a keen sense that life is a struggle— that the past and present are connected and that the values and virtues that build and re-build community are for keeps. This church, in Meriden since before the American Civil War, is such a living legacy of community and faith. Our hope and energy, nearly always “against the current,” and leading the way, now in the early 21st century as a spirited beacon for justice, equity, and compassion in central Connecticut.
Some things change, some things stay the same. Communities of faith have a consequential voice in determining this balance. Let’s keep our congregation in the thick of this never-ending conversation—this ceaseless struggle.