Reflection: April 23

So much happens every week it’s hard to hold on to the through line of the purpose of church.  There have been a lot of difficulties recently to which many of you have been responding.  And I want to say that even your great kindness is held in something larger.

A couple of weeks ago I had several conversations with some small groups of you about the four points. One person asked were those just for FUUSE or for church in general?  I realized that I had written those four points for this congregation at this moment and these are things I’ve been brewing on since Seminary. I have long been troubled by the fact that Unitarian Universalism doesn’t have a native spiritual practice.  I think I understand why, it is the natural consequence of asking questions until we fell off the left side of the Protestant tradition. And I think it makes a difference to have a practice, something that helps us, individually, hold onto our own minds, our own centers. A spiritual practice allows us to see our own mind clearly and kindly. To know that we are all engaged in that work gives us all strength. It’s individual work and it goes differently if it’s an expectation of what we are all doing. Imperfectly.  As relaxedly as possible. But all doing. Brene Brown’s definition of Spirituality is helpful here, “Spirituality is recognizing and celebrating that we are all inextricably connected to each other by a power greater than all of us, and that our connection to that power and to one another is grounded in love and compassion. Practicing spirituality brings a sense of perspective, meaning, and purpose to our lives.”  I am hoping to have some mediation classes and some yoga classes offered at FUUSE, probably starting in the fall.  If anyone is interested in helping coordinate these classes (I have names for teachers, I just need help with publicity and sign ups) please let me know.  Spiritual practices help to carry us through when people aren’t kind and when we lose what we hope for and when everything good happens at once.   Spiritual practices give us the capacity to be people of Ultimate Hope, hope that is bigger than the circumstances we find ourselves in, whether that’s personal or planetary.

At the same time that these conversations were going on the Board, and I, were listening to your thoughts about the Staff reconfiguration proposal that I sent out.  It was good to hear your thoughts about church life that came along with responding to this proposal.  There is more listening and more conversation to come about this.