For all that is our life! by Rev. Andrew Clive Millard
It’s a new church year and I’m excited to think about all that we might achieve together between now and next Summer!
In just a little over a week, we’ll welcome our new student minister, Walter Clark, who’ll be with us for a nine-month internship as he completes his requirements for the UU ministry. (If you haven’t read his letter introducing himself, you can do so here.) One of the first things he’ll do, as he gets to know us as a congregation, is work with me and his internship committee to develop a Learning/Service Agreement, specifying the areas of ministry and congregational life on which he’ll focus during his time with us.
Something that we already know Walter will be doing, though, is joining me in offering the “Spirit in Practice” workshop series. I’m please that my colleague, Rev. Jennifer Ryu, who served the Williamsburg UUs from 2006 through 2015 and will be working on the Peninsula as a community minister, will also be co-facilitating with us!
“Spirit in Practice” is a series of ten workshops developed by our colleague, Rev. Erik Walker Wikstrom, who currently services the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church, Unitarian Universalist in Charlottesville. Written in response to many UU adults’ requests for deeper spirituality, Erik introduces the series as follows:
“Spirit in Practice” was created to help Unitarian Universalists develop regular practices that help them connect with the sacred ground of their being, however they understand it. “Spirit in Practice” affirms religious diversity while seeking unity in our communal quest for meaning and wholeness. Whether participants follow a path they identify as Humanist, Jewish, Christian, Pagan, Theist, Atheist, Agnostic, Mystic, and/or any of the other paths we follow in our diverse congregations, the “Spirit in Practice” workshops offer a forum for learning, sharing and growth that can enrich their faith journeys.
Weaving together our UU Principles and Sources with the four developmental threads of spirituality, ethics, UU identity, and faith, the workshops begin with an overall introduction, consider in turn each of the “eight spheres of spiritual growth”, and then conclude with a review and commitments to further exploration, as follows:
- Toward a Rich and Meaningful Unitarian Universalist Spirituality
- Personal Spiritual Practices
- Communal Worship Practices
- Spiritual Partnerships
- Mind Practices
- Body Practices
- Soul Practices
- Life Practices
- Justice Practices
- Looking Back and Moving Forward
While we recommend coming to the first workshop so you are oriented, you need not attend every workshop in order to participate in this series: each of the second through ninth workshops can be attended on its own. However, so that it’s easier for you to make it to more of them, we are offering each workshop twice each month, on second Wednesdays and third Tuesdays. (See postscript for the full list of dates.) The first, introductory workshop, then, will take place on Wednesday, July 13th and then again on Tuesday, July 19th, both starting at 7pm in the Office Building. Please let me know if you plan to attend, but drop-ins are also welcome!
As I say when we recognize new members on a Sunday morning, “a member accepts responsibility for continuing and sharing the faith journey that brought them to this place and also covenants to live in community with others whose journeys may be different.” This church year, “Spirit in Practice” offers us opportunities to do just that, so Walter, Jennifer and I invite you to join us! For this religious community is indeed a place where we can know each other and be known, not only in terms of who we have been and what we have done, but in terms of what we might become and what we might yet do, both individually and together.
All workshops take place from 7pm to 8:30pm in the Office Building. Workshop dates are as follows: Toward a Rich and Meaningful Unitarian Universalist Spirituality, 7/13 and 7/19; Personal Spiritual Practices, 8/10 and 8/16; Communal Worship Practices, 9/14 and 9/20; Spiritual Partnerships, 10/12 and 10/18; Mind Practices, 11/9 and 11/15; Body Practices, 12/14 and 12/20; Soul Practices, 1/11 and 1/17; Life Practices, 2/8 and 2/21; Justice Practices, 3/8 and 3/21; Looking Back and Moving Forward, 4/12 and 4/18.