By Shelley Butler, Beloved Community Communications Team, and Laura Park, Beloved Community Staff Team
Someone said to me once that for them, ironing was practically a spiritual practice; they were kidding (I think). I get it — there is a misconception that anything can be a UU spiritual practice because our faith does not dictate these to us. We aren’t encouraged to pray five times each day facing the Kaaba at Mecca, nor do we perform baptisms or partake in the Eucharist — all meaningful practices in other religions.
Yet, spiritual practice is one of the cornerstones of living our faith at Unity Church. Our second end statement says that we “ground ourselves in personal practice and communal worship that grows our capacity for wonder and spiritual deepening.” Consider this, attributed to Buddha, “There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth: Not going all the way, and not starting.”
So, what are spiritual practices? What form do they take? Are there more types of spiritual practice than prayer, meditation, and worship? How do I create my own spiritual practice? What makes a spiritual practice different from simply providing comfort, or from Marx’s idea of religion as “the opium of the people”? How do we incorporate spiritual practice into our lives?
In September, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the answers to these questions and take the mystery out of spiritual practice in a three-part series, “Spiritual Practice: Discovery and Transformation.” Unity Minister of Faith Formation Rev. KP Hong, Director of Membership and Hospitality Laura Park, and Beloved Community Staff Team member Angela Wilcox will lead the series, with help from other presenters such as Rev. Kathleen Rolenz.
Save the dates: Wellspring Wednesdays, September 13, 20, and 27, at 7:10 p.m.
Session one on September 13 is about the what, the why, and the how of spiritual practice. Session two will be experiential as participants “try on” various practices and reflect on the meaning of them. The third session on September 27 will connect spiritual practice and antiracist multiculturalism, exploring how they intertwine and inform our daily lives and social justice work. Then, come back for a follow-up session in February to check in on our spiritual practices. So, whether an aspiration or something already embedded in your life, don’t miss this opportunity to take a deeper dive into spiritual practice.
In the meantime, we leave you with these prompts for reflection: Which spiritual practices are meaningful to you? Are you open to greater discovery and transformation through spiritual practice?
For more information about the series, check the September 2023 commUNITY newsletter and the church website. To find out more about Unitarian Universalism and spiritual practice, see:
Beloved Community Resources
Unity Justice Database
Team Dynamics House of Intersectionality
Anti-Racism Resources in the Unity Libraries Collection
Creative Writers of Color in Unity Libraries
The History of Race Relations and Unity Church, 1850-2005
Beloved Community Staff Team
The Beloved Community Staff Team (BCST) strengthens and coordinates Unity’s antiracism and multicultural work, and provides opportunities for congregants and the church to grow into greater intercultural competency. We help the congregation ground itself in the understanding of antiracism and multiculturalism as a core part of faith formation. We support Unity’s efforts to expand our collective capacity to imagine and build the Beloved Community. Here, we share the stories of this journey — the struggles, the questions, and the collaborations — both at Unity and in the wider world.
The current members of the Beloved Community Staff Team include Rev. Kathleen Rolenz, Rev. KP Hong, Rev. Lara Cowtan, Barbara Hubbard, Drew Danielson, Laura Park, Lia Rivamonte and Angela Wilcox.