March 2020: Wisdom and Awakening

“Never mistake knowledge for wisdom. One helps you make a living; the other helps you make a life.” –Sandra Carey

An image of Sophia, the Wisdom of God personified as female in first-century Christian and Jewish communities

In our 24/7 media world, we are drowning in facts (and pseudo-facts or fake news), and yet starving for wisdom. I saw a comedian quip on TV the other night: “Who would have thought that having all of humanity’s knowledge at our fingertips would have made us dumber?” It sure seems that way sometimes.

What sources of ancient wisdom do you think we UUs should revisit and recover, especially in these turbulent times? How should we balance reverence for those sources with new forms of wisdom emerging today from historically marginalized communities and identities? And how we do also make space in our lives and our worship for quiet, so that we can discover and reconnect to our own intuitive wisdom?

This month as you ponder the place of Wisdom in your life, reflect on how our church has partnered you in this journey. Does living in community challenge your long-held ideas about wisdom? Has it helped you to learn and live out new and different wisdoms?

As always, if you have thoughts to share on this post or topic, feel free to email me at [email protected] Let me know if / how this spiritual exercise stretches you.

Spiritual Exercise (from Soul Matters Small Group Ministry Resources)

Wisdom is a gift. We pass it on to each other like a precious jewel. None of us want others to make the same mistakes we did, so we generously share our advice. In other words, wisdom connects us.

To honor this, we’re invited this month to remember the wisdom we’ve received. To help, we’ve assembled some awesome videos and articles to jog your memory. Here are your instructions:

1. Make time to meditate and reflect on the videos and articles below.

2. Let them take you back in time to the best advice you got from others.

3. Then, out of all those memories (and pieces of advice) pick the one you think is most relevant to you currently. Pick the one your life right now needs you to remember.

Videos on Wisdom

As you watch and listen, ask yourself, “Is any of this advice, the wisdom I need right now?”

1. Best Advice You’ve Received

2. The Most Important Lesson You’ve Learned

3. How to Age Gracefully

4. 12 Truths I Learned from Life by Anne Lamott

February 2020: The Dance of Resilience and Grace

For us, resilience is a community effort, a community practice. We survive by leaning on each other, by pitching in to help those in need, who will then pitch in to help us, when our turn comes. Resilience is the quality we build together, every time we gather, every time we resolve a conflict, or teach a lesson, or grow as friends. Resilience is what weaves us together.

January 2020: Rediscover Your Integrity

Think of the hunt for integrity more like getting away from all the noise of the traffic so the song of the birds can be heard. Stop and listen.

December 2019: Get Awe-struck!

To live life in awe of everything around you – what a gift! Most of us cannot manage to live our whole lives this way, but we can manage to add more awe to our daily lives. And we should! New research is demonstrating that a daily dose of awe can be healing.

November 2019: Pay Attention

In her poem “Gratitude,” Mary Oliver asks herself questions of attention: What did you notice?
What did you hear?
When did you admire?
What astonished you?

October 2019: Whose Am I?

The ancient question, ‘Who am I?’ inevitably leads to a deeper one: ‘Whose am I?’ – because there is no identity outside of relationship. You cannot be a person by yourself. To ask “Whose am I” is to extend the question far beyond the little self-absorbed self, and wonder: Who needs you? Who loves you?

June 2019: Beauty Carries Us

Beauty holds us, strengthens us, empowers us. Beauty shows us that the universe was meant for us. Do you have a special object or image that grounds you? Maybe it’s a stone or a shell, a poem or a memory of a special place.

May 2019: Curious About Curiosity?

“Curiosity” is our worship theme for May, and, I must admit, it’s one of those “hiding in plain sight” concepts that I’d never taken the time to ponder. And yet, it’s everywhere, part of every human achievement, and it’s absolutely elemental to our faith tradition.

April 2019: Broken, Yet Whole

The more we love and lose – and survive it, ready to love again – the more our wholeness is accomplished, and the more it radiates out from us, lending strength to all around us. 

March 2019: Journey Onward

In worship this month, we’ll be thinking about the journeys of our lives, both metaphorical and literal. We’ll look at stories of travel and migration and the immigration controversy in the US, plus we’ll embark together on the journey of Stewardship, expressed in how we choose to support our values.