October 2019: Whose Am I?

This month our Soul Matters program invites us all to contemplate the connection between Belonging and Mysticism (which I might define as “the sensation and practice of belonging to all that is.”)

How do you honor and celebrate your mystical connection to nature? to other people? to animals? to the stars and other spinning planets?

The Quaker teacher Douglas Steer challenges us to start with this question: Whose am I? He writes:

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?
    • To whom are you accountable?
    • To whom do you answer?
    • Whose life is altered by your choices?
    • With whose life is your own bound up, inextricably, in obvious or invisible ways?’

A Spiritual Exercise for Belonging

So here’s an idea for this month, a spiritual exercise suggested by our Soul Matters partners. Here are your instructions:

  1. Clear off a space on a table, dresser, desk or shelf in your house.
  2. Over a few days or a week populate that space with pictures of people who come to mind when you ask yourself “Whose am I?” Find or print out the pictures. Add as many as feels right. Push yourself to think beyond the obvious answers: your family, your church community, etc. Treat the question as a meditation practice. Asking it each day will lead you to unexpected pictures: a mentor from your past, an unknown boy on the other side of the world suffering because climate change caused by us, those who have been exclude from our faith because of white-centered structures. Or maybe it will take you beyond people, to a pet from your childhood or that park you walk in every Saturday of the Fall.
  3. Once the space is filled with your chosen pictures, send another week or two using it as an altar of sorts. Pause briefly before it every morning. Or maybe more than briefly.
  4. Pay attention to how bringing your network of belonging changes your days. Journal about it. Discuss it with your partner or a friend or Rev. Susanne.

 

Note: You don’t have to do this exercise by yourself. Consider doing it with your partner or with your children as well.

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.

February 2019: Trust: Who – Or What – Is Worthy?

Our Worship Theme for the month of February is Trust. What if the secret path to overcoming our own fears and trusting ourselves? How can we build trust-filled relationships? Here are some encouraging words and resources to help us take those first steps towards trust.

January 2019: Choose a Word To Spark Possibility

Our worship theme for January is Possibility. Listen for new consciousness bubbling up from within. Is there a word that keeps echoing through your life? Soul Matters suggests that you choose a word to focus on this year, one that will help you discover and welcome your new purpose.

December 2018: Return to an Ordinary Moment of Deep Meaning

We’ve all experienced it: the mystery of an ordinary moment that suddenly unfolds and offers deep meaning. The everyday becomes luminous. This exercise invites you to remember some of those luminous moments and revisit the gift they gave.

November 2018: Remember To Remember

What is your first memory? What is your favorite memento and why? How would you like to be remembered after your death? There are so many ways to go here; the theme is so rich, for all of us.

October 2018: Building Team Spirit at MUUC

In the receiving line on Sunday morning, a congregant grasped my hand and leaned in close: “So when will we get our Black Lives Matter banner?” “When we vote on it!” came my reply. Yes, there is a lot of energy at MUUC for going forward with social action goals derived from last year’s focus […]

September 2018: Revisiting Our Vision

When your eyes are tired the world is tired also. When your vision has gone, no part of the world can find you. — from “Sweet Darkness,” a poem by David Whyte Our Vision Are your eyes tired? Sometimes I can feel that way, especially when the news is too much, too negative, too sad. […]