December 2019: Get Awe-struck!

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein

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.

It’s like taking all of our pharmaceutical supplements, diets, daily gym visits, spiritual practices and life coaches and packaging them up in a single, perfect, cure-all pill. But here’s the catch: Not all of us can take a daily trip to the Grand Canyon. Stunning sunrises don’t happen every morning. Clouds and city lights cut us off from nightly views of the stars. So we need to find other ways to get our daily dose of awe. And that’s what this month’s spiritual exercise is all about.

Spiritual Exercise (from Soul Matters resources for Small Group Ministry)

Collect Awe Stories. One way to get more awe into our lives is to borrow it from others. That’s right, turns out we can feel awe when we listen to others share their awe stories. So this month, dive into some vicarious awe. Here’s your assignment: Collect Five Stories of Awe. Anyone is fair game –life partners, parents, siblings, kids, co-workers. Even strangers! Take them out for coffee or just ask if they have 5 minutes. Sure, you’ll be nervous. It’s a peculiar thing to ask people about. But trust us, everybody’s got a great awe story, and everybody is secretly dying to share it!

Meditation Video on Awe

Every month, as a spiritual practice that helps others develop a spiritual practice, my colleague Rev. Dave McFarland makes these beautiful videos about our Soul Matters worship themes. Enjoy December’s meditation on Awe here:

 

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.

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. […]