Minister’s Mind: Spiritual Growth

This month we’re looking at the part of our Statement of Purpose that asks us to journey together toward “spiritual growth.”  As Unitarian Universalists, this asks more of us than just memorizing certain answers to questions about God or church or theology. Instead, it asks us to do the hard work of developing our own answers—first, individually, but also in community—to the big questions of life.

“Spiritual” can be a hard word to define. Some folks use it only to mean “stuff relating to God and soul and heaven” but I think it can have a much broader meaning.  I use the word “spiritual” to refer to anything (tangible or intangible) that makes life meaningful.  Sometimes those things are very specific: family, friends, and career. Sometimes they are more general: nature, music, and art.  And sometimes they are bigger yet: love, compassion, peace, hope, faithfulness…

It’s all too easy in our over-busy lives to become disconnected from these things. We get so overwhelmed by details and worries and schedules and responsibilities that we forget the WHY behind them. Why are we running from ballet to baseball practice? Why are we trying to find time to mulch and fertilize and order seeds? Why are we off to the gym, another meeting, or work?

The thing about spiritual growth is that it takes time.  All the elements of spiritual growth: attention, appreciation, detachment, commitment, mindfulness, and action, ask us to get off the hamster-wheel for a few moments and attend to something deeper than details.  That’s one of the most important reasons we come together on Sunday mornings. Just to have an hour or so each week when we come together and think about what brings life meaning.

The word worship comes from the Old English “woerthscoeppen” which means “worth-shaping.”  Each Sunday we come together to hold up what has value and gives our lives meaning and to shape ourselves—our lives and our community—towards what is most worthy. We remind each other of how important it is to stay connected. We hold each other’s hands when things are tough. We celebrate together when things go well. And together, we grow.

This month we’re hosting Pledge Socials for members and friends of the congregation. These gatherings are another opportunity to talk about what Tree of Life means to you and what your hopes and dreams are for the congregation.  Yes, we’ll be asking for financial pledges for next fiscal year so that we can plan for a healthy financial future. We’re also asking you how Tree of Life can make your life more meaningful. There are seventeen possible gatherings: some with art, some with chocolate, all with caring folks who sincerely want to hear your thoughts and dreams.

If you haven’t signed up yet, NOW is the time. You can do so by clicking here.

As we gather together on Sundays or at the Socials, may we do our part to help our community and ourselves to grow and thrive.

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