Soul Matters at Tree of Life: Being a Community of Integrity

Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery by mending the areas of breakage with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver, or platinum.   As a philosophy, it treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise. (Wikipedia)

For UU’s, any discussion of integrity is apt to include words about wholeness along with the implied personal “goodness.”  And wholeness always embraces how we are put together – including the very important restoration and healing of missing and broken parts.  Looking at the integrity of our wholeness is an invitation to examine the wealth of our inner selves, to recognize what is inherently already ours.

UU minister, Scott Tayler, tells us “the call of integrity is not “Be perfect.” or “Be good.” but “Be yourself!”  Know your center.  Know what makes you uniquely you. And live from that place!  Forget the masks. Forget the “shoulds” and the “suppose tos.”  Just figure out what takes you to that place of deep gladness and to that remain true! This doesn’t mean abandoning the task of doing the right thing;  it just means that you will know what the right thing is when deep joy accompanies your choice.   Integrity and joy.  They are companions on the spiritual journey. “

The January Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning and possibilities of “integrity” – to reflect on how we can experience it in our lives and how it is a part of sharing in community.   We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles.  The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here.   If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take one from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they’re gone.   You might also like joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – you can find information about the circles here and there are also flyers in the fellowship room.

Wishing you joy in community,

M. E. Tanabe

Being a Community of Awe (and Wonder)

Awe and its attendant wonder carry us beyond ourselves – we experience it as we are drawn to take in the immensity of the cosmos,  the thrill of new life, the solitude of nature, and all that’s truly beautiful.  In such moments, joy arises from our fleeting immersion in a life that is bigger than we are – a life that’s expansive, precious, and somewhat unknowable.

Rev. Scott Tayler observes that  “physicists tell us, contemplation of the vast universe doesn’t make them feel smaller, it makes them realize the larger story of which they are a part.  We are stardust.  From the vastness we came. To be a people of awe is not so much about feeling small; it’s about feeling connected….. And not just connected to the stars, but also to each other.”  Discoveries of research support this observation and reveal that the awe experience is not only enjoyable, it also makes us kinder, more generous, and more healthy.  In fundamentally important ways, finding awe in our lives is necessary for our well-being.  …and the good news is that awe can be cultivated and grown into our daily living.

The December Soul Matters packets offer materials to explore the meaning and possibilities of “awe” – to reflect on how we can experience it in our lives and how it is a part of sharing in community.   We use this theme for worship and for faith formation in our RE program and chalice circles.  The Soul Matters resource packet can be accessed here  If you need a printed copy, please feel free to take one from those available in the fellowship room or ask for a copy, if they’re gone.   You might also like joining a chalice circle to share your insights and hear what others are saying – you can find information about the circles  here and there are also flyers in the fellowship room..

Wishing you joy in community,

M. E. Tanabe

Welcome to Our Month of Attention

Every month Tree of Life explores a theme provided by Soul Matters. This month’s theme is Attention. We will explore what it means to be attentive and to be a people of attention in our worship services, our small groups, and in our religious education classes. You will find posts on our Facebook page about Attention. We hope you will take a deeper look at Attention with us.

Click here to read this month’s blog about Belonging.