Minister’s Mind: Risk

Risk. To tell the truth, most of us are not very good at it. We tend to be creatures of habit and most comfortable when we can rely on what we already know. When we’re asked to take a risk–to attempt something unfamiliar, with no assurances about the outcome–we don’t like it.

This month’s theme–which we share with other congregations in the country using the theme-based program “Soul Matters”–is “RISK.” It’s appropriate, considering we’re trying something new. You won’t see big changes, since we’ve used themes since I began my ministry with you, but there will be new avenues for cooperation and relationship among congregations. You will see ministers from participating UU congregations in our pulpit this year, and I will be preaching in theirs.  You’ll hear about training and leadership opportunities. And at the end of the year, we’ll host a joint worship and end-of-year celebration. The most exciting, and relevant opportunity that Soul Matters brings is the opportunity to be part of a Spirit Journey Group.

When we held our pledge dinners last year, one thing the Board heard was a wish for more ways for people to connect at a deeper level. I was excited to learn that Spirit Journey Groups are just that. They are groups of 8-12 people who gather once each month for about 90 minutes each time.  The groups engage with the theme of the month, sharing the thoughts on the theme they’ve gathered over the first three weeks of the month. The groups become  learning, supporting and connecting communities, as each person engages with key themes of Unitarian Universalism.  The sessions are led by a trained facilitator.  Spirit Journey Groups are a wonderful way to engage the conversation we are having as a group of congregations and to meet other Unitarian Universalists.

We will begin our own Spirit Journey Groups early next year (probably in February.) If you are interested in leading a group, let me (Rev. Sean) know. I will be training leaders and modeling the process with up to ten people this fall. Until then, people who live in the Huntley/Genoa area (or are willing to travel there) are welcome to sign up this group, made up of people from the Rockford, Elgin, and DeKalb congregations, as well folks from Tree of Life:

Genoa Spirit Journey Group meets on the 3rd Sunday at 6pm.
Location Olson Funeral Home, 202 E. Main Street.
Facilitators: Misha Lentz (Rockford) and Donna Venneman (DeKalb)
To sign up: email or call 815-398-6322

You can also begin to use the Soul Matters discussion and activity guides, which are a great resource for individuals to think about, learn about, and begin to practice the themes. You’ll find readings, questions, and exercises that are appropriate for families and individuals to discuss and try together, making “church” more relevant and participatory for everyone.

You can find this month’s packet here: September_2014_Risk

I hope you’ll all give it a try.  Take the risk!


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