Please note:  Writing as Spiritual Practice will meet at 9:15 am on September 3.

Lay Minister, Emerita, Myrna Adams West, facilitates “Writing as Spiritual Practice” first Sundays at 9:15 am in the couch room near Rev. Alison’s office.  This group offers an opportunity to explore spiritual expression through various genres.

Rev. Alison said in her sermon “Going Beyond, Going Within,” and I’m paraphrasing here, spiritual practice takes one outside of self or within self.  It transcends the everyday attempts to put into words that which cannot be named or spoken.  It is communication–pick one or more or make up your own word–with God or self or nature or the universe.  When we engage in spiritual practice, we go beyond self-interest and give self away.  Join us.

Overarching Theme for 2017-2018 Program Year:  Love Calls Us On 

Each Sunday the topic for the worship services will relate to that month’s theme, not as a series, but just another angle on a subject to deepen the exploration of that particular theme. The suggested prompts for Writing as Spiritual Practice assignments will follow the monthly worship themes.

The theme for September is “Love Calls Us On.”

Choose one or more of the following or make up your own assignment:

  1. “Love Calls Us On,” the theme for 2017-2018 and, therefore, for the month of September is a phrase taken from the UU hymn, “Life Calls Us On,” with words by the Rev. Kendyl Gibbons and music by the Rev. Jason Shelton. (This hymn was written in 2010 and is not included in either the gray hymnal or the later teal hymnal.)  The text of the hymn is based on the 7 Principles of Unitarian Universalism.  Which line(s) most resonate with you?  How do the lyrics reflect your personal values?  (Email Myrna for a copy.)
  2. What is Love calling you to do that you don’t want to do? Why do you hesitate—or refuse?
  3. In Greek, there are four words which have been translated into the word “love” by biblical translators and others. English lacks single-word distinctions for these variations.  The four words are agape, which is often translated as “charity,” as “unconditional love,” or, in the words of Thomas Aquinas, as “to will the good of another”; eros, sexual passion; philia, often translated as “brotherly/sisterly love”; and storge, associated with empathy.  You can read more at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love.  Which type of love calls you on? Why?  How?  Where?  To do what?
  4. The 13th Chapter of 1 Corinthians is sometimes referred to as the “Love Chapter.” In it, the writer (arguably the Apostle Paul writing his first letter to the Christians at Corinth) attempts to define “Love.”  How well do you think he did?  Does this describe “Love” as you try to live it?  Why or why not?  How do you or don’t you manifest this kind of love in your own life?  Email Myrna for a copy of The New Living Bible translation.
  5. “Love” may be the most overused and misunderstood word in the English language. We say, “I love you” to the special people in our lives.  We love our pets.  We love chocolate! 😉  We love a certain kind of weather.  We love that song!  We love to dance or sing or walk or swim or ________________ (fill in the blank).  All of this sometimes gives one a love/hate relationship with the word.  Make a list of the things you love and then see if you can come up with a different (better?) way of expressing the true feeling that you are trying to convey.  Could this confusion of uses be holding you back from truly doing what Love is calling you to do?  Why or why not?  Perhaps Mark Belletini’s “Love Prayer” will give you some inspiration. (Email Myrna for a copy.)
  6. Loving the unlovely is one of the great challenges of living the Unitarian Universalist way. Our first principle calls us to look for and respect “the inherent worth and dignity” in everyone.  Our seventh principle calls us to honor “the interdependent web of all existence.”  How does Love call to you through these two principles?  What are the challenges you must face in order to live by these principles?
  7. Mother Teresa, Princess Diana, Jimmy & Rosalind Carter are some examples of people who have been called by Love. Who inspires you to keep loving?  Why?

For more information or for copies of inspirational pieces for this assignment, contact Myrna.