Lay Minister, Emerita, Myrna Adams West, facilitates “Writing as Spiritual Practice” first Sundays at 9:00 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 on December 3.

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 February is “Love Calls Us On to Be Accepting.” Other related terms that might inspire you are “Compassion for Self & Others.”

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

  1. What does “acceptance” mean to you? Define it. Is it important to you to be accepted by others? Why?
  2. Do you accept yourself as you are? Why or why not? What is most acceptable about yourself? Why? What is most unacceptable about yourself? Why?
  3. Verse 2 of “When I Am Frightened,” by Shelley Jackson Denham, p. 1012 in Singing the Journey, says: “When I am angry, will you still embrace me? When I am thoughtless, will you understand? Will you believe in me, stand by me willingly? Will you share some of your questions with me? If you will show me acceptance, then I may learn to give as you do, then I may learn to give.” Why do you think Shelley chose these particular questions to illustrate acceptance? What is the relationship between “acceptance” and “giving”?
  4. What situation have you found difficult to accept? Why? What would it take for you to accept this situation so that you can live more fully? For inspiration, email Myrna for a copy of Excerpt 1 from The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (with Douglas Abrams).
  5. Who have you found difficult to accept? Why? What would it take for you to accept this person for who they are so that you both live more peacefully? For inspiration, email Myrna for a copy of Excerpt 2 from The Book of Joy by His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu (with Douglas Abrams).
  6. What unavoidable change must you accept in order to move on to a more fulfilling life? For inspiration, email Myrna for a copy of “The Mangroves,” by Mary Oliver.
  7. Write about a time in your life when you accepted something or someone that you had once found unacceptable. Be specific for yourself but decide how much you are willing to share with others before coming to the February gathering.
  8. What situation or person are you absolutely, positively unwilling to accept no way/no how? Why? What effect does this decision have on your wellbeing?
  9. Has someone in your life absolutely refused to accept you as you are? How does this make you feel? Have you tried to change the situation? Do you have a reciprocal feeling about this person or are you more accepting than he/she is? Explain.

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