Religious Exploration – What Does It Mean To Be
A People of Journey?
From our staff in the Soul Matters program:
We UUs love to tell our journey stories. And hear each other’s journey stories. Whereas other religions have newcomers stand up and confess their fallen ways or declare a commitment to one way, we invite each other to talk about how our way is like no other.
It’s a curious thing when you think about it. We welcome people to our fold not by asking them to commit to thinking exactly as the group does, but by having them declare how their journey is not like anybody else in the group. It’s about space not similarity. We bind ourselves to each other not by sharing the same journey but by offering each other the room to discover the unique journey that fits us. It’s about making room for people to write their own stories.
Or maybe it’s about making room for people to re-write their stories.
It’s become popular in our society to talk about spiritual journeys as a process of living into your full or true self. That’s a helpful frame. And yet there’s something deep within UUism that resists it. Historically, we’ve been the people that struggled not so much to find ourselves but to untangle ourselves from the religious identities we were given. Our spiritual journeys did not begin with a blank slate; they began with the hunger to wipe the slate clean and begin anew.
Our children and youth are on a religious journey too. They may not have as much “detangling” to do, but even our youngest children are not blank slates; they all are influenced by the larger society. They need people to show them that there is room for them and their beliefs here. From our toddlers that are learning compassion and stewardship of the earth by feeding the worms in the compost bin in their room, to our high school youth who often are seeking to find ways for belonging –they all need guides to help them in their journeys.
Have you ever thought about volunteering in RE, but wondered how to find out more about it? You might wonder who gets to serve as a guide in RE. How are the RE volunteers supported? What happens in the classrooms? If those are questions you’d like to explore, you’re invited to the RE Volunteer Brunch, Saturday, March 23rd from 9:30 to noon. This is for everyone interested in our program and our current volunteers. Everyone will have an opportunity to learn something new about how to run an effective RE group. And we’ll have lots of time for good food and fellowship. Please email me at dre@albanyuu or reply on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/552910065214632/ by March 17 if you’d like to join us.
YoUUrs in service,