A Deeper UU Spiritual Practice

Here’s an article on UU World that picks up a topic I’ve been discussing with Rev. Diana: what would a Unitarian Universalist spiritual practice look like?

Members of every religious community differ widely in their interest in spiritual practice. Some simply want to belong. Some get all they need from Sunday services. Others add Adult RE. But in the UU world, if you want more than that, if you want a structured program of spiritual exploration and depth, the only real option is to go to seminary and become a minister. As a denomination, we don’t have any advanced theological training for lay people.

Today, if a visitor walks into DUUF and asks about “spirituality” we may point him or her toward CUUPS or the Zen Group. But what if this person isn’t interested in Paganism or Buddhism – if they wanted to be a Buddhist, they’d be at a Buddhist temple and not a UU church.

As Rev. Diana points out, a large part of this is left over from the 1961 merger of the Unitarians and the Universalists. The two denominations agreed on polity, but left questions of theology, spirituality, and practice untouched. It’s finally getting some attention – and some funding. The UUA has committed $150,000 for projects on lay theological education.

This is a big question and I don’t have an easy answer –but I’m trying to come up with something. Here’s a blog (that uses the same Blogger format as mine – kinda startled me for a minute) by the author of the UU World piece that frames the question a bit better than I do. And here’s another blog set up by the UUA for soliciting feedback.

What are your thoughts? What would a uniquely UU spiritual practice consist of? What have you seen done in other religions and denominations that you’d like to have in Unitarian Universalism?

About John Beckett

I grew up in Tennessee with the woods right outside my back door. Wandering through them gave me a sense of connection to Nature and to a certain Forest God. I’m a Druid graduate of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, the Coordinating Officer of the Denton Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans and a former Vice President of CUUPS Continental. I’ve been writing, speaking, teaching, and leading public rituals for the past eleven years. I live in the Dallas – Fort Worth area and I earn my keep as an engineer.


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