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?

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About John Beckett

I’m a Druid in the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids. I’m an ordained priest in the Universal Gnostic Fellowship. I’m the Coordinating Officer of the Denton, Texas Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans. This year I’m also serving as a member of the Board of Trustees of CUUPS National. I’m a member of the Denton Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

I write as a spiritual practice. It helps me organize my thoughts and work through ideas and concepts. It helps me evaluate my beliefs and practices against my core values and against what I know (or at least, what I think I know) to be true. It helps me interpret my experiences (religious and otherwise) in ways that are both meaningful and honest.