Saturday, September 29, 2007

Conversation on Source #1, Direct Experience of the Mystery

Last Sunday's sermon on Source #1, "direct experience of transcending mystery and wonder", was well received by the congregation and I am looking forward to tonight's followup conversation, here at my house, in which we will discuss further our own experiences of that mystery and wonder.

I have no way of knowing how many people will show up at 7 to participate, because I didn't ask for RSVPs, and it's entirely possible that no one will come. Yikes! I remember a horrible Christmas one year long ago when I volunteered to host the faculty Christmas party and NOBODY came. It was more a matter of distance than of popularity, I realized, but it hurt just the same! If only a few people show up, I will be content.

I've asked people to view the movie "Smoke" in preparation for the evening and I've devised a format. We'll light the chalice and then I'll start off with a warm-up question, just as I used to do with my counseling groups at the school where I was employed: what is a song or poem or other such which has touched you spiritually?

From there, we'll consider some or all of these questions: what did you notice about spiritual experience in "Smoke"? how have you experienced directly "the transcending mystery and wonder"? how is it affirmed in our culture? in others' culture? what does "renewal of the spirit" mean to you? What does "openness to the forces that create and uphold life" mean to you?

I'm hoping for some good conversation in which people will share their own spiritual journeys as they feel comfortable, revealing moments in their lives which were profound, or inspiring, or life-changing.

I've got some good cheeses, some wine and hot cider, and, I hope, enough chairs. I'll let you know how it goes. Keep your fingers crossed that we get enough folks for a good exchange.

Doing this series of sermons and conversations on the Sources of Unitarian Universalism is really exciting for me. There is always lots of interest in the Principles but we take the Sources for granted, and I think they may be more enlightening than any other part of our history.

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