We practice something called “theme-based ministry” here at OUUC, with a monthly theme that we receive from our subscription to Soul Matters. This month’s theme has been “Imagination”. One of the things I love about theme-based ministry is that it connects worship to small group ministry and to the children and youth ministries, helping to break down some of the divisions and silos we might otherwise fall into. It also offers the opportunity to connect your communal worship practice with your personal spiritual practice.

How would you do that? Well, for instance in this month’s Soul Matters theme packet (available each month by joining the Soul Matters Group on OUUC Connect or by emailing me to request a copy). The packet always contains suggestions for spiritual practices, inspiring quotes, questions for reflection, and links to articles, songs, and videos related to the theme. Some of these will show up in worship, or in small group ministry covenant circles, or in youth group, but you could also find a gem in there just for you.

This month there was a suggestion of a personal spiritual practice of imaginatively re-writing every other line of a poem. The youth group did that together this month and really enjoyed the process. The packet also contained a suggestion of Shel Silverstein poetry, and one of our Thursday evening spiritual practices utilized these poems.

How else could you bring the theme of the month into your personal practice? You could journal about it. You could creatively respond to the theme with art or other expressive forms. This month Amy Bertrand incorporated it into a New Years intention: “Less rumination, more imagination.”

Next month’s theme is “Beloved Community”. If you’d like a packet, just let me know!