This month we are exploring the spiritual theme of “Belonging” in worship and in our small group discussions. Like all good spiritual explorations, it has many paths in and rich questions to deepen our journey. I am especially fond of the work of Brene Brown on belonging and offered her definition of true belonging in my sermon on October 6. Brown says:
Belonging is the innate human desire to be part of something larger than us. Because this yearning is so primal, we often try to acquire it by fitting in and by seeking approval, which are not only hollow substitutes for true belonging but often barriers to it. Because true belonging only happens when we present our authentic, imperfect selves to the world, our sense of belonging can never be greater than our level of self-acceptance. (Braving the Wilderness, p. 31)
One of the many parts of this quote is that part of true belonging is that we accept ourselves and present our whole selves to the world. This means that, in order to truly belong and offer belonging to others, we are responsible for knowing and accepting all of ourselves. In other words, we do the spiritual work of inner exploration in order to be in the world in an authentic and real way. This is the constant flow and connection of our inner and outer work; both are needed for our ourselves and for the world.
I am reminded that with the belonging, and any spiritual journey, comes responsibility; we are invited to grow, whether we choose to or not is up to us.
This month we are also exploring the spiritual themes of generosity and abundance as we engage in our annual stewardship drive. This month we ask for OUUC members and friends to pledge financial resources to help fulfill the mission of OUUC. For me, pledging is another responsibility of belonging to a spiritual community and is part of my spiritual journey, so I have pledged to OUUC. It is also how we do the inner work of creating and sustaining our spiritual home so that we can nourish ourselves and join together to work for justice.
If you have pledged already, and many of you have, thank you! If you have not yet, I invite you to consider your spiritual journey, both the inner work and the outer connection. And, if you have any questions or want to talk further, please reach out to me or your Stewardship Chairs, Jean Phillips and Sally Brennand.
Blessings on your week.