Wellspring: A Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Journey
Wellspring is a small group, guided spiritual journey based on five core components for building a strong spiritual center: Spiritual Practice; Spiritual Direction; Unitarian Universalist History and Theology; Small Groups; and Faith in Action. The journey generally begins with a day-long retreat in September, followed by twice monthly, 2-hour meetings, a once monthly individual meeting with a spiritual director, and outside readings.
This is a very special opportunity for adult faith development and requires commitment from the participant to the monthly meetings for approximately 9 months. For more information contact the Director of Lay Ministry via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A sense of wholeness and integration as we strive to understand our beliefs and align them with our actions.
- An understanding of our Unitarian Universalist roots and how our beliefs connect with those who came before us.
- A deeper connection to our inner selves, to those around us, and to a sense of the divine.
- The ability to articulate our beliefs and to explore what those beliefs call us to do in the world.
Components of the Journey:
- Participation in a community of seekers
- Spiritual direction – self-reflection with a guide
- Daily spiritual practice
- Unitarian Universalist history and theology
- Acts of practical compassion – what our faith calls us to do in the world
During this nine month long program, participants will make every effort to:
- Attend small group sessions every other week and actively engage from both the head and the heart.
- Commit to a daily spiritual practice and seek support if that becomes difficult.
- Meet once a month with a spiritual director (spiritual companion, spiritual mentor) to facilitate your inner spiritual life.
- Complete the readings and other assignments.
Examples of Reading and Discussion Topics:
Spiritual Practice Options, Spiritual Autobiographies, Buddhism, Welcoming the Soul, Humanism, Our European Roots, Process Theology, Unitarianism and Universalism, Science and Religion, Social Justice, Transcendentalism, and Articulating our beliefs.
How much time is required for Wellspring?
Wellspring is a commitment to a spiritual journey and requires time – more than a Chalice Circle meeting but less than an academic course in divinity school. The program begins with an orientation in September and continues through May with two hour meetings scheduled bi-monthly. In addition, plan on time for daily spiritual practice, a monthly meeting with a spiritual director, and time for reading the assignments and reflecting on them.
How is this program different from a Chalice Circle?
While both groups consider spiritual matters in small groups, Wellspring is different because of the time required and the commitment to spiritual practice. It focuses on understanding the roots of our faith and the transformations in Unitarian Universalist thought, as well as our own beliefs. The readings cover a multitude of topics including history, Transcendentalism, process theology, humanism, the crises of life, and joy – we are asked to think about how our faith sustains us and what it calls us to do in the world.
What Is spiritual direction?
Spiritual direction is meeting with a guide (a spiritual director/ companion/ mentor) whose purpose is to help you explore your personal faith journey. It is about intentionally deepening your relationship with the holy, however you define it. Like psychotherapy, it is often a one-to-one experience in private sessions, but with a spiritual mentor who has most likely completed extensive training in the ministry of spiritual direction. Unlike therapy, it includes your deity, or higher power, or sense of the holy, as a third partner in the process. While it may be appropriate to discuss personal, relational, financial or health struggles in spiritual direction sessions, the focus would be on how your spiritual life is affected during these struggles. A typical question might be “Where is the holy present/absent in that experience?” Spiritual directors are open-minded guides who are in your service and are not going to advocate a particular religious view.
(July 8, 2011)