Minister’s Message – January 2016

Posted on Jan 27, 2016 in Feature Stories, From Rev. Dave

Awareness isn’t for the weak of heart. That’s why we strengthen ourselves through beloved community. That’s why we cultivate nourishing relationships. That’s why we create beauty. That’s why we pursue commerce. That’s why we craft worship together. That’s why we dedicate to spiritual practice.

Yet, no surprise, as with all human endeavors: growing a soul itself includes suffering.

  • After a week of sitting and walking meditation, I tore a meniscus.
  • Creating beloved community, relationships have been strained toward breaking over conflicts or harms, real or imagined.
  • Dealing with aging parents or challenged children, even the most spiritually grounded get overwhelmed.

As the watered-down version of Buddhism would have it, “life is suffering.” That’s why so many people go to drinking or drugging or shopping or internet surfing or sports or movie watching or whatever addiction of choice that allows them to check out.

Rather than finding a way out of suffering, Unitarian Universalist ministry is largely among people who are willing to live in this immanent world of winter flagssuffering, delight, attachment, and deeply flawed humanity. So ministry focuses on encouraging each other to access spiritual reservoirs that move through the suffering.

Spiritual practices of prayer or fasting or meditation or reading or selfless service are addictions designed to make us more aware; not to numb the pain, not to avoid the pain, but to experience human life in its full glory with all its pain and all its ecstasy. To experience life as it is for what it is.

Spiritual practices of prayer or fasting or meditation or reading or selfless service are addictions designed to make us more aware.

Like life, spiritual practice and beloved community are hard. That’s why it’s such a gift that you are here. That you recognize that we make it through together. That you are reading this. That you are dedicating a small or large part of your life to growing your soul in this Free Church serving the Free Spirit on the North Side.

Not an easy thing to do. Not an easy place or time to do it. Which makes it all the more vital. All the more miraculous. Thank you for creating miracles together.

Always love, Rev Dave