Ponderings of our Spiritual Life Director 2-5-20

I am curious!

Have you been practicing curiosity this week? What new growth has come about because of it? Be sure to take a few moments each day to reflect and recognize it. What questions have you asked? What deeper questions has this knowing inspired?

Back in August 2018 when I started this amazing journey with you all (or with some of you, and amazing because so many more of you have joined us!), I wrote a covenant- a promise- about how I would be in this relationship with you. Curiosity was a core value of this covenant:

I covenant to listen to you and understand your perspective by asking questions.

I covenant to expect failure and success in order to find the way that works for us in the sacred and holy now.

I covenant to be forgiving.

I covenant to be curious about the many ways we can transform ourselves and our community.

I covenant to be patient and to find joy in the process of change.

It’s important to revisit covenants and make sure they are still relevant and that we are still honoring them as much as possible. I don’t see any need to change this one- I still hold these promises to the UUCL community close to my heart. I’ll post this on my bulletin board again so you can be reminded of it, and call me back in, if need be.

I wonder what sort of covenant you might write to the congregation? Would it be similar to mine? Or wildly different? Would you include curiosity as a value?

I feel strongly about recognizing curiosity as essential to our relationships. We are all so different, and when we make snap judgements and put up defenses, we put up walls between us. Curiosity opens the path.

For example (a really simple example), if someone said to me, “Heather, I don’t think we should sing ‘Spirit of Life’ every Sunday after we light the chalice”, I might immediately jump to, wow, this person hasn’t been around long enough to get that we’ve been doing this for years and I am SO not going to change it now. And, I might say to that person, “no, we’re definitely not going to change that!” But how has that opened up the possibility for growth- in worship and of our relationship? Have I let that person know that I care about their feelings and experiences? Are they the only one that feels that way? Probably not. Have I just passed up the chance to share my feelings? Have I just missed a great big opportunity for creativity? YES. And all I really had to do was get curious and ask, “why?”.

Even if we ended up not changing the sung response after the chalice lighting, I have still let someone know that I cared enough about them personally to engage in a conversation about it and hear them out. And, maybe they’ll listen to me and understand my perspective, too. And better yet, maybe we’ll come up with some new way of doing things that enhances the worship experience for everyone!

Let’s be curious. Lean in, ask a question, listen.