You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2011.

In their introduction to the spiritual practice of Shadow, Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat mention that this particular practice “balances/counters” Pollyannaism. I was immediately reminded of the difficulties Unitarian Universalist congregations (and the association as a whole) faced in theAngel with light and dark wings representing the Yin Yang nature of Jung's shadow aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. How does a religion that emphasizes the essential goodness of humanity deal with atrocities that appear to come from the shadows? One way, of course, would be to acknowledge (if not embrace) the shadow side of our own psyches, a tough task for a faith tradition that has “May Nothing Evil Cross This Door” as the first hymn in its hymnal. The Brussats say that “The spiritual practice of shadow encourages us to make peace with those parts of ourselves that we find to be despicable, unworthy, and embarrassing—our anger, jealousy, pride, selfishness, violence, and other ‘evil deeds.'” We don’t necessary leave a lot of room for that kind of peacemaking in our congregations. Perhaps this small group ministry session based on resources from SpiritualityandPractice.com could serve as a starting point.

Chalice/Candle Lighting

Opening Words:

The very things we wish to avoid, reject, and flee from turn out to be the “prima materia” from which all real growth comes.
— Andrew Harvey in Dialogues with a Modern Mystic

Check-in/Sharing

Topic:

A Teaching Story from The Force of Character and the Lasting Life by James Hillman

James Hillman can always be counted on to come up with a fresh image to make his points. Here he encourages us to deal with the shadow parts of ourselves.

I like to imagine a person’s psyche to be like a boardinghouse full of characters. The ones who show up regularly and who habitually follow the house rules may not have met other long-term residents who stay behind closed doors, or who only appear at night. An adequate theory of character must make room for character actors, for the stuntmen and animal handlers, for all the figures who play bit parts and produce unexpected acts. They often make the show fateful, or tragic, or farcically absurd.

Questions: Who are some of the characters in your psyche’s boardinghouse? Are there any oddball ones you would like to introduce to the regulars?

Check-out/Likes and Wishes

Closing Words:

To honor and accept one’s own shadow is a profound spiritual discipline.
— Robert A. Johnson in Owning Your Own Shadow

To Practice This Thought: Whenever you come across people who are always demonizing their enemies, vow to take responsibility for your actions and accept your shadow self.

Group Session Plan based on resources on Shadow from www.spiritualityandpractice.com.

For a PDF version of this small group ministry session, click here: Shadow.

For more information on small group ministry, visit the UU Small Group Ministry Network.

Here’s an archived version of my most recent webinar on how congregations can use web technologies and digital media to optimize their online presence. I shared a lot of good resources, which are available here via a great service from bit.ly which bundles multiple links under a single, shortened URL. Check it out!

Optimizing Your Congregation's Web Presence Resource Links

Facebook Twitter More...

Follow UURevPhil on Twitter

Flickr Photos

Tweets

My del.icio.us

RSS Unitarian Universalist Association: Top Stories

  • My Ancestors' Dreams September 23, 2020
    Daniel Gregoire
  • Practicing Covenant September 21, 2020
    Erica BaronSo, friends, let’s practice together. I invite you to engage in some reflection about whether and how you are bringing that individualism into your practice of covenant and what a deeper practice of covenant can make possible for us. Continue reading "Practicing Covenant"
    Erica Baron
  • Begetting Community September 16, 2020
    Christine SlocumPart of being in community is noticing what's needed. Part of being in community is doing what is necessary but unclaimed.Continue reading "Begetting Community"
    Christine Slocum
  • Room for Something New September 9, 2020
    Erica ShadowsongOne day, I’ll have to care for my mother as she once cared for me. I’m not ready to handle the truth that our relationship must change.Continue reading "Room for Something New"
    Erica Shadowsong
  • A Message From The UUA President: A Season of Ingathering September 2, 2020
    Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray calls us to remain mindful of our deep connections at the start of the congregational year. We are connected through our traditions of love and justice, and we are connected in our shared faith as Unitarian Universalists.Continue reading "A Message From The UUA President: A Season of Ingathering"

RSS The Interdependent Web

Categories

%d bloggers like this: