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

  • Rev. Susan Frederick Gray Selects Carey McDonald to be Acting COO of UUA July 18, 2017
    The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), today announced the appointment of Carey McDonald as Acting Chief Operating Officer effective August 1. McDonald succeeds the Rev. Sarah Lammert who served as Interim Chief Operating Officer following the resignation of the Rev. Harlan Limpert in April. Continue reading […]
  • Arrested As An Act of Moral Obedience - A Reflection on the Healthcare Debate from Rev. Robin Tanner July 18, 2017
    The Rev. Robin Tanner, minister of worship and outreach at Beacon Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit, NJ, joined the Revs. William Barber, Traci Blackmon, Jennifer Butler and others outside of Senator Mitch McConnell’s office to protest the deep cuts to Medicaid included in the most recent version of the Republican healthcare bill. Rev. Tanner joi […]
  • UUA Condemns Anti-Gay Purge in Chechnya June 27, 2017
  • UUA Denounces SCOTUS Decision on Trump’s Travel Ban June 27, 2017
    Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray issued the following statement in response to today’s Supreme Court decision regarding President Trump’s executive order on travel:  Continue reading UUA Denounces SCOTUS Decision on Trump’s Travel Ban.
  • Susan Frederick-Gray Elected UUA President June 25, 2017
    Minister of Phoenix, AZ congregation wins three-way race to become the first woman elected to the office. Continue reading Susan Frederick-Gray Elected UUA President.

RSS The Interdependent Web

Categories

%d bloggers like this: