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.

Advertisements

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

  • Love Resists Family Separation and Detention June 25, 2018
    Our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of all people calls us to resist the inhumane criminalization of people who migrate. Continue reading Love Resists Family Separation and Detention.
  • Justice on Earth is the 2018-19 Common Read June 25, 2018
    Join together to read and discuss this collection of essays exploring the intersectional impacts of climate change. Continue reading Justice on Earth is the 2018-19 Common Read.
  • The UUA Condemns Family Separation at the U.S./Mexico Border June 18, 2018
    The UUA condemns the Trump administration’s appalling assault on vulnerable families seeking asylum in the United States. Continue reading The UUA Condemns Family Separation at the U.S./Mexico Border.
  • BLUU Hosts GA Public Witness June 7, 2018
    Led by Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, prophetic ministry at GA will kick off #EndMoneyBail work and support local organizing. Continue reading BLUU Hosts GA Public Witness.
  • UUA Congratulates the Rev. Mary Katherine Morn on Appointment to Lead UU Service Committee June 7, 2018
    On May 16, the board of trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) announced that they had selected the Rev. Mary Katherine Morn as the human rights organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer. Since 2014, Morn has served as the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Director of Stewardship and Development and Special Advisor […]

RSS The Interdependent Web

Categories

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: