The mission of First Unitarian Church calls us to promote “lifelong spiritual growth.” That happens in a lot of ways in what we do, I hope. But one way in particular is through the Wellspring program, which we’ve been offering for about five years. Wellspring comes out of the Unitarian Universalist congregation in Rochester, NY, and is now offered in many of our congregations. It is a curriculum designed to offer an opportunity to “go deeper” in a person’s understanding of Unitarian Universalism and spiritual practice. So what does that look like?
In Wellspring you join a small group of fellow congregants twice a month over a period of 10 months. Each session has a theme—things like UU voices from our history, prayer, forgiveness, theology and Buddhism. There are some assigned readings to do before each session. Each time the group gathers we begin with meditation time and then there is space for a reflection on the theme. The structure of the gathering isn’t so much a discussion as making a space to hear and witness the reflections of others in the group. It is based on the work of a man named Parker Palmer and is intended to make a space to “listen each other into being.”
In addition to the group gatherings participants are asked to work on a daily spiritual practice. That would be a daily meditation, maybe a walk, maybe doing some kind of art, maybe singing. And finally participants are asked to meet once a month with a spiritual director—someone who helps a person explore their relationship with god or the universe, however one might define that.
The program is a big commitment but one worth the effort I think. If you are interested to learn more there will be an informational meeting about Wellspring on Sunday, April 30 at 1 pm in the Channing Room. You can bring your questions and learn about the application process. The program would begin with a retreat in September of 2017 and go through June of 2018.
The times we are living in ask for all of us to ground ourselves spiritually. If you think Wellspring might help you do that, I hope you will check it out and learn more.