“What will you do with this one wild and precious life?” asks the poet Mary Oliver.
UU Wellspring™ is a 10-month program of distinctly Unitarian Universalist spiritual development designed to help participants answer that provocative question. Begun in 2005, the program celebrates the depth and breadth of our rich religious tradition.
The Five Spokes
UU Wellspring incorporates five elements designed to balance a knowledge of UU history/theology with personal spiritual practice and engagement with the world:
- A commitment to daily spiritual practice
- Participation in a small-group community
- Individual work with a spiritual director
- Readings and resources for knowledge and reflection
- Reflection and commitment to live out our values in the world
Wellspring at First Unitarian
Each year, many members of our church participate in this amazing journey. Wellspring offers spiritual deepening within our Unitarian Universalist tradition, an opportunity for learning more about ourselves and our faith through a year-long small group experience. There are five interconnected components: commitment to a daily spiritual practice, monthly spiritual direction (self-reflection with a guide), small group meetings, reading about the theological and historical foundations of our faith, and putting our faith into action. After a day-long opening retreat in September 2015, Wellspring will meet every other week through May 2016.
For a brief overview of the Wellspring program, view the video below.
What is the cost?
We ask for $100 for the year-long program. This covers costs to the Wellspring organization. In addition, there is usually a sliding scale fee for the spiritual director that you see monthly. Those fees can be anywhere from $20-$150 a session but most typically are in the $40-$60 range. Scholarship money may be available to help with the yearly fee or for spiritual direction.
Do I need to be a member to do this?
We encourage you to be a member but it is not a formal requirement. The important thing is that you should be at a place where you know the church is your spiritual home. If you are still in discernment about that, it might be good to wait a year for Wellspring.
How much time does it take?
There are two group meetings per month for 2 hours each. You see your spiritual advisor once a month as well. In preparation for each session you need to set aside time for readings, generally not more than a couple of hours and usually a lot less. Finally, it is the time you devote to a daily spiritual practice—that’s at least a few minutes each day.
What does a session look like?
Each session begins with an opening reading and 10 minutes of silent meditation. That is followed by a check in about how your spiritual practice and work with a spiritual advisor is going. Next, the bulk of the time is about an hour to reflect on the readings and topic of the day. The last part of the meeting is dedicated to the “so what?” piece—what am I going to do with what I have learned?