Whole Souul Living

WHOLE SOUUL LIVING is the name we have given to monthly themes at First Unitarian Denver. Given the spiritual and religious diversity of our church, WHOLE SOUUL LIVING is intended as a way to focus and connect the ongoing reflection, discussion, and religious learning of the community. Below are some quotes, resources, stories, and/or thoughts related to this month's theme, and under that are some questions for reflection and sharing. Monthly themes will also be reflected in our Sunday worship and Religious Exploration for all ages. We hope you will find these useful, and the shared monthly themes of our community to be deeply connective.

The themes are collected in a three year recurring cycle, they are: 
Year One - Learning and Growth, Spiritual Practices (i.e. Prayer), Wisdom, Mysticism, Justice, Grace, Memory and Hope, Covenant, Community, Truth, Insight, and Simplicity.
Year Two - Vision, Transcendence/Transformation, Preparation, Divinity, Economy, Evil, Common Ground, Creativity, Change, Myth, The Sources, Hospitality.
Year Three - Freedom, Scripture, Generosity, Salvation, Peace, Brokenness, Imagination, Compassion, Vocation, Liberation, Mercy, Ultimacy.


Economy is our Whole Souul Living Theme for January, which probably needs just a little introduction. In a sense, everything has some economy to it. Because, everything comes with trade-offs. E.B. White once wrote, “I wake each morning torn between two impulses: the impulse to savor the world, and the impulse to save it. It makes it hard to plan the day...”


Our Whole Souul Living Theme for December is Divinity. For traditional Christians, the word usually refers to the Christian God or the nature of Jesus. For Jews, divinity could apply to anything from the orthodox God of the Old Testament to the cosmic Ein Sof (without end) of Kabbahlistic teaching. For many Indigenous People, divinity could refer to the animating spirits of nature or the mysterious forces that turn the seasons or the world.


Preparation is the Whole Souul Living Theme for November, another time-honored yet deeply under-rated spiritual discipline. Preparation is the answer to the question, “What if I have to speak in front of hundreds of people?” It is the same answer to the question, “How can I live a more authentic life?” or any number of other pressing Life questions. Preparation forces us to get clear about our intentions, something else frequently overlooked by spiritual seekers.


Transcendence/Transformation is the Whole Souul Living Theme for October, appropriate for this time of seasonal change.  Indeed, Life is a series of transformations, transcending what we were, what we later became, and into whatever we are currently becoming.  Some of these happen slowly over years; one day you realize that you barely remember the person you used to be.  Other changes happen suddenly and uninvited as when tragedy, loss, illness, or some other event pushes us outside normal


“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there, and any leader will do.”


It is a common feeling in this day and age that we are working too much, rushing too much, consuming too much. Most people feel there is too little time for friends and family, for community, creativity, spirituality, or connectedness. Simplicity is a counter-response to the paradigm of modern life. Simplicity is living consciously in order to live more fully, thinking through our behaviors in terms of the consequences for the well-being of people, ourselves, and the planet.


Unitarian minister and transcendentalist Ralph Waldo Emerson believed that Nature is a far better and more appropriate scripture than any book, and that every human soul (part of Nature) is a manifestation of the divine. We lie in the lap of immense intelligence, which makes us receivers of its truth and organ of its activity. When we discern justice, when we discern truth, we do nothing by ourselves, but allow a passage to its beams.



Community is our Whole Souul Living Theme for May. In a wonderful allegory, Rev. Barbara Pescan wrote: One of the old ones stood up into the morning light and spoke to those who had come back to the river: "Now we have come again to this place; it is a good thing. My life apart from you is not as strong. Yes, I have danced and I have told the stories at my own fire and I have sung to all the six directions. But when I am with you, my friends, I know better who it is in me that sings. This month, you are encouraged to reflect deeply on Community; your own longing for community, the joys and the difficulties of community. Within this community, please find opportunities to share with each other your reflections on the following questions.
• How do we want to be in community?
• How do we want others to be?
• What behavior or assumptions foster a sense of community?
• Relate an experience of being in community.
• Relate an experience of being excluded from community.
• What do you need to know about me; and what do I need to know about you?


      Covenant is our Whole Souul Living Theme for April, and we are proudly a covenantal tradition.  In Unitarian Universalism, we are distrustful of creeds, and we mean something fairly specific when we talk about covenant.  Our covenant is not a contract, nor a promise, but a statement of our highest, mutual aspirations.  It is how we aspire to be with each other, and the underlying religious premise is that how we actually live our lives is more important than w