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.

Justice

“Am I my brother’s keeper?” 

Mysticism

Mysticism is our Whole Souul Living Theme for December, which we will be exploring in a number of different ways.  Here is a fine definition from Rabbi Lawrence Kushner;  Who is a mystic?

Wisdom

A basic definition of wisdom is, “the use of knowledge for goodness.”  The opposite of wisdom is folly.  The dictionary says wisdom is, “Knowledge of what is true or right coupled with just judgment as to action.”  Confucius wrote; “By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.

Spiritual Practices

Spiritual Practices is our Whole Souul Living Theme for October.  And because we are Unitarian Universalists, some definition is in order.  The word spiritual comes from the Latin spirare, the breath.

Learning and Growth

As happens too often, modern culture gets it exactly backwards when it comes to Learning and Growth, assuming yet another commodity to be acquired for its practical or monetary value.  But the wisdom teachings and spiritual traditions of the world would have us see a deeper dimension to learning and growth.  The depth dimensions of learning and growth are about a lifelong process of becoming more aware, more conscious, more sensitive to the inner reaches, more at home in the world.  “I have never let my schoo

Ultimacy

Ultimacy may seem like an odd word for a Whole Souul Living Theme, so a little background is probably needed.  Unitarian theologian James Luther Adams once summarized the reasons people go to church as, “because of the need for intimacy and ultimacy.”  Intimacy refers to the need for felt connection among people; belonging, acceptance, love, and community.  Ultimacy refers to the equally powerful human need for meaning, transcendence, and a larger purpose for our lives.  It is the second part

Forgiveness

The Whole Souul Living Theme for July is Forgiveness, a subject both rich and deep.  Consider this quote from Reinhold Niebuhr:  Nothing that is worth doing can be achieved in our lifetime; therefore we must be saved by hope.  Nothing which is true and beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore we must be saved by faith.  Nothing we do, however virtuous, can be accomplished alone; therefore we are saved by love.  No virtuous ac

Liberation

Liberation is our Whole Souul Living Theme for June.  It differs from the Freedom theme of about a year ago in that Liberation assumes some previous or current bondage or restriction.  Broadly speaking, Liberation can be political, physical, emotional, spiritual, or all of the above.  Consider this quote from Laura van Dernoot Lipsky:  “We will find the key to our liberation only when we accept that what we once did to survive is now destroying us.”

Vocation

Vocation is the Whole Souul Living Theme for May.  Given that there is an inherent tension (perhaps a chasm!) between living a personal vocation and the realities of the job market, this month we will explore the work and vocation of being human.  This is a two-way street.  That is, even though we think of the work we do as shaping or changing things outside of ourselves, in reality the world changes us in equal measure through our interactions with it.  Or, as Rainer Maria Rilke wrote; "In the difficult are

Compassion

Love has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Love and compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which Love is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which Love is to bless us now.

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