“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.
I’ve been wanting to offer this deep learning experience since I participated online two years ago. Thankfully the creators have now reached the point where it is affordable for small congregations, like ours. The opportunity to share deeply in a covenanted group, to reflect on my own spirituality, and to learn more about how our UU Sources inform that spirituality was both a growth opportunity and a respite from the ‘work’ of church.
Who is this for?
Anyone (new or old) who is interested in going deeper and learning to listen from their heart to themselves and to others. This is not a course for dialogue, although there will naturally be some conversation. It is a time for deep listening to each other and self and through that process, seeing more clearly our own path. I personally think it is a wonderful opportunity for long-time UUs to reflect on their own journey. It may also provide respite for those who are in leadership or have recently stepped out of leadership. Often these leaders want or need a sabbatical from church work. This might be a way to grow connections and heal your soul.
From the Wellspring website:
Begun in 2005, the program celebrates the depth and breadth of our rich religious tradition. Over the years, UU Wellspring has expanded and now offers five years of programming: Sources (the revised first-year curriculum, described below), Spiritual Practices, Deep Questions, Faithful Actions and Sacred Practices, with Spiritual Ancestors in development.
UU Wellspring offers participants an opportunity for spiritual deepening that leads to more joyful living, increased congregational leadership, and faithful justice making in their lives and in their communities. UU Wellspring inc gives spiritual power to UU communities that will sustain and strengthen UU identity and justice work through these five essential components:
- Small group connections
- Daily spiritual practices
- Spiritual direction
- Deeper knowledge of UU history and theology
- Putting UU faith into action
Many Unitarian Universalists, young and old, are familiar with the seven principles, a statement of our most deeply held values that starts with “the inherent worth and dignity of every person” and ends with “respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.”
In addition to affirming and promoting the seven principles, the living tradition of Unitarian Universalism also draws on six sources for religious knowledge and spiritual growth: direct experience, prophetic people, world religions, Jewish and Christian teachings, humanist teachings, and Earth-centered traditions. If the seven principles are what we aspire to, the six sources are what inspires us.
In UU Wellspring – Sources, which is a prerequisite for all other years of UU Wellspring, participants are challenged by, comforted by, and inspired by each one of the six sources. They learn not just about Unitarian Universalism, but also about how to integrate their Unitarian Universalist faith more fully into their daily lives.
The practical side:
The entire program will be offered online (this is how participated) starting in September with a retreat. This is a significant commitment of 10 months with two-hour meetings twice a month. It begins with a retreat (4 hours) and includes some reading and homework between sessions, including some books that will need to be borrowed or purchased. Scholarships are available to help with book purchases if it presents a financial burden for you. The class itself is free. Although not necessary, participants are encouraged to engage a spiritual director during their time in the class.
Class size is limited to 10 people and a minimum of 6 is required to offer the program. In order to make it possible for those who work during the week to have the option to participate, I’m proposing several possible times in the registration form and asking that you indicate the best option(s) for you. It may not be possible to schedule when everyone who wants can participate, but I will do my best. Registration will close August 20 or sooner if class fills. Due to the length of the retreat, it will be Saturday, September 12 – 9:30 – 1:30. (TBC)
Complete Registration Form.
Here is a brief video of testimonials from participants in the program: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acKwZ7Lm5LI&feature=youtu.be
If you have questions, please let me know. I hope you will take advantage of this opportunity. I’d love to see you more deeply!
Catch you online!