I wasn’t entirely sure how to start this theme day, or whether to even do a religion/spiritual themed series of posts at all. However, having had the good fortune to find a congregation where I feel comfortable searching and growing my spirituality I figured I’d share my experiences and maybe what I share will be of some use to someone. However, just because I believe one thing does not mean I think that people who believe differently than I do are wrong. I just want to make that point clear, especially in these times of fear and intolerance of things that are different.
I never considered myself a very religious person, and therefore didn’t worry too much about spirituality either. The distinction that is often made, that religion and spirituality are mutually exclusive, is an argument that seems appealing on the surface, especially when one cannot find fulfillment in a “traditional” church. (I use traditional in quotes because my tradition, that of Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church, is certainly not the only one but it’s the one I know so that’s what I am talking about.) Actually, an article on Ask.com on Religion vs. Spirituality lays out very nicely some of the problems with trying to permanently separate the two. While I believe you can be spiritual without being religious, I have found (for me anyway) that being religious has helped me deepen my spirituality. It’s just that I had to find the right religion that worked best for me.
For me, that religion is Unitarian Universalism. My first introduction to this was Karen and I visited our local congregation, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Northern Chautauqua. I was intrigued. The main Principles were something I could immediately feel comfortable with. Some further reading on Spiritual Topics and more visits to our local congregation was when I realized I had found something special.
I am beginning to feel more comfortable with calling myself a religious and spiritual person. I am certainly just beginning my journey, but am excited to have found that this is a path I can take.
For more reading, check out the Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations visitors page.