Spiritual Growth Happens Someplace...
And in relation to or with others – even when, as in certain ascetic practices, that means in the absence of others. Even as the religious practices and identification of people is evolving, the value of spiritual congregation remains, as this excerpt of a post from the Parenting Blog of the New York Times explains.–Ed.
Learn how Unitarian Universalism, and The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) enable personal spiritual reflection and growth in progressive religious community in congregational and other settings.
Church on Sunday: Because Spiritual Education Takes More Than Good IntentionsBy Christine Organ
Read the entire post on the New York Times.
I was raised in a dogmatic religion, I am well aware that “religious” is not the same thing as “spiritual.” And, quite frankly, religious-but-not-spiritual is not something that I am interested in — not for myself and certainly not for my children. I do not want them to be force fed religion or bullied into believing something. I do, however, want to provide them with a strong sense of spirituality, along with a spiritual community, and a framework to lead them on their own faith journey, regardless of where that journey takes them.
Helping children develop that sense of spirituality requires intention and connection. For my family, the intention and the connection are best accomplished within a liberal religious community (Unitarian Universalist, in case you’re wondering). For others, spirituality might be taught best within a traditional religion, or entirely outside the context of religion; for some, spiritual connection might be obtained through long hikes in the forest, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or reading poetry.
But without something external putting spirituality in front of us weekly, I worry that my intention of sharing my spirituality with my children may go unfulfilled. Opportunities for spiritual connection can so easily go away. And just like parents cannot home-school their child on subjects like math, science and grammar without actually teaching math, science and grammar, I’m not sure a parent can raise a child to be spiritual without actually teaching them how to do so. It takes more than just good intentions; it takes an intentional effort to be spiritual and then letting our children bear witness to our own spirituality.