Centering in Gifts
In his book The Healing Wisdom of Africa, Malidoma Somé writes,
…there are two things that people crave: the full realization of their innate gifts, and to have these gifts approved, acknowledged, and confirmed. There are countless people in the West whose efforts are sadly wasted because they have no means of expressing their unique genius.
Malidoma calls himself a “reverse missionary.” His people—the Dagara of Burkina Faso—were taught Christianity from Jesuit missionaries. His purpose is to share the wisdom of indigenous teaching and community with Westerners. This quote is a reflection of that wisdom. The Dagara understand that
- we ALL have gifts
- these gifts come into the world with us when we are born
- the purpose of these gifts is to maintain the well being of the community
- every human being longs to deliver their gifts and to have these gifts acknowledged
If this is true, we cannot promote and affirm the inherent worth and dignity of anyone unless we are able to acknowledge and receive their gifts. Centering in gifts is a vital practice for human well being and wholeness. This is true for individualsand the community as a whole. Our gifts are not for us—they are meant to build, maintain, and restore the community. The community needs us to deliver our gifts so it can be vibrant and strong. And we need the community to help us identify our gifts, show us where those gifts are needed, and to receive our gifts.
"Centering in Gifts" Posts From Our Practice Makes Possible Blog
Displaying 1 - 10 of 13.
The point of a community of practice is for people who want to get better at something to learn from each other through regular interaction. Even people new to a field can help the group learn. Their observations and questions can identify unrecognized practices and raise awareness of which...By Meck Groot, Joe Sullivan | October 20, 2022 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
Maybe you’ve heard the inspirational story about the starfish. It’s often told as a celebration of a young child’s hope triumphing over a curmudgeonly elder’s resignation to the inevitability of encroaching doom. But taking those signifiers out of the story, and it goes something like this:...By Wren Bellavance-Grace | May 25, 2022 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
Last year, at their request, I met with Follen Responds to Racism (FRR), an anti-racism team at the Follen Community Church in Lexington, MA. We had an animated conversation. They told me about their work and the many ways they are addressing racism within and beyond their congregation. I was...By Meck Groot | March 22, 2022 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
“Hello, who are you?” “I don’t know; I’ve never met me before!” This dialogue is from a comedy skit a friend and I wrote for an elementary school talent show. My comedy career never took off, but this dialogue resonates with me these days, as we collectively emerge from two years of...By Wren Bellavance-Grace | March 15, 2022 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
While I was growing up, a strange thing happened. When I was very young, I naturally explored all sorts of interests, from ancient history to art to writing poetry. I’m grateful that I came up through a well-funded school district with robust extracurricular programs that enabled me to play...By Rev. Molly Brewer | February 22, 2022 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
At the beginning of 2020, we didn’t know what was coming. At the beginning of 2021, we had hope on the horizon. Now, at the beginning of 2022, our hope is tempered by a healthy respect for how quickly things can change, and some trust in our ability - and flexibility - to faithfully respond....February 15, 2022 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
According to Movement Strategy Center (1), community transformation depends on: power analysis: understanding who has access to resources; who influences and participates in decision-making; and whose standards, stories and worldviews are valued; community organizing: working together across our...By Meck Groot | November 22, 2021 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
Here I was thinking everything had already been said. That there were no other words to say (again) what we all already know: here we are, still in pandemic life. And yet, a shift has arrived and there are ideas being shared that can bring comfort, illumination, and insight. So, I wanted to share...By Hilary Allen | September 22, 2021 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions
September is County Fair season in much of New England. In our UU congregations, September is also Ingathering time; water communion time; returning-to-church-time after far-flung summers laden with small jars of water from our travels and foot-long zucchinis from overflowing gardens....By Wren Bellavance-Grace | August 23, 2021 | From New England Region
A congregational board member called to ask what their church might do about their building. Like so many New England churches, theirs is old, labyrinthine, mostly inaccessible, and larger than they need now....By Meck Groot | July 22, 2021 | From New England RegionTagged as: UUA Districts & Regions