Soul Matters “Matters”: A Spiritual Exercise to Try

For the month of June, chalice circles/covenant groups are exploring the question “What does it mean to be a community of joy?” As Rev. Anne spoke about last Sunday, the theme of Joy can be deceptive. One could easily see this as a way to end the year “on a light note.” But there is deep work for us to do with this topic.

Instead of viewing the world as a place of misery and brokenness, where much of our work involves endurance and sacrifice, UUs—among others—argue that taking pleasure and delight in the world humanizes us, reconnects us to the world, and sustains us in the hard work of ministering to the world. And that joy can come from our simple surroundings, from paying attention to the sources of joy around us—and from doing that every day.

One of the Soul Matters spiritual exercises for this month asks us to capture five images of everyday joy five days in a row.  Use your phone’s camera, or keep a notebook. What around you, in Mary Oliver’s phrase, “kills [you] with delight”?

Here are a couple of questions from the June materials: “How is joy inviting you to return to life?” “Could a little more courage on your part invite joy back in?”

Poet Anne Sexton and Janusz Szuber may provide some inspiration: