My congregation uses the Soul Matters Sharing Circle resources for focusing on monthly themes in worship and faith development. This month’s theme is “Journey” and one of the Soul Matters resources caught my attention as a great blogging exercise for Lent. It’s called “Mapping Your Religious Road.” It’s a series of 8 questions for reflection that helps you look back on your own religious journey. The list is below. Over the next month I will publish my responses to these questions. My hope is to use this time to reflect on my journey while at the same time getting myself back in the practice of writing regularly. I also hope it helps others do the same. I’d love see/hear/read your responses to these questions if you are inclined to share in the comments (or privately).
1. The First Step – Who was most responsible for your first understanding of religion? What was unique about the first religious community that shaped you? How do you feel about that community today?
2. Down the Road of Doubt – When did a crack in your faith first appear? Was it a moment of intellectual questioning or emotional disappointment?
3. Partners on Your New Path – What mentors or fellow travelers helped light and shape your new path?
4. Your First Spiritual Experience – What was the nature of your first spiritual experience? How does it still shape you today? When did your spirituality move from ideas rooted in your head to faith rooted in an experience?
5. Your First Unitarian Universalist Spiritual Experience (or your first spiritual experience in the faith tradition you currently practice). – Unitarian Universalists place the interdependent web at the center of our faith. When was the first time you experienced a moment of transcendent connection that led you to feel as though who we are does not end at the barrier of our own skin?
6. The Moment of Institutional Commitment – What led you to make an institutional commitment? How did it feel to publicly declare your religious group identity?
7. The Turn Toward Practice – At some point on the spiritual journey our faith shifts forms, from a set of beliefs to a spiritual practice that engages and grounds our whole self. What was this shift like for you? What regular practice now grounds your spiritual self?
8. Today’s Journey – What was your most impactful spiritual moment of the past year (2018 or since last Easter or last March)?