UU Wellspring™ appeals to many individuals who are hungry for an experience that enables them to pursue and share their deepest spiritual longings. Bi-weekly group meetings, daily spiritual practice and sessions with a spiritual director are key components of the program. And yet we also profess to be a people of “deeds, not creeds.” This is reflected in our Vision Statement, which reads in part that UU Wellspring “creates safe space for our members to connect with the holy within so they can feel joyfully alive and be of heartfelt service to their communities, friends and families, congregations, and the world.”
Similarly, in his campaign platform in 2009, UUA President Rev. Peter Morales emphasized that “Spiritual reflection is not an escape, or an end to itself, but rather a preparation for a more purposeful relationship to life. . . The measure of our spirituality is how we live and what we do, not what inspiring things we read. Our lives, not our words, speak most powerfully of our spirituality. Compassion that does not lead to action is not true compassion.”
Thus, the final spoke in the UU Wellspring program is putting faith into action. We end each session by asking SO WHAT? What do the readings, discussions and personal spiritual work call us to do — in our individual lives? in our congregations? in our local communities? and in the world at large? How should we live out our faith?
This is the fifth year that Wellspring has been a part of my life. I’ve participated in, and then facilitated, the UU Wellspring-Foundation program; facilitated UU Wellspring-Deep Questions; and I am now facilitating UU Wellspring-Faith in Action, a brand new program being piloted in a few UU congregations. And of course this has also meant five years of a daily spiritual practice (well, almost daily), and working with a spiritual director. During this time I’ve moved from full-time lawyering (doing environmental litigation on behalf of the citizens of New York State) to serving as a chaplain at Albany Medical Center, a large regional trauma center in eastern New York. And my immersion in UU Wellspring has played a major role in this rather significant career change.
Howard Thurman says this: “Don’t ask what the world needs. . . ask what makes you come alive and go do it. Because what the world needs are people who have come alive.” UU Wellspring has helped me to come alive. What about you?
Go do it!