Sacred Words Project
The idea is simple: Traditional theological language opens a door to a long and deep discussion about what it means to be human. Given this, why not bring these sacred words into conversation with our monthly themes?
This is what our Sacred Words Supplemental Packets are all about. They don't help us explore the sacred word as much as they help us bring the sacred word and monthly theme into dialog. So, for instance, in October we're pairing "mysticism" with our main theme of belonging, and our Sacred Word packet will help us ask, “How does mysticism help us understand what it means to be a people of belonging?”
Yes, we could have a rich conversation about belonging without bringing in mysticism, but without it one wonders if we'd explore as deeply what it means to belong to and lose ourselves in the "divine" or "the life of life"?
This project is also in line with Soul Matters' core commitment to breaking down the barriers that separate us and cut us off from meaning. Too often, we UUs have built walls around sacred words and then posted a sign that reads "Keep Out." When it comes to the language of reverence, we've not thrown the baby out with the bathwater, as much as locked the baby in the church closet.
The Sacred Words Project is about unlocking that door and allowing those sacred words to spill out and into our monthly conversations. It's not about agreeing or disagreeing with the words, as much as it is about allowing them to help us participate in sacred conversations that have been going on for centuries. We aren't allowing them in. They are inviting us in.
Using the Packets and the Pilot Year Focus
We want to make sure we're not biting off more than we can chew. So for this first year, we are only producing one packet which will focus mainly on worship support. Our general aim is to help worship teams bring theological depth to all of their services. Our specific hope is that congregations will use these packets to set aside one Sunday each month as a "sacred word Sunday" where they make the entire service about exploring how the sacred word brings a new and deeper lens to the monthly theme. Again, using "mysticism" as the example, this sacred word Sunday would ask, "How does mysticism invite us to be a people of belonging?"
Next year, we hope to expand the effort to include packets that weave the sacred words into small groups and children's religious education. We hope you experiment with that on your own this year. We'll gather in the spring to share what we learn and how that might shape next year's resources.
This Year's Line Up
Here's the entire list of the 2019-20 sacred words and the core themes they are paired with:
September: Faith (expectation)
October: Mysticism (belonging)
November: Prayer (attention)
December: Reverence (awe)
January: Soul (integrity)
February: Grace (resilience)
March: Awakening (wisdom)
April: Surrender (liberation)
May: Blessing (thresholds)
June: Myth (play)
To help clarify the connection between our sacred words and core themes, we've shaped each sacred word into a sacred path statement. Check them out HERE.
Subscribing to the Supplement Packets
Subscriptions include 10 packets, one for each month/theme of the year.
Annual subscriptions are $150.
CHECK OUT A SAMPLE: To give you a better sense of what these packets entail, click here to download and explore September's packet on Expectation and Faith.
Purchase by clicking on the button below...
For more information contact Susan: firstname.lastname@example.org