As a Unitarian Universalist, I am constantly learning from classes, workshops and other opportunities for growth and development. I am grateful to be in a religion that encourages lifelong learning. The members of the Pastoral Care Team and I have been taking the UUA training “Spiritual Care Training for Congregational Leaders.” The class is an excellent review of pastoral care skills that I have learned in the past, and I am learning many new things as well. I really appreciate one segment by Reverend Erica Baron. In this segment she discusses the model of spiritual leadership that is used by the UUA New England Region. They believe that the purpose of congregations is to equip everyone in the congregation to live into their spiritual leadership. By spiritual leadership, they mean:
-living by our deepest values, guided by our connection to other people and the world
-doing what is ours to do and giving our unique gifts to the world
-living in our dignity, integrity and personal power.
They believe that every person has the ability to practice spiritual leadership this way, and that congregations can support members in living into spiritual leadership.
Erica shares the idea of Centering in Gifts. This practice starts with the acknowledgement that each person has unique gifts to share with the world, and longs to have those gifts fully realized, acknowledged and affirmed. Congregations are places where we can support people by helping them discern their gifts, offering them opportunities to share those gifts, and expressing gratitude for their gifts. Centering in gifts is a way to help congregants find more meaning, joy and purpose in life.
At BBUUC, I see people sharing their unique gifts through worship, pastoral care, teaching classes, participating in service and social justice efforts, and more. I wonder how looking at the framework of spiritual leadership might help us grow as a congregation. How can we strengthen our capacity to call forth the spiritual leadership of our members? I look forward to exploring these themes together. You can read more about this model of spiritual leadership here: