Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Friendship, Friend, Friending

I am participating in a small and relatively new activity within the Unitarian Universalist Association of churches. #UULent (on Facebook) is trying to bring together far-flung UUs to have a shared experience. 

As the site says: 
Yesterday was the first day of #UULent! Consider joining UUs from all around the world in a spiritual discipline of deep intention and appreciation of our world, our place in it, and an openness to Grace in our daily lives.

#UULent is designed to be used individually, as a family, or as a congregation. For each day in Lent a word has been selected. Each day participants are invited to reflect on the meaning of the day’s word, then create a photograph that represents the word, idea, practice, or concept and post it here and/or elsewhere.

Beginning on Ash Wednesday and for each day until Easter, the word for the day and a related quote will be posted. Reflect and engage throughout the day, checking for the word and quote in the morning, then come back later in the day to add your photo* and to see the images and words others have shared throughout the day (*YOUR photo - please respect copyright!).

May this intentional practice and discipline impact your daily life in ways that bring you closer to your spiritual core and offer you resiliency for life.

Now, I'm not a photo kind of gal. You might have seen my food pix each February over at "Parsley, Sage, and RosemaryTime" so I am doing my reflections with words. Each day I post at least one quote and then I ruminate on it and ask others to do the same.

One important part of #UULent, in my opinion, is through reflecting, either visually or with words, on a word each day. You are engaging in a form of meditation. Meditation has been shown to have mental and physical health benefits. Even those not given to traditional forms of meditation or prayer can find the same benefits by setting aside a few minutes each day for targeted reflection on these words.

On March 13th the word of the day was “friendship”.

The quote posted by the group on the #UULent site was:
Some people go to priests; others to poetry; I to my friends. - Virginia Woolf 

Think on that. What does Woolf think that friends offer that neither priest nor poetry do? It’s not just that there’s a person. A priest is a person. In fact, a person you are expected to open up to, to tell all to. So what does a friend offer that a priest does not? Or is it that the priest is in a seat of judgment whereas a friend is not. I think Woolf’s quote could make for some interesting discussions over an adult beverage.

The quotes I posted were:

Friends are the siblings God never gave us.  Mencius

Today's post at #UULent. The word for today is "friendship". To honor the word, make a new friend, heal a broken friendship, tell someone why he/she is a friend. Consider for yourself what it takes to be a friend and how you are a friend to others. What is the most important trait in friendship?

“Friend” is used so loosely. I have lots of “friends” on Facebook, people I’ve never met, yet some of whom I have grown to know their hearts because of our interactions. But is “friending”, friendship? What makes an acquaintance into a friend? Or not?

Maybe you'd like to join me in this venture, whether you are a UU or not. Here's the list. Hop aboard.

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