Board and Committee Service as a Spiritual Practice

by Rev. Victoria Poling

One of the early UU covenant statements (#471 in the gray hymnal!) starts like this:

Love is the doctrine of this church,
The quest of truth is its sacrament,
And service is its prayer.

At VIUU Board and committee meetings, when we come together in service we practice familiar rituals: gathering around a table, lighting a chalice, and checking in on our lives.

In this moment of grounding, connection, and centering, we focus our energies and set down the burdens we carry. And then we begin with the business of the meeting.

This is the moment when service feels like a prayer.

Prayer is a spiritual practice of focusing intentions and becoming open to the possibilities present in people and the world around us.

We do this in committees as we gather up a basket of feelings, perspectives, and skills, and experiences. Together, we pull items out of the basket to solve what can be solved, create what can be re-imagined, and to connect with the people who need to be involved.

We also grapple with complex predicaments that aren’t solvable: they are just part of being a group of people who desire to put our values into action and deepen our understanding of this life we share. This is what spiritual leadership looks like.

In Serving with Grace: Lay Leadership as a Spiritual Practice, Erik Walter Wikstrom observes, “The most superficial and practical reason to become a leader is that your church needs you…We also get involved in leadership because it feels good. We meet people and form friendships, becoming more fully integrated into the community.”

After “satisfying our own need for a sense of belonging…at this point there is also a doorway to service as spiritual practice.”

You are needed at VIUU: as board members, committee chairs, and committee members.

If you haven’t yet served, or haven’t served for a while, please consider where you might bring your gifts, and where you might like to learn and grow in your spiritual practice.

These groups in particular are looking for new members: Board of Trustees, Program Committee, Membership, Hospitality Teams, and the planning team for summer Religious Exploration (Chalice Camp).

Please contact Rev. Victoria, Kim Kambak, Kate O’Hare and we’ll connect you to a team.