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Soul Matters @ OUUC

November 2017                                                                                             


November's Theme: Healing

oh love

Sara's Reflections

Sara Lewis1

Who needs to be healed? What needs to be healed? 

Our world, in a time of climate change.

Nature, in a time of habitat loss and mass extinctions.

Our society, infected with illnesses such as racism, sexism, transphobia, and abuse and harassment (to name but a few).

The refugees, in a time of war and natural disasters.

The homeless, both here and around the world.

And our neighbors and loved ones who are the sick, the wounded, the broken hearted, the addicted, and the exhausted.

Who will heal? And how?

We will heal, and we will heal through our work and our love. We must fix what is broken, protect the health of what is left, listen to each others' pain, and ask for forgiveness when we have erred. 

I'm committed to this work of healing. I'm ready to live in ways that will heal the earth, honor nature, comfort my neighbors, and treat and prevent the abuse and wounding of so many through abuse and injustice.

And yet, in the end there will still be illness. There will still be accidents and trauma and loss. The power of healing is not entirely in our hands. Maybe I will do my best and it will still not be good enough. Maybe we will try all the cures we know and still be faced with loss. 

It's exhausting, and the slow creep of burn out is always following somewhere behind me. But what if, instead of seeing healing as something we must Do we saw it as a way of being?

In the words of this month's Soul Matters packet:

Too often being a community of healing gets reduced to a matter of work, vigilance and never letting up. So we need these reminders that healing is a partner, not simply a product of our work. 
Maybe even trying to partner with us right now…

How can we partner with healing? And if we do, how can we leave room for our own needed healing?

Join me this month in exploring both sides of healing, with what we Do and how we Are.


from A Litany for Those not Ready for Healing 
By Dr. Yolanda Pierce
Let us not rush to the language of healing,
before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound.

Let us not rush to offer a band-aid, when the gaping wound requires surgery and complete reconstruction.

Let us not offer false equivalencies, thereby diminishing the particular pain being felt in a particular circumstance in a particular historical moment. ....

Let us not rush past the loss of this mother’s child, this father’s child, someone’s beloved son. …

Instead Let us mourn black and brown men and women, those killed extrajudicially every 28 hours. …

Let us be silent when we don’t know what to say.
Let us be humble and listen to the pain, rage, and grief pouring from the lips of our neighbors and friends.

Reflection Questions:
  • 1.       When was the last time you visited your “healing place”? When in pain, sometimes we need to be around people who love us.  Other times we need to be surrounded by places we love.
  • 2....Are you exhausted? Have you been running on empty for so long that you no longer notice? Is it time to notice? Is it time to rest and restore, and let yourself heal?
  • 3.   What if talk of healing needs to wait?  (“Let us not rush to the language of healing, before understanding the fullness of the injury and the depth of the wound.” - Dr. Yolanda Pierce)


Soul Matters Discussion Circle

sharing circleJoin us on the 2nd Sunday of each month, 12:30-2:30 (Bring Your Own Lunch) for an open Discussion Circle on the theme of the month.

November's Discussion Circle will be on November 12th

If you would prefer a Covenant Circle that meets regularly with the same people for a church year, our DRE is accepting applications for Facilitators now, or you can sign up for a Circle here: 

Spiritual Exercise

Admit Exhaustion
One way we allow healing into our lives is to widen our view of what it means to be in pain. Too often pain is equated only with dramatic ruptures such as sudden loss or a devastating diagnosis. But often – maybe even more often than we all admit – it’s about the slow creeping of us never allowing ourselves to rest and replenish. 
So this month, finally do it: Admit to yourself that you are exhausted! And do something about it!
To get you there, carry John O’Donohue’s poem, A Blessing For One Who Is Exhausted ( with you throughout this month. Read it regularly. Meditate on it when ever you can.
In the first part of his poem, he offers numerous phrases to capture the nature of exhaustion. In the second half he offers phrases that describe many ways to rescue yourself from it. 
Come to your group ready to share  one line from the poem that captures the nature of your exhaustion and one line that captures the way out you are committing to.
Maybe even consider committing yourself to doing each of the healing tasks that O’Donohue recommends.  In other words, make it a checklist and do each of them (in your own way) before your group meets:
 take refuge in your senses 

open up to small miracles

watch the way of rain

imitate the habit of twilight 

draw alongside the silence of stone

 stay clear of those vexed in spirit

Other Media to Inspire:

Healing Through a Haircut

The Science of Healing Places

The light and smells in places like hospitals can often depress us. And, our favorite room at home keeps us sane. But why? Immunologist Esther Sternberg explains the scientific research revealing how physical spaces create stress and make us sick — and how good design can trigger our "brain’s internal pharmacies" and help heal us.

“I Hurt Too” by Kate Herzig

A beautiful song about the interconnectedness of healing: where you are hurting, I am hurting; your healing is my healing. dJ0

For Parents/Teachers/Caregivers:

A Sick Day for Amos McGee by Phillip C Stead

The Red Tree by Shaun Tau

Faith In Action: Guest At Your Table

We do not heal alone, and we can partner with others around the world for healing and justice. This month pick up a Guest At Your Table Box at OUUC and collect money for our UUSC partners.

To receive other recommendations, words of wisdom, reflection questions, and more all through the month as we engage with this theme, join the OUUC Soul Matters Facebook Group!
In This Issue
  • Sara's Reflections
  • Reflection Questions
  • Spiritual Exercise
  • Recommended Media
  • For Young Souls, Parents, Teachers, and Caregivers
  • Faith In Action
  • Words of Wisdom
ouuc chalice

Each of us has a unique part to play in the healing of the world. ~ Marianne Williamson

When you don’t give people the chance to say “I hurt,” they end up saying “I hate.” ~ Rev. Don Wheat

“Broken things have been on my mind as the year lurches to an end, because so much broke and broke down this year in my life, and in the lives of the people I love. Lives broke, hearts broke, health broke, minds broke. On the first Sunday of Advent our preacher, Veronica, said that this is life’s nature, that lives and hearts get broken, those of people we love, those of people we’ll never meet. She said the world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward, and that we, who are more or less OK for now, need to take the tenderest possible care of the more wounded people in the waiting room, until the healer comes. You sit with people, she said, you bring them juice and graham crackers. ~ Anne Lamott, Traveling Mercies


“It's not forgetting that heals. It's remembering. ~ Amy Greene, Bloodroot

When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, "Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping." To this day, especially in times of "disaster," I remember my mother's words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world. ~ Fred “Mr.” Rogers


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Olympia Unitarian Universalist Congregation
2315 Division St NW
Olympia, Washington 98502

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