Awakening: the word conjures up images of Eastern mysticism and thoughts of the liminal space between wakefulness and slumber. To awaken is to realize something that had already been but we are just becoming aware of. In African-American communities, the term woke indicates that the person has awoken to the state of the world and the ways in which systemic oppression feature in their day-to-day lives. (Ironically, some who don’t want people to awaken have co-opted the word woke in an attempt to turn it into a pejorative.)
But what are we awakening from? For me, my life seems like one series of unfoldings after another. Every time I think I’m getting comfortable with the way my life is, it seems like something comes around that challenges my personal status quo. These times of liminal awakening are often uncomfortable, challenging my own self-perception while pushing me towards new ways of being. Yet, had I not heeded the call to look clearly at the state of my world, my life would be very different than it is today.
I wonder how awakening relates to our community at AUUF. We are a very different fellowship than when I arrived just three years ago. The pandemic called us into new ways of being, including virtual services and meetings, and we hired new staff members who continue to lead us towards a future that, though uncertain, seems bright. In the last three years, I watched our board wrestle with governance, our members adapt to new ways of adult religious exploration, and our community as a whole say goodbye to too many members, both through death and relocation.
All of these things change a community. We will never be the same people we were in 2019. We won’t even be the same people we were last week. I bet if we went back even further, we’d find other ways our community has changed over time. That’s the paradox: the only constant in life is change.
What is awakening in your life this year and how do you handle it when you awaken to something new in your life? How are you different than you were just three years ago? What if we went back even further?
No matter what is awakening in your life, embrace and run towards it. And remember: you’re never alone. Your AUUF community is here, waiting to embrace you in your time of awakening.
Wishing you well on your awakenings.
Happening This Month…
- Join us for the inaugural meeting of our Spirit in Practice class during second hour on Sunday, September 18 at 11:30. Each month we’ll be examining a different spiritual practice and how to integrate them into our lives. This month, we’ll be looking at what a spiritual practice is as well as examining how journaling can be a practice for spiritual development.
- It’s not too late to sign-up for our new Spiritual Companioning Group! Each month, we’ll come together and share our journey together and where we are going. If you’re looking to find more meaning, purpose, and guidance in your life, spiritual companioning may be for you! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
- There’s still room in this year’s Covenant Groups! If you’re looking for a safe place to discuss spiritual, philosophical, and theological topics, a covenant
- group may be right for you. It requires minimal preparation, and you get to know your fellow group members on a more personal basis. Email me at email@example.com for more information.
- Theology on Tap is this month is on September 22 at Red Clay Brewing Company in Opelika! Come join us to discuss our monthly theme, “Awakening,” over a beer or non-alcoholic beverage.