UU Wellspring Reads: Sacred Earth

"Sacred Earth" and a lone hiker on a ridge against a pink sunset

What is “UU Wellspring Reads”?

Please review this page before applying. Application link is at the bottom.

UU Wellspring is a year-long program UUC has offered for many years to support spiritual deepening for those who are experienced Unitarian Universalists. This year, we are presenting a UU Wellspring short course – six sessions – recognizing that many of us are feeling both exhaustion and a sense of deep yearning for substance and meaning. Such is the result of unpredictability and disappointment during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We invite you to take a break and refresh. Much like the Reflection Groups we offered to great acclaim in spring 2022, this new program from the UU Wellspring creators will encourage discovery, solace, and renewed energy through UU spiritual exploration, reflection, and meditative practice in the supportive company of others.

Participation is open to all UUC members and friends, whether you are a long-time UU, brand new, or somewhere in between. You’ll join a group of 6-8 participants including a trained facilitator, for six two-hour sessions meeting twice a month. Participants are asked to make a commitment to attend for the duration of the group.  

Please read the following information, and if it feels like a match for you, send in your application — see the link at bottom of this page! Groups will begin in October.

Why “Sacred Earth”?

The author of our primary text refers to “climate chaos” and “climate change” as a sense of loss of relationship with the earth. Some participants may be drawn to engage in Sacred Earth with the purpose of supporting or sustaining their own climate justice work. Activism may be an outcome of participation. Another goal of some participants may be to create a Unitarian Universalist learning community that builds collective spiritual power in the work of climate justice. The issues of climate change require us to bond together, and Sacred Earth may be the impetus to increase our engagement.

These are not book groups or discussion groups.

While a guiding book and a companion text will be used to provide a common foundation for personal reflection and practice, the content will not be reviewed and evaluated as a group. The work is intended to be personal. Some reading, contemplation and preparation is expected in advance of each meeting. During the gathering, participants will allow reflections to emerge through spiritual practices such as Lectio Divina and periods of silent introspection. Facilitators will guide these practices and offer reflection questions to invite sharing.

As you and your companions move through the reflections and practices, you may find spiritual healing by creating a more intimate relationship with the natural world. The sessions, readings and spiritual practices combine equally to form the core of the Sacred Earth experience.

What are the guiding books?

  • Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  • The Sustainable Soul: Reflections and Practices by Rebecca James Hecking

Braiding Sweetgrass provides deep understandings of how we are connected to the earth, and The Sustainable Soul provides spiritual practices and reflections that deepen that connection.

Both books are currently available from the UUC Bookstore (open on Sundays or by appointment), from commercial sources, and from public libraries, including in eBook format.

How do I sign up? Click here to complete and submit your application by September 25. Groups will be formed based on availability of participants, with an eye to balancing warm companionship and diversity of perspective. Groups may meet online or at the church. Those assigned to groups may expect confirming information by October 3. If you have questions, email Janine Larsen, UUC Director of Ministries, to inquire about openings that may remain.