The Unitarian Earth Spirit Network
Faith is often only practiced indoors, in the sanctuary of church or chapel. These buildings are impregnated with devotion. They reflect the prayers and hymns of many generations who have come to worship in them. Their walls have absorbed all of life’s emotions, from the joy and celebration of marriage to the sorrow of death and loss. When the newborn child is presented at the font the horizon of life is nudged forward. These buildings from the smallest chapel to the greatest cathedral hold a resonance which touches the human heart. The image lodges in the human spirit.
But this same resonance can be found elsewhere. It is found In the natural world every day. When I watch the evening sun sinking into the horizon and splashing the sky with golds and crimsons, I feel the beauty of it as a godlike presence in my heart. When I walk in the shadows of dawn and witness the world filling with light, restoring colours, my heart feels a resonance, sings a song of praise to this godlike presence. What could be more beautiful than the sight of the emerging cherry blossom, new born lambs frolicking or the shimmering heat haze of the arid desert?
What I feel in my heart, I know others feel too. We feel love for this magical place which is our home. We share our joy in being part of its fabric and we are bonded in communion with it.
If this divinity in nature is personified in the spirits of gods and maidens sharing this earth invisibly with us or in the sacred expression of elemental power, we honour this as we honour one another in this shared love of life. We learn from the cycle of life and rebirth and from nature the ability to burgeon and flower even in the most difficult terrain. We recognise the blessing of the natural world and the profundity of its beauty which inspires our vision and our creativity. We accept these gifts. We give blessings back.
In our groups and meetings we honour our earth and acknowledge the godlike presence we feel comes from it. We honour the seasons as they change and reflect on how our own lives and communities may mirror and be enriched through living in recognition and celebration of the wheel of the year and the path of the life giving sun. We honour the histories and the ancestors that have brought us together and that beat within us still and we embrace the arts, stories and traditions from near (and far) that help us to live well and worship along this path…
We welcome anyone who feels they belong to this tribe of ours.
By Tony McNeile and Joanna Skelt