Service as a Spiritual Practice

by Ana DelCorazon, Congregational Life Coordinator

In my time at UUCWC, I’ve seen a trend in how newcomers grow into regulars. After an initial period of getting to know the church and its members, they start to make it their own. For some people at that point, they just want to come on Sundays, be moved by the sermon, and share a few words with friends. Others are ready to start becoming more involved in church life, maybe with the auction or choir, or neighborhood potlucks, or Beloved Conversations or children’s religious education classes. Despite our excellent and committed staff, our church is largely a volunteer-driven organization, and it truly takes a village to create a church!

Sharing energy with the church community is more than just a way to make sure beloved programming takes place. Service can be a meaningful form of spiritual practice. Many people come to church searching for a place to belong, and working along side other congregants on committees or on shared interests helps build relationships and connections.

This kind of service meets a deeper purpose of church as well. At its best, church is a place that truly transforms the people within its walls. When many people work together to co-create the kind of church community they want, they – and the place they love – are transformed. In the ideal situation, church is not run by a small group of over-burdened always-volunteers, but is rather grown through shared leadership that broadly engages and deepens the meaning of church for many members of the congregation of all ages. The way we work together to co-create this church is the chance to live out our UU principles – to practice what we preach.

If you haven’t already, consider finding a way to serve as part of your spiritual practice at UUCWC. Volunteer to be an usher or greeter. Join a committee. Help with an event. Host a neighborhood potluck. Facilitate a group or class. Volunteer in children’s religious education classes. Or if you need more ideas, come to our next committee fair or find me at coffee hour to talk about it! Together we can create the church community we want.