Themes of Our Lives

Exploring the Themes of Our Lives - Exploration des thématiques

Welcome back to theme-based ministry at the Unitarian Church of Montreal. 2017-18 will be our fourth year exploring monthly themes as we consider what it means to live our Unitarian Universalist values. We hope this year’s themes will prove to be both inspiring and challenging:

September / septembre                  Letting Go / Lâcher prise
October / octobre                           Connection/La connexion
November / novembre                     Humility / L’humilité
December / décembre                     Expectations / Les attentes
January / janvier                              Growth / La croissance
February / février                             Interdependence / L’interdépendance-Canada wide
March / mars                                    Creativity / La créativité
April / avril                                       Curiosity / La curiosité
May / mai                                          Blessing / Le bienfait
June / juin                                         Simplicity / La simplicité

April/avril 2018 - Curiosity / La curiosité

A Month of Curiosity

 “Girl” by ukrtor, public domain,

“Girl” by ukrtor, public domain,

I’m just back from my sabbatical and am really curious to know how things have gone for all of you! In the meantime, here’s a thoughtful essay from Soul Matters about this month’s theme: curiosity.

– Rev. Diane Rollert

What Does It Mean to Be a Person of Curiosity?
Rev. Scott Tayler

Two quotes have been my companions as I’ve thought about this month’s topic. The first is by Leonardo da Vinci:

“I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand.”

Michael Gelb, the author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci, suggests that this attitude was not only at the heart of Leonardo’s genius but also made up the core of his spirituality.

The other quote is from UU minister Victoria Safford. In her meditation entitled Open Eyes, she writes:

To see, simply to look and to see, is an ethical act and intentional choice; to see, with open eyes, is a spiritual practice and thus a risk, for it can open you to ways of knowing the world and loving it that will lead to inevitable consequences. The awakened eye is a conscious eye, a willful eye, and brave, because to see things as they are, each in its own truth, will make you very vulnerable.

Consequences. I’m not sure I’ve ever thought of curiosity in terms of consequences. But I think Safford’s got it right. There is a type of curiosity that leads to entertainment, that mostly just fills our time. But there is another type of curiosity that leads to consequences, that leads to us being different. This, it seems to me, is the type of curiosity that we Unitarians Universalists have fallen in love with—one might even say, put our “faith” in.

UUs come at curiosity in many ways. We were the little kids who refused to accept what the Sunday School teacher told us unless they could give us a response to our regular mantra of “Why?!” We are the adults who push each other to hold our convictions lightly, always exploring other answers and remaining open to the possibility that our “answer” may not be the “right” one or at least the right one for everyone. We “love the questions more than the answers.” We refer to ourselves as the “church of the open and questioning mind.” We dig Buddhist talk about “the beginner’s mind.” We think scientists and researchers are as important to the spiritual journey as any “holy book.” We ask our children to attend “neighboring faiths” classes and send them to visit other faith communities. If we have any commandments, “Explore,” “Learn” and “Open yourself to perspectives not currently your own” are surely at the top of the list.

But here’s the rub: we do it until there are consequences. Indeed, we do it for the consequences. Victoria Safford sees that so clearly. Our goal this month is to connect with and embody that insight as well.

Download the April packet: Curiosity/La curiosité

Year Four Theme Packets

Download the March packet: Creativity/La créativité

Download the January packet: Growth/La croissance

Download the December packet: Expectations/Les attentes

Download the November packet: Humility/L'humilité

Download the October packet: Connection/La connexion