December 2017
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my experience with spiritual community in my past / my ideal spiritual community


icon: "tree goddess (me sitting against the trunk of a Magnolia, with eyes closed, leaning back, arms above my head and twisted so that I have my palms on the tree trunk.)"

what are your experiences with spiritual communities? (from here)

I had one I really loved from age 13 to age 22, liberty church; everyone was friendly, the sermons were useful in a practical way (as in, not just saying "don't lie 'cause god said so" but "lying creates these harms, and here are some ways to be more honest"), racism was acknowledged and actively resisted through a multiracial leadership, emphasis on the fact that Jesus wasn't white, and the encouragement of interracial friendship (though now looking back it was really a surface-level resistance, with no real discussion of privilege), the worship felt real and genuine while the songs were more about connection than groveling, and for many years the pastor began sermons with "this is just my interpretation: you must check with God, your own spirit, and the Bible to be sure it is true." But the pastor quit doing that and attacked me and told me I didn't belong when I pointed out that Jesus said love is more important than anything, including getting more people to join your church. Since then I have had little moments of spiritual community, but nothing that really included me in any lasting way.

what would your ideal spiritual community "look" like, given your beliefs now?

It is a group of people with varying beliefs and pantheons, but shared values of justice and reverence as well as strong love of the forest. We meet once a week for an hour via videochat, to meditate and maybe chant or sing or dance or do ritual movement. We meet in person once a month and take turns presenting and teaching each other things we had learned (if there were long-distance members they would videochat in just for the learning portion). At our meetings we also share food, gift each other energy, and perhaps perform ritual or create/work on sacred objects. At least twice a year we offer whatever spiritual services we can perform (energy work, divination, etc) to our local community. We have some kind of dedicated message thread on fb or email and if we have an intuitive urge or a spiritual need or the like, we share it with the group. We make specific goals for growth and tell each other and hold each other accountable (when desired) to making efforts towards these goals.

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Comments
atmilliways ══╣╠══
"this is just my interpretation: you must check with God, your own spirit, and the Bible to be sure it is true."

I’m not a religious person, but I can respect that stance from someone who is. It’s a pity your old pastor dropped that, the world has enough preachy people already.
belenen ══╣garrulous╠══
INORITE? It was the best thing about the sermon, neither being dogmatic nor allowing people to get away with being lazy shits.
on communication, social justice, intimacy, consent, friendship & other relationships, spirituality, gender, queerness, & dreams. Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.
Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.