Friday, March 12, 2010

Frday Five: Spiritual or Religious?

Yesterday Mompriest attended a conference led by Diana Butler Bass, and that sparked this week's Friday Five. Mompriest invites us to share five thoughts, ideas, or practices that we consider to be "religious", then five we consider to be "spiritual."

Here are 5 I would put in the "religious" category:

1. Responsive readings during church. I am going to write in the past tense here since I am presently unchurched... but I often found responsive readings devoid of significant meaning (at least on a personal level). And maybe my being a child of the 60's gives me a big nonconformist streak, but I don't like being 'forced' to say something I may or may not agree with.

2. Standing, sitting in unison at specified times during church services. Again, I'm sure my nonconformist streak doesn't help this one.

(googled image from here)

3. Singing some of the hymns. I just flipped open a hymnal and randomly saw: "Good Christians all rejoice and sing! Now is the triumph of our King." The 'King' stuff always seems weird to me. (On the other hand, I have no trouble with Cat Stevens' Morning Has Broken...)

4. My former church always insisted on 'doing' communion the exact same ritualistic way. This made communion 'religious' instead of 'spiritual'.

5. Going to church simply out of habit...

And here are 5 things that are, for me, in the spiritual category:

1. Being out in nature. There is a 'spirituality of place' when one is hiking, skiing, snowshoeing, etc.

(from one of our Mount Hood area hikes)

2. Music. And I often find 'secular' music significantly more meaningful and spiritual than 'church' music. Just one example that comes to mind is Carole King's song Tapestry.

3. Theatre. Quite often I find plays to be transcendent. One example would be Broadway's Wicked. Another would be WWU's production of Dog Sees God in which Christina played Marcy.

4. Reading. A good book (fiction or nonfiction) can also be transcendent.

5. Petting Soots. Yep, spiritual! :)

And as a bonus, since I picked on the church earlier... When church 'services' are 'gatherings' and have an experiential focus, that can be spiritual!


altar ego said...

I like your spiritual list. Very heart-centered, and sacred encounters. Great play!

Rev SS said...

Yep ... I agree

Mompriest said...

thanks Barbara, good great post!

Hot Cup Lutheran said...

i'll have to remember that about responsive readings because my gutt tells me you are not alone in feeling thataway...

ah yes pets... they really are spiritual at times... other times i'm not sure what spirit got into them!

David said...

Cat Stevens rocks!

Mavis said...

Brilliant post. Thank you

Purple said...

Responsive readings: so many are written in such "churchy" language...big theological words etc. I change them to make them more readable/applicable or write my own. Your religious list...yep.