Soul Matters is theme-based ministry for the whole congregation. Each month, we join over 150 UU congregations across the country in exploring a monthly theme through resources from the Soul Matters program.
Soul Matters is throughout church life at UUCL!
- On “Soulful Sunday” (the first Sunday every month), when we introduce the theme. It’s a chance for everyone at UUCL to explore the theme at the same time: in the main worship service, in children’s worship, and in conversation over social hour;
- In our worship services, which offer insights into the theme throughout the month;
- In children’s faith development: children K-5 begin each month with “Soulful Sunday” children’s worship, then do Spirit Play related to the theme for the rest of the month;
- In Crossing Paths, an interfaith curriculum by the creators of Soul Matters: our middle-school youth encounter a different faith tradition every month. Beyond just learning about that tradition, they explore what it has to say about a Soul Matters theme connected to that tradition; and
- In small-group ministry, adults, children, and youth can explore Unitarian Universalist questions and spiritual practices related to the theme. Our conversations with each other can become richer when our faith development is connected in this way.
What are Soul Matters groups?
Unitarian Universalism entails seeking truth and meaning in covenant with others–and Soul Matters small-group ministry can extend your practice beyond Sunday mornings. Soul Matters groups offer an intimate community of trust who covenant to gathering for a year (or more) to explore and deeply discuss a compilation of spiritual resources each month on a topic connected to UUCL’s monthly worship theme.
Soul Matters participants help one another deepen personal spiritual practices and strengthen their bonds with each other as members of this faith community.
What is Soul Matters like?
Many at UUCL find Soul Matters groups a deeply meaningful part of our spiritual practice. They offer a sense of belonging and a circle of fellow UUs who support one another’s spiritual growth. Soul Matters groups consist of eight to ten people. Each month, members explore the packet of spiritual resources on their own, then gather with the group to share how the insights and wonderings from the packet have illuminated their lives.
Facilitators from the congregation, who meet monthly with the Director of Lifespan Faith Development, guide each group in a specific process designed to foster deep listening and trust.
You can learn more about the Soul Matters approach here. Browse the monthly packet in the church lobby, or go here to download a sample packet.
UUCL offers four types of Soul Matters groups:
- Soul Matters groups: Most groups at UUCL follow the core Soul Matters format, delving into the monthly packet and then meeting to discuss it deeply.
- Starting Point: From the creators of Soul Matters, Starting Point brings new life to UU theology & history by exploring it with a core small group value of healing spiritual disconnection. After several sessions of exploring what Unitarian Universalism means to participants, the group will then continue with the “regular” Soul Matters experience of the monthly themed packet. Perfect for those newer to Unitarian Universalism or UUCL and long-time members who want to build community. Come, get to know this faith and one another in a new way.
- “Moving and Making” Soul Matters group: Members of this group will stretch their spiritual muscles to engage with the monthly theme and communicate with their Soul Matters group first and foremost through creative and embodied practices. This might include body movement, drawing, music, craft work, poetry, movement meditation, and prioritizing the creative or multimedia resources in the packet.
- Parents’ Soul Matters group: A Soul Matters group for parents who seek to explore the monthly theme alongside other parents.
How can I participate?
Soul Matters groups from last year may decide to continue meeting in September or October. New members will be placed in existing or newly created groups. Whether you are a returning Soul Matters participant or want to experience this ministry for the first time, please fill out this form to be placed in a group.
“It occurred to me three years ago that Soul Matters truly is the heart of my UUCL experience. This small group exemplifies the acceptance and social impartiality we all seek. The topics examined are thought-provoking. It is so uplifting to take the time and inclination to examine my life.”Candy DeGreen
“I love the topics and various sources provided each month in the packet. Our thoughtful leader helps us mine our own thoughts and responses. I also got to know a lot more UUCL members through the group.”Kirsten Buchanan