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Spiritual But Not Religious

Sermon by Rev. Shawn Newton.

Flaming chalice It’s so common it’s become an anacronym: SBNR. Many people these days prefer to describe themselves as “spiritual but not religious.” But what does that really mean? This Sunday, we’ll tease out some of the tensions between the words “spiritual” and “religious” (something I’ve had to spend a fair bit of time and energy doing in the course of my doctoral work). There’s a case to be made that it’s not an either/or choice, but a matter of both/and, especially in these times when we need the power of a gathered community to help heal our world and build the sustaining ties that connect us to one another.

The worship team is actively working to reimagine how we might celebrate many of our beloved rituals in the context of our online Sunday services. How do we mark Water Communion? How do we welcome new members to the congregation? How can we celebrate Harvest Communion at Thanksgiving or our rituals of remembrance on Remembrance Sunday in a meaningful way? Admittedly, doing these things virtually presents logistical challenges. And it means accepting that they will be different—which opens up the possibility of them being touching in new ways.

Because we can’t all be in the same space physically, in the months ahead, we will likely be calling on all of you to help bring some of these rituals to life. To that end, please note the message from Dallas down below about our call out for photos and short videos of you engaging with water. He’ll be compiling these to create a central element of our Water Communion service for 13 September. We’d love to have your submissions!

Take good care.

In faith and love,
Shawn

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