I envision a new kind of religious community for the growing number of people who identify as "other” when asked about religious affiliation, but who are honest enough with themselves to realize that as human beings we are hardwired to be religious.
The community would be for people who want to soak up value from several traditions and see the beauty in other perspectives;
For those who value religious experience over abstract beliefs, and who enjoy bringing people together around common experiences to promote common goals.
It would be for those who want to take an active role in the creation and development of their religious expression, instead of acting out a pre-established script.
The community would meet regularly to express their spirituality in ceremony, the creation of which would be participatory and ongoing, drawing inspiration from a wide palette of practices from existing traditions as well as the human imagination, for the purpose of gaining insight into ourselves and others.
It would not seek to replace, conflict, or weaken any existing religious community or tradition, or seek to pull away any adherents from other communities. On the contrary, it could enrich someone’s experience in their own tradition.
In that sense this community would not be evangelistic. It could welcome all while being humble and honest enough to admit it won’t work for everyone, recognizing it has value to people of certain predispositions, personalities, and stages of life, while placing no judgement on those who don’t see its merits.
If you liked this, check out foundation for a spiritual community.
“Sometimes people get the mistaken notion that spirituality is a separate department of life, the penthouse of existence. But rightly understood, it is a vital awareness that pervades all realms of our being... Wherever we may come alive, that is the area in which we are spiritual.”
— Br. David Steindl-Rast