People are sometimes confused to hear that our religious tradition is not premised upon a common belief system. Really, though, we do have a common faith – it is just not belief in a particular theological creed. It’s this: we have faith in our authentic selves. That is, we trust that in the right conditions we can discover within ourselves the sources of intuitive wisdom that are necessary for us to walk the path of spiritual growth.  – Rev. Rick Davis, September 2016

As Unitarian Universalists, our Fourth Principle is to affirm and promote a free and responsible search for truth and meaning. This can mean searching for spiritual development for ourselves and promoting it in others.

Some folks reading this may have just gotten tripped up by that word “spiritual.”  The word does not necessarily connote faith in metaphysical realms.  Spirituality is simply about discovering connections – with one’s true self, with other people and beings, the world around you, your highest ideals, the sacred.  You can be a spiritual atheist, theist, pantheist, deist, or agnostic.

We can find spiritual development by actively seeking it, as well as by working mindfully with and for others, as we do in all of our teams and committees.  Our Committee on Ministry also reminds us at least once a year of our shared ministry to each other and the world.

Personal Spiritual Development can be actively sought through the following UUCS groups:

Connection Groups  are lay-led discussion groups.  Once formed, each group membership is closed so that members can create a caring, safe environment for sharing personal thoughts and feelings. New groups are forming often.

Life Lines Lay Ministers are members of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem who  will provide a compassionate ear and a calm, abiding, and non-judgmental presence, and will coordinate with others to provide assistance in practical short term matters as well, such as transportation or meals in a time of need.  

Compassionate Connection, (part of Life Lines Lay Ministry). After the service on the second Sunday of the month, in the front of the sanctuary, Life Lines Lay Ministers and sympathetic members of the congregation meet with those who want to share their life challenges with a small group and receive ‘hands on’ comforting.

Religious Exploration for Children, Youth and Adults.  Our mission in Lifespan Religious Exploration is to enhance and deepen the spiritual growth of people of all ages at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Salem (UUCS) through inner exploration and outward acts of justice and kindness.

Dances of Universal Peace occur in our building on the first Friday and third Thursday of each month. The Dances of Universal Peace are simple, easy-to-learn movements and songs honoring spiritual traditions from around the world — heart-awakening circle dances dedicated to peace within and without.

The UUCS Meditation Group  meets Tuesdays at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome to join us in our sanctuary for guided and silent meditation followed by tea and discussion. The first text for our discussion will be Buddhist teacher Pema Chodron’s When Things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times. (February 2024)