Adam Snider

Archive for May, 2009|Monthly archive page

What are your religious texts?

In Inspiration on May 27, 2009 at 12:08 pm

Although I haven’t written anything here in quite a while, I have been thinking a great deal about faith and spirituality. I’ve been reading a lot of spiritual literature—particularly the poetry of Rumi—and trying to synthesize some of the ideas into something that works for me.

Since I began my focus on my personal spirituality this year, and particularly since I started regularly attending the Unitarian Church of Edmonton, I’ve been reading a lot of these sorts of books. Of particular note are the following:

  • A Year with Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks;
  • Ethical Ambition, by Derrick Bell; and
  • Becoming Human, by Jean Vanier.

In some ways, these books are my personal religious texts. I have found more spiritual value in them than in the Bible (which, admittedly, I have never read in it’s entirety).

I do plan to someday read the entire Bible, as well as other religious texts such as the Koran and the Sutras of Buddhism.

But, at least at this point in my personal and spiritual development, I have gained more from the works of non-dogmatic spiritual thinkers (who, often, are not explicitly writing about spirituality) than I have from traditional religious texts.

It is these books that are my personal religious texts.

What would you consider to be your religious texts? Do you find value in tradiational sources, such as the Bible or the Koran, or do you get your spiritual inspiration from other sources, such as poetry or music? Let me know in the comments section.

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I joined the Unitarian Church of Edmonton

In Religion on May 1, 2009 at 8:25 am

I was going to call this post “I joined the cult,” but my SEO instincts won out over my humour instincts. 😉

It’s true, I have joined the Unitarian Church of Edmonton (UCE). I submitted a membership application about 3 weeks ago (as did Sara) and the board accepted it sometime during the week following.

Why did I join the church? Well, essentially for all of the reasons that I mentioned in my earlier posts, “Why I go to church,” and, “Choosing a spiritual home.”

I feel a sense of community at UCE—especially now that there is a young adult social group for the Gen X and Gen Y members of the congregation (all of whom seem to be really cool people)—and I really feel like I’ve found something that’s been missing from my life since I started going to church.

Plus, I very recently starting calling myself a Unitarian—I even updated my religion on Facebook (and we all know that nothing is real if it isn’t on Facebook). Since I have started identifying my faith in this way, it only seemed logical to become a member of the church.

Will this change my relationship with the church? Probably not. I’ve been attending regularly for months now, and I already felt like I was becoming a member of the church. I’ve begun identifying my spiritual/faith beliefs as UU. All that I’ve really done is to submit the paperwork and make it official.

I mean, OK, now I’ll be able to vote on church issues during general meetings (or, rather, I will be able to vote once I’ve been a member for 2 months). And, I suppose that, maybe, I’ll feel a bit more willing to give money and volunteer time to the community than I did before. But, ultimately, all that I’ve done is to make official what I’ve already been putting into practice for several months now.

Are you a member of a church/synoguage/mosque/temple? When did you join? What made you decide to become a member of your particular church (by which I mean the congregation, not the religion itself)? I’d love to read your answers to these questions in the comments.