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Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Somerset Hills

Open minds, loving hearts, helping hands

 

Gratitude as a Spiritual Practice

Author Nadine Sapirman, Written Nov 3, 2013

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In recent years, expressions of gratitude during the month of November leading up to Thanksgiving have become increasingly popular.  I joined in a 21 Day Gratitude Challenge that starts this week.  There are web sites devoted to 30 Days of Gratitude, and Unitarian Universalist congregations that focus their attention to the practice of gratitude at this time of year (Wellsprings, for example, www.ThirtyDaysofGratitude.blogspot.com).

Since the beginning of the summer, I have been keeping a daily happiness journal, which is , in effect, a gratitude journal.  At the end of each day, I reflect on what has brought me joy or what moments during my day I am thankful for.  I just write a couple of sentences, or maybe even phrases.  It’s become part of my spiritual practice and I haven’t missed a day.  Taking time to focus on something positive from the day is grounding for me.

Today, I am feeling a tremendous amount of gratitude around UUCSH.

*for the visitors and friends that I connected with in the UU Basics session this afternoon who took the time to ask questions and join in conversation about our faith tradition and congregation;

*for the amazing leaders of this beloved community with whom I shared yesterday digging deeper into what we all want to see at UUCSH;

*for the leadership of Reverend Jennifer Kelleher and DLFD Chris Buja, who organized a multi-age letter-writing campaign today to thank leaders in our state for Standing on the Side of Love and helping to work towards marriage equality in New Jersey.

*for members of our congregation who share their time and talents with others to broaden our knowledge, and encourage us to deepen our sense of community.  Melanie Davis and colleagues organized a “Parenting in the 21st Century Workshop” that I attended this evening.  This past weekend, the congregation also hosted a multigenerational First Friday Game Night and  Circle Supper potluck dinner.

Faith development, community building, leadership, and fellowship–I have much for which to be thankful as I enter my 21-Day Gratitude Challenge.  For what can you express gratitude today?