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Pandemic Spirituality

Rev. Dr. E. Scott Jones
June 24 2020

This spring Senior Minister Scott Jones wrote a series of five essays connecting our pandemic and quarantine experiences with the spiritual wisdom of the church.  Here are links to all five of those columns:

Dark Night of the Soul–“For some people this period of quarantine and the resulting isolation and reflection can lead to this “dark night.”  Coping with this tragedy you may have engaged in deep moral reflection that has impacted how you understand your values, your role in the world, your ideologies, even your own identity.  You may have felt stripped of much that you enjoy, of what brings you meaning, purpose, or comfort.”

Pay Attention–“During last Saturday’s Zoom Forum on Mental & Spiritual Well-being, retired therapist Nikki Zimmerman shared this bit of wisdom, ‘Pay attention to your body while you’re doing things.’ She added that ‘In the body there’s truth’ and ‘take good care of your body’ as a way for all of us to take care of ourselves during this season.”

Dirty Hands–“This connection between dirt and spirit has a long legacy. The ground is a key metaphor in the writings of the Medieval German mystic Meister Eckhart. For Eckhart, our ground is the core and center of our being, a place of pure possibility. He preached, ‘Go into your own ground and there act, and the works that you do there will all be living.’”

All Shall Be Well–“As I continue to reflect on how the spiritual practices and wisdom of the Christian faith might help us in our pandemic moment, I am drawn to the 14th century English mystic Dame Julian of Norwich. Julian lived through the Black Death, which in at least four waves of destruction killed around a third of her society. At the age of 30 she was herself so severely ill that last rites were performed, but it was in that moment that she had the visions she later wrote about. Her book Revelations of Divine Love is the oldest book in English written by a woman and has created a profound lasting legacy for us Christians.”

A Life of Action–“The last four weeks, I’ve written about various spiritual practices and some of the wisdom about them contained within our tradition. The focus was on practices that fit the isolation that we’ve been in. But there are also important voices within our tradition who remind us that spiritual transformation is not solely for our own benefit. Our spiritual growth should be on behalf of something greater than ourselves. These thinkers I highlight today emphasize how our own spiritual work should result in action on behalf of a better world.”