RE: Group Spirituality, Public vs. Private
From: Rob Sandelin (robsanmicrosoft.com)
Date: Mon, 30 Jan 95 12:06 CST
Celebrations are a natural part of living in community.  At Sharingwood 
we hold any number of celebrations and some could very much be 
construed as having religious overtones.  I know we have a couple of 
church going Christians in our group, and I also observe they tend to 
skip any celebration they feel uncomfortable with.  We also have a 
Christmas celebration where we sing traditional Christian Christmas 
Carols and this is skipped by a few people who are uncomfortable with that.

So people seem to adapt  to meet their needs and I think the important 
message to new comers or prospective members might be that celebrations 
have a variety of forms, some are semi-religious and all of them are 
optional depending on your comfort level.

I would caution about being too "non-spiritual" because many people  
hold spiritual values which are very important and to know that room is 
allowed for such and welcomed may be an important consideration.  
Rather than take a position that this celebration or activity does not 
represent the group, I would encourage you to allow people to take 
ownership of their own contributions by saying, this is Mikes 
expression of his spirituality and let people own and express that.  
This approach may let new members get the feeling that their 
spirituality, which may be different, will be honored and respected and 
allowed within the group if they so wish to express it via a group celebration.

Rob Sandelin
Sharingwood

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