A message from Rev. Denise Cawley, Assistant Minister for Pastoral Care

I don’t know about you, but spiritual practice is always tricky for me. I know some of you heard the sermon I gave a while back on Pathetic Spiritual Practice. Watch here.

The concept is simple, if you wait to do what heals your mind and spirit until you have enough time, enough money, can do it with expertise, can execute it for hours a day, you probably will never do spiritual practice. Yet our hearts and emotions need spiritual practice to reset ourselves and it is far better to do it without any pretense of perfection, instead aim for pathetic effort and you will be doing spiritual practice.

Last week I didn’t get to take my sabbath day because there was a crisis I had to attend to. I was stressed by not having time to renew and not being able to care for myself. I was booked for the next 8 days in meetings every day with lots of tasks due in between. I snapped at my son and I didn’t want to do that. I knew I had to carve out some time, or my stress would show to others. I needed to get back to my center. I was in a Saturday seminar. It was raining. I regretted not enjoying all the good weather while I had attended to others’ needs. I ate my lunch at my computer and decided this was all too much. I cut out of the class I was taking early. I drove to Lion’s Den Gorge Park up in Grafton. I got out my rainbow umbrella and sloshed around the paths and listened to the rain. I composed the poem I shared with you on Sunday. It felt good. I heard my breath ease. I took photos for drawing later. I found my center again.

In a pandemic, we often forget we can still go some places. We often wait for the perfect day only to find the parks are busy. Just go. Got out and garden or walk or smell flowers. Even if for five minutes. Be pathetic in your spiritual practice. You will be glad for that time, however short but repeated often. #PatheticSpiritualPractice

Reverend Denise is focusing on pastoral care in her work with us. She will do that through both small group ministry, workshops, and individual appointments. You might want a minister’s perspective as you navigate your spiritual, ethical and heart-centered work in Unitarian Universalism. If you want to chat, email Reverend Denise to make an appointment. She works 1/4 time so it is best to book ahead of time. She works more hours toward the end of each month when Reverend Suzelle is away. 


Rev. Denise Cawley
UUCW Assistant Minister for Pastoral Care