SPIRITUALITY FOR THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE

UU SPIRITLIFE – “TOWARD HOLY GROUND” READING

Below you will find a series of quotations from and questions inspired by Margaret Guenther’s book, Toward Holy Ground: Spiritual Directions for the Second Half of Life, for review and meditation in preparation for our time together.

What marked the second half of your life, that point at which you considered yourself to have grown up, “arrived,” become “you”?  

Which perspectives changed?  How did they change?  Which things you formerly felt were important became less important to you?

“The second half of life is a time of fruition, a spiritual fecundity…”  During this period what things have come to have value for you which hadn’t before?  We talk of “muscle memory,” that lets us perform tasks that used to require attention to each step now be performed without thinking.  In what areas of spirit, beauty, appreciation, have you “come into your own” during this time?

In spiritual matters we speak of “soul friends,” “soul mates,” persons with whom we feel safe confiding our innermost thoughts and feelings, to try things out.  How have you used such persons in your spirit life?  Has that changed in the second half?

“The second half of life is a time of craft and skill, a time when we may reorder and even recreate our lives….a time of cleared vision when we move purposefully off-center and say yes to new ways of being alive.”  “”Tom said,’I want beautiful things near me now….I want things around me that matter.;’“   Does this apply to your second half?  How?  What are the “oughts” of your life to jettison, to allow for recovering soul enriching things.

“One of the most profound losses that we busy North Americans face is the absence of meaningful, creative, constructive work.  This may be coincident with retirement…but it is important to remember that meaningful work can continue long after retirement….The retired person may be free for the first time to work and study passionately.”  What will, what does, feed your spirit in retirement?  What could?

“Merely living is like involuntary participation in a spiritual Lamaze class, preparing us for the final great passage. Most of the time I am able to ignore my intuitive flashes of my own impending death, but at odd times I am suffused with an acute awareness….I am reminded yet again that the present moment is all that I have.”  Has “coming into the end zone/cramming for finals” entered your consciousness?  How?  When?  Have you a “bucket list”?  How do you feed your spirit to assure you celebrate the present moment?

Further information about the “Toward Holy Ground” book – click here.

YOUR FACILITATORS:

NANCY KEMMERER

“When you are green, you are growing.”

Nancy Kemmerer spent over 30 years in corporate America serving as the Area Security Manager for IBM.  Her office was in San Francisco and her area of responsibility covered 11 western states.  She enjoyed the challenging work and was recognized many times for her outstanding contributions.  She retired in 1999.

Nancy is thoroughly embracing this stage of her life.  She joined USH in December 2018.  Her working life gave her little opportunity to do the things that fuel one’s spirit so when the chance arose to talk about “Spirituality for the Second Half of Life,” she gladly volunteered.

Nancy resides with Stan, her husband of 22 years.

STAN KEMMERER

Stan experienced a number of religious traditions (Methodist, Congregational, Baptist, Humanist, and Unitarian) before embracing the Episcopal Church in his senior year of high school, attracted by a “color-outside-the-box” priest after whom he has modeled his ministry. He was ordained a deacon and a priest in that tradition in 1969.  Never comfortable with classical expressions of the tradition, which he characterizes as “non-user-friendly God-talk,” he has sought to be a translator of it.  He is a student of, and participates in, interfaith dialogue with a variety of world religions.  His spirituality is informed by his over 60 years living under the Associates Rule of the Order of the Holy Cross, a (Benedictine) monastic order for men of the Episcopal Church.  He has been “bi-vocational” for most of his career, combining his ordained activities with secular employments.

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