You may have heard “I’m spiritual but not religious”—from talk show guests, the next door neighbor, or your daughter’s college roommate. What does it mean? And how do you respond?

For some, the phrase “I’m spiritual but not religious” brings with it images of crystals, unicorns, and polyester ritual robes smelling of cheap incense. For others, it offers a sense of personal clarity about self- care, care for others and living as a whole person without the complications of organized religion. What do artistically arranged rocks painted with the words “peace”, “love”, and “self-respect” have to offer to those more accustomed to the heavy stone pillars of a church or synagogue? This quest for the Divine—for an experience beyond the ordinary—has been around long enough to lead to lots of clichés and stereotypes. But unlike pet rocks and hoola hoops, this trend may be here to stay.

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Featured Resources

AL156_SMSpiritual Awakening: A Guide to Spiritual Life in Congregations by John Ackerman

Ackerman, parish pastor, spiritual director, and consultant on spiritual formation, provides an excellent guide for clergy desiring a congregation-wide approach to developing spirituality rooted in the life of the congregation. A six-week program focuses on developing individuals’ spirituality in small groups and includes leader training and course plans. Practical suggestions assist in developing the “corporate spirituality” of congregations.

AL146_SM Active Spirituality: A Guide for Seekers and Ministers by Kent Ira Groff

A practical guidebook for the inquiring layperson seeking a holistic, intelligent look at the spiritual life, and for the pastor or religious professional seeking a systematic framework and spiritual practices to re-ignite the flame of faith. Groff explains what it means to believe and what to do after you say you believe–through a unique integration of spirituality and service, heart and mind, and various faith traditions. Explore five spiritual disciplines: community, solitude, learning, service, and vocation. Great for study groups.