They are purpose-gathered to bring people together for spiritual experience, awareness, caring, sharing and development. As such, I suggest that spiritual communities are Evolution’s purpose-designed playgrounds, rehearsal halls and gardens for growing the capacity of Gaia’s reflective organ.
We have arrived at a time in Gaia’s evolution when the evolution of human systems needs to wake up, grow up and take responsibility for the evolutionary role we have been created for – to be Gaia’s reflective organ.
Spiritual communities play a very special role in the evolution of collective intelligence in human systems. As communities and also organizations with spiritual purposes, they are best suited to appreciate that their calling (or commission) may be much larger than we have been imagining.
Spiritual communities traditionally have attended to the spiritual awakening of individuals. Many also attend to individual’s needs. And they certainly often take energy and pleasure in the enjoyment of their own company. Some churches, temples and synagogues even support global caring missions for others in need – where they minister to the suffering located in (other) neighbourhoods, cities and even countries.
But I am now calling for a new commission for spiritual communities. That you wake up to the powerful voice you have to catalyze the evolution of the city itself. For your voice is the voice of the Integrator in the city. You have developed the practices and protocols to bring people together in unity around visions, values and belief systems within your own denominations. Now I am asking you to make a stretch into a whole new way of operating.
Spiritual communities often have all 4 voices [ City-zens, Civil Society, Civic Managers, Business] of the city within their membership – so in essence, the whole city system gathers on a regular basis. But I am now proposing that the purpose of that gathering transcend and include all that you have done before and reach out to being of service to the wellbeing of the whole city itself. Shift the scale from practicing as a community of individuals, or even organizations, to practicing in service to a whole city.
This is an excerpt from the Presentation to First Unitarian Fellowship of Nanaimo, BC, Canada. June 2, 2013. Read the full text here.