Leah’s Blog
Editor Albany UU | Apr 02, 2020

Creating Sabbath Space

From our partners at Soul Matters –

What do families need most right now?

There are a lot of answers to that question. So many that it makes your head spin. Stay healthy. Keep active. Check in with family by Skype or Zoom. Wash your hands. Donate. Watch Netflix.

In the midst of all this advice, the voice of religion can sound a bit odd. Here’s its answer: “In times of trouble, be extra sure to keep the Sabbath.”

In other words, “Be sure to set aside time and a space for worship, rest and connection.”

Simply put, that’s what this resource is all about. Our partners at Soul Matters want to help families carve out “sabbath space” in their homes and weekly schedules. We want to honor ancient spiritual wisdom that says worship, rest and connection are a must, not “extras” to be fit as we can. Especially during trying times.

But what does that look like when we’re cut off from our church buildings? “Well,” says the voice of religion with a smile, “Who says you can’t build a space for the sacred in your home?” In fact, home worship and home altars are a central part of family life for so many religious traditions. Catholics call them “home shrines.” Hindus fill them with their favorite Gods and Goddesses. Buddhists sometimes set aside entire rooms for theirs. Muslims place their prayer rugs in front of theirs. Some UUs, too, have home altars.

While all different, they also share a common goal: To create a space that helps one stay connected to what is sacred and nourishing. And who of us doesn’t need that right now?!

So, what might your Unitarian Universalist home altar look like? Well that’s what we are going to discover and create together.

Each week, at our protected member site, you can find a Sabbath Toolkit with instructions for adding a new piece to your home altar, a family worship service to celebrate that addition and some “after worship activities” to help your family lean into Sabbath rest and connection together.

And here’s the super cool thing: Other UU families from across the country will be doing this too! Just like you, UU families from Massachusetts to Indiana to Oklahoma to Oregon will be carving out room in their homes for family altars and weekly Sabbath experiences. Even though we will be physically apart, we’ll be spiritually connected.

What an adventure it will be!

With many thanks to Soul Matters and in joyful service,