Jamestown, N.Y. – Last spring, award-winning Canadian journalist and author Anne Bokma spoke at a virtual service of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown (UUCJ) on the topic of her book My Year of Living Spiritually: From Woo-Woo to Wonderful—One Woman's Secular Quest for a More Soulful Life.
Bokma described her journey away from the fundamentalist church of her youth to finding a home among Unitarians in midlife and shared insights from her whirlwind year of experimenting with 24 spiritual practices. Now a member of the First Unitarian Church of Hamilton in Ontario, she was so well received that she has been invited to return.
Because of the continuing challenges of border crossings and COVID protocols, Bokma will make a virtual presentation at the November 7, 10:30 a.m. Sunday service on “How to Find Your Tribe: The Power of Community.”
Bokma quotes the writing of astronomer Carl Sagan: “In all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable is each other,” and notes that today about 40 percent of people say they are lonely.
People used to find a sense of community in their faith group, but now a significant majority do not participate in religious services regularly. The decline in association with traditional religion corresponds with a simultaneous rise in secular gatherings that create solidarity, enhance personal growth and allow for the kind of transcendence we usually associate with religious feeling—everything from death cafes to drumming circles, storytelling gatherings and social action.
Conclusion: Everyone needs a tribe. This talk explores the importance of finding yours.
Bokma’s message relates to the third of seven principles that Unitarian Universalist congregations affirm and promote: “Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations.”
For her Story for All Ages, Bokma will share the delightful Miss Rumphius, a digital book by Barbara Cooney.
To learn more about Anne Bokma, visit her website, AnneBokma.com.
There will be an opportunity for questions after the presentation. For those who are interested, an optional virtual coffee hour in breakout rooms follows the service.
Because of COVID-19 concerns, UUCJ Sunday services are remaining virtual instead of returning to 1255 Prendergast Avenue. Anyone is welcome to participate with the link at UUJamestown.org/calendar.
The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Jamestown is a progressive, liberal religious community serving the southern tier of Western New York and Warren County, Pa. The UUCJ’s mission is to promote and provide a community where diverse people of all ages may explore the meaning of existence, give expression to liberal religious values, and work for a just, sustainable society.