What Does It Mean to Be a People of . . . INTEGRITY
In the month of January we’ll explore together the theme of integrity; the capacity to know ourselves in all of our wholeness and complexity, and to live with authenticity. Who loved you into being? What life lessons guide you? What are our most important values as people of faith? How do we embody those values more deeply? Do we have the courage to be honest with ourselves? Then, can we embrace what we discover?
Soul Matters describes being a people of integrity as the practice of living from the inside out and refusing to hide. Theme-based ministry connects worship, religious education and small group experiences so that we are having a shared conversation across the generations. Come, join us to deepen our faith together.
Reflections on Integrity:
“Integrity. Basically, the word means wholeness. In mathematics, an integer is a number that isn’t divided into fractions. Just so, a person of integrity isn’t divided against him or herself.”
“Wholeness is never lost; it is only forgotten. Integrity rarely means that we need to add something to ourselves: it is more an undoing than a doing, a freeing ourselves from beliefs we have about who we are and ways we have been persuaded to “fix” ourselves… Often in reclaiming the freedom to be who we are, we remember some basic human quality, what we find is almost always a surprise but it is also familiar; like something we have put in the back of a drawer long ago…“
–Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom
The practice of living from the inside out.
The practice of refusing to hide.
Counting Your Values on Your Hand:
Integrity and value-clarity go hand in hand. But do we really take the time to name and bring our core values into awareness? And do our self-proclaimed values match how others see us? This exercise invites you to wrestle with both of these questions.
To keep it simple, we’ve created a list of values. Pick your five core values from the list. Then give a blank copy of the list to someone close to you and ask them to pick the five they think are your core values, without letting them know which you picked earlier. Compare lists and discuss the differences, as well as why each of you picked what you did.
- From your selected five values, which one would like to live into more fully?
- What were your parent(s) five core values? In what way are your core values and theirs the most same and the most different?
- Which of your core values are most directly and deeply related to your UU faith? i.e. which value would not be on the list if it wasn’t for your faith?
- What’s the newest value to make it on to your list of top five? Which value did it “replace”? Did that happen consciously? Or did the shift sneak up on you?
- Take this online values test and see if it reveals anything new: https://www.valuescentre.com/tools-assessments/pva/
Taking It Home: Ideas for All Ages
The Places That Make Us
The places in our neighborhoods have profound impacts on how our integrity (values and wholeness) develops, even if that influence seems invisible while we’re living there. We’ve listed below various types of places that shape us. Your family’s task is to name as many places you can think of under each type. It’s all a way of acknowledging that our integrity is not built alone, but in our communities of familiar people and places. In your travels around your neighborhood during the month, pay special attention to these places you named–they are places where you and your family are being formed!
Name as many places as you can where…
- your family buys good and nourishing food for your meals
- you like to go to celebrate special occasions
- you learn interesting things
- you meet up with people who affirm you
- you gather with others to show your government what you want to be happening in your community and our shared world
- you play, move your body in the sunshine, and deepen your connection to the natural world
- there are people being kind to animals
- people help each other feel joyful
- you get to learn about people different than you
- you get a chance to help people who need support
Stories Used In Worship and Classes This Month
The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett
#318, We Would Be One
Theme Connection: Those who are “just waking up,” who “have been on the front lines,” and also those who “haven’t been doing anything” are given reminders in this hymn. It is a call to act in love, and with integrity.
Soul Matters Spotify Music Playlists:
Discover musical inspiration on each of our themes through monthly playlists: https://www.soulmatterssharingcircle.com/spotify-lists.html
Join us to deepen our faith together:
- Explore resources related to the monthly theme (links above)
- Attend Sunday worship
- Sign up for small group ministry (Soul Matters Sharing Circles and Chalice Circles)
- Request a copy of Soulful Home (thematic resources for families)
- Join our Parent Group (to discuss the themes in relation to parenting)
Resources on this page adapted from Soul Matters January 2020.