22 Oct It’s the simple, free gift that can help someone in need.
When was the last time you found yourself in a conversation with someone who listened – truly listened – to your story? How did it make you feel?
We live in a world where the skill of active listening is slowly being lost amidst the rush, pressure and stress of modern life. Many of us report feeling more disconnected than ever before, as we spend less and less time doing… well, not much… with our friends and neighbours.
The moments where you share a meal or a cuppa and a conversation can evolve naturally into the asking of sincere questions like:
“How have you been lately?”
“Have the winter blues started to lift?”
“How have you been coping since the anniversary of your wife’s passing?”
It’s Spiritual Care Week and this year’s theme is ‘Hospitality: The Gift of Time.’
For many of our Uniting spiritual care workers, this theme is a simple, solidifying description of the way they operate in the world on a daily basis – the gift of time is exactly what they’re here to offer. First and foremost, they’re here to listen. Sincerely, non-judgementally listening.
This is what happened when two strangers – Carlos and Christina – gave each other the gift of time.
Spirituality is what unites all
For our Uniting Chaplains and Pastoral Practitioners, spirituality is at the core of who we are as humans, and unique to each of us. It’s the part of us that seeks to find meaning, purpose and connection in life.
At Uniting, we have a team of more than 100 spiritual and pastoral care practitioners. This is the perfect time for us to recognise the incredible contribution chaplains and spiritual care practitioners make to individuals, families and communities the world over.
Spirituality is more than religious faith. Spirituality is what unites all of us on our life’s journey to find meaning, purpose and a sense of belonging. Numerous studies show the benefit to your general health and wellbeing when looking after your spiritual needs. This may be through connecting with people, nature, music, meditation or your faith.
Spirituality can be expressed in so many different ways – through relationships, the arts, a connection with nature and through cultural traditions or religious faith. And spirituality can most certainly be expressed in those sacred, shared moments, over a cuppa.
So how about you? Would you like to make a positive impact on yourself, a friend or neighbour? Would you be willing to share the gift of time this Spiritual Care week? Here are some simple ideas to make it happen:
- This Spiritual Care Week poster features 19 small ways to give the gift of time. Many suggestions take less than five minutes (including the making of a delicious mud cake you could share with a loved one).
- This labyrinth meditation and give yourself the gift of time.
- Our Little Uniting Book of Hospitality offers a collection of poems, stories and quotes, submitted by our spiritual care team.
The gift of time is not exclusive to our spiritual care team.