On Belonging…

By Leigh Symonds, for the Transition Leadership Team

person in red sweater holding babys hand

What are you longing for?

This question was asked last Sunday by Rev. Beckett Coppola of Kingston Unitarian Fellowship. She noted that the word ‘belong’ is really an intensification of longing, the ‘be’ in English serving to deepen, to intensify the meaning of the root ‘to long for.’ Some of our most precious words contain this prefix ‘be’: beyond, between, becoming, beloved…

Our theme this month is Belonging. In this time of transition — in our Fellowship as well as our wider community and the world — it is well worth asking: what are you longing for? What completes you? What do you need to feel or to do or to be in order to belong?

In this time of transition — in our Fellowship as well as our wider community and the world — it is well worth asking: what are you longing for?

Belonging is one of the most important feelings to nourish in our lives. It is what nurtures us. It is what heals us. It is what holds us in our darknesses and what allows us to leap further or dare more greatly because we know there are hands to catch us when we fall.

It is a complex emotion, encompassing our need for both stability and constancy. It allows us to come home at the end of the day and feel welcome, and it assures us of love, as well as the ecstasy of standing on a cliff edge with our arms outstretched to the wind knowing that we belong and are a part of all creation.

It is an emotion that is not only defined by what we need or want but also, and most importantly, what we give to others. To belong is to be connected with, a part of something other than ourselves: a family, a religious community, a workplace, a sports team, a reading group or a forest. In that community, the self becomes a part of a larger chorus of singers whose voices together create magic beyond that which is singularly beautiful.

What makes you resonate? What makes you want to sing in your heart and your soul? What harmony are you wanting to bring to our Beloved Community? In this lifelong endeavour of becoming something other than we were, belonging is the essential chalice where growth can be kindled and nourished and fed.

Belonging is a chalice where growth can be kindled and nourished and fed.

This week, we are offering the first of a series of Community Conversations to explore who we are, what we need and where we want to grow. Join us on Sunday afternoon in person (Sept 11, 4pm-6pm), or online Tuesday evening (Sept 13, 6:30pm-8:30pm) to explore what we are longing for, what we have lost and, most especially, what we are grateful for. The Tuesday Zoom link is: https://tinyurl.com/CommConversationsUFP