Book encourages writing as a spiritual practice

Unitarian Universalist minister the Rev. Karen Hering has written a book, Writing to Wake the Soul, to inspire and encourage the act of writing as a spiritual practice. The book would appear to be useful for adult education courses and for writing and reflecting on sermons.

Hering is consulting minister of literacy, a title she created, at Unity-Unitarian Church in St. Paul, Minn., where she offers guided writing sessions that correspond to monthly worship themes. She says the book can stimulate “contemplative correspondence.”

In the introduction she writes, “At its essence, whether practiced in groups or alone, contemplative correspondence focuses on theological themes or words, and involves personal writing that is informed and inspired by religious teachings, poetry, stories, visual images, physical objects, memory, imagination, science, history, and wordplay.

Part I of the book offers a reflection on writing, metaphor, and spiritual practice, plus a practical guide to contemplative correspondence. Part Two explores ten theological themes which people can use as writing prompts or simply read as daily meditations.

Hering calls contemplative correspondence “a spiritual practice of writing rooted in theology and story; drawn to the surface by questions, prompts, and ellipses; and most fully experienced when its words are accepted as invitations into conversations and relationships with others. . .”

Writing to Wake the Soul is $19.20 from the publisher Beyond Words.