In most buildings owned by religious communities, there is a room usually near the sanctuary or worship space that by many names is a “ready room.” It may be used in some spaces only at weddings for the bride to make ready for her walk down the aisle. Sometimes they are used to gather family in just moments prior to a funeral. In both instances, they are the place where final preparations are made for a momentous religious act.
At the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Gwinnett, our ready room is the place, just off the back corner of the sanctuary, where we organize and store all kinds of material used and needed for all the things we do as a community. Our sound and video equipment is there but so is our sheet music for the choir and musicians. Crayons, scissors, glue and construction paper for various projects in our Religious Exploration program are there as are colorful cloths for our altars. In other words, its the room we go to when we are preparing for the things we do as a community.
What do we do as a community? We gather for Religious Exploration on a variety of themes, but always gathered around three perspectives: curiosity, courage and compassion. We are always readying ourselves through curiosity, through good questions, difficult questions, questions that seem too big and knowing that none is too small. We are readying ourselves through the courageous embrace of spiritual practices that allow us to deepen our faith and connection with each other and the world. We are readying ourselves to practice compassion in the world through social justice, both by immediate action and service and through advocacy for systemic change.
As a community, we gather in our sanctuary and engage in ritual that is meaningful, deep and inspiring which enables us to continue our religious explorations. In Unitarian Universalism, there is very little difference in living in the world and practicing our spiritualities. All that we are and all that we do are about living meaningful, compassionate and courageous lives in the world, every day, in every way.
And so we explore “the ready room.”