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Five Tips to Finding Your Perfect Spiritual Community

This blog is the second in a two-part series on how to find your spiritual tribe. Read part one.


Once you have identified what spiritual community you are looking for, it’s time to find it. Many people believe that there aren’t any other ways other than a traditional church

to get together in a spiritual community. On the contrary, there are several ways to connect with your spiritual-but-not-religious brothers and sisters. Here are five ways you can find your spiritual community:


1. Facebook Groups


According to 2019 statistics, there were 2.4 billion people who used Facebook (1). That’s a lot of people to search through. If we take into account the Pew Statistics and the religious “nones” being at twenty-six percent(2), you are looking at the potential of finding millions of spiritual community members worldwide.

A good way to find your friends is to search through Facebook groups. Facebook groups

have a variety of spiritual topics for you to choose from. If you are at a point where you

would like to share your spiritual path, but are not ready to take the plunge and visit a social

group in your area, a Facebook group would be a great first step towards finding your true

tribe.


To search for a Facebook group:

  • Go to www.Facebook.com

  • Create and/or log into your Facebook account

  • On your Home page, click the “Groups” link in the Explore area found to left of your page.

  • Once on the Groups page, you can search for a group that fits your specific area of interest.

  • Alternatively, you can search for “Spiritual Group” in the Search bar at the top of the page and you will receive several suggestions to choose from.

  • Select the group then click + Join Group below the cover photo.


2. Meetup Groups


A Meetup group is a great way to get you into the world of spiritual exploration with others.

Meetups are available in several cities, with many different topics and genres available to

choose from. Unlike Facebook groups, Meetup groups meet in person, at a physical

location. Some groups may have classes, discussions, hands-on workshops, entertainment,

etc. and there are plenty free or low-cost groups to join, as well as those that charge a fee.


You will need to create a Meetup account:

  • To create a Meetup account from your desktop or mobile web browser, visit www.meetup.com

  • Click Sign up in the upper right-hand corner.

  • When creating your account, you have the option to use your email address, or just connect through your Facebook or Google account.

  • To create a Meetup account from your Android or iOS device, download the app, open it, and simply tap Sign up.


You can then search for a group in your area:

  • On your desktop, head to the Meetup Find page

  • Choose whether you’d like to search by Groups or Calendar by clicking on your preference

  • Enter a search term or browse by category by clicking in the search bar

  • If you’d like to fine-tune your search click ‘Sort by Best match’ and select another option from the drop-down menu

  • On your iOS or Android apps, you can search for Meetup groups and events on the homepage with the Magnifying glass icon labeled "Explore."


To join a Meetup group:

  • Go to the homepage for the group you want to join

  • On Desktop / Mobile Web, Click Join us on the homepage

  • On iOS or Android app, tap + to join

  • Depending on the settings for the group, you will either be added as a new member right away or once the organizer approves your request.


3. Social Issues Study Groups


Unlike Facebook and Meetup groups, these may take a little more specific research on your

part to find. Social Issues Study groups can be found on college campuses, social services

organizations, county outreach programs and activist groups. It could be made easier by

choosing a specific topic and doing a search on your web browser of your choice. If you are

interested in social justice, welfare reform, prison reform, or school policy revisions, you will

need to search for those topics specifically. Local community centers or library reference

desks would be good place to start an offline search for groups in your area.

There are some spiritual and progressive religious centers who offer Social Issue Study

Groups, so stay open-minded. They often offer them at no charge and do not require

membership in their groups to be involved. Their goal is to solve problems and not recruit

members. See Non-Traditional Spiritual Centers below for what to look for.


4. Community Service Groups


Community service organizations offer a great way to meet people and express your

spiritual ethics and values. There are several different types to choose from. If you are

passionate about animal welfare, there are shelters and rescue organizations available. If

you are dedicated to helping children, programs such as Court Appointed Special Advocates

(CASA) who work with foster children, or public schools are always looking for volunteers to

help. Homeless shelters, food banks, clothing banks, homeless sandwich projects, etc., are

excited to have the help. You can help others while meeting like-minded people in the

process. It’s a win-win for everyone.


5. Non-Traditional Spiritual Centers


What you may not know, or even hear about, is that there are spiritual centers and spiritual

“churches” who are looking for people like you. They also are seeking for answers, questioning traditional dogma and doctrine, wanting to find meaning and inner peace, teaching meditation, and practicing loving kindness. They are feeding and clothing the homeless, working with local social service organizations such as Girl Scouts to expand awareness for the needs of others. They host Social Issues Study Groups to help solve some of our most serious social, cultural and environmental issues. They are intentional communities working towards the greatest good without judgement and prejudice. They accept you for who you are and where you are on your spiritual path. They are rare, but they are there. Often-times they still meet in church buildings, sometimes sharing spaces with traditional churches; however, look beyond the old symbolic meaning of the church building. Many spiritual groups are repurposing these buildings (3) and giving them a new life. You just need to know what to look for. When doing a search on the web for a place in your local community, look for key words such as


  • Pluralistic

  • Affirming

  • Interfaith

  • Interspiritual

  • Open-minded

  • Progressive


These are just a few key words to use during the search for your local spiritual community. Despite your previous experience, I encourage you to expand your search to include those places you wouldn’t have thought to look. You may be surprised that the old, traditional church may have evolved into something better. They may house the tribe you have been looking for.


By using these five tips to finding your spiritual tribe, you just may find like-minded seekers.

Whether it’s online, in person, in a social or community group, or a spiritual center, you will find your spiritual tribe. Keep looking. They are there for you.


References

  1. Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 3rd quarter 2019. https://www.statista.com/statistics/264810/number-of-monthly-active-facebook-users-worldwide/

  2. In U.S., Decline of Christianity Continues at Rapid Pace. (October 17, 2019. Pew Research Center. Retrieved from https://www.pewforum.org/2019/10/17/in-u-s-decline-of-christianity-continues-at-rapid-pace/

  3. What should we do with all of those empty churches? (December 6, 2018). Big Think. Retrieved from https://bigthink.com/culture-religion/what-should-we-do-with-all-of-those-empty-churches

Rev. Dr. Lori Erwin-Johnson is an ordained minister and associate minister at the Spiritual Sanctuary at First Congregational Church. She has a master’s in psychology, a Doctor of Divinity, and has completed all graduate coursework towards her PhD in Psychology, with an emphasis in cognition and instruction. Her spiritual tribe is located in Tacoma, WA and is comprised of members with varying beliefs: Progressive Christian, Atheist, Agnostic, Spiritual but not religious, Interfaith, Interspiritual, Humanist and questioning. They are dedicated to community service, social freedom, and religious pluralism. Learn more at www.tacomafcc.org

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