Questions on Kinship

Questions on Kinship

Chose one question to sit with – and return to – over the course of the month.

Who is your most surprising kin? Who is now in your circle of intimacy and interdependence that would have seemed unimaginable 10 years ago?  Has this new kinship changed your sense of family?

What’s keeping you from your kin? What spiritual hurdle (secrets, jealousy, unresolved conflict, addiction, different choices, favoritism, not fitting in, etc) is getting in the way of you having a closer relationship with your immediate family?

Do you struggle to extend your circle of kinship? UUs talk of interdependence with all but interdependence can be easier to accept intellectually than emotionally.  Do other people of other cultures really feel like kin to you?  Do animals, fish, and birds? Name a moment when you felt part of a larger circle.

Have the responsibilities of kinship ever been too much for you? Rabbi Laurence Kushner writes, “If everything is connected to everything else, then everyone is ultimately responsible for everything.”  Eugene V. Debs wrote, “While there is a lower class, I am in it; while there is a criminal element, I am of it; while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.”  Have you felt this sense of responsibility and been able to answer it? Have you discovered your limits to kinship?

Share a story about an experience where kinship helped you in a time of need.  Who offered you kinship and care?  What difference did it make to your life?  To that relationship?

What role does place play in creating kin? Where have your deepest kinships been formed?  In the midst of family events?  At church?  In college?  At work?  How has a place strengthened or weakened your relationships?


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