Spirituality and religion are often two different things.
In a twin study on religion and mental health, psychiatric genetic-epidemiologist Kenneth Kendler and his colleagues looked at “religion” as compared with “spirituality” in nearly two thousand adult twins. It was shown statistically that in people’s lived experience, personal spirituality is a different concept from adherence to religion or choice of religious denomination. Instead, spirituality was shown to be a sense of a close personal relationship to God (or nature or the universe or whatever term each person used for higher power) and a vital source of daily guidance.
Miller, Dr. Lisa. The Spiritual Child (p. 7). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
In Kendler’s study, spirituality did not meaningfully correlate with one specific religious denomination; there are highly spiritual people in all denominations, and highly spiritual people who don’t adhere to any specific religious denomination. With these distinctions established, science had identified a crucial and valuable dimension of “spirituality,” and researchers could get busy exploring spirituality’s contributions to good health, mental well-being, fulfillment, and success.
Miller, Dr. Lisa. The Spiritual Child (p. 8). St. Martin's Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.
Psychological research has found that spirituality and religion are two separate things although they can overlap.
Spirituality is the felt attunement with one’s Higher Power. It is a feeling of belonging with something bigger than oneself. As we will find, this sense is innate and natural and is either nurtured or extinguished by many factors with one of the most important being the relationship with the primary caregiver with whom the child is bonded and attached.
Unitarian Universalists covenant together to affirm and promote seven principles the third of which is the acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations. This acceptance and nurturance is important for parents as they in turn nurture their children. People can’t give what they don’t have and so the primary focus of a children’s and youth program in a church should be on the parents' relationship with their children which often is the template for the child’s experience of transcendent unconditional love.
Join our UU A Way Of Life spiritual book discussion group.