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The Heart2Soul Spiritual Project will be commissioned during the celebration of Hubbard United Church of Christ Jan. 6

Worship leaders from the Hubbard United Church of Christ are now forming a nondenominational project that will be open to anybody, regardless of any religious background.

"It's not even a religious project, it's spiritual," explained Dianne Rodriguez, who is one of the facilitators of the project. "It's really meant for people who are seeking and wanting to be in a community."

"I think there's a traditional religion stigma," added co-facilitator Josephine Elle, who has a music therapy background. "This allows people of many thought processes, of many backgrounds to exchange communication and connection and inspiration, therefore strengthening people and helping them reclaim their purpose and passion."

The group will meet at 10 a.m. Saturdays, starting off at the Hubbard UCC location, 2934 H St., after the congregation disbanded at the close of 2018. But the hope is to bring the project to where people are comfortable.

"It's starting in one place but as we recognize the needs (of participants) we'll be moving around the community," Elle said. "This is a community-involved project. We're not just going to sit and hope people come to us."

Meetings will be partially based on the book "I Will Not Die an Unlived Life" by Dawna Markova. There will also be readings of sacred texts and poetry, as appropriate.

"It (the book) raises existential questions for when we get into places of confusion and dark places, how do we regain (purpose and passion)," Rodriguez said. "I'd like (the book) to be the impetus, then we'll see who comes and take it from there what types of practices we'll do, whether it's singing, meditation, doing mandalas, et cetera. ... It's transformational, not informational."

Rodriguez, who was pastor of Hubbard UCC and is a member of Spiritual Directors International, said this is not only the direction that modern spirtuality is going, but it is how it started out.

"I think religion, before it organized, they went to people's houses, they sang, they ate they drank, they told spiritual stories, they used some sacred texts," she said. "It takes away the systematic organization part of it."

The first meeting will be Jan. 5. There will be a suggested free-will offering of $20. For more information, contact Rodriguez at 516-673-1231.

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