By Kate Gerwin
Kate will facilitate Well for the Journey’s new Millennial Women group, which begins Sept. 14.
Growing up Catholic and attracted to mystery, I was always fascinated by the lives of nuns, this sisterhood of women who seemed to have found something bigger then themselves to dedicate their lives to. My early realization—concurrent with my discovery of boys—that I did not, in fact, want to be a nun, in no way lessened my desire to live a life dedicated to wonder, mystery, and most of all God. Many years later however, I realize that I may have inadvertently become one despite my best intentions.
Researchers estimate that about 35 percent of millennials—those born between 1981 and 1996—consider themselves to be religious “nones”, or not affiliated with a particular religion. While some of these self-identified “nones” are atheist or agnostic, many consider themselves “spiritual but not religious,” reflecting the growing trend among young people to eschew the restrictions of religious labels. This does not however, mean that millennials are any less interested in spirituality or living rich inner lives; in fact, research shows that millennials are just as, if not more likely than older generations to engage in spiritual practices.
While I and other millennials might not be showing up in church on Sunday mornings, the impulse to gather and connect still runs deep. After all, we tend to forget that most of the world’s religions were formed by groups of people coming together to share in the mystery of being alive, with all of its joys and sadnesses. Whether it is sharing in meal or yoga practice, or discussing the spiritual themes in Harry Potter, the ability to come together and connect seems ever more important in our plugged in society.
Millennial Women, one of the newest offerings from Well for the Journey, offers the opportunity to do just that. The aim of this group is to provide a place of sharing, connection and community for younger women who may or may not be actively engaged in their church community, but who are seeking to find ways to deepen their spiritual lives none the less. Through time in nature, art and film, and group sharing, the group will offer a space for laughter, reflection, and companioning for the journey that is life, all the while taking into account the unique experiences of women in their 20s and early 30s.
Now that’s a sisterhood I can get behind!
Kate Gerwin, M.S., LGCP, is a Baltimore based counselor, educator and lover of good TV. She is such a proud Loyola Greyhound that she went there twice, once for her B.A. in Philosophy and once for her M.S.in Pastoral Counseling. Kate geeks out about things like mindfulness and holistic living and can often be found hiking, but more often eating. She firmly believes that happiness is an ever shifting ratio of gratitude and guacamole.