Letters from our Spiritual Leader
Letter to Community Aug. 2018 Qtly Meeting
Dear Beloved Community,
It’s hard to believe it’s August already! But it’s not hard to believe how very blessed we have been and continue to be. If you need proof, just look around at the faces of blessing sitting next to you. You all are vessels of blessing, and it is an honor to serve you.
This next Wednesday evening, we will be wrapping up our six-week class on “Living Abundantly”. Uncle Eric Butterworth’s book, Spiritual Economics, has been an amazing inspiration for us, and the growth in consciousness has been palpable. I’m looking forward to seeing how the vibrations from this class ripple through our community and beyond. I can’t wait to hear you coach each other on how to how to live life from the inside out. I know I’m going to overhear someone describing how we are swimming in Divine Substance the way a fish swims in water. One of you is going to ask someone, “Are you making a living or living your making?” How thrilling! We are the change we long to see!
Our class on Positive Prayer has already been a blessing to our community. In addition to our healers who serve us faithfully by being vessels of Light, we now have four prayer chaplains who love to serve us by reminding us that our Source knows what we need. We are becoming a congregation of ministers. We are giving ourselves away in service, and this can only make us grow into receiving increasing showers of blessings.
Other blessings received: The Rune workshop with Rev. Laura MacLauchlan, the workshop Ed Foote brought us on “Discovering Your Soul’s Purpose”, as well as the workshop on The Course in Miracles that world author and speaker Jon Mundy brought us. We just get richer and richer in spiritual understanding!
While I look back in gratitude, I also look forward in joyful anticipation. In just a few weeks, on August 26th to be exact, Deacon Art Miller will be our guest speaker. I have printed out an article about him written back in 2015, but the sentiments therein are as fresh today as they were three years ago. Deacon Art Miller’s best friend as a child was Emmett Till, the young African American teenager whose murder by the Ku Klux Klan sparked the civil rights movement. He has been a passionate mover and shaker in the civil rights movement throughout his adulthood. And- he is one of the most powerful speakers I have ever had the pleasure to experience. Bring your friends – this is bound to be very powerful.
I’m also looking forward to the book we will be studying for our Faith in Action study group in the fall: Hell in the Hallway, Light at the Door, by Unity author Ellen Debenport. The “hallway” is the place between jobs, relationships, or after the death of a loved one. It’s that place between a life change and what’s next, and it is a place where tremendous growth and change can occur. If you want to start reading it right away, you can easily purchase it on Amazon Smile. Or you can wait a few weeks until I have ordered it for our bookstore and buy it from us. I think this book is going to be great blessing for our community.
Up for consideration as a class in 2019 is a book titled “Waking Up White”, by Debby Irving. Several other Unity ministers that I am in contact with have recommended this book as a fantastic vehicle to explore just exactly what “white privilege” is. I am reading it now and find myself glued to it in shock and recognition of my own white privilege. Rev. Rhonda and I are talking about joining with other local churches in reading this book to open the conversation on race and bring much needed healing and understanding to our racial wounds. My hope is that we will find a way to bring several churches together under the same roof- a shared book study.
I also would like to teach the class on Affirmative Prayer again and am in the process of sorting out just where that class would fit in our schedule.
Most of all, I remain ever grateful to you all. You are the blessing of my life, and you teach, enrich, embolden, and inspire me in Unlimited Ways. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
"The Solution is in the Tomb"
"The Wild Fisher Mountain Lion Fox and Bob Cat with Coyote Tendencies"
It’s that time during the bleak winter when the woodland creatures are moving out of their familiar terrain and are looking for food wherever they can. While we don’t actually see them, they leave behind many mysterious tracks in our back yard, and Andy and I love getting out the tracking book and speculating on who is who and what is what. Sometimes we’re pretty sure of what tracks belong to what creature. But sometimes we haven’t a clue, and so we begin to speculate. “Could be a Fisher Cat,” says Andy. “Or a Mountain Lion,” says yours truly. “Or maybe a Fox,” we whisper. And before we realize what’s happening, we are concocting stories in our heads all about The Wild Fisher Mountain Lion Fox and Bob Cat with Coyote Tendencies. Such a creature doesn’t really exist, of course. But with the little information we have, we have managed to create it, and believe me, it is wreaking havoc in our wild imaginations.
When all of this talk about fake news began to surface, I started thinking about The Wild Fisher Mountain Lion Fox and Bob Cat with Coyote Tendencies. What is it that makes us want to create a story where there is no story? What are we reaching for when we make assumptions based the little bits of information we have? What is it that comforts us about grabbing a rumor and making a monster out of it?
If we are honest, all of us engage in fake news every day, for all of us, even the most spiritually evolved, live with a reactive brain that leaps to assumptions in order to protect itself. It makes sense that during this time of heated rhetoric, many of us feel the need to protect ourselves from what can feel like an attack, no matter what side of a political issue we are on. Our reactive brains will provide us with plenty of stories that we can use to arm ourselves against the so – called “enemy”, that fellow on “the other side” that our reactive brain believes is out to get us.
Spiritually, fake news has nothing to do with the size of a crowd or the size of someone’s hands, but with the belief that there is anything other than God’s Omnipotent Presence in the Universe and in our lives. For the soul on the spiritual path, fake news is the news that comes from a world that believes itself to be separated from the Divine, a world that holds fast to the belief in duality, where the forces of “good” duke it out with the forces of “evil” in an endless cycle of reactive thought after reactive thought.
Real News – that God is always and everywhere present – is being broadcast left, right, and center if we have the ears to hear it. To tune in, all we need to do is go back to our Master Teacher’s lesson on loving our enemies continuously. We must keep at: loving “the enemy”, praying for “the enemy”, blessing “the enemy”, insisting constantly that we are, no matter what the news of the world says, One with our “enemy”, until finally it becomes clear to us that there is no “enemy”. There is only Us. And the Us that we are is indisputably Real.
And so, while it has been wildly entertaining to live with a Wild Fisher Mountain Lion Fox and Bob Cat with Coyote Tendencies in our back yard, we’re going to let that creature go now. The Real News is at hand, and it’s better than anything we can fabricate.
With Great Love for the Real News in us all,
"Christmas Always Arrives"
And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:7
There’s a new arrival in our home. It’s rather tall and has green needles on its sturdy branches. We have decorated it with shiny things and have placed a big gold star on its top. It brings us a lot of joy now, but when we carried it inside, we were dismayed by how much room the tree took up in our old farmhouse. And so we sighed and rather reluctantly moved things out of their familiar and comfortable positions to accommodate our new arrival, which seemed to increase in width and height with every passing moment.
Light always arrives, no matter how unwilling we are to see It.
Making room for God’s Grace isn’t always comfortable. There are many familiar positions we have taken – positions about who is who and what is what – that need to give way so that the All Inclusive Position of Love can take up room in our hearts. In fact, making room for Love may be something we rather not do at all. We’d rather things stay arranged within us the way they have been, with victims on one side of our hearts and victimizers on the other. We’ve gotten used to sitting in our consciousness this way, so much so that when the arrival of a new point of view comes knocking at the door, it may cause us great dismay.
Love always arrives, no matter how hesitant we are to consent to It.
Looking at this tree in all of its splendor now, there is a feeling of “ever thus”. Was there a time when this tree was not in our living room? Now that we have made room for it, it’s hard to imagine being without it. And so it is with the Spirit of the newly born Christ. Once we have made room for the concept that we are and always have been in absolute One-ness with the ever expanding, always increasing Power of Peace, we will wonder why or how we ever insisted that there simply wasn’t enough room inside us to accommodate such tranquility.
Peace always arrives, no matter how uncertain we are that we are capable of receiving It.
This is the time of year when we contemplate the circumstances of the birth of a baby named Jesus, a child born on the wrong side of the tracks in the area we now call Palestine, a child for whom there was no room - not only in the Inn, but in the country of his nativity. This humble birth, with none of the glitter and shine that we associate with our Christmases today, came to be as the result of an unplanned pregnancy and was so ethnically profiled by the ruling forces of his day that his parents were forced to find safety in another country altogether.
There was no room for a baby named Jesus, but the Christ arrived anyway, challenging every heart to make space for Love. This is the sacred mystery of Christmas – that even though there seems to be no room for newly born Hope on planet earth, the Christ always arrives anyway. And so it may seem as though there is no room in some of our houses of worship for those of different beliefs, but the Christ arrives anyway. It may seem as though there is no room in our legislative houses for unity, but the Christ arrives anyway. It may seem as though there is no room in our political discussions for the immigrant in need of sanctuary, but the Christ arrives anyway. It may appear that there is no room in our corporations to care for the environment, but the Christ arrives anyway. We may look at the world and see a place where there is no room for the poor, the afflicted, the profiled, the victims, or the victimizers, but the Christ arrives anyway.
The Christ always arrives. We may believe that there is no room in our Inn, but there is a manger within us - a simple and humble place where the lowly and unlovable are forever welcome. To find it we may need to travel on some unfamiliar pathways, but once we are there, we will be witness to the greatest, most spectacular miracle of all.
The great Christmas Miracle is this: despite who we think we are and regardless of what we have decided others are, there is Only One Child of God – our Inner Christ.
And this One Child always arrives. Christmas always arrives.
Merry Christmas to you all.
"The Most Important Election"
When Andy and I got up this morning we looked briefly at the news and saw yet another scandal had broken out over one of the candidates running for president of our dear country. The task of running a country is a huge one, and to do it well, we need our very best. Yet this election process seems to have brought out the very worst in us. If we judge by appearances, it’s easy to despair and assume the situation is hopeless, no matter who we vote for.
How blessed we are! For we are trained to look beyond appearances, and when we do, we remember once again that the Universe is always for us, no matter how dismal things may appear to be.
After touching in with the news of the world, Andy and I turned our attention to the little world of our back yard. There was a snow storm approaching, and we had only made a small dent in the leaves on our 2 ½ acre property. We agreed to work as quickly as we could in the time we had. As we raced to get the majority of the leaves off of our lawn, the snow began to fall. It was at first an awkward thing- raking leaves as the snow fell. Not the best conditions in which to get the job done, I thought… As I raked, the leaves grew heavier by the moment with snow, and my arms began to ache. It was then that I heard a gentle whisper from Spirit. “You see these working conditions as less than optimal. I just see them.”
I knew immediately that Spirit was sweetly reminding me that the work would be easier- and even fun! - If I let go of my judgement about the way “things ought to be”.
I smiled as I noticed how the snow was actually helping me to keep the leaves on the tarp, and how effortlessly the tarp then slid over the snow as I pulled it into the woods to release the leaves.
“Just seeing” rather than seeing things through the lens of judgement isn’t always easy, but it is the simplest way towards noticing that God is always for us , even when we perceive that conditions around us are “less than optimal”.
As Metaphysical Christians, we know that the real work is not about how we govern our country. The real work is about how we govern ourselves. And while this election has been publicized as being “the most important election of our life time”, if we are sincere about our calling to bring Love where Love appears not to be and Light where darkness seems to be, then that is not actually true. The most important election of our life time happens every time we elect to “just see” rather than judge what we see.
To “just see” means to see justly, and this happens every time we choose to look at the world through the eyes of Love.
We didn’t consciously plan on an early snow fall, nor did we consciously plan on an election cycle so heavy with bitterness and recrimination. But somewhere deep in our Being, we elected ourselves to be present during a time when conditions would appear to be working against us so that we could experience the miracle of “just seeing”.
God nominates us to this glorious work. It’s up to us to “second” this nomination. If it seems daunting, take heart. If we will “just see”, we can get the job done, one snow covered leaf at a time. And this is what brings heaven to earth…