As the two of us excitedly prepare to embark on our trip to Unity Village for the annual Unity Peoples’ Convention, we are anticipating an inspiring and energizing visit. Nothing like returning to the Mother Ship and connecting with colleagues to remind us of why we are involved in the powerful, transformative work of our New Thought movement.
The Unity Principles we teach can truly transform our lives if we embody them. The first foundation principle – There is only One Presence and One Power active in my life and in the universe, God the Good – is a revolutionary statement that, when truly lived has the potential to completely change our lives. Why?
Because when everything we hear on the nightly news is screaming the opposite message, it is tempting to believe that our life can be against us. To stay rooted in the Truth that nothing and no one can be in opposition to who we really are, while in the face of seemingly contradictory evidence, is exactly how we go about being the change we are seeking in the world.
The ability to walk the spiritual path and be a healing presence no matter what may be showing up in our path, comes from being connected to the deeper intelligence of the heart. It is through the heart that we discover the richness of the One Life and experience a greater sense of well-being and worth. Spirit’s gifts are accessible to us as we sustain elevated emotions such as appreciation, empathy, compassion and kindness.
The author Neale Donald Walsh writes, “Consider this possibility: You have come to the room to heal the room. You have come to the space to heal the space. There is no other reason for you to be here.” Regardless of how things look and feel, you are in your right and perfect place to bring healing to whatever room, space or situation you are presently in.
Our planet needs all hands on deck! The call is out for every one of us to walk the talk of Oneness and be agents for positive change in order to bring into manifestation a more compassionate world. Could there be any better reason to be here?
Jane and Gary
How does it feel to not fit in vs. to fit in? We often try our best to “fit in” socially, and in all ways of life. Yet, we blunder unintentionally. Then what?
Inspired by Dr. Gary’s confession of embarrassment, Dr. Jane, and Rev. David’s sharing about his embarrassment, I chose for today’s topic how I “do not fit in” but not to my embarrassment. How seriously do we take ourselves?
Many of you know that I was born in Germany. English is my second language. Imagine yourself in a foreign Country not knowing all the idioms – blundering right to left with what is desired to express. Here are a few of my blunders: (Please, be in a laughing mode.)
When I was just five years in the country, holding my first state job, I received a promotion to work in another part in the State Health Department of New Mexico. My replacement was a very lazy guy who had no ambition to do his best. Although I was somewhat a shy person, the German temperament came out of me. I told him to “get off his balls” to get the work done. I had no clue what I really said; it was totally innocent!
The word got around fast what I said, and people looked at me with a mixture of amusement and embarrassment.
At another time, we had company for dinner. Everyone liked what was served, and bragged about the food. I proclaimed: “Oh yes, we are living on a high hog.” Everyone laughed. I then was told how to say in right.
Embarrassed? No way – It was funny. I often wondered how Americans would do, if they would suddenly needed to speak German on a regular basis. This thought made me more compassionate – not only for others who struggle with a language barrier, but also with myself.
In the early days after my immigration, people talked to me about Hitler. They were on the “smear route” to express their disgust about the way German people accepted a leader like Hitler. My answer was always that people were misled (we, in the US were misled by politicians to accept Trump as our President. This happens in other countries as well.). Except – the German people were threatened to be shot, if they did not follow what Herr Fuehrer had in mind for them to follow to the point – like flying the Flag every day at each house. It was a very scary time for all innocent people who lived then in Germany.
My other answer was that I had nothing to do with Hitler because I was not even born then. This made them change the subject fast without an apology.
I am still not 100% knowledgeable about the language and idioms and never will be. If you hear me say something funny or odd, just laugh please, and enjoy the diversity in the use of the language! I am not embarrassed, and I’ve found a sense of humor to laugh about it myself when I find out what I really said.
How often do we in general misspeak, do bloopers and blunders? So what! This is just the outer layer we appear to be – not who we truly are.
The last big blooper (yes, there are more I will not share) I will share with you still sticks in our minds, and we still laugh about the totally innocent incident:
My husband and I came out of the Sante Fe, NM Hospital after we had seen a friend. As we stepped out of the door, a woman approached me with a serious look on her face. She whispered to me: “His Barn door is open!” I thought right away that she was a Jesus freak, and answered quickly: “Thank you, we like it that way!” She turned red, I almost heard her screaming within as she quickly hurriedly moved away from us. I asked my husband what this was all about. He knew of course. I never had heard this expression before in my life.
Thinking back, we were laughing aloud walking to the car. The woman was out of sight – there was no way to explain to her about the innocent remark that came out of my mouth.
The trouble in this world is that many language barriers create innocent misunderstandings, maybe hurt other’s feelings, bring out fear, hatred, and make enemies. I know that I do not “fit in” in this category in social, politically correct circles because I may say something unintentionally someone else might take in a wrong way. Yes, it is nice to “it in.” We forget who we truly are when we feel like outsiders, and odd balls. So what – we are all the same within, yet different in our expressions. Even the famous movie stars blunder, people in theaters, in public offices. A sense of humor and a positive attitude to bring out the laughter will quickly overcome what might have become embarrassing moments.
Let us turn within, and know that we do our best, being connected with all life and life forms, and keep smiling. Turn within – not to look at the illusion of differences, for we are all one in God. Understanding diversities on all levels and in all ways of life also helps that we experience ourselves to “fit in” just the way we are, be peaceful regardless of what comes across to others out of our mouth, and what others may think of us. So be it, and so it is.
A dedicated prayer chaplain ©
Are we “out of our mind?” We all have heard this phrase, and wondered what we did wrong to be accused of such a crazy idea.
The mind is a starting point of the entire manifested world. God’s Mind as Spirit, Life, Love, and Creativity permeates it all, including our total being inside and out.
When we think of it, we can be in awe about the majestic vastness of the universe, the tiny creations of insects, the earth itself with all the wonders within and at the outer levels, and the magnificent mountains bathing in the last glow of the sunset.
Then there are the starts uncountable to our eyes, the moon with its phases; we see can see wherever we look the intelligence of God’s Mind working through His Creations, including through each one of us. All creation is well thought of, and in perfect harmony as it was intended to be.
Let us wipe out the mist that stands between our unconscious mind, our conscious awareness/awakening, and the Mind of God by going deeper within enjoying the Flow of Spirit to have all our questions answered – one by one. First we observe, then we trust. It certainly will happen if we are willing to make time to connect with the Mind of God/Spirit within.
We all can do it. “Be still and know that I AM God.”
–A Dedicated Prayer Chaplain ©
Fear is the opposite of love – how can we love God when we fear him at the same time?
Let us look briefly at the Aramaic translation: God is alaha, or ithea. God has many names in many different religions. He is called elohim or alohim in Hebrew, etc. These names stem from the Semitic root.
So what is God? When we look at the translations of the different names of God, we find surprisingly that God is really nothing we would have to fear. We already know or believe that God is Love, Life, Light, Energy. God is also a self-existent principle, self-coercive, self-sustaining, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent – a loving Life Force that is and goes through everything manifested – whether human beings, animals, nature, Mother Earth, the Universe with all its content. Whatever we can see, touch, observe with our own five senses and our sixth sense has its existence of the One who is called “ithea.”
This creative Life Force is also a very intelligent Presence, healing, and assists to evolve, to move into the awareness of Oneness with all life. How do we even dare to fear this wonderful and loving Energy that only wants to wake us up individually to the Truth within us?
We all were influenced by the teachings of the Old Testament written by people who did not fully understand the Truth due to their own level of awakening and laws. We now begin more consciously to understand that the real Power of the loving, universal consciousness we call God is within each and every one of us.
When we say that we are afraid of God – we are not afraid of God – “ithea,” the sustaining Power of God in general, but of our own power within; for we are gods, capable of greater works than Jesus did. It is this fear we need to overcome and join the ranks of the Masters like Lord Jesus, (who said: “Follow me.”) who came here to Earth to guide us through the process of evolving spiritually. We have all the God-qualities within. Is this so frightening?
Charles Fillmore (The Revealing Word) writes: “fear of God – “Only fear Jehovah, and serve him in truth with all your heart” (1Sam. 12:24). In this scriptural passage the word fear is used with Webster’s meaning: Awe, profound, reverence, especially for the Supreme Being.”
Let us take a very close look at ourselves, and find out why we are afraid of our own spiritual power within, and who we truly are. This is the fear of god, but not the fear of God.
With this in mind, let us continue our inner search to find the Truth about ourselves in silent meditation and prayer sessions. It will happen eventually with practice step by step.
A dedicated Prayer Chaplain ©
Can you feel it? I can! When I walk in the door at Unity Spiritual Center on Sunday mornings, there’s energy, excitement and endless connection happening. It’s community! And it’s thriving because we’re each stepping up, taking ownership of our own transformations and supporting each other in the process.
Here’s an example…
Frieda Morgenstern is interested in hosting a Power of 8 SpiritGroup for those curious about becoming a SpiritGroup Host as well. The group will be meeting Wednesday evenings at her home in the Manito Park area.
You can email her at email@example.com to get more information.
(Please note: Space is limited.)
Attendance at all sessions is highly recommended in order to build a trusting, safe group. Here is the calendar for your reference.
Sunday, April 8 – Combined winter series Community
Celebration AND Connection Event
(After the 11am service)
Week of April 15 – Spring Launch! (CHECK OUT A GROUP THIS WEEK)
Week of April 22 – Module 1 (GROUPS CLOSED AFTER THIS WEEK)
Week of April 29 – Module 2
Week of May 6 – Module 3
Week of May 13 – Module 4
Week of May 20 – Module 5
Week of May 27 – Module 6
SpiritGroup Social and Service Project to be completed between May 28 and June 17 (the celebration!)
Sunday, June 17 – Community Series Celebration Day!
***Special Event… SpiritGroups Leadership Summit***
at Unity Village in Missouri the weekend of June 8 – 10
Don’t know the word namaskar? We understand its meaning best by comparing the words namaste and namaskar. The much more well-known word namaste literally means “I bow to you.” And in a fuller sense, it means the holy and sacred part of me sees the real you—the holy and sacred part of you–and I bow to that spiritual part of you.
Namaskar, on the other hand, literally means “I bow to your form.” And in an expanded sense, it suggests the holy and sacred part of me sees the form of your life—the form you have presented to the world. My soul recognizes the full range of the human path you’re walking and it bows to it in great reverence. Form is much more than just the physical body. It represents all those parts of your physical life, such as what you do for a living, your family life, your financial health, physical well-being, and more.
We say namaste quite a bit but use namaskar much less often. That makes sense. We emphasize the spiritual aspect of our lives here. But, as much as we love spirituality, there are many “form” things to be done—namaskar-ish activities to be accomplished, responsibilities of the forms of the world. At Unity, for example, we have grounds to keep, and children to teach, and lattes to make, and prayer shawls to knit, and prayers to hear, and kitchens to clean, and treats to bring, and libraries to cataloge, and music to sing and…well, several other tasks to do. They are part of the form of our center.
Why don’t you come and namaskar the form of Unity with me? Discover the essence of its form—bow to it and then improve on it. Is the namaste part of Unity more important? Perhaps. But the reality is that it’s all important. It all has to be done. So, as a part of that human journey you’re making, I invite you to also show up as a volunteer here at Unity. I have 25 different volunteer teams in which you can discover more about your human form, as well as our physical form.
And we salute it all. Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s explore some ways you can help build the form of Unity. We need you. If you see me on a Sunday, just say, “Namaskar me.” And then together we will find the right and perfect way for you to serve. ~Dennis Ashley
Unity Spiritual Center proudly presents Billboard on Bernard – a fantastic multimedia music show featuring vocal solos, piano solos, instrumental soloists and our own Unity choir. You will hear Top 10 chart busters from over seven decades of hits that made it to the Billboard charts.
This year’s show once again features Spokane’s favorite a cappella doo-wop male quartet, Top Flite, singing great songs such as “Moon Dance” and Billy’ Joel’s “For the Longest Time.” Our show also features singer/violinist Pam Benton performing classic pop tunes “White Bird” and “Devil Went down to Georgia.”
Our show features the Unity Choir singing an amazing Beatles medley you will truly enjoy along with a wonderful medley of 70’s tunes that will have you dancing in your seats! Join us!
April 13 and 14th at 7pm, and a matinee performance on April 15 at 3pm. Tickets are $15 and $20 and are on sale now! Call to reserve yours today: 838-6518
There is a very spiritual perspective on Sacred Rubble—that it is a time when we can make room for all the good in our lives. Sacred Rubble represents a grand way to put our beliefs about abundance into practice. We do that by clearing away the good things in our life that no longer serve us. It doesn’t really work if we clear away the garbage in our lives because eventually we would get rid of that anyway. But instead, if we take a look at all the “stuff” in our houses and garages that are wonderful but no longer serve us on our journeys through life, then we can make plans for those items.
Now if you are new to Unity, Sacred Rubble is the name we give to our annual rummage sale. It has been a successful fundraiser for us over the years, but it is so much more than a rummage sale. It is a demonstration of prosperity.
There are so many spiritual principles of abundance enmeshed in Sacred Rubble. Our good cannot come to us if the channels of abundance are too clogged. So we look in our lives for the items that will be a treasure to others and that we need to get out of our lives because they no longer propel us on our journeys. Often too much clutter makes us feel guilty by the very act of looking at it in our houses and garages.
So let me invite you to poke around in your life. Clear the channels of abundance so that greatness and perfection can land at your feet and in your heart. Find articles that are in good shape that you no longer want, and bring them to our center in April and May. Exact dates to follow!
Sacred Rubble is Friday, May 18 from 9 am-4 pm, and May 19 from 9 am-2 pm
In the early sixteenth century, France used to observe New Year’s Day with celebrations that lasted from March 25 until April 1. Then, around 1564, with the arrival of the Gregorian calendar, the beginning of the year moved to January 1. However, many people refused to honor the change, since they didn’t think January 1st felt much like a new beginning. Consequently, they became known as April Fools.
When you think about it January feels like what it is – the middle of winter – a time of dormancy, hibernation and hunkering down. The beginning of spring, on the other hand, definitely has a vibrant sense of a fresh new beginning. And especially with Easter falling on April 1st this year, there is an even greater feel for the resurrecting power of spring.
It seems fitting then that on April 1st, we begin our fourth year as Senior Ministers at Unity Spiritual Center. Our very first official service was Easter 2015. The past three years have been a true joyride through many hills and valleys of experiences. With great support from the congregation, amazing staff and board members, we have weathered such challenges as a cancer diagnosis and treatment, the retirement of long time staff, the ups and downs of church finances and long distance grandparenting.
At the same time, we have shared and celebrated many successful accomplishments including classes, fundraisers, sacred service, small group ministry, beautification of our center, new staff members, increased pastoral care and book publications. We have seen people stepping up to be the change they are seeking in the world.
Each of you contributes in your own beautiful way to the success of Unity Spiritual Center. Your involvement and support truly matters, on the journey from a Minister-Centric to Mission-Centric Ministry.
In this season of renewal, we invite you to rise up, celebrate a new beginning and let the resurrecting power within you bring forth the change you wish to see in the world. Happy April Fools Day!
Blessings, Gary and Jane
Who is rejecting whom? Rejection – either being rejected or rejecting someone or something is an important lesson not to overlook. I recently had a discussion with someone who is badly hurt. Rejection has painful consequences, depending whatever or whoever is rejected. We may reject a package not ordered, a letter we do not want to receive, or even a gift. Such rejections have little or no consequences, depending on the content, and the person who sent something to us.
Jesus rejected the title people wanted to give him: Messiah, his nobility of his ancestry, and the power he had within him to be his own – but claimed always that the Father did the work within him and through him. The power was not his power, but belonged to God. He lived a life of an humble, ordinary human being by pointing out that the kingdom of God was in every heart of all humanity. He never rejected God, and never was rejected by God either. It is said that God cannot reject Himself.
The rejection that hurts is the rejection one experiences throughout life – rejected by others for one reason or another. No one living is spared of it. It happens even since our infant years. Other people may not be aware that we felt rejected, however. If we do not deal with our emotional hurt, the consequences have destructive affects may be noticed in giving up, not being motivated. People become depressed – the creativity is missing. Concentration is lacking, people become hostile, violent, even dangerous, because the spirit in the one who was rejected is literally depressed by one’s own emotional state of mind. People lost their self-esteem reaching out to alcohol, drugs, and other destructive habits that get them more and more in trouble, because they suddenly feel unworthy – seemingly without support, all alone.
Thus a neurotic state of mind dominates the one who needs help to overcome the emotional pain carried for so long within without necessarily noticing the cause of the long ago stored memory in the unconscious mind. This will result in trying to avoid more pain to escape more pain (hermit life style), yet creating a series of more and more rejections they attract that lead to self-destructive, defensive, and hostile behavior. People may feel overly self-critical due to depression as they cover up their depression with showing up as a party girl or party boy wearing a big mask. This leads to the next destructive step: Our health.
If we don’t deal with rejections from the past, it can show up in our bodies as an illness we rather not want, nor do we wish it on others. Regardless what kind of rejection we experienced, all rejections are damaging, if we don’t deal with them at once.
If we have prayed and prayed, and God did not answer our prayers, it is not that God rejected us, but God wishes a better way to manifest for us than the one we visualize for ourselves. For God never forsakes us in any way. It is we who forsake God by not listening to the small voice, exercising our own will, and having our own agenda for the day without inner guidance. This will always create trouble, disharmony, and will show up as an expression of the absence of love in bitterness.
Let us turn within and search our hearts to find where we felt rejected, whom we rejected, and forgive. Then God’s loving light will heal the wounds of rejection and free us and others from our bondage of self-imprisonment. Whether the rejection happened through a divorce, an erroneous mistake, failing a test, misunderstandings, or whatsoever, God is always the answer to reach within in meditation to heal all wounds and pain that were due to rejection. This, too, will help to heal the world around us.
Please, work with God to help the world to become a better and safer place for each and every living being.
A dedicated prayer chaplain ©