Every now and again, when I’m sitting in my office at home (I call it my “room for improvement”) I look up from the book I’m reading or from my computer. It’s because I have been disturbed by a sound and the feeling it evokes in me. The sound might be wind whistling in the trees outside my window, or maybe it’s the honking of the Canadian geese that frequent a pond where we live. Often at night, I hear a lonely sound of a train’s whistle as it rumbles down the tracks somewhere in the valley.
When this happens, I feel inside myself a call – something that momentarily frees me from my appointed task, my role as a husband, a minister, a writer, even a human being. It frees me from everything that restrains me, and everything that protects me.
Sometimes, I even go as far as getting up, opening the sliding door and stepping out onto the patio. I let the cold wind mess up what little hair I have left, let it bite my skin. I take a deep breath. At that moment, staying warm, staying loved, staying sheltered is furthest from my mind.
I am taken away by this call. I call it The Call of the Wild. In the dictionary, the first definition of the word, “Wild” is “natural”. Natural comes from the word, “nature” and the first definition of nature is “to be born.”
The Call of the Wild is the call to return to our natural-born state. When we talk about being authentic, this is what we are really talking about.
When you and I follow our deepest enthusiasms, our clearest passions, we begin to realize some of the gifts with which Nature has endowed us. The call of the wild will always lead us to become as authentic as animals are to themselves when they climb mountain crags that only they can climb, or dive to ocean depths at which only they can survive.
Every one of us has heard this call, over and over again throughout our spiritual journey.
Wildness is not about acting crazy or being emotionally explosive. It isn’t even about venturing into the wilderness or doing some “wild-man-of Borneo” dance in your living room or at the local lounge.
When you and I try to lock ourselves into a comfortable orbit around some form of security, there is always something that comes to disturb and confound our safe and settled life. It is the passion that comes out of heeding the call of the wild. Listen. Can you hear it?
The 12th Man concept has been around for a long time. It’s not a Seahawks thing. It’s a football thing, starting back in 1900 at the University of Minnesota where they noted “the mysterious influence of the twelfth man on the team, the rooter.”
We’ve talked about Rev. David’s 12th man team here at Unity, his fans and supporters as he works through his cancer treatments and their side effects. We’re here for David. We stand up and cheer for him, pray, bring meals, share a laugh and keep him in our thoughts.
The 12th Man is a very Unity. Two of our basic principles embrace this team spirit: We create our life experiences through our way of thinking. There is power in affirmative prayer. When we root & pray together, and believe deeply in the positive outcome, we’re living these principles.
Keep your prayers coming…
for our ministry, as we transition to new leadership this spring,
for each other,
and for the Seahawks. Why not? Well, unless your a Patriots fan, then feel free to pray for the Pats!
Our new ministers, Revs. Jane & Gary Simmons, wanted to share a greeting with all of you . They are so “happy and delighted to serve”!
We’ll keep you updated on their progress throughout their move to Spokane.
With the new year comes new opportunities! In December, we hosted our first vegan dinner. We welcomed Joe and Jessica Sens to our Community Dinner Seva group. Seva means “sacred service.” It is a sacred sharing of one’s time, treasure, talent. The Sens are passionate about vegan cooking, and they are generously preparing delicious food to share here at Unity Spiritual Center. All are welcome. Dinner is served at 5:30, and it’s on us if you stay to help with clean up.
The vegan dinners are typically on the 2nd Wednesday of every month, but check before attending for the latest info. Joe is a trained culinary chef before going plant-based a few years ago. He is enjoying combining his traditional experience with his passion for compassionate cooking. Joe and Jessica will also be preparing a special dinner in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
SAVE THE DATE:
Vegan Valentine’s Dinner
Friday, February 13
6 pm at our center
$10 tickets – purchase between 9 & 11 am service or give us a call: 509-838-6518
Perhaps you’ve heard the story of monkey traps. When anthropologists discovered how greedy and possessive monkeys can be, instead of running them down with nets and tranquilizer needles, anthropologists took coconuts, made a hole in them, tied them to a tree and went home. The next morning they’d return to find dozens of wild monkeys, unharmed, with their little hands stuck in the coconuts. How did this work?
Simple: the hole in the coconut was cut just big enough for a monkey’s hand to squeeze through. Inside, the coconut contained some tasty goodies. The monkeys would creep up on the trap, smell the bait, reach in and grab a fistful, and when they tried to bring their hands out, the fist, of course, wouldn’t pass through the hole. As much as the monkeys jumped and screamed and struggled to get free, they couldn’t. Why? Because they were unwilling to LET GO of the bait. And so they were trapped.
Now being smart humans, we instantly reason, “Why didn’t the stupid monkeys let go of the stuff, pull their hands out, and run away?” Well, they didn’t because they are, like humans, reluctant to let go.
So, whenever you and I refuse to let go of something we have, life makes a monkey out of us. The power of possession and attachment overrules all risk, rhyme, and reason.
When it becomes obvious to us that it’s time to let go of an attachment to a relationship, to a job, to a way of life, or to a possession, like the monkeys, we may jump and scream in pain and fear.
Too often we confuse ownership with companionship, not realizing that all people, places, and things. Even good things change, and more importantly, we change. We may outgrow, outlast, outlive everything in our lives. Or maybe it will outlive us!
Learn to let go of anything or anyone you are holding onto with a tight, fearful grip. The good, the blessing, the gift that has always and will always be yours then has a chance to enter your life.
Our ministerial candidates have come and gone, and left us with much to consider.
Please join us tonight at 6:30 pm, or this Sunday the 11th at 1 pm, to connect with the Board of Trustees. These two Town Hall meetings are your opportunity to connect, provide feedback, and to ask any remaining questions you may have about our candidates.
From our ministerial candidate, Teri Hawkins who will be speaking and facilitating a workshop January 4th…
Our world is round for a very practical reason, because the place that seems like an ending is always a beginning. And so it is with our soul’s walk. Like any journey, life has potholes, detours, bridges that are out, and maps that are impossible to read. Yet every ending is just a beginning by a different name and every ending simply a new beginning.
Often it feels as if we have reached our wit’s end. We become troubled, confused, sad, angry, even lost. That moment is the moment when we find, accept, open our arms to the total love we call God. It is because we become willing to look, to see. That moment – the moment of desperation, of loss, of unbearable pain – that is where God lives. It is the place where our barriers become too heavy to hold up and so we let go, and Voila’ we can hear, see, feel, know God.
What lies behind us and what lies before us are itsy bitsy matters compared to what lies within us. If our roads are always easy, paved, smooth, without danger or misdirection what then would we learn? What reason or motivation would we have to do anything differently anything of consequence, or passion, or realness?
My Baptist grandpa use to always say, “God aint’ gonna give me anythin’ I can’t handle. I just keep a wishin’ that he didn’t trust me so much.” My grandpa had many broken roads in his life and every single one of them was a blessing.
Blessings, Rev. Teri
The two main characters surrounding Christmas are Santa Claus and Jesus. Actually, there’s one more main character and that is you. There are three phases that you I go through when it comes to Santa Claus: 1. You believe in Santa Claus, 2. You don’t believe in Santa Claus, 3. You are Santa Claus!
Seems like it’s the same for Jesus: 1. You believe in Jesus, 2. You don’t believe in Jesus, 3. You are Jesus! In all your believing, it is you who is trying to figure out and put your faith in the truth regarding these two Christmas characters.
Our virtue this week is TRUTHFULNESS, and it would seem that ultimately we are going to discover that these two magical, inspiring, and important characters are simply aspects of ourselves. Both represent unconditional love. And that’s what Christmas is all about. Both represent the spirit of giving, the spirit of joy, and the spirit and never-endingness!
At your core, you are the Spirit of Santa! You are the one who gives of yourself, not only at Christmas but all through the year. You are the one who unconditionally gives of yourself to others, naughty or nice. You are the one who has the ability to let out a hearty “Ho, ho, ho!” when you see the light and lightness of life.
You are also the Spirit of Jesus. Jesus represents the Christ in you, a power, a potential, a possibility that is newly born each moment of every day! You are the one who has the power to forgive, to let go, to heal, to transform, and to find inner peace.
So fess up to the truth. You are the Christmas story. It has always been about the Santa Christ in you!
We are blessed with wonderful musicians that are so generous with there talents! This Sunday we had the Wrights and Chris McLane on micro bass.
Next Sunday, we will have our wonderful Choir singing at both Sunday services and again at our 8 pm Christmas Eve Candlelighting Service.
And at our 6 pm Christmas Eve Candlelighting Service, we will be joined by Bee and Skye Reynolds.
If you’re not a musician, you may not be able to appreciate all the work that goes into making beautiful music, but I know you can still enjoy and bask in all its glory when it comes together beautifully. It adds so much joy to the holidays as well. Feeling blessed!
From our Sunday, Dec 14th service.