Mark your calendars and save these important dates for the coming year:
Jan 4—Ministerial Candidate, Rev. Teri Hawkins, speaks & facilitates a 1 pm workshop, “May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way! A Refreshing Journey of Forgiveness and New Beginnings.”
Jan 7—6:30 pm, Town Hall: opportunity to provide feedback on our Ministerial Candidates
Jan 11—1 pm, Town Hall: opportunity to provide feedback on our Ministerial Candidates & hear from 2015 Board Candidates
Jan 14, 21, 28—6:30 pm class with Dennis Ashley, “Just Ask. And It’s There.”
This Gary. This is Gary, steam cleaning a beautiful 8×10 area rug that he and Dee donated to this year’s Holly Berry Ball & Silent Auction. Gary, Dee and many other Unity members donated items to this year’s auction, so you’ll be missing out some amazing gifts, like an EWU Football Package and Tea Service for four at Silver Spoon Tea House if you didn’t purchase a ticket.
Thanks to everyone who donated and purchased tickets. We hope you have a ball!
Save these dates because our candidates are coming!
Dec 7 – Revs. Jane & Gary Simmons, speaking at 9 & 11 am and facilitating a workshop at 1 pm, “Bringing the Shadow Into Light.”
Dec 14 – Rev. Steve Towles, speaking at 9 & 11 am and facilitating a workshop at 1 pm, “Embracing the Principles of Collaborative Leadership.”
Jan 4 – Rev. Teri Hawkins, speaking at 9 & 11 am and facilitating a workshop at 1 pm, “May the Bridges I Burn Light the Way!”
Rev. Dr. Gary Simmons is an ordained minister. In his 34 years of ministerial service he has pioneered three Unity churches, served on the Board of Trustees of the Association of Unity Churches International, and was Director of Peacemaking Services and Assistant Vice President of Integral Operations for Unity Worldwide Ministries. Dr. Simmons is author of The I of the Storm: Embracing Conflict, Creating Peace, a Unity bestseller now in its sixteenth printing and co-author of The Art & Practice of Living with Nothing and No One Against You. His latest book is The Soul’s Conspiracy: Master Conflict and Transform Your Life.
Rev. Dr. Jane Simmons is an ordained Unity minister, and holds a doctoral degree in Theology from Holos University Graduate Seminary. Jane is currently the International Teen Ministry Coordinator for Unity Worldwide Ministries, having served in three Unity churches in Canada and the United States. As a Youth Consultant, and a HeartMath® Qualified Instructor, Jane has facilitated numerous seminars and conferences for New Thought spiritual educators. She is the co-author of the beautiful, best-selling book, Who Have You Come Here to Be, 101 Possibilities for Contemplation. She is a powerful speaker, writer and educator with a passion for multi-generational and heart-centered approaches to personal transformation.
Rev. Steve is an ordained Unity Minister and has served in several Unity communities throughout the northwest: Senior Minister at Seattle Unity, Executive Director at Unity Center or Peace in Lake Forest Park, Senior Minister at Unity Church in Edgewood and Senior Minister of Unity Ministry of Reno. Steve is also a graduate of Unity Ministers Executive Institute. He now serves with Choice Advisory Services, working with adult children in resolving issues regarding their parents’ care and helping to place seniors in independent, assisted living communities, and adult family homes.
Rev. Teri Hawkins is an ordained Unity Minister and the founding minister of Unity Community of Central Oregon. Teri Hawkins also founded Successability and National Speakers Club. For over 20 years she was a master teacher, keynote speaker and coach for leaders of manufacturing, retail, professional sports, churches, and more. She has served as an elementary teacher, leadership coach, columnist, sales rep and trainer, high school and NCAA coach, image consultant and more. She is the author or Life Retold: 12 True Life Stories That Stir the Soul.
It was Barbara Kingsolver who wrote, “If you never stepped on anybody’s toes, you’ve never been for a walk.” Well, we’ve all been for a walk and that means at some time in our lives we have stepped on a few toes.
Enter the amazing little virtue of TACT. That’s our virtue for this week. Tact is adding kindness to everything you think, say, and do. Tact is something that comes before opening mouth and inserting foot. Tact is the ability to tell the truth in a way that considers other people’s feelings and reactions. It allows you to give difficult feedback, communicate sensitive information, and say the right thing to preserve a relationship.
The ability to communicate with sensitivity offers many benefits when you are the one who has to deliver bad news to someone, or provide critical feedback, whether in personal or professional situations. Tact strengthens your self-esteem while preserving the self-esteem of the one on the other end of your communication. It builds trust in yourself and in others when you’re a “straight-shooter” with heart.
Tact means when our words are weighty, we weigh our words, knowing that they have the power to uplift or to cause pain. Tact is the encouragement option. It doesn’t shy away from the facts or the truth. But it comes out in a way that brings confidence to others, not discouragement and shame.
An ancient quote goes “Use a sweet tongue, courtesy, and gentleness, and thou mayest manage to guide an elephant by a hair.”
It was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, “Everybody can be great….because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve…You only need a heart full of compassion and grace. Anyone who has a soul generated by love is automatically in service.”
There is not a person reading this who does not have a heart full of compassion and grace. And into your life and mine, each and every day, comes the opportunity to contribute.
It may begin with our loved ones. It may begin with a request for assistance. But you don’t have to wait to be asked. It may simply be an opportunity that comes up during your day to once again invest what you do with excellence. Your service is what changes our world.
Take an opportunity to close your eyes and pray:
“Here am I, Lord, use me!” Let that be our prayer today.
In a consciousness of service, we do give thanks. Amen
As I write these words, there is a chill in the air that tells me we are nearing winter. And all of sudden, it’s hitting me that I’m nearing the “winter” of my time with you as your minister.
Winter is an important season. A necessary season. It is nature’s time for resting, retiring, renewing, recuperating, re-sourcing, and re-assessing. Just as there are seasons in nature, there are seasons of the heart as well. And your heart and mine are preparing for change. And we’re going to go through this season, this change together. Changes like this are as natural as the ebb and flow of the tide, the rising and setting of the sun, and the coming and going of ministers in a church.
Soon, it will be my time to step down as your minister and give way to that one who will take you and this church to the next level.
It has been my great joy and honor to have served you for two seasons. First, for eight years back in the 70’s and 80’s, and now, for another four plus years. These have been the most rewarding and memorable years in a career that has lasted more than 50 years.
I will deeply miss our Sunday mornings together, our conversations, our times of laughter and times of tears. Oh, I plan to stick around and help out in any way that supports our new minister. God willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll still be a part of this amazing community in the months ahead and share this new phase of the journey with you. But it won’t be the same.
As I think about it, there’s clearly emptiness inside. Still, I wouldn’t want to change a thing. It’s all in Divine Order, just as all the seasons of the heart have always been.
You and I know that winter always leads to summer. It always leads to new growth, new adventures, and new horizons. That’s what we’re all looking forward to isn’t it?
So, I’ll leave you with these words from a favorite John Denver song of mine, called “Seasons Of The Heart”: Love is why I came here in the first place, love is now the reason I must go. Love is all I ever hoped to find here, love is still the only dream I know.
Aloha, dear friends!
The word hallow means saint or holy person. Hallowe’en is short for All Hallows’ Eve, the evening before All Hallows or All Saints Day, November 1…
Halloween and All Saints Day Are examples of Unity’s denial and affirmation prayer process. Halloween is the denial, denying that what is scaring us has any power over us. All Saints Day is the affirmation part of the prayer tool. Affirming what we want and inviting it into our lives.
All Saints focuses on light and faith. It follows the dark night of Halloween that focused on fear and death. All the elements of the darker side of life symbolize the soul coming from the darkness of Hallows’ Eve into the light of All Saints Day.
We recognize and deny power to what is scaring us. We do this, not by tricking it, but rather by treating it with respect and acknowledgement. We admit that we feel scared by skeletons in our closet, by ghost appearances, by mysterious witches and potions, ugly emotions, unexpected noises. Yet, by remembering the light of God that is inside of us, we are able to move through life shining light on our path and casting out darkness.
From a 12 Powers Perspective, preparing for new life (the power focus in December) with a last burst of zeal (the power focus in October), we release our ghosts, and we let go of negative habits which plague us. They leave and depart this plane. In growth toward God Consciousness we are ready to start fresh; pure of heart we are ready to commune with the saintly pure parts of our nature, the Christ within, on all Saints Day.
Even though we may feel like a goblin or a ghost, we remember that we are all the same, filled with Christ light. We are all potential saints to those around us. We make a difference by expressing love. We can let our spirit shine forth to guide.
Our Unity Halloween Party, hosted and organized by our Youth Ministry, was a blast! We loved the scary maze, spooky eats, tarot and pendulum readings, games and prizes. The youth ministry’s labor of love really showed, and we think our families and friends who attended appreciated the variety of fun options. Thanks to everyone who helped with this annual event!
After several months of hard work rehearsing through the summer, and long hours and of planning and prepping, the Unity choir brought Broadway on Bernard to the community last weekend, and it was a hit! We especially loved all the choreography, costumes and lighting effects. Special guests Top Flight joined us and as well as some brave dancers.
So thankful to everyone who came, participated, planned and executed this fabulous musical event! We’ll update you on the proceeds raises just as soon as we know. BRAVO!