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.
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.”