There is so much competing for our attention these days—political issues, social media, family matters, fads, conspiracy theories, the nightly news, not to mention what’s happening in our minds, hearts and bodies. There is even a new term used to describe the economic landscape of our post-modern society—“attention economy.” Literally, everything is vying for our attention. If a business, marketer, politician or terrorist can tap into your attention, they are now able to hack into your well-being and worth, simply by inferring that something is wrong with you or the world. And, boy is there plenty of evidence to support this seeming actuality of our times.
It is important for us to understand how our attention is influenced by outer conditions and what we become when we believe that these conditions have power over us. When our attention is compelled to make sense of what is happening in the outer, we can easily become in bondage to, or diminished by, outer circumstances.
Whenever fear, lack or separation is our context for what we are having, conditions in the outer will inadvertently seem more real and formidable. What our spiritual principles tell us, however, is that ALL outer conditions arise from within and that the world mirrors what is going on inside of us.
This is actually very good news. If it is originating within and being reflected back to us then we have the means to change it. If we truly believe that there is only One Presence pervading all, One Power sustaining all, One Life living itself through and as all of creation, then whatever is being reflected is not against us. That may be difficult to see when our “attention economy” is tuned to “the enemy,” namely what appears to be wrong with the world or what we don’t want. Our tendency then is to categorize and demonize “the other.” The key to healing and transforming the divide is to shift our focus inward, resetting our context for engaging our outer experience, so that we can come from wholeness and oneness rather than separation and lack.
When we do that, a whole new world opens up to us as we automatically shift from my political party and your political party to our government. From my culture and your culture to our world. From my ethnicity and your ethnicity to our humanity. “Society is not breaking down….something else is breaking through.” Shariff Abdullah assures us. This is what is breaking through – a new paradigm of living starting with the dawning realization that there is no other. We are all interconnected parts of the oneness of life.
Shift to an internal focus and greatly boost the robust value of your attention economy.
There are 4 SpiritGroup service projects you are invited to participate in. See the details below and thank you in advance for your involvement!
Spokane Riverkeepers Trash Hunt!
Organization’s mission: dedicated to protecting and restoring the health of the Spokane River
Role: Care for the river by picking up trash
Event: On Saturday, August 19 — 9 to 11am
Where: At Mission Park (the one near Gonzaga)
All ages welcome! Please accompany children.
Contact SpiritGroup Lead, Tabitha Porter at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or just show up.
It’s a community event so bring a friend(s) and spread the word!
Free Rein Therapeutic Riding Center
Organization’s mission: this adaptive riding program builds strength, confidence and independence for people with disabilities
Roles: Be a “side walker”, “leader” or help behind the scenes in the office or fundraising for
No horse experience needed. Must be 14 years or older to participate.
Curious about this and other ways to help?
Contact the organization at email@example.com for more information.
American Childhood Cancer Organization (Inland NW)
Organization’s mission: to help each family cope with life during childhood cancer treatments and rebuild their lives
Event: Be a table captain at annual luncheon on Sept 26th at the Lincoln Center 11:30 – 1:00
Other roles: provide materials for silent auction baskets or donate funds to help
Anna Ogden Hall
Organization’s mission: this warm, welcoming home-like shelter offers a free, long-term grace-based recovery program to women and children
Role: donate funds to have supplies needed purchased and delivered
Contact SpiritGroup lead, Noel Cave at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Fall SpiritGroups forming now!!! See Tara Wear for more information or contact her at email@example.com
Songwriter KARL ANTHONY presents HOLD THE SKY & INDIA, August 27th at Unity Spiritual Center
Speaking & Performing at our 10 am service
This is a potent heart-felt concert guaranteed to rejuvenate your capacity for hope. Karl writes deeply insightful songs directly inspired by his years of world touring and international service. The breathe of Karl’s music is a nurturing and delightful journey into the pursuit of living a meaningful and joyful life and the rich discovery we observe in ourselves when we run across the life’s challenges.
When he is not traveling Karl’s music is influenced by his unique experiences working in the healing arts department at Children’s Hospital in San Diego. Hold The Sky is the title of one of the songs you will hear and the stories behind this song and others will leave you encouraged and wide open. Karl may even introduce a few of his kirtan style mantra songs using sanskrit and english lyrics. You will be so thrilled you attended this performance…it is a celebration and a vibration of pure joy.
Talk Description: When the ground is shaking, Hold The Sky
A child in a hospital bed described to me that chemotherapy felt like an earthquake inside their body; as if the ground was shaking inside them. I responded with this question: What do you do when the ground is shaking inside you? The child responded, Hold The Sky.
Discovering strength within yourself is a required course in life, especially when the foundation you have learned to trust is shaking beneath you.
Art and music are powerful tools in the healing process as they open the doors to our human connection. This presentation will tug on your heart and squeeze the joy straight to your smile.
Calling all kids, parents, guardians and grandparents! This summer our youth educators will present “Design Your Dreams” Kids Week. If you know a child between the ages of 5-14, this camp is designed for them.
The takes place from August 7-11, and there’s still time to register: KidsCampregistrationform2017!
At Kids Week, participants will create their own powerful visualization tool: either a Mind Movie (3-minute video that includes affirmations, inspirational imag-es, video clips and their own personal soundtrack), age appropriate Dream Journal, or a Dream Poster. These visual tools help to SUPERCHARGE reaching goals and desires.
Mornings of Kids Week will begin with uplifting songs and affirmations. Then groups will visit different creative activity stations, plus have a snack and free time to play or socialize. Our theme will invite participants on an adventure to explore their dreams, inspirations and aspirations.
Cost is $30
The music team wants to thank you, the Unity Community, for sending us to the Unity Posi(tive) Music Convention in Tampa Bay last February. The new sing-along preludes and meditation songs that you are enjoying are part of the voluminous amounts of positive music we experienced. While at the convention, we also had a chance to play a couple of our original songs that were also well received.
Finally, choir wraps up another season this June and thanks you for your support for what was another wonderful year of music making. Special thanks to Tawni Wright, Jeff Hunter, Liz Ryburn and of course Salli Sledge for all their help in keeping the choir organized.
Shawn & Tawni Wright, Choir & Music Directors
It takes a lot to run Unity Spiritual Center. While it takes a lot of steady financial support to pay the bills and the staff salaries, it takes a lot more to provide the myriad of services. As you look around on Sundays or any other day of the week you will see a lot of folks volunteering to help out. Often the same few people are filling multiple roles. If you are not already volunteering for something I want you to look around and think about where you might fit in, where you might be helpful. I have found that in life, you tend to get out what you put in. The more you put in, the more you get back out of life. The cool part is what you get back is most often multiplied in good and rewarding ways.
Volunteers are needed everywhere: Youth Ed, Baristas, Bookstore, Landscape Crew, Sound Booth, Sunday Snacks, Spirit Group hosts, Rummage Sale, Choir, Unity Foundation Board, the Board of Trustees, the list goes on. Some of the roles that need filling require training (which we provide), but many others are open to anyone jumping into right away.
When you do figure out where you might fit, grab a volunteer, a board member, or one of the staff members and ask them how you get involved. Ask them what they get out of volunteering. You will make new friends, you will get love, satisfaction, and more back. We need you working with love, in service to others. You need you working with love, in service to others. Give it a try. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
David Leinweber, President, Board of Trustees
How are SpiritGroups different this summer?
How do I get involved?
As Bill Gates said, “To turn caring into action, we need to see a problem, find a solution, and deliver impact.”
Let’s make an impact together this season!
Click the link above for the e-version of our latest newsletter!
In it you’ll find reports from our board, foundation, treasurer of the board, music ministry and upcoming dates.
There’re also articles from our three ministers and our SpiritGroup leader.
There is change in the air. We are not just talking about a movement to a new season, although the welcome signs of summer’s arrival are all around us. The transformation we are witnessing goes well beyond a seasonal change to an evolutionary paradigm shift. To paraphrase the famous Joni Mitchell boomer anthem, written as an ode to Woodstock: “Maybe it’s the time of year or maybe it’s the time of humanity.” Maybe it’s a little of both. The jury may still be out as to a definitive answer, but there is a visceral arising that is unmistakable when we pay attention, and it is pointing to the latter – it is humanity’s time.
And it can’t come soon enough. We live in challenging times with a highly charged political and cultural divisiveness. The nightly news offers up a steady stream of reports that paint a picture of a dominant paradigm of global and domestic violence, climate-related disasters, corruption and discord. It appears that we are steadily marching toward a future that looks to be dangerously in peril.
It can be easy to sink to a place of hopelessness, frustration and anxiety, especially when looking at the youngest on our planet and wondering what the future holds for them.
In the midst of this chaotic sociopolitical and cultural climate, there is a ray of hope. A positive redeeming factor inherent within the current divisiveness appears to be the mobilization of a force for positive change. This arising is a powerful collective evolutionary impulse that transcends religious, political, racial and economic polarities. And it links us in our common humanity.
What if we are poised to make a paradigm shift in cultural development? Imagine if our spiritual principles could help with the emergence of a kinder, more compassionate world. If so, how might we be a part of bringing that forth? What actions can we take that will support movement beyond the last vestiges of an ailing paradigm, facilitating the emergence of something new and greater?
These are the exciting and inspiring questions we are exploring as part of the monthly Transformation Transition Team gatherings.
So, are you on this transition team? Do you feel a call to put into practice the spiritual principles we study here at Unity Spiritual Center in order to help hospice the old, while midwifing the new? It sounds like a tall order and it is. But tall does not equal impossible. We just need to drag out the stepladder of Spirit and rung by rung, take the steps we need that lead us to the to the emergence of what is ready to be revealed.
As always, it begins within. Sigh. Why? Because peace is homegrown. It can be very easy to claim a big vision of creating peace on earth while neglecting what is right in front of us. As the writer, Tish Harrison Warren woefully laments, “I’m a pacifist who yells at my husband.” So it is about healing the internal divide, ending the inner war, cleaning our own backyard and then moving outward into the greater cultural landscape.
The psalmist writes, “Deep calls unto deep.” To borrow from the wisdom of one of our board members – there are so many directions we can go but deep is the starting point. So we begin by deepening our own connection with Source and then continue doing the work of moving outward into the interpersonal, relational and cultural realms. Aligned with Life, as we do the inner work, we become more available to consciously co-create a world of peace, and we can aspire to be living examples of what we want to bring forth.
As Margaret Mead reminds us, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Imagine if one person’s empathy or kind act could serve as the contagion that kick starts an evolution revolution!
If you are feeling the nudge to being a part of a cultural paradigm shift, consider joining the Transformation Transition Team. The only requirement is a willingness to be the change.
Blessings, Gary and Jane