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
Our family adopted a little pup on Monday evening. We met and chose her last week at Spokanimal, our Inland Northwest Humane Society. She’s pictured above, sleeping in my daughter’s lap (click for big). That picture was taken on day one. Today marks day three, and she’s still just as in love with my daughter and the rest of us. And we’re pretty smitten too.
Our daughter has been asking us to get a dog for about a decade. “Too many pets already,” we’d state. Three cats and a guinea pig are enough pets, right? “Dogs are a lot of work!” we’d protest. Training takes time and dedication. “You don’t help take care of the other pets, so no dog,” we’d complain. That complaint is only partly true. But life situations change. We still have all those pets, but we’ve worked to minimize clutter and simplify our home, so there’s less to maintain (house, possessions). Dogs are a lot of work, but my husband works from home now, and I work part-time. I began talking to another rescue organization about adoption two weeks prior to getting Daisy. All of the above concerns came up and were clarified through the Q&A process. Researching, listening and then releasing the old narrative my husband and I have been telling ourselves made way for this new possibility.
“Rescue” has good and bad connotations. To be rescued is a good thing. You feel good and happy to save something. To rescue something, could be good, but it’s also risky. Rescue dogs can come with issues, so we were hesitant. We didn’t want to get a dog from Craigslist though, that may have been born and raised in a puppy mill. Supporting that kind of situation didn’t sit well with us. A few friends kept encouraging us to try our local shelters, SCRAPS or Spokanimal, where folks can meet dogs, walk them, spend time with them in a secure area and really feel them out. So I did all those things before deciding on our five-month old pup, Daisy. Spokanimal flies dogs here from parts of the country where there’s a problem with strays. Daisy was one of those dogs. Rescue, with it’s mix of good and bad, was what we chose. That’s life too I guess, not all good or all bad, but a mixture of both.
The first night we had Daisy, she surprised all of us. She was lethargic and shaky. The rest of the family expected a happy Labrador-mix dog. The pup we brought home seemed smaller than I remembered, and where was the cheerful Lab side of her? Hmmm, did I do the right thing? I went to bed that night anxious that I brought home the wrong dog for our family. Turns out Daisy was coming off anesthesia from just being spayed, and she was loopy from the drugs. Poor pup! After a quiet night in her kennel in a secure place in our house (away from the angry cats), she was refreshed and loving. What a relief! She’s eager to please and learn, curious, a little timid, and loves to cuddle and chew. Balls seem to be her favorite toy. My hubby, daughter and I just love her.
We did our part to educate ourselves (bringing home a new family member is a big deal), which helped to rewrite the narrative we told ourselves. Rescuing a dog was a scary step for us, but we’re relieved to see the positive shift in our family. We’re strengthening our abilities to be flexible, to be consistent & positive. It’s renewed our faith in each other and the world. Getting out that comfort zone and taking a risk has it’s benefits. A well researched risk, mind you, but still a risk! Life is good!
Food is yummy. Food can make us feel happy. Food is a cultural experience. Food is fun and better when shared!
We are hosting our first Linger-Longer Potluck this Sunday. And we’ll have more coming. Every month with a fifth Sunday, we’ll host these potlucks where everyone is invited to come with a dish to share in the company of friends.
This month’s theme is Comfort Food. This Sunday is also a great opportunity to learn about our new SpiritGroups. Tara will be here to answer all your questions. Hope to see you on Sunday!
You plus 2–that’s all it takes to have a SpiritGroup! Of course more works too, but don’t let a small number stop you from making big connections!
Starting next week (April 24) or the week after (May 1) you and your small group can learn about conflict management with the “I of the Storm” curriculum, or discuss the Sunday message, or explore the 5 Unity principles, or something else that compels you.
See Tara or email her at twearATunityspokane.org to make it happen!
Come pray with us on Maundy Thursday, April 13th. Drop in anytime between 2-7 pm and pray in the silence with our chaplains in our chapel, 2900 S Bernard, 99203.
Though we won’t be washing any feet, we know that sitting with others in prayer is a deeply moving, renewing, and cleansing experience. Come experience the holy wonder of this Easter season!
Our Unity center houses many programs, groups, events, memorials & weddings, music recitals and classes. Our mission is about “Tranforming Lives and Helping People Make a Positive Difference in the World.” We rent space, partner with different for and non-profit businesses and individuals who share our values, and participate in community events to further our reach & transform lives.
Some groups that rent our space include Alcoholics Anonymous, A Course in Miracles, Sufi Dances of Universal Peace, Spokane Community Colleges & ACTII, Science of Spirituality, East Asian Cultural Association and Plum Tree School.
Most recent additions to our Unity Spiritual Center calendar are Tai Chi for those living with Parkinson’s Disease, an Indian music concert, and an Herbal Fair. We even trade space in our parking lot to food distributor Zaycon for quality meats that we use in our outreach efforts at Crosswalk, where we prepare monthly meals for homeless teens in the community. We also offer on-going classes on spiritual development, mindfulness, prayer and meditation.
We depend on the financial support of our congregants, a few part-time employees and the generosity of dozens of volunteers to keep our programs running and doors open. Our volunteers maintain our grounds and much of our facility & operations, provide youth education & care, and pray with people. Our co-ministers pray with those in need as well. However, our chaplains and ministers do not offer mental health counseling, elder or home care. Sometimes this is frustrating news for people to hear. Though there are churches that are committed to this type of service, Unity Spiritual Center does not have the resources to fund these programs at this time. West Central Episcopal Mission, and Shalom Ministries are two churches in Spokane who focus on outreach and community service. Lutheran Community Services is also an invaluable community resource.
We love being a part of this community and helping to transform lives in their growing spiritual needs. We hope you connect with us at our Sunday services at 9 & 11 am, with childcare at 9 and youth ed program at 11.
To experience and express Love.
Commune with my Spirit…I experience and express Love. Connect with you and your Spirit. I experience and express Love. Have compassion for myself and for you. I experience and express Love. Serve you and our community. I experience and express Love. Challenge myself and you to expand. I experience and express Love.
Our mission here is to transform lives (starting with mine – be the change I seek) and make a positive difference in the world. How?
One Love. Many ways this is expressed. One is through SpiritGroups. My life’s journey has led me to this moment, right here, right now. As a part of that journey, SpiritGroups showed up for me. Our community’s journey in SpiritGroups began last year. The McClure’s graciously hosted nine of us in their home for the pilot group, which launched in January and the first series kicked off in April. Since then, we’ve had three series, 25 groups, 33 hosts, 209 participants. Our third series kicked off at the end of last month and wraps at the end of next month.
Those numbers tell a story, but I’m also called to tell you about these people and how their lives have changed…
We start accepting donations this Saturday, March 4th, for our annual rummage sale. Sacred Rubble is our biggest fundraiser of the year, and it brings thousands of people from the community to our amazing center. You know you’ve got too much of something, so take a look and your stuff and donate some of it to us!
Also if you are able to help, we need people to assist with sorting and pricing. Save these dates…
Saturdays from 11-2
Sundays from 12-2
Tuesdays from 3-6
Here’s what we are looking forward to…
Please welcome our two newest employees: Linda Tweedy (L) and Rebecca Ker (R)
Linda is our accountant and bookstore manager and was most recently employed at KAYU-TV. She will be in the office M-W and also on Sunday.
Rebecca is our administrator and was most recently employed at The Bar Method. Rebecca will be in the office W-TH and also on Sunday.
Both women are long-time Unity friends, and we’re thrilled they decided to join our staff! Together, they are helping us streamline our processes & policies and making beautiful changes to our bookstore and center.