Dear Friends..., July 2021

 

Dear Friends,

I love to learn! I feel invigorated and inspired when presented with material I haven’t been exposed to or when someone offers something I already know in a new or different way. It gives me an opportunity to expand my horizons and deepen the knowledge that I have. I believe this makes me a better minister where I can serve you in developing what we already know and offer new and interesting insights. I had such a learning opportunity the week of June 14. Rev. Ken and I attended The Unity Annual Convention that was presented virtually this year. We attended the general sessions together and each chose different workshops to gain the most information possible to use at UCIR.

I attended two powerful workshops facilitated by ordained Unity ministers. One offered an expanded way of using affirmative prayer that avoids the possibility of practicing spiritual by-passing—not addressing deep seated issues that bring discomfort or feel “unspiritual.” We will use some of the material in our next prayer class that will probably begin toward the end of summer.

The second workshop, “Spiritual Community as Laboratory: Discovering the Power of the Christ Within”, led participants through a discussion toward understanding that a spiritual community is a relationship system. Rev. Anna Shouse said that the purpose of spiritual community is transformation. She discussed such behaviors as enabling, self-management, and the necessity of developing our own character. She said, “ Spirituality is not about stamping out our humanity but about integrating it.” The experiential opportunity led me to look more carefully at my own way of walking through the world and at who we at UCIR are as a relationship system.

Rev. Ken’s big take-away from the convention was about living in authenticity with Unity. Rev. Jim Blake, Unity World Headquarters CEO, gave a powerful presentation in which, among other things, he said that often people find Unity, perhaps over the Internet or from someone else, and like what they hear. When they go to a Sunday service, the message is not Unity. Rev. Jim said we must learn to always incorporate the Unity principles in our messages along with other information we share. Ken was also taken with how Rev. Jim spoke to the necessity of consistency in our messages of inclusivity. Whether talking about the LGBTQIA community or systemic racism, we must always communicate the acceptance and inclusivity of all kinds of diversity.

On Sunday, July 11, 2021, we will begin our after-service discussion group using a spiritual video as the basis. Prior to the pandemic, these discussions were vital and vibrant. We all learned from the video presenter and from each other. I invite you to consider participating with us in the discussions. We learn the incredible wisdom we each possess.

During the month of July, our Sunday topics will look at the foundation of Unity with a polished lens. I think you will enjoy experiencing the old in a new way. I look forward to having you join us!

Lovingly,

Rev. Carolyn