Spiritual Leader's Message January 1, 2021

Dear Friends,
Happy New Year! Yesterday we closed one of life’s most challenging chapters in recent times. Loss, loneliness, and feelings of isolation and fatigue have weighed down many. Turning to the new page of 2021 won’t erase all of the hardships of 2020. Creating a better, a happier, story means entering the year with the right mindset.
In Unity we say, “Change your thinking, change your life.” We don’t deny anything that is transpiring in the outer world. There is much that is not in our control. It is truly amazing, though, how the world seems to magically transform by how we think about it. As poet Rainer Maria Rilke said, the new year is “Full of things that have never been.” When we look at life with new eyes, with a change of thinking and of heart, we do perceive that which has never been. Often life looks brighter. Options heretofore not considered seem possible. When we recognize the control we have over our own thoughts, we feel empowered, stronger, more confident.
Last Sunday we celebrated our Burning Bowl Ceremony, that beautiful time of releasing what no longer serves our greater growth. For some that meant unmet expectations, for others it may have been a relationship or dreams that didn’t manifest. Whatever you let go of, I trust that it led to freedom and an opening for the new. Poet Mary Oliver tells us to “Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.” Only when we let go of what holds us in bondage can we have space for the unimaginable to emerge.
This coming Sunday, we celebrate our White Stone Ceremony, a time of claiming a new name or once again claiming the quality we embraced during our Candlelight Service. This is not a logical process but one where we listen to the guidance of Spirit. The name or word you hear may not have meaning in the moment. If you don’t judge and simply write it on your stone, what it means will be revealed to you. This powerful way of beginning 2021 naturally leads us to changing our thinking! When we truly commit to living from the new, untold adventures await us. Look for them. Large or small, they show us our next growth step.
Our hope for 2021 at UCIR is for personal and planetary healing; for the establishment of greater love and peace. Someone said to me last week, “I do believe people are becoming more spiritual.” All of us are as spiritual as we will ever be. We need to become more conscious of our spirituality and live from that place.
Rev. Ken, your prayer chaplains, the Board, and I are here to help facilitate your growth and assist you in uncovering the Spirit that you are. Our desire is to support you in each step you take. We hold you in our prayers, our hearts, and our love.
Have a blessed 2021 “Keeping room in your heart for the unimaginable.”
Rev. Carolyn