Sunday Quotes 2023

Quotations Used in the Sunday Message

To find a particular quotation, press CTRL-F and enter a word or phrase from the quotation in the search box that appears. Additionally, the quotations are sorted from the most recent to the oldest. To Watch Sunday Services or Listen to Messages/Meditations, Click Here


“The Light Of Hope Uplifts Us” 12-03-23   1st Advent:Hope

Core Statement: 
“Hope Is Light From Within, Guiding Us Toward Endless New Possibilities” sv

Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
1 Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen…  
2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) 
18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen…

Psalm 39:7 (AMP)  
7 “And now, Lord, for what do I expectantly wait? My hope [my confident expectation] is in You.
James 4:10  (NIV)  
10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.

Romans 12:12 (NLV) New Living Translation
12 Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient… and keep on praying.
Romans 15:13 (NIV)  
13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may 
     overflow with hope…

Unity Reading:
Expectation – Anticipation of Divine Good. Looking about for the wondrous benefits God has prepared for us. In every person is that which causes him always to hope for and to expect that which is good and true. This very expectation helps the good to become active.  
   --Charles Fillmore  Revealing Word  

Dictionary Definition – Hope: 
   1)To cherish a desire with anticipation  
   2) To desire with expectation of obtainment 
   3) To expect with confidence: trust
Hope is outreaching desire with expectancy of good. It is a characteristic of all living beings.  
   --Edward S. Ame
Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul - and sings the tunes without the words - and never stops at all.   
   --Emily Dickinson 
Hope is a?n embrace of the unknown?. 
   --Rebecca Solnit

The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it. 
   --Amanda Gorman
You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore. 
   --William Faulkner

I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge. That myth is more potent than history. That dreams are more powerful than facts. That hope always triumphs… 
   --Robert Fulghum 
Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it… 
   --Barack Obama
Find the seed at the bottom of your heart and bring forth a flower. 
   --Shigenori Kameoka

Once you choose hope, anything’s possible. 
   --Christopher Reeve 
Never give up. Have hope. Expect only the best from life and take action to get it.   
   --Catherine Pulsifer



“Thanks-Living…Focusing On Gratitude”  11-12-23

Core Statement:
“Gratitude Shifts Our Energetic Fields Attracting & Creating Positive Life Experiences.” sv

Romans 1:21 (NRSVUE)
21 For though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless hearts were darkened.

Psalm 95:2 (NRSV)
2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  (NRSV) 
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 give thanks in all circumstances…
Colossians 2:6-7  (NKJV)
6 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus…, so walk in Him, 7 rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Special Readings:
Practicing gratitude and positive thinking on a daily basis can change your brain and your life! A negative mindset often leads to more negativity, but thinking more positively about a situation or circumstance leads to feelings of gratitude. Gratitude can then result in more creative thinking, increased mental productivity, and a wider attention span... Scientists conducted a study (in 2008) to measure the brain activity of people thinking and feeling gratitude. What they found was "that gratitude causes synchronized activation in multiple brain regions, and lights up parts of the brain’s reward pathways and the hypothalamus. In short, gratitude can boost neurotransmitter serotonin and activate the brain stem to produce dopamine." The more we think positive, grateful thoughts, the healthier and happier we feel.…

An active practice of gratitude can increase neuron density and lead to greater emotional intelligence... In neuroscience research, Hebb’s Law says that “neurons that fire together wire together.” The more you practice gratitude, the more you strengthen the brain’s neural circuits for gratitude, making it easier to focus on feelings of gratitude. When you start to focus on the things you already have in your life that are good, your brain becomes better at discovering similar things.  
   --Tamara Lechner 

We can complain that rose bushes have thorns or we can rejoice that thorn bushes have roses. 
   --Abraham Lincoln
Gratitude opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe while dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it.
   --Stephen Richards    

It’s a funny thing about life, once you begin to take note of the things you are grateful for, you begin to lose sight of the things that you lack.  
   --Germany Kent
Gratitude can transform any situation. It alters your vibration, moving you from negative energy to positive. It’s the quickest, easiest, most powerful way to effect change in your life…  
   --Oprah Winfrey  

Experiencing and expressing gratitude is an important part of any spiritual practice.  It opens the heart and activates positive emotion centers in the brain.  Regular practice of gratitude can change the way our brain neurons fire into more positive automatic patterns.  
   --Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D.  
The Willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.
   --Jeff Miller
Consistently expressing sincere and heartfelt gratitude for what you already have is the underlying and often overlooked force which opens doors to immeasurable abundance and happiness.



“Humanity Around The World…Our Differences & Similarities”   11-05-23

Core Statement:
“Global Humanity Desires Freedom…Having Our Needs Met…To Love & Be Loved” sv

1 Peter 3:8-9  (EHV)
8Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. 9Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing…

Colossians 3:14 (NIV)
And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. 
   --Kofi Annan
Cultural differences should not separate us from each other, but rather cultural diversity brings a collective strength  that can benefit all of humanity.  
   --Robert Alan

The bond of our common humanity is stronger than the divisiveness of our fears and prejudices. 
   --Jimmy Carter

The differences that separate human beings are nothing compared to the similarities that bond us together. 
   --Sophie Gregoire Trudeau

Difference is of the essence of humanity… and it should therefore never be the source of hatred or conflict. The answer to difference is to respect it. Therein lies a most fundamental principle of peace: respect for diversity. 
   --John Hume
My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. 
   --Desmond Tutu

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. 
   --Mother Teresa
Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them, humanity cannot survive. 
   --Dalai Lama


“Happy 4th Anniversary In Our New Home”  10-15-23

Core Statement:
“Celebrating Our 4th Anniversary, We Give Thanks For Shared Spiritual Connection & Friendship” sv

Matthew 18:20  (ESV)
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.
Proverbs 13:19a (NKJV) 
19a A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…

1 Corinthians 14:26  (NKJV)
26 …Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.     

Hebrews 10:24-25  (ESV)  
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another… 

1 John 1:7a (NKJV)
7a But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another... 

Special Reading: 
The ability to manifest what we envision is core to our creative capacity as humans. Collective Visioning channels that capacity toward community building & empowerment… Understanding the value and power of collective visioning for the future is critical to our ability to move into action… When we ground our work in a collective, positive vision, the process builds a strong and connected community…We transform ourselves, our communities and beyond. 
   --Linda Stout  Collective Visioning: How Groups Can Work Together for a Just and Sustainable Future    

Affirmation Statement: 
“Celebrating our 4th Anniversary, we’re grateful for the uplifting power of spiritual community that we share & create together! We say YES, to God’s ongoing Guidance & Wisdom, we celebrate & gratefully receive Divine Abundance and Prosperity, and we open our hearts to the Infinite Flow Of God’s Unconditional Love. With grace-filled purpose, we choicefully step forward with enthusiasm to share Light & Love with others!”sv

The only answer in this life, to the loneliness we are all bound to feel, is community… working together, sharing together, loving God and loving our brother /[sister]… 
   --Dorothy Day

Thriving 21st century spiritual communities are composed of many individual people who come together to create a deep and meaningful experience where everyone grows spiritually together and each person is valued for the unique experiences they contribute to the whole. 
   --Tracy Brown    

We are called to be strong companions and clear mirrors to one another, to seek those who reflect with compassion and a keen eye how we are doing, whether we seem centered or off course ... we need the nourishing company of others to create the circle needed for growth, freedom and healing.   
   --Wayne Muller   

The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor… We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness. 
   --Tara Brach   

Simply being with other people who are also seekers and who are involved in the same quest you are is very meaningful.   
   --Dan Wakefield  

Spiritual community gives a sense of meaning and direction, and of life that's bigger than one's own. It's healing without therapy.  
   --Rabbi Omer-Man
Pull up a chair. Take a taste. Come join us. Life is so endlessly delicious. 
   --Ruth Reichl




“Blessing Our Pets…Honoring The Animal Kingdom”   10-08-23

Core Statement:   
 “Sharing Love With Our Pets Warms Both Our Hearts & Theirs” sv

Genesis 1:26 (NRSVUE)  
26 Then God said, “Let us make humans in our image, according to our likeness, and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over the cattle and over all the wild animals of the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.”

Job 12:7-8 (NIV) 
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you; 8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.

Proverbs 27:23 (NRSVUE)  
23 Know well the condition of your flocks, and give attention to your herds…
Proverbs 12:10 (NRSVUE) 
10 The righteous know the needs of their animals…

Special Reading: 
St. Francis of Assisi was born in the 12th century, lived in Italy, and founded the men’s Order of Friars Minor, the women’s Order of St. Clare, and the Third Order of Saint Francis… He is remembered for his generosity to the poor, his willingness to minister to the lepers, and for his love for animals and nature. He is the Catholic Church’s patron saint of animals and the environment.

St. Francis spoke to animals as ‘brother wolf’ and ‘sister bird’, saw all of creation as inherently good… Important Catholic saints are assigned feast days, on which rituals are conducted in accordance with their ministry. Francis’ feast day is October 4, and around the world, people bring their animals to churches to be blessed on this day.  
   --Kevin E. Mackin, O.F.M. 

Special Reading:
Animal Blessings: The service emphasizes celebrating the bond of love and respect that animals have with their humans, and that humans have with all of creation. Blessing of animals occurs broadly across most religions in some form… Secular respect for animals is also strong, for example, World Animal Day, an international day of action for animal rights and welfare celebrated annually, is still held on 4 October, the feast day of Francis of Assisi.  

Be kind to every kind, not just mankind. Every animal on earth is a living being with feelings, emotions, and a family life. Just like you and me. When I look into the eyes of an animal, I do not see an animal. I see a living being. I see a friend. I feel a soul. 
   --Anthony Douglas Williams
You cannot share your life with a dog… or a cat, and not know perfectly well that animals have personalities and minds and feelings.   
   --Jane Goodall
Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as 
good for the soul as prayer. 
   --Dean Koontz
Animals are a window to your soul and a doorway to your spiritual destiny. If you let them into your life and allow them to teach you, you will be better for it. 
   --Kim Shotola
Over the years I've come to appreciate how animals enter our lives prepared to teach and far from being burdened by an inability to speak they have many different ways to communicate. It is up to us to listen… 
   --Dr. Nick Trout  

Prayer: With love & gratitude for all animals who nourish the planet & flourish in loving diversity. We ask forgiveness for the immense suffering we have caused you. May we learn to appreciate and honor your vast and various gifts. May we learn from you how to be honoring and trustworthy stewards of creation. 
   --Ubuntu For Animals 

I had been told that the training procedure with cats was difficult. It's not. Mine had me trained in two days.  
   -- Bill Dana

Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.
   --Anatole France



"Spiritual Practices For Staying Focused" 10-01-23

Core Statement: 
“Focusing On What’s Truly Important Manifests A Fulfilling & Rewarding Life! ” sv

Proverbs 4:25  (NRSVUE) 
25 Let your eyes look directly forward and your gaze be straight before you.
Philippians 4:8  NIV 
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Proverbs 2:2-5 (NASB) 
2 Make your ear attentive to wisdom, Incline your heart to understanding; 3 For if you cry for discernment, Lift your voice for understanding; 4 If you seek her as silver, And search for her as for hidden treasures (practice); 5 Then you will discern the fear (AWE) of the Lord, And discover the knowledge of God.
Psalm 139:13-14 (NASB) 
13 For You created my innermost parts… 14 I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 

Matthew 6:11 (ESV)
11 Give us this day our daily bread…

Special Readings: 
Life is all about balance and when you constantly put others before you, you become imbalanced…Therefore, take time to… bring your life into balance by learning to put yourself first. Spend time with yourself, listen to yourself, understand yourself, find out what truly makes you happy and what makes you sad, what lifts your vibration and what makes you feel drained, what motivates you and what depresses you, what your true passions are and where you want to go in life. Once you identify these, make it a point to respect what you believe in, your needs, dreams and desires and start giving them your utmost priority.   
   --Mukesh Mani
Discovering yourself can assist you in becoming more self-aware, confident, and empowered, which can positively impact your life and the lives of others. Understanding who you are and knowing who you want to be can give you a new perspective that's essential for growth and understanding of what you want to achieve in life. The discovery and understanding of one's own identity contributes significantly to developing one's self-worth, self-confidence, and self-belief. Finding yourself involves discovering personal values and goals in life.   

I can teach anybody how to get what they want out of life. The problem is that I can't find anybody who can tell me what they want.  
   --Mark Twain
Discernment  (Definition)
1. The ability to judge well.  2. (in Christian contexts) perception in the absence of judgment with a view to obtaining 
spiritual guidance and understanding.  
   --Oxford Languages

Through discernment, we recognize the good and find peace in the decisions we make, progressing ourselves to the future 
that awaits us.  
   --Christina Schneider
At the centre of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want. Lao Tzu

Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes. 
   --Carl Jung

Your real self may be hiding somewhere, look for it within, when you find yourself, you can freely be what you want to be.
   --Michael Bassey Johnson



"Focusing On What’s Important" (Part 1)  09-24-23

Core Statement:
“Focusing On What’s Truly Important Requires Prayerful Discernment” sv

Mark 4:19 (NLT)
19  …but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life… 

Galatians 1:10 (NRSVUE) 
10 Am I now seeking human approval or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people?

Colossians 3:2 (NIV)
2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.
2 Timothy 1:7 (NASB) 7 For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and sound judgement.
Psalm 32:8 (NKJV)
8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. (higher wisdom)
Ephesians 5:15-16 (ESV) 
15 Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time…

Unity Reading:  
We find that there is in man a knowing capacity transcending intellectual knowledge.  Nearly everyone has at some time touched this hidden wisdom and has been more or less astonished at it’s revelations.   …We should quicken our discernment and our ability to choose… good.  This wisdom of Spirit is man’s through the all-knowing and all-discerning power of Spirit within him, and he need never fear going wrong if he listens to his divine intuition.  
   --Charles & Cora Fillmore  The Twelve Powers Of Man

The challenge for so many of us is that we are so deep into daily distractions and 'being busy, busy' that we miss out on those moments and opportunities that would get our lives to a whole new level of wow. 
   --Robin S. Sharma
Life is too full of distractions nowadays. When I was a kid we had a little Emerson radio and that was it. We were more 
dedicated. We didn't have a choice. 
   --Stan Getz

There are always distractions, if you allow them. 
   --Tony La Russa 
When we allow distractions to wobble us away from ourselves, that's when our intuition starts to fade and our focus dulls.    -  
   --Tara Stiles

Research has shown that time pressure leads to tunnel vision and that people think more creatively when they are calm, unhurried and free from stress and distractions. 
   --Carl Honore
Disconnect from everything long enough to see if it feeds your soul or if it’s a distraction. What’s deeply connected will 
always remain.  
   --Maryam Hasnaa

A process for discernment: God is my ultimate source of truth and wisdom, and dwells forever at the center of my being. Therefore, any thought, emotion, or action that takes me further from my center can be neither truthful, nor wise. 
   --Bill Crawford Ph.D.



“Stepping Forward…” 09-17-23 Youth Fly-Up Ceremony

Weekly Statement:
“Stepping Forward Into New Experiences Broadens Our Horizons” sv 

1 Timothy 6:18a-19 (ESV)
18a They are to do good, to be rich in good works…  19 thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.

Ezra 10:4-5 (NIV) 
4 Rise up; this matter is in your hands. We will support you, so take courage & do it.”
Proverbs 13:19a (NKJV) 
19a A desire accomplished is sweet to the soul…

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.   
   --J.P. Morgan
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.   
   --Walt Disney

Life is worthwhile if you try. It doesn’t mean you can do everything but there are a lot of things you can do, if you just try. 
   --Jim Rohn

Do not be afraid to start something new and become a beginner/student again.   
   --Robin S. Baker
You will enrich your life immeasurably if you approach it with a sense of wonder and discovery, and always challenge yourself to try new things. 
   --Nate Berkus

Never underestimate the power you have to take your life in a new direction. 
   --Germany Kent




"Connecting Together…Making A Difference through Prayer"  09-10-23

Core Statement: 
“Prayer Power Is Magnified When We Gather Together For Higher Good” sv

Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)
20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV)
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…

Acts 2:42 (NASB)
42 They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching & to fellowship, to the breaking of bread & to prayer.

2 Corinthians 1:11  (ESV) 
11 You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks… for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.

Ephesians 6:18  (NIV)  
18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying… 

Isaiah 65:24 (NIV) 
24 Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear. 

Special Reading:
Being part of a spiritual community…can help boost self-confidence and mental outlook, which in turn can lead to taking better care of yourself. Spirituality can promote close family and friendship bonds and help people cope with physical or emotional pain and other life stressors. It can also offer people a strong sense of community… Regularly gathering with like-minded people can help prevent feelings of isolation. Studies show that people who are spiritual generally have a more positive outlook and live happier, more productive lives.

Unity Reading:
Sometimes we pray to a God outside of ourselves. It is the God in the midst of us that frees and heals…
Prayer, then, is to change our minds and hearts so that God’s omnipresent good may fill our minds and hearts and manifest in our lives. Prayer is the most effective method of renewal and transformation, because in prayer [we] associate with God and not with the problem   
   --Myrtle Fillmore Healing Letters

We must begin by knowing that “God is Spirit.” Spirit is not located in a big man called God but is everywhere the breath of life… “over all, and through all, and in all.” The highest form of prayer is to open our minds and quietly realize that the one omnipresent intelligence knows our thoughts and instantly answers, even before we have audibly expressed our desires.    – 
   --Charles Fillmore Jesus Christ Heals 

When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other.    
   --Margaret J. Wheatley

The greatest gifts we can give to each other, is to pray for one another.

Do that which brings you most mindfully into God’s presence. Do that which raises your mind and heart to God’s love.         
   --Amy Ekeh   

Remember, our prayers do not need to be long. Sometimes only a word or two will suffice.

I do believe we're all connected. I do believe in positive energy. I do believe in the power of prayer. I do believe in putting good out into the world. And I believe in taking care of each other. 
   --Harvey Fierstein




“You Asked For It: Self-Esteem…Am I Enough?”  08-27-23

Core Statement:
“Connecting Within To God’s Loving Presence Reminds Us We’re Always Enough” sv 

Ephesians 2:10  (NKJV) 
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Luke 6:37 (ESV) 
37 “Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned…
James 4:6  (NRSV) 6 …it says, “God opposes the proud (Ego perception), but gives grace to the Humble (connected to inner presence)..”

Psalm 139:13-14  (NASB) 
13 For You created my innermost parts… 14 I will give thanks to You, because I am awesomely and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 

Zephaniah 3:17  (NRSV) 
17 The Lord, your God, is in your midst… he will rejoice over you with gladness, he will renew you in his love; he will exult over you with loud singing

Special Reading: 
1. A self-esteem killer
The most obvious consequence of unproductive comparisons is that they make you feel bad about yourself… we often compare our lows to other people’s highs, which is totally pointless.
2. Unhealthy emotions
Not just your self-esteem, but your overall mental health suffers when you compare yourself to others. Damaging emotions such as envy, anger, and bitterness cloud your mind.
3. Wrong company
In the process of striving to get better than those around you, you may begin to drift away from your friends and family. Concerned only about people’s job positions and titles, you neglect the truly important things. Thus, instead of being surrounded by like-minded friends, you hang out with the people who are not the right company for you.
4. Fake life
This is a real plague of today’s society, which is driven by social media. If you compare yourself to others all the time, you are never satisfied. Someone will always be younger, prettier, and more successful than you are… Thus, you may too begin to build a fake façade to appear richer, smarter, and more attractive than you are.
5. Wrong path in life
The most dangerous consequence of all is that you may end up walking the wrong path in life. If you yearn to be better than someone you know, you may end up chasing this person’s goals. You may give up on your dreams and lose your individuality in the process. 
   --Anna LeMind, B.A.

So many people are busy comparing their lives to someone else’s and competing with each other. Too often, they are affected by other people’s expectations without even realizing it. They set goals and make choices just to find out later that this was not what they actually wanted. Ultimately, the most important thing is to stay loyal to yourself and make sure you are chasing your goals, not someone else’s.   
   --Anna LeMind, B.A.
A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms.  
   --Zen Shin

Be confident. Too many days are wasted comparing ourselves to others and wishing to be something we aren’t. Everybody has their own strengths and weaknesses, and it is only when you accept everything you are – and aren’t – that you will truly succeed.  
Always be a first rate version of yourself and not a second rate version of someone else. 
   --Judy Garland

Whatever your passion is, keep doing it. Don’t waste time chasing after success or comparing yourself to others. Every flower blooms at a different pace.  
   --Suzy Kassem
To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself.
   --Thich Nhat Hanh

To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.
   --Ralph Waldo Emerson




“You Asked For It: Forgiveness…Releasing The Past, Open To Healing Love” 08-20-23

Core Statement:
“Releasing Blocks That Impede Love’s Natural Flow Allows Us To Heal” sv

Proverbs 17:9 (NLT)
9 Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends.

Philippians 3:13 (NLT)  
13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not yet achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead…

Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)   
31 But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
Colossians 3:12-14 (NIV) 
12Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another… 14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together…

Special Readings:
It’s not always easy to forgive, even when we really want to. But one key to forgiveness, according to psychologists, is that it’s about you—not the other person. The benefits of forgiveness greatly outweigh holding a grudge and can affect both mental and physical health in profound ways. While forgiveness may feel impossible in certain circumstances, forgiveness experts say that forgiveness can be learned no matter how great the offense. Robert Enright, Ph.D says “[Forgiveness is] not excusing what the other person did… it’s not saying that what happened is okay. What happened was unfair and it will always be unfair.” Some people may not want to forgive because they believe it means relinquishing power to the person who wronged them But when someone does decide to forgive—including forgiving themselves—they feel more hopeful & empowered about life. “When you don’t forgive, you are letting the other person have power over you, because it changes who you are on the inside. But when you forgive, you take that power back.” 
   --Emily Laurence & Robert Enright, Ph.D,

When you withhold forgiveness, you are only hurting yourself.  When you hold on to that anger, resentment, bitterness, or that feeling of being wronged or cheated, it causes distress and pain within yourself more than it will ever cause that same kind of pain within the other person… your withholding of forgiveness is keeping you fixed in time over a painful event.  You’re held stagnant, unable to move forward… People get hung up on forgiving, simply because they are still experiencing negative emotions associated with the event that caused the pain in the first place.  They’ve been told somewhere along the line that you can’t truly forgive until you are no longer angry, sad, frustrated, bitter, or resentful about what happened… This is simply not true… Forgiveness is all about doing something for yourself, which is moving forward, and telling yourself that you’re no longer going to give any more time, attention, thought, or energy toward that one event that happened.  It’s about telling yourself that you are no longer a prisoner of the past and that you are ready to move forward, living and enjoying your life as the best version of yourself.  
   --Dr. Victor Schueller…

I think the first step is to understand that forgiveness does not exonerate the perpetrator. Forgiveness liberates the victim. It’s a gift you give yourself. 
   --T.D. Jakes
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. 
   --Paul Boose

Forgiveness is one of the really difficult things in life. The logic of receiving hurt seems to run in the direction of never forgetting either the hurt or the hurter. When you forgive, some deeper, divine generosity takes you over. When you can forgive, then you are free. When you cannot forgive, you are a prisoner of the hurt done to you. If you are really disappointed in someone and you become embittered, you become incarcerated inside that feeling. Only the grace of forgiveness can break the straight logic of hurt and embitterment.  
   --John O'Donohue 
The only people we can really change are ourselves. Forgiving others is first and foremost healing our own hearts.  
   --Henri J. M. Nouwen

Love heals and liberates. I use the word love, not meaning sentimentality, but a condition so strong that it may be that which holds the stars in their heavenly positions and that which causes the blood to flow orderly in our veins. 
   --Maya Angelou
Denying love is our only problem, and embracing it is the only answer. Through the power of love, we can let go of past history and begin again. Love heals, forgives, and makes whole.  
   --Ernest Holmes

Forgiveness is not something we do for other people. We do it for ourselves to get well & move on.




“You Asked For It: A Different Perspective On Heaven, Hell & God”  08-13-23

Core Statement:
“God: Undefinable Infinite Flow Of Creation Ever Becoming In & Through All Beingness” sv

Luke 17:20b-21 (NIV)  
20b…Jesus replied, “The coming of the kingdom of God is not something that can be observed, 21 nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.” 

Acts 2:27-28 (ESV)  
27 For you will not abandon my soul to Hades… 28 You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’

1 Corinthians 3:16  (NKJV) 
16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God & that the Spirit of God dwells in you?
Acts 17:27b-28 (NKJV) 
27b…He [God] is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live & move & have our being…

Unity Reading:
Unity defines heaven and hell as conditions in the here and now. They are not places where people go to spend eternity. Rather, many in Unity believe in a form of reincarnation. After death the soul is believed to leave the body and to live again in another human body. This is/was a common belief among:  
•present day Eastern religions.   
•the early Christian church prior to the Council of Constantinople in 533 CE. 
•the Essenes, one of the three Jewish sects while Jesus was alive.  
Unity cites references from the Christian Scriptures which show that the concept of reincarnation was common during Jesus' time… Jesus neither criticized the people for their beliefs nor declared reincarnation to be heresy.

Unity Reading:
The teaching that man in his spiritual ego lives over and over again in many personalities, is as old as religion itself, because it is found in every religion under the sun. It has been taught in India, China, Egypt, Palestine— in fact, every nation ancient and modern has its great teachers who accepted and expounded in some degree this universally understood reality of man’s personal life…  a careful study of the Hebrew Scriptures and the gospel of Jesus Christ reveals that reincarnation was widely accepted as a part of human experience, instead of the doctrine that we all go to either heaven or hell at death.  
   --Charles Fillmore Reincarnation

Heaven-Metaphysical Definition: The kingdom of heaven is a state of consciousness in which the soul and the body are in harmony with Divine Mind. Teachers of metaphysics find it’s difficult getting students to recognize that heaven is a condition of mind. Jesus evidently experienced like difficulty in making Himself understood, which accounts for the numerous parables and comparisons that He gave of the Kingdom… In spite of oft repeated illustrations by Jesus showing the kingdom of heaven to be a state of consciousness, the great mass of Christians are today teaching that it is a place to which people, who accept Jesus as their Savior, will go when they die. There is no authority in the Bible for such doctrine.
   -- Metaphysical Bible Dictionary  Unity School  of Christianity

Hell- Metaphysical Definition:
One does not have to die in order to go to hell, any more than one has to die to go to heaven. Both are states of mind and conditions which people experience as a direct outworking of their thoughts, beliefs, words & acts. If one’s mental processes are out of harmony with the law of man’s being, they result in trouble and sorrow; mental as well as bodily anguish overtakes one, and this is Hell.
   -- Metaphysical Bible Dictionary  Unity School  of Christianity

The words of Jesus that are most often quoted are drawn from the King James version of the Bible. The New Testament was compiled some 200 years after he passed and it was written in Greek, a language he did not speak. Jesus originally spoke Aramaic… Klotz’s extensive research reveals the Aramaic word Aboon, translated from Greek to English as God or Father, in Aramaic refers to the breathing life of all, the fathering/mothering of the cosmos. 
   --New Dimension Radio with Guest Neil Douglas-Klotz Ph.D

The man known to Christians as Jesus… spoke the ancient Semetic language of Aramaic. In Aramaic, sacred words carry many shades of meaning, the better to reflect the ungraspable nature of divinity. When Jesus says “God”, his Aramaic is “Alaha”. The understandings evoked by Alaha are far more subtle and complex than those of “God”, which comes from the Germanic word for “good”… According to bible scholar Neil Douglas-Klotz, Alaha would have been understood on the streets of Jerusalem as “O Encompassing Oneness”… or “Ultimate Potential” or “One with No Opposite”.   
   --Michael Green  One Song

God illumines the mind and shines within it. One cannot know God by means of the mind. One can but turn the mind inwards and merge it in God. 
   --Ramana Maharshi




“You Asked For It: Finding A Balance…Self-Care vs Helping Others”  08-06-23

Core Statement: 
“Self-Care Is Vital To Enable Us In Helping Others” sv

Mark 6:31 (NIV) 
31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.

Luke 5:16 (NASB) 
16 But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray.

Matthew 11:28-29 (NIV) 
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls”.

Jeremiah 17:7-8 (NRSVUE) 
7 Blessed are those who trust in the Lord…8 They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit.

Special Readings:
…It’s unfortunately common to overfill your schedule with things that you’re not really down for. Overtime, saying ‘yes’ to everything leaves you feeling overwhelmed or even burnt out. Getting comfortable with declining invitations and setting boundaries with a simple ‘no’ is an essential part of healthy relationships and genuine happiness. Saying ‘no’ can even be an act of pure bravery for anyone who consistently prioritizes others over themselves. Saying ‘no’ to some else’s idea of what you should be doing asserts your own ability to make decisions and advocate for your emotional well-being. What better reason is there to harness the power of ‘no’ in your life? 
   --Isabella Magnoni 

The way self-care is portrayed today is completely and utterly backward… it’s characterized as an indulgence. This means both that the practice of self-care is something we are occasionally allowed to indulge in and that self-care should feel like an indulgence. Self-care is not an indulgence, it is a discipline. It requires tough mindedness, a deep and personal understanding of your priorities, and a respect for both yourself and the people you choose to spend your life with. It takes discipline to refuse to take responsibility for other people’s emotional well-being. And it takes discipline to take full and complete responsibility for our own well-being. Self-care is a discipline because it’s not something you do once in awhile when the world gets crazy. It’s what you do every day, every week, month in and month out. It’s making the commitment to stay healthy and balanced as a regular practice. Ironically when you truly care for yourself, you are actually in a much stronger place to give of yourself to those around you. Those who take care of themselves have the energy to take care of others joyfully because that caregiving doesn’t come at their own expense. 
   --Tami Forman  

Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.  
   --Eleanor Brown

It's incredibly important that each of us takes the time to practice self-care. When we practice genuine self-care, we get the opportunity to understand ourselves better, recharge our batteries before they're empty, and maintain the ability to make a difference for our loved ones & communities. 
   --Branden Harvey
With every act of self-care your authentic self gets stronger, and the critical, fearful mind gets weaker. Every act of self-care is a powerful declaration: I am on my side, I am on my side, each day I am more and more on my own side.   
   --Susan Weiss Berry
Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.  
   --Anne Lamott

Give yourself permission to say NO without feeling guilty, mean, or selfish. Anybody who gets upset or expects you to say yes all of the time clearly doesn’t have your best interest at heart. Always remember: You have a right to say no without having to explain yourself. Be at peace with your decisions.  
   --Stephanie Lahart
 Saying no can be the ultimate self-care.  
   --Claudia Black

Self-care is the number one solution to helping somebody else. If you are being good to yourself & your body & your psyche, that serves other people better, because you will grow strong enough to lift someone else up.  
   --Mary Lambert
Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.  
   --Katie Reed

You are worth the quiet moment. You are worth the deeper breaths and you are worth the time it takes to slow down, be still, and rest.  
   --Morgan Harper Nichols




“You Asked For It…What Are Unity/Truth Principles?” 07-30-23

Core Statement: 
“Spiritual Truths & Principles Are Discerned Beyond Intellectual Understanding” sv

1 Corinthians 2:13 (NKJV)
13 … we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

Deuteronomy 6:4 (NRSVUE)
 4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. 

John 14:20 (NRSVUE)
20 On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.

Galatians 6:7b (ESV)
7b …For whatever one sows, that will he also reap.

James 1:5 (NKJV)
 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.

James 2:14 (NASB)
14 What use is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone says he has faith, but he has no works?

Unity Reading:
We find there is in man a knowing capacity transcending intellectual knowledge …p.88 One should give attention to this…whispering of Spirit in man. It is not of the intellect and does not originate in the skull. It is the development, in man, of a greater capacity to know himself and the purpose of creation. 
   --Charles Fillmore  The 12 Powers of Man  

Unity Information:
In April 1921 Charles Fillmore made the daring decision to publish a Unity Statement of Faith, containing 32 statements on spiritual beliefs and principles… it wasn’t until approximately 1989, that Charles and Myrtle’s great-granddaughter, Connie Fillmore Bazzy,(who was serving as President of Unity School of Religious Studies) first published a booklet titled The Keys to the Kingdom: Five Fundamentals of Truth that articulated what we now know as the five principles.

Metaphysics - the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, substance, cause, identity, time, and space.
  -- Dictionary Oxford Languages

Metaphysical studies generally seek to explain inherent or universal elements of reality which are not easily discovered or experienced in our everyday life. As such, it is concerned with explaining the features of reality that exist beyond the physical world and our immediate senses.

Five Principles of the Unity Church  
Unity is a religion based on holistic Christian concepts. The church is based on five principles concerning God, goodness, thoughts, prayer and action. These basic ideas make up the Unity belief system. Unity is not considered a "mainstream" Christian religion. Rather it is classified under the "New Thought" genre of religions.
The five principles upon which followers of the Unity Christian religion base their faith are:
1. God is good
God is absolute good and everywhere present.
There is only One Power and One Presence active in the universe and in my life, God, the Good, Omnipotent.
God is the source and creator of all. There is no other enduring power. God is good and present everywhere.
2. People are good
Since humans are made in the image of God, they have a spark of divinity within them and therefore are inherently good also.
Our essence is of God; therefore, we are inherently good. This God essence was fully expressed in Jesus, the Christ.
We are spiritual beings, created in God’s image. The spirit of God lives within each person; therefore, all people are inherently good.
3. Thoughts create experiences
Human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking. Everything in the manifest realm has its beginning in thoughts.
We are co-creators with God, creating reality through thoughts held in mind.
We create our life experiences through our way of thinking.
4. Prayer is connection
Prayer is creative thinking that heightens the connection with God and therefore brings forth wisdom, healing, prosperity and everything good.
Through affirmative prayer and meditation, I connect with God and bring out the good in my life.
There is power in affirmative prayer, which we believe increases our connection to God.
5. Action is needed
Knowing and understanding the laws of life—also called truth—is not enough. A person must live the truth that he or she knows.
Through thoughts, words and actions, we live in the truth we know.
Knowledge of these spiritual principles is not enough. We must live them.
   --Ron Kurtus

1.      "God Is."
God is Absolute Good, everywhere Presence.  God is not an entity that is present; God is the very presence of all life.  We can count on (and therefore trust) God as principle of good: eternal, infinite, and unchanging.  As Charles Fillmore writes, “The fundamental basis and starting point of practical Christianity is that God is principle.  By principle is meant definite, exact, and unchangeable rules of action.”
2.      "I AM."
Human beings have a spark of divinity within them, the Christ Spirit within.  Their very essence is of God and therefore they are also inherently good.  This is our experience of God as personal.  Jesus’ one commandment was to love.  Therefore, we embrace God as divine love within each of us.  We are the Light and Life of God in expression.
3.      Law of Mind Action (LMA) / "I Think."
Human beings create their experiences by the activity of their thinking.  Everything in the manifest realm has its beginnings in thought.  Thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.  We do not manifest every thought we have – only those thoughts that we hold in thought and infuse with our power of faith and imagination. 
4.      Affirmative Prayer / "I Pray."
Prayer is the most creative form of thought; prayer heightens the conscious connection with God-Mind and therefore brings forth wisdom, wholeness, prosperity and everything good.  Prayer does not change God!  Prayer changes us – by expanding our consciousness towards the Christ consciousness.  Therefore, when we pray, we affirm that which is Truth so that we move closer to accepting that Truth.
5.      Living the Truth / "I LIVE!"
Knowing and understanding the laws of life, also called Truth, are not enough.  A person also must live the Truth that she or he knows.  This is basis of practical Christianity – the ability to live the Truth.

What the Heart knows today, the head will understand tomorrow.  
   -- James Stephens




“Trending In Unity? Part 3: A Place for Me”  07-23-23

Core Statement: 
“Unity Is A Place To Grow Spiritually While Deepening Connection With Others” sv

Psalm 133:1 (NIV) 
How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!

Acts 2:46-47  (NIV)
46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts,47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people.
Matthew 18:20  (ESV)  
20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

Exodus 25:8 (NIV)  
8 "Then have them make a sanctuary for me, and I will dwell among them.

Hebrews 10:24-25  (ESV) 
24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another…

Special Reading: 
Thriving 21st century spiritual communities are composed of many individual people who come together to create a deep and meaningful experience where everyone grows spiritually together and each person is valued for the unique experiences they contribute to the whole. 
  --Dr.Tracy Brown Spiritual Coach New Thought/Ancient Wisdom

We were born to unite with our fellow men, and to join in community with the human race. 
When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other.    
   --Margaret J. Wheatley

Our spirits...require nourishment. Just as there is food for the body, there is food for the spirit. The consequences of spiritual malnutrition are just as hurtful to our spiritual lives as physical malnutrition is to our physical bodies.  
   --Dallin H. Oaks
If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life; it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.  
   --Mitsugi Saotome

Some people think they are in community, but they are only in proximity. True community requires commitment and openness. It is a willingness to extend yourself to encounter and know the other.  
   --David Spangler
I know there is strength in the differences between us. I know there is comfort, where we overlap. 
   --Ani DiFranco

We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. 
   --Brene Brown


“What’s Trending In Unity? Part 2: Community Connection/Making A Difference”  07-16-23

“Unity Truth Principles Help Us Connect With Others To Make A Difference” sv

Ephesians 4 (NIV) 2-3
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
3 John 1:8 (NIV) 8We ought therefore to show hospitality to such people so that we may work together for the truth.

Matthew 22:37-39 (NIV)
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

1 Corinthians 14:26  (NKJV)
26 …Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

Colossians 3:14 (NIV) 
14And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

Special Reading: 
According to Brené Brown, connection is “the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued.” This energy is the foundation of purpose and meaning in our lives. Brené believes that connection is why we are here, and that the medicine both individuals and the world needs is more meaningful connection. 
   --Regina Gee Wellspring Coaching  

UWM Resolution-Juneteenth 2021
Unity Worldwide Ministries stands for anti-racism, i.e., we are opposed to racial hatred, racial violence, bias, systemic racism, and the oppression of people of color. We stand for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for people who are marginalized because of color. No individual or group should be made to live in fear or excluded from society. Recent events in the United States and the world remind us that violent repression, prejudices, injustices, and inequalities towards people of color are embedded in societies, from social structures to institutions to cultures. Unity chooses to be more aware and take positive action in dismantling systemic racism and the social structures that support injustice and prejudice, and we raise awareness throughout our membership, churches, and centers.

I still remember walking into my first New Thought service. Relief and shock ran through me as I realized I wasn’t merely tolerated as a lesbian—I was truly welcomed and embraced. I looked at the leadership and saw lesbian, gay, and transgender ministers. I found a spiritual framework that took the gender out of God, took the suffering out of God, and took the judgment out of God.
  -- Rev. DeeAnn Weir Morency (she, her)

The phenomena of social media addiction can be largely attributed to the dopamine-inducing social environments that social networking sites provide. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram produce the same neural circuitry that is caused by gambling and recreational drugs to keep consumers using their products as much as 

We must become bigger than we have been: more courageous, greater in spirit, larger in outlook. We must become members of a new race, overcoming petty prejudice, owing our ultimate allegiance not to nations but to our fellow men within the human community.  
   --Haile Selassie

We can learn the art of fierce compassion - redefining strength, deconstructing isolation and renewing a sense of community, practicing letting go of rigid us-vs.-them thinking - while cultivating power and clarity in response to difficult situations.  
   --Sharon Salzberg

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.   
   --Jean Vanier




“What’s Trending In Unity? Part 1: Taking Steps Forward”  07-09-23

Core Statement:
“Unity Offers An Opportunity To Explore Spirituality, While Participating In Uplifting Community” sv

Matthew 7:7-8 (NKJV)
7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

Romans 15:5-6 (NRSVUE)
5 May the God of steadfastness and encouragement grant you to live in harmony with one another…
Psalm 133:1 (NRSVUE) 
1 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
Colossians 3:14 (NRSVUE) 
14 Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.

Unity Info:
Charles always had an eclectic interest in many philosophical and spiritual things, even though he had not been raised going to church. His understanding and awareness over the years came from a wide and varied interest and exploration into such teachings as Spiritualism, Buddhism, Brahmanism, Theosophy, Rosecrucianism and of course Christianity.
Together, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore began developing a Christian perspective that synthesized Religion, Philosophy & Science. They adopted new religious perspectives at that time called “New Thought” and expressed those ideas in terms of a Christian Theology, which included for them: Mysticism, Yogic Practices, Esoteric Spirituality, Metsphysics, Theosophy, Transcendentalism, Post-Einsteinian Physics, and of course the Teachings of Jesus. Eventually Charles decided the name “Unity” aptly characterized their work, and in 1891 Charles officially named the movement “Unity”.  
   --Unity Archives

The Fillmores, Charles and Myrtle, and their sons, Lowell, Rickert, and Royal, are among the few gifted spiritual innovators who created, over the course of the twentieth century, a successful worldwide spiritual movement - the Unity movement. The organizations that carry forth their work are the Unity School of Christianity (now Unity World Headquarters) and the Association of Unity Churches (now Unity Worldwide Ministries)… Unity Village, in Missouri, is located on a sixteen hundred-acre tract twenty miles southeast of Kansas City, Missouri. Its origin can be traced to prayer meetings held in I889 in the Kansas City living room of Charles and Myrtle Fillmore.
   -- The Unity Movement Neal Vahle

Rev. Jim Blake has more than three decades of study and service in New Thought traditions and organizations. He rejoined Unity World Headquarters as CEO in 2016, having previously served as chief information officer and vice president of Operations from 2006 to 2011. Prior to being named CEO, he served with global leading innovators & has more than 20 years of executive leadership experience with some of the fastest growing and most innovative companies in North America. Jim has a Master of Divinity from the Johnnie Colemon Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 2021. Jim’s first book, The Zen Executive: Gems of Wisdom for Enlightened Leadership, won a 2022 silver Living Now award in the category of personal growth.

Rev. Shad Groverland was born and raised in Unity, learning Unity’s principles from his parents… He had a 25-year career in sound production and management, then was called to ministry, graduated from the Unity Urban Ministerial School, and was ordained in 2016. He served Unity of Las Vegas, Nevada, for five years before returning home to Unity of Boulder, Colorado, to co-minister with his sister and father. In 2018, Shad was appointed to the UWM Board of Trustees. During his tenure on the board, Shad served on multiple teams focused on shaping the future of the Unity Movement, and has continued this legacy of revitalization into his current position as President/CEO. His sole purpose in this role is to support and equip Unity ministries and leaders to thrive and grow.

It takes two flints to make a fire.  
   --Louisa May Alcott

No one can whistle a symphony. It takes a whole orchestra to play it.
   --H.E. Luccock
Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.  
   --Helen Keller.  




 “Working Together Towards Universal Freedom”  07-02-23

Core Statement:
“Consciously Dismantling Our Own Systemic ‘Belief-isms’ Leads Us Toward Universal Freedom” sv

Isaiah 61:1 (NRSV) 1 …The Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners…   

Galatians 5:1 (NIV) 1 … Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

Psalm 146:7-8  (NRSV)
7b  …The Lord sets the prisoners free; 8 the Lord opens the eyes of the blind. The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; the Lord loves the righteous. (right-useness)

James 1:25 (NRSV)
25 But those who look into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and persevere, being not hearers who forget but doers who act—they will be blessed in their doing. 

Psalm 118:5 (ESV) 
5 Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

Unity Readings:
All discovery is self-discovery and all knowledge is self-knowledge. Thus the greatest discovery in science is not the outward accomplishments, but the inward revelation and the Truth that sets us free to take the outer step.   
   --Eric Butterworth  Discover The Power Within You   
Through the quickening of the Spirit we are loosed from all limiting ideas and are set free in the Christ consciousness 
or realization of the Absolute. The consciousness of…the Christ is of limitless life, strength, power, wisdom, love and 
substance that are everywhere present… 
   --Charles Fillmore  Atom Smashing Power of Mind  

The Declaration of Independence… is the founding document of the United States. It was adopted on July 4, 1776… The declaration justified the independence of the United States by listing 27 colonial grievances against King George III and by asserting certain natural and legal rights, including a right of revolution. Since then, it has become a well-known statement on human rights, particularly its second sentence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
The cause of freedom is not the cause of a race or a sect, a party or a class - it is the cause of human kind, the very 
birthright of humanity.   
   --Anna Julia Cooper

Belief systems are the stories we tell ourselves to define our personal sense of Reality. Every human being has a belief system that they utilize, and it is through this mechanism that we individually, “make sense” of the world around us… These sets of beliefs are reinforced by culture, theology, and experience and training as to how society works; cultural values, stereotypes, political viewpoints, etc. A belief system need have no basis in reality…
   --José-Luis Usó-Doménech & Josué-Antonio Nescolarde-Selva        

A lie doesn't become truth, wrong doesn't become right, and evil doesn't become good, just because it's accepted by a majority… We all should rise above the clouds of ignorance, narrowness, and selfishness.  
   --Booker T. Washington

As we develop a critical consciousness and work to help address and dismantle racism, sexism and other forms of oppression, it is important that we apply a systems approach to our work and begin to analyze, uncover and change the ways that oppression is operating at the personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels. 
   --Dionardo Pizaña
Freedom starts within you and your relationship with your own thoughts and internal conversations. You will never be 
truly free unless you are free from your own inner-tyranny and self-persecution…

For to be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of  
   --Nelson Mandela




Honoring Father Role Models & Celebrating Juneteenth"  06-18-23

Core Statement: Pic ()
 “Gratefully We Celebrate Dad’s & Father Figures Who Exemplify & Teach Positive Attributes” SV 
John 5:19b-20 (NASB) (Jesus Talking…) 
19b…"For whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner. 20For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself is doing…

Proverbs 20:7 (NKJV)  
7 The righteous man walks in his integrity; His children are blessed after him.

Galatians 5:1  (NKJV) 
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.

Special Readings:
Today’s father comes in many forms. Gone are the binary roles of male breadwinner and female homemaker. The father who spends the majority of time at work and sees their kids on the weekends only is a rarity nowadays. Today’s fathers have started to take on roles vastly different from fathers of previous generations. With many new fathers welcoming this change, they feel a strong desire to father their own children differently to how they were fathered – wanting to make up for what they didn’t have in childhood… It is no surprise that fathers are taking on a more open and connected emotional relationship with their children…
Spiritual maturity is about nurturing, honoring, and balancing both sides of your nature. And ALL men, women, and non-binaries/trans, possess both the masculine and feminine aspect inside.

Real fatherhood means love and commitment and sacrifice and a willingness to share responsibility.... 
   --William Bennett  

Being a great father is like shaving. No matter how good you shaved today, you have to do it again tomorrow. 
   --Reed Markham
Fathers have come a long way from their traditional role as the “breadwinner” and are now a lot more than just that. The modern dad is more proactive, sensitive and engaged with the matters of the upbringing of their children… The changing gender roles in society have given birth to new-age super-dads… These dads are the nurturers, teachers, therapists, cheerleaders, and overall heroes for their children! Simply put, the modern dad is a wholesome, fully-activated parent… Fathers are now shedding their stoic, silent and disciplinary image to become more open and friendly with their children. More fathers are now participating in playtime, taking more interest in the kids` hobbies, and even becoming more vulnerable in terms of showing their own emotions to the kids.…

Special Readings-Juneteenth:
Juneteenth — also known as Freedom Day and Black Independence Day — commemorates June 19, 1865. On this day, enslaved African Americans were granted freedom in Texas, the last Confederate state to abolish slavery. Juneteenth is a celebration of freedom and black culture, but it’s also an important reminder that black people in America fought (and, in some cases, are still fighting) for basic human rights decades after the Declaration of Independence was signed.
Let's make Juneteenth a commemorative, not of the horrific institution our country embraced, but rather as a showcase of the strength in the American spirit to recognize wrong & set about making it right. In this same spirit America moves ahead today in leveling playing fields & achieving ever greater equality. Let us celebrate all that Juneteenth teaches us about our use of the heart to hear & to learn & to work together for all that is good & just.  
   --John Albuquerque

On this day, June 19, 1865, Black people’s complete personhood was acknowledged on a systemic level for the very first time. It dates the moment African-Americans, Caribbean-Americans, and Afro-immigrants alike could begin to, on some level, participate in and see themselves as part of a whole society.  
   --Brianna Taylor

In whatever way Juneteenth is celebrated, it has ultimately become a time of sharing stories of Black resilience, resistance, liberation, and joy. It also provides an opportunity for all of us to deepen our understanding of the United States’ history, empathize with and advocate alongside our Black neighbors, and pave the way to a brighter, more just 
future for all Americans.
   --Amanda R. Martinez 

Juneteenth means so much to me. It represents the freedom that my ancestors fought so tirelessly for. But rather than focusing on the brutalization of my people then & now, I choose to focus on hope. June 19th reminds me that I am the force of power to change this world & to follow in the footsteps of my ancestors to work towards liberation. 
   --Mariah Cooley




“Gay Pride Month…Part 2: Honoring Human Rights”   06-10-23

Core Statement:
“Let’s Willingly Take Steps To Better Understand, Support & Honor Gay Human Rights” sv

Proverbs 14:8 (NIV) 
8 The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception. 

1 John 4:7 (NKJV)  
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.

Matthew 7:1-2 (NIV)
1“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…

Special Readings:
Discrimination against LGBTI people undermines the human rights principles outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Yet discrimination and violence against people in the LGBTI community are all too common. Homophobic, biphobic and transphobic attitudes remain deeply embedded in many cultures around the world.
Protecting LGBTI people from violence and discrimination does not require a new set of human rights laws or standards. States are legally required to safeguard the human rights of LGBTI people. This is well established in international human rights law. It is based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights treaties.
The core legal obligations of States with respect to protecting the human rights of LGBT people include obligations to:
* Protect individuals from homophobic and transphobic violence
* Prevent torture and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
* Repeal laws criminalizing same sex relations and transgender people
* Prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity
* Safeguard freedoms of expression, association and peaceful assembly for LGBTI people
  Office of The High Commissioner Human Rights-United Nation
What human rights violations do LGBTI people face? 
LGBTI people are exposed to various types of discrimination, including being:
* Discriminated against in education, employment, health care
* Mistreated and disowned by their own families
* Targeted for physical attacks and extreme violence—beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured and killed

Special Reading:   
* Take time to listen and learn from LGBTQ youth. Once you’ve done that, take the time to educate others.
* Be a role model for kindness and inclusion- learn how to speak up against everyday bigotry.
* Show young people that they can be authentic around you. Look for ways that you can demonstrate to the young people in your life that they can be themselves around you.
* Take action at the local level to create safe spaces… consider contacting your local school board and encouraging members to adopt inclusive policies.
* Stay informed and get involved in the fights ahead.…  Human Rights Campaign

Why is it that, as a culture, we are more comfortable seeing two men holding guns than holding hands? 
   --Ernest J. Gaines
Equality means more than passing laws. The struggle is really won in the hearts and minds of the community, where it really counts.  
   --Barbara Gittings

We deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise. 
   --Elliot Page  

It is absolutely imperative that every human being’s freedom and human rights are respected, all over the world. 
   --Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir

To realize a world of equality and dignity for all, we will have to change laws and policies; we will also have to change hearts and minds. 
   --Rick Parnell  

I am no longer accepting the things I cannot change. I am changing the things I cannot accept.
   --Angela Davis

Our society needs to recognize the unstoppable momentum toward unequivocal civil equality for every gay, lesbian, 
bisexual and transgender citizen of this country. 
   --Zachary Quinto
We declare that human rights are for all of us, all the time: whoever we are and wherever we are from; no matter our  
class, our opinions, our sexual orientation.
   --Ban Ki-moon





“Gay Pride Month…Part 1: “Greater Awareness”   06-04-23

Core Statement: 
“Honor The LGBTQ Community By Supporting Sexual Orientation & Gender Identity Freedoms” sv

Galatians 3:26,28 (NRSVUE) 
26 for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith…  28 There is no longer Jew or Greek; there is no longer slave or free; there is no longer male and female, for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 8:35 (NIV) 
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?

Matthew 22:37-39 NKJV 
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’

Special Readings:  
In the history of the United States, we have had many minority groups that have not been treated the same. They have been denied access to public places, not protected under certain laws, and the list goes on. One of the minority groups that had to endure these conditions was the LGBTQ community. People who were romantic with the same sex went to jail because it was illegal…Marriages were not an option for LGBTQ communities, and if their significant other was sick, they were not allowed to be a medical advocate for their partner… As the years went by, many individuals from the LGBTQ community began to stand and fight to have equal opportunities. 

Around the world, lesbian, gay, bi, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people continue to face widespread stigma, exclusion and discrimination, including in education, employment and health care – as well as within homes and communities. Many LGBTI persons face targeted physical attacks and extreme violence—they are beaten, sexually assaulted, tortured and killed.

In 1924, Henry Gerber, a German immigrant, founded the Society for Human Rights, the first documented gay rights organization based out of Chicago… Gerber’s small group also published a few issues of its newsletter “Friendship and Freedom”, the country’s first gay-interest newsletter…. police raids caused the group to disband in 1925… By starting a committee, it showed the world that there were issues that needed to be addressed, in order to give the LGBTQ community a voice.

Pride Celebration Month  Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June, to honor the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. The Stonewall Uprising was considered to be a turning point for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States… (The Stonewall riots were a series of spontaneous protests by members of the gay community in response to a police raid that began in the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, at the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Lower Manhattan in New York City. The riots are widely considered the watershed event that transformed the gay liberation movement and the twentieth-century fight for LGBT rights in the United States. )... Memorials are held during this month for those members of the community who have been lost to hate crimes or HIV/AIDS. The purpose of this month is to recognize the impact that lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals have had on history, both nationally and internationally. This Celebration is so important to so many in the community to get together and not be afraid to be who they are around each other. They have the freedom to express themselves, how they want and without judgement. 
   -Golda Duncan

It is revolutionary for any trans person to choose to be seen and visible in a world that tells us we should not exist… We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.  
   --Laverne Cox
It takes no compromise to give people their rights ... it takes no money to respect the individual. It takes no political deal to give people freedom. It takes no survey to remove repression.  
   --Harvey Milk 

There’s nothing wrong with you. There’s a lot wrong with the world you live in. 
   --Chris Colfer
When you reduce life to black and white, you never see rainbows. 
   --Rachel Houston

People used to think I was a monster. And for a long time, I believed them. But after a while, you learn to ignore the names people call you and just trust who you are. 

Being gay isn’t something you choose, but you do face choices about whether and how to discuss it. 
   --Pete Buttigieg

We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the 
diversity of humanity.  
 --George Takei



Youth Service & Memorial Day 05.28.23

Memorial Day Portion Of Service…
Opening Statement: 
“Let’s Remember With Heartfelt Gratitude Those Who’ve Given Their Lives For Freedom” SV     

John 15:13  (NIV)  
13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

Presidential Proclamation:
In honor and recognition of all of our fallen heroes, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved May 11, 1950, as amended, has requested the President issue a proclamation calling on the people of the United States to observe each Memorial Day as a day of prayer for permanent peace and designating a period on that day when the people of the United States might unite in prayer… President Biden has so proclaimed Memorial Day, May 28th, 2023, as a day of prayer for permanent peace, and designated the hour beginning in each locality at 11:00 a.m. of that day as a time when people might unite in prayer.

ALSO: In December 2000, the U.S. Congress passed and the president signed into law “The National Moment of Remembrance Act,” creating the White House Commission on the National Moment of Remembrance. All Americans are encouraged to pause wherever they are at 3 p.m. local time on Memorial Day for a minute of silence to remember and honor those who have died in service to the nation. In his proclamation, President Biden has further asked all Americans to observe the “National Moment of Remembrance” beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time on Memorial Day.

For a soldier a lot can happen in one minute. Because when you choose service over self, one minute can mean the difference between living or dying. Between going home to your family and never seeing them again. Sacrifice means placing every minute of your life on the line for your country. And sometimes you don’t come home. 
Those who have long enjoyed such privileges as we enjoy forget in time that men have died to win them. 
   --Franklin D. Roosevelt




“Adapting To Change…The Natural Rhythm Of Life”   05-21-23

Core Statement: 
“Being Receptive To Change Opens Us To Expansive, Creative Possibilities” sv

Jeremiah 29:11 (NRSV)
11 For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Matthew 5:4  (NRSV)
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Isaiah 43:18-19a (NIV) 
18 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! 

Deuteronomy 11:10-11 
10 For the land which you go to possess is not like the land of Egypt from which you have come, where you sowed your seed and watered it by foot, as a vegetable garden; 11 but the land which you cross over to possess is a land of hills and valleys, which drinks water from the rain of heaven… 
Deuteronomy 31:8  (NIV) 
8 The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”

Special Reading:
It is common for people to ignore the change that is happening around them for various reasons… Denying or delaying your reaction, however, can often be more stressful than accepting the change early on. Remind yourself that things will be okay and you’ve endured change before and been fine on the other side.  
--Steven Sellars 
   Licensed Professional Counselor-Centerstone Family Clinic

Special Reading:    
Adapting to change is a skill that allows you to face new challenges and situations as they arise… A person who can adapt to change accepts these new opportunities and changing situations without panic or fear. Becoming an adaptable person requires a positive attitude and a willingness to accept change as it happens… When you look at unexpected shifts as a way to usher in new opportunities that might take you out of your comfort zone rather than an obstacle, you can become more resilient to constant change.
Weep not that the world changes—did it keep a stable, changeless state, it were cause indeed to weep.  
   --William Bryant
Observe constantly that all things take place by change.  
   --Marcus Aurelius

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by discomforts. 
   --Arnold Bennett

Nothing we can do can change the past, but everything we do changes the future.  
   --Ashleigh Brilliant

Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.   
   --Eckhart Tolle

The art of life lies in a constant readjustment to our surroundings. 
   --Kakuz? Okakura



“Grateful For Motherly Love…The Divine Feminine”  05.14.23

Core Statement:
“Expressing & Sharing God’s Divine Feminine Love Nurtures, Comforts, Embraces & Heals” sv

Isaiah 66:13  (NRSV) 13 “As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted in Jerusalem.”  
Romans 5:5 (NIV) 5And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by 
the Holy Spirit…(Divine Feminine)

Wisdom 7:25-26 (NRSVUE) 25 For she is a breath of the power of God and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty… 26 For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness.
Sirach 24:2-3, 18 (NRSVUE)  2 …She opens her mouth, & in the presence of his hosts she tells of her glory: 3 “I came forth from the mouth of the Most High & covered the earth like a mist… (Other ancient authorities add 24:18)  18 I am the mother of beautiful love…of knowledge, and of holy hope; I give to all my children; these things are eternal…

Galatians 5:22  (NASB)  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness…
Proverbs 31:28  (NASB)  28 Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her…

Special Reading: 
For Semitic languages, such as ancient Syriac,(which is derived from Aramaic) the earliest liturgical tradition and established gender usage for referring to the Holy Spirit is feminine…  …Some churches… teach that the Holy Spirit is feminine based on the fact that both feminine nouns and verbs, as well as feminine analogies, are thought to be used by the Bible to describe the Spirit of God… These are based on the grammatical gender of both the nouns and verbs used by the original authors for the Spirit, as well as maternal analogies used by the prophets and Jesus for the Spirit in the original Bible languages.

Unity Reading:
Jesus talked a great deal about the Holy Spirit (the whole spirit)… Holy Spirit is the love of Jehovah taking care of the human family, and love is always feminine. Love is the great harmonizer and healer, & whoever calls upon God as Holy Spirit for healing is calling upon the divine love. The Holy Spirit is sympathetic, comforting, loving, forgiving and instantly healing. 
   --Charles Fillmore   Jesus Christ Heals          

Special Reading:
Wherever the association is made between love and divinity, between beauty and harmony and divinity, between nourishment and divinity, or between compassion and divinity, there stands the image of the Divine Feminine. (pg105) 
   --Andrew Harvey & Anne Baring   The Divine Feminine                     
The Divine Feminine is an energy that has been with us since ancient times. Consciousness is basically divided up into the ‘masculine’ side and the ‘feminine’ side, and we need both to achieve our highest creative potential. The Divine Feminine represents the connection to the part of our consciousness responsible for nurture, intuition, and empathy…  
   --Suzanne Kingsbury

There’s no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one. 
   --Jill Churchill
Being a mother is an attitude, not a biological relation. 
   --Robert A. Heinlein

The energy of the feminine embodies the nurturer, the healer and the peacemaker. While the masculine energy is focused on doing, the feminine energy revels in being. 
   --Julie Schoen
Mother energy is universal. It is the large expression of the sacred feminine that comes from spirit.  
   --Elaine Seiler, Multi-Dimensional You: Exploring Energetic Evolution

If I know what love is, it’s because of you.  
   --Hermann Hesse
To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world. 
   --Dr. Suess




“Chanting, Meditation, Prayer…Connecting With God/Higher Consciousness (Part 2)”  05-07-23

Core Statement: 
“Prayer & Meditation Bring Us Into Relationship & Connection With Higher Consciousness/God” sv    

John 14:11 (NRSVUE)
11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me…(God Within)
Psalm 25:1-2 (NASB) 
1To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 2A O my God, in You I trust…

Colossians 4:2 (NASB)
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving…     

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18  (NKJV) 
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks...

Ephesians 6:18 (NIV)
18And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying...

Special Readings: 
Physics teaches us that everything in the universe has its own unique energy vibration… Increase the power of your prayers by allowing yourself to deeply feel each word as you say it.  We know this is true thanks to information in Gregg Braden’s book, The Isaiah Effect, Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy.  In addition, Heart Math Institute in Boulder Creek, California has done 20 years of scientific studies on the individual and collective power of heart centered intentions. A heart felt intention has approximately 5,000 times the power of an intention created by thought.

Myrtle Fillmore taught that God is inside each person. “Sometimes we pray to a God outside of ourselves. It is the God in the midst of us that frees and heals. … Prayer, then, is to change our minds and hearts so that God’s omnipresent good may fill our minds and hearts, and manifest in our lives.  
   --Myrtle Fillmore
Whatever form and shape prayer takes, our first concern is not to press God for the things we think we need or the matters we are concerned about, but rather a quest for God's presence and relationship.  
   --Charles Ringma
 A person without prayer is like a tree without roots.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays. 
   --Soren Kierkegaard 

Prayer is communication with the Divine.  It can be whispered or chanted or written or expressed in the work you do.  However it is expressed, it is never in vain.  
   --Donna Wilk Cardillo
The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity…if we want to see mighty wonders of divine power and grace  
wrought in the place of weakness, failure and disappointment, let us answer God’s standing challenge, “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things which thou knowest not. 
   --J. Hudson Taylor

Remember that we do not always have to pray with words. Our minds and hearts are not one-dimensional. We live in a colorful world, and are gifted with vivid imaginations. Try praying in images instead of words… So do that which brings you most mindfully into God’s presence. Do that which raises your mind and heart to God’s love.  
   --Amy Ekeh 

It is of course possible to dance a prayer.   
   --Glade Byron Addams

The first peace, which is the most important, is that which comes within the souls of people when they realize their relationship, their oneness with the universe and all its powers, and when they realize that at the center of the universe dwells the Great Spirit, and that this center is really everywhere, it is within each of us.   
   --Black Elk (1863-1950)
If you begin to live life looking for the God that is all around you, every moment becomes a prayer. 
   --Frank Bianco




“Chanting Mantras…Meditation With Sound”  04-30-23

Core Statement:
“Mantras Use Sound & Language To Center Us In Higher Consciousness” sv    

Psalm 42:1-2a (ESV)  1As the deer longs for the water brooks, So my soul longs for You, O God. 2My soul thirsts for God, for the living God…

1 Corinthians 14:15 (ESV) 15 What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also; I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.

Psalm 25:1 (NASB)  1To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul. 

Special Reading:
Prayer and meditation are two essential components in most religions. Although meditation has religious origins, many people around the world, including those who don’t believe in gods or religion, practice meditation. This is because meditation does not require belief.
Meditation is the act of focusing your attention on one thing for an extended period of time, either as a religious practice or as a means of becoming calm and relaxed…  There are different types of meditation: focused meditation, mindfulness meditation, movement meditation, chanting meditation, and visualization meditation.
Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to communicate with God. A prayer can be silent words of thanks or praise or a plea you speak out loud. Some people pray so that they can achieve a sense of connection with God…  Prayers can also take a variety of forms: a hymn, incantation, spontaneous utterance, or a formal creedal statement.
Difference Between Meditation and Prayer
Meditation is the act of focusing your attention on one thing for an extended period of time, either as a religious practice or as a means of becoming calm and relaxed. Prayer, on the other hand, is an invocation or act that seeks to communicate with God.  
--Gerandielle Kumari

Prayer is exhaling the spirit of man and inhaling the spirit of God.  
   --Edwin Keith

Mantra: Sanskrit word meaning sacred message or text; literally a `sacred utterance' in Vedism (precursor to Hinduism).    

In the world of language and sounds, mantras—which have been around for an eternity—are powerful sound vibrations that reverberate in human consciousness… Sound is energy, which means it is essentially without a beginning or end. When a mantra is chanted, it taps into this eternal nature of our consciousness.
Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar explains “Mantras are essentially of three types: Kirtan, chanting, and japa. When we chant mantras loudly and together in a group, it is called kirtana (or bhajan where bhaj means to share—sharing the one consciousness). When we recite in a normal or medium tone of the voice, then it is called chanting. And when you recite quietly or very slowly in the mind, then that is called japa.”

The word mantra originates in Sanskrit and has been translated in English in various ways: a hymn or song of praise, sacred message or text, or incantation.
…Mantras are frequently used in meditation sessions to silence mental chatter... Our minds are full of noise—largely repetitive, useless, and even harmless thoughts that are on replay much of the time. A mantra can slice through these thoughts in any moment, especially when you craft one that is meaningful just to you. Your mantra is the ultimate positive statement that truly resonates with your heart and mind. 
   --Susie Moore  
Kirtan is food for the spirit, a life raft of song.
Kirtan allows us to enter into a mystery world- a world where all the logic of our minds, all the condition and learning are left outside. And in this mystery we create a temple inside of our hearts, a place of refuge, a place of love, a place of just being. 
   --Jai Uttal




“Mindful Caretakers Of Planet Earth”  04-23-23

Core Statement:
“Let’s Own Our Sacred Responsibility To Planet Earth & Take Wise Action” sv    

Isaiah 24:4-5 (NRSV)   
4 The earth dries up and withers, the world languishes and withers; the heavens languish together with the earth. 5 The earth lies polluted under its inhabitants; for they have transgressed laws, violated the statutes, broken the everlasting covenant.   
Jeremiah 2:7 (NRSVUE)
 7 I brought you into a plentiful land to eat its fruits and its good things. But when you entered you defiled my land…

Ezekiel 34:18 (ESV)
18 Is it not enough for you to feed on the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the rest of your pasture; and to drink of clear water, that you must muddy the rest of the water with your feet?

Genesis 1:26  (ESV)
26 Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea & over the birds of the heavens & over the livestock & over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” [The Hebrew word for dominion does not mean “to dominate” or “to exploit.” Rather, it means “to take sacred responsibility for]
1 Corinthians 4:2 (NIV) 
2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.

Unity Reading: 
People everywhere on earth are now realizing as never before that the well-being of this world rests with its inhabitants…
The pessimist moans “I could make a better world than this.” The optimist sings, “Go to it; that’s what God put you here for.”  
-- Charles Fillmore   Atom Smashing Power Of Mind  

Special Reading: 
Sustainability is a path to prosperity for humanity and businesses alike. There is no longer a choice between going green and growing long term profits. It is crucial for businesses of all sizes to act now!  As citizens we have the power and duty to make our voices heard. What each of us does and how we do it has a massive ripple effect on our ecosystems as well as the pace of corporate and government action. Gen. Z provides inspiration, with 45% having stopped buying from brands with poor ethical and sustainability practices. Through civic actions and our day-to-day life choices, we have the power to lobby for and support the businesses who actively choose eco friendly practices and climate-friendly investments. There is no time more vital than the present to take action and invest in our planet!

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.   
   --Robert Swan

To leave the world better than you found it, sometimes you have to pick up other people’s trash.  
   --Bill Nye

Sooner or later, we will have to recognize that the Earth has rights, too, to live without pollution. What mankind must know is that human beings cannot live without Mother Earth, but the planet can live without humans.   
   --Evo Morales

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s need, but not every man’s greed.
   --Mahatma Gandhi

You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.  
   --Jane Goodall
If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.  
   --Betty Reese

A vibrant, fair, and regenerative future is possible — not when thousands of people do climate justice activism perfectly, but when millions of people do the best they can. We are on Earth to take care of life. We are on Earth to take care of each other.  
   --Xiye Bastida      




 “The Renewal Promise Of Springtime”   04-16-23

Core Statement:   
“Ongoing Renewal, The Natural Order Of The Universe, Is Evidenced In Springtime” SV

Romans 1:20 (NRSVUE)
20 Ever since the creation of the world God’s eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been seen and understood through the things God has made. 

Job 12:7-10 (NRSVUE) 
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, the birds of the air, and they will tell you; 8 ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you, and the fish of the sea will declare to you. 9 Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? 10 In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of every human being.

James 5:7  (NRSV)
7 Be patient, therefore, beloved, until the coming of the Lord. The farmer waits for the precious crop from the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains.

Zechariah 10:1  (NIV)
1Ask the Lord for rain in the springtime; it is the Lord who sends the thunderstorms. He gives showers of rain to all people, and plants of the field to everyone.
Special Reading:
The natural world is our first way of knowing God… Not only is nature part of our biological DNA, it is in our spiritual DNA as well. Long before there were synagogues and mosques and churches, our first way of experiencing or knowing God was outdoors… And Jesus often used familiar nature imagery to get his point across to the people of his time…
In nature, the experience of Spirit is unmediated and unfettered, uncomplicated by dogma and doctrine. 
   --Beth Norcross

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better. 
   --Albert Einstein
Spring Is…
* The reminder that delicate shoots must push through dirt
* The realization of how much darkness we’ve survived
* The time of indecision, restless clouds and soft sunshine
* The knowledge that not everything blooms at the same time
* The astonishment of regrowth, of the forgotten reawakening
* The season of hope, of trying before you know you’ll succeed
   --Dani DiPirro @Positively Present

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
   --Rachel Carson

In the depth of winter I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer. 
   --Albert Camus

I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in. 
   --George Washington Carver
Hope is not pretending that troubles don't exist. It is the trust that they will not last forever, that hurts will be healed and difficulties overcome. It is faith that a source of strength and renewal lies within to lead us through the dark into the sunshine.
   -- Liz Chase

Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not 
last. The spring rains will come again. 
   --Sarah Ban Breathnach



“Resurrected Consciousness…From Darkness Into Light"  04-09-23

Core Statement: 
“Spiritual Resurrection Is Rising Beyond Challenges Into Higher Christ Consciousness” sv

Matthew 28:1-2,5-6 (ESV)   
1Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 5But the angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here, for he has risen…

Colossians 1:13 (NKJV)
13 He [God] has delivered us from the power of darkness & transferred us into the kingdom…

John 11:25 (ESV) 
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live… 

Joshua 1:9 (NJKV)  
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Unity Reading:
Eastertide…the resurrection of the mind from the darkness of its doubts and false beliefs into the light of understanding…(paraphrased). The word crucifixion means the crossing out in consciousness of certain errors that have become fixed states of mind… the giving up of the personality in order that the Christ Mind may be expressed in all its fullness. 
   --Charles Fillmore  Keep A True Lent  

Special Reading: 
Like many Christian holidays [Easter] is connected to older mythologies…. You can tell this by the fact that Easter is a movable feast: The date changes each year because it is the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. Easter is also the holiday of the pagan Germanic goddess Eostre, the goddess of the dawn. She is celebrated at springtime, when the light begins to return in the Northern Hemisphere to warm up the earth, bringing with it food, flowers, and the promise of a new season. The eggs and bunnies so often seen around Easter are actually symbols of the Goddess’ fertility. 
   --Julie Peters (MA, E-RYT, YACEP)  

Since pre-historic times, people have celebrated the equinoxes and the solstices as sacred times… People mapped their 
whole life according to the patterns of nature…Following the advent of Christianity, the Easter period became associated with the resurrection of Christ. Many of the pagan customs associated with the celebration of spring eventually became absorbed within Christianity as symbols of the resurrection of Jesus. 
   --Professor Carole Cusack

History shows that the cross was used by many civilizations as a spiritual & mystical symbol (with “pagan” origins)…In Assyria, Babylonia, Egypt, Greece, Asia, India, centuries before Christ. The “cross symbol” is varied, and is much older than Jesus or Christianity. The "Christian" use of the cross did not begin until the time of Constantine, three centuries after the death Christ.

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. 
   --Chuang Tzu

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.  
   --Maya Angelou

How does one become a butterfly?”…. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”   
   --Trina Paulus

Rebirth is the main theme behind not only Christianity but other religions that have celebrated the resurrection mythology. The symbolic nature of Easter is the process of dying to the old self and being reborn in a spiritual sense… Easter can be a powerful metaphor, one that helps us to re-examine our current state of being and then decide how we need to evolve.    
   --Sonyo Zofia

The symbolic language of the crucifixion is the death of the old paradigm; resurrection is a leap into a whole new way of thinking. 
   --Deepak Chopra



“Jesus’ Humble Journey…A Pathway Of Palms”   04-02-23

Core Statement:
“Humbleness On Our Spiritual Journey Opens Us To God’s Greater Wisdom” sv

Matt 21:6-9 (NIV)
6 The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. 7 They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. 8 A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. 9 The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”

Psalm 147:5-6 (NKJV)   
5 Great is our Lord, and mighty in power; His understanding is infinite. 6 The Lord lifts up the humble…       
Proverbs 11:2 (NIV) 2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with humility comes wisdom.     

Psalm 25:8-9 (ESV)  
8a Good and upright is the LORD… 9He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
James 4:10 (NASB)10 Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.
Unity Reading:
It is safe to say no one can know the doctrine of Jesus Christ without going direct to Him for information. The writings of the New Testament known as the four Gospels are the most reliable external guide. When these are studied with unbiased mind, it is perceived that Jesus delegated NO ecclesiastical power to anybody; that he did not formulate His doctrine or authorize any other human being to do so. Jesus appointed ONE TEACHER: “The Comforter, The Holy Spirit…shall teach you all things…   The Holy Spirit is the Whole Spirit of God…and can be known by man only through his spiritual nature  [not egoic nature].  
--Charles Fillmore  Talks On Truth 

Special Reading:
When you have compassion and surrender to your own heart, you are surrendering to the hidden power in your heart, God. You are surrendering to love, because God is Love, the cohesive force of the universe that connects us all. Surrender is not just a religious concept; it's a power tool for listening to the voice of your spirit and following its directions. When you surrender your head to your heart (ego to Spirit), you allow your heart to give you a wider, higher intelligence perspective
--Sara Paddison, Hidden Power of the Heart             

Humility/Humble:  not arrogant or falsely prideful  

Being humble for most people brings to mind a form of weakness. Maybe we’ve got it all wrong and the one who practices humility is actually the strong one? Most of the time when we don’t humble ourselves, we are really saying we don’t trust God. 
        --Mike Mobley

The one characteristic of authentic power that most people overlook is humbleness… His or her perception goes beyond the shell of appearance and into essence. 
       --Gary Zukav 

A humble man is not afraid of failure. In fact, he is not afraid of anything, even himself, since perfect humility implies   perfect confidence in the power of God. Pride makes us artificial and humility makes us real. 
       --Thomas Merton

Cease trying to work everything out with your minds. It will get you nowhere. Live by intuition and inspiration…   
       --Eileen Caddy    
Be humble, be grateful, give back, share, pay it forward, chase your dreams, go for it, and take a moment to  
    remember where it is ALL from.  
       --Justin Bieber

Humility is never about being small, unseen and unnoticed. Humility is really about expressing all the wonder you are in a way that all people see is the awesomeness and greatness of GOD.     
       -- TemitOpe Ibrahim           




“Honoring Women’s Contributions Throughout History”   03-26-23

Core Statement:
“Celebrating Women’s Historical Contributions Focuses Gratitude & Credit Where It’s Due” sv 


Galatians 3:28 (NKJV) 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Micah 6:4 (NIV)4 I brought you up out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery. I sent Moses to 
lead you, also Aaron and Miriam.

Military Leader/Judge: Bible verses on women’s leadership are inspired by the leadership style of Deborah, who became a singular biblical figure: a female military leader. It is hard to imagine the Bible without women leaders. The Bible has many stories of…courageous females... One such example is Deborah, a judge in ancient Israel and the only female Judge mentioned in the Bible. Judges 4:4-5 (NIV) 4 Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading Israel at that time. 5 She held court under the Palm of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went up to her to have their disputes decided.

Businesswoman: Upon arriving in Philippi, Paul first went to the Jews. He found no synagogue, but he did find women praying at the river. Lydia, a merchant, responded to the message of Christ and offered hospitality to Paul and Silas. The believers later gathered at the home of this businesswoman and Early Church leader. Acts 16:40 (NRSV) 40 After leaving the prison they went to Lydia’s home, & when they had seen & encouraged the brothers and sisters there, they departed.

Deacon: Little is known about Phoebe except that she held the title of “deacon”. But many scholars believe Phoebe’s role was to take Paul’s letter to the church in Rome where she would have read it to the believers and even answered questions they may have had. Romans 16:1 (NRSVUE) 1I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deacon of the church at Cenchreae.

Special Reading: 

Women are still at a higher risk for poverty:
* Unequal 20 cent wage gap between men and women
* Bear the burden of low-wage jobs and unpaid caregiving work
* 1/3 of single mothers live in poverty
Women are still victimized by sexual violence:
* 33% of women are likely to be abused
* 4.7 million American women experience physical violence by an intimate partner
* Women in the U.S. military are more likely to be raped by fellow soldiers than killed in combat
Women are still underrepresented in leadership:
* 19% of all members of Congress are women
* Of 50 state governors, 4 are women (8%)
* Of the Fortune 500 companies, 25 are led by women CEOs (5%)  


Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all kinds of oppression. Nelson Mandela 

Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength. G.D. Anderson

I raise my voice not so I can shout, but so that those without a voice can be heard. We cannot succeed when half of us are held back. Malala Yousafzai 

I can promise you that women working together – linked, informed and educated – can bring peace and prosperity to this 
forsaken planet.  Isabelle Allende

A world full of empowered women isn’t one where men are marginalized. It’s a world where everyone thrives. Purnima Mane PhD

A woman is human. She is not better, wiser, stronger, more intelligent, more creative, or more responsible than a man. Likewise, she is never less... Vera Nazarian



“Irish Music Speaks To The Heart”   03-19-23

Weekly Thought: 
”Music Experienced In Our Heart & Soul Connects Us Directly To God” sv 


Psalm 9:2 (CEV) 2God Most High, I will rejoice; I will celebrate and sing because of you. 

Psalm 150:3-4 (NRSV) 3 Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 

Ephesians 5:18b-19  (NIV) 18b… be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs 
from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart...

Special Reading:

Every Irish person’s heart sings when they hear the soaring melodies of traditional Irish music. The singsong vocal runs, pipes, and fiddle represent a rich history dedicated to the resilience, and beauty of our ancestors…
Over 2,000 years ago, during the Iron Age Era, Celtic people settled in Ireland and started creating their own music in about 500 BC…  It was there that traditional Irish music was born, and it was handed down through the generations. Musicians would learn by ear, and they never formally wrote down the music or lyrics… Irish folk music evolved over the centuries and became an important thread running through Irish history…  When we look at music from any culture, one of the main things we can examine is themes within the songs. Just like most cultures, a lot of traditional Irish songs tend to have similar topics, which act as a sign pointing toward what Irish life has been like for centuries. A few examples of these topics are the sea, the supernatural, prison, martyrs, historical figures, rebellion, immigration, humor, love, and drinking… These songs communicate what it’s like to live in Ireland, and share historical events and themes.

Music is a universal language. It has the unique ability to communicate with you and connect you to the Universe in ways you can’t find elsewhere… If you’re open to its healing powers, music often resonates on a level much deeper than cognitive comprehension; it reaches your soul… Whether you listen to classical, grunge, pop, singer/songwriter, alternative, rock, bluegrass, country, or folk, the music you’re listening to affects your mind, body, and spirit in substantial ways…  Music has a transcendent property that can connect you to something greater than yourself and has been proven to positively affect spirituality and quality of life.

Music is a universal language capable of awakening emotions and unique sensations… The influence of music on our soul is so far ranging… Ever since different cultures started to form, there has always been a place for rhythmic sounds that can communicate our feelings. In every age and civilization this particular form of expression has existed, and in so many varied styles…

Music is so much more than enjoyment for our ears. It affects our minds and souls to create a multi-sensory experience that goes far beyond listening. The power that different sounds can have on us is tremendous…  Andre Feriante   

Although there are many aspects to Irish heritage, traditions and culture, music is a very important one. In previous centuries, music and storytelling were the only forms of entertainment on an island that had no electricity and where only a small minority of the population were literate. On cold, dark evenings, villages would crowd together into their local pub to share a warm fire, hear stories and listen to music played by the local musicians... It started a tradition that has been kept alive since then, as music is still a very important part of life in Ireland.

Irish music tells the story of the land and its people. Throughout history, during times of celebration and rebellion, music 
sent a powerful message and brought people together. Neville Gardener


"Connecting, Serving & Growing Together"  02-26-23

Core Statement: 
“Connecting Together In Spiritual Community Enriches Everyone’s Lives” sv


Psalm 46:10  (NKJV) 10 Be still, and know that I am God…

Romans 1:11-12 (NRSV) 11 For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours & mine.

Galatians 6:10 (NRSV) 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all…

Hebrews 10:24 (ESV) 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works…

Ephesians 2:10 (ESV) 10For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NRSV) 11 Therefore encourage one another & build up each other, as indeed you are doing.

1 Corinthians 14:26 (NRSV) 26 What should be done then, my friends? When you come together, each one has a 
hymn, a lesson, a revelation, a tongue, or an interpretation. Let all things be done for building up.

Special Reading:

One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn't as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing. Jean Vanier, Community & Growth


The spiritual path is not a solo endeavor… We are in it together and the company of spiritual friends helps us realize our interconnectedness. Tara Brach   

When we seek for connection, we restore the world to wholeness. Our seemingly separate lives become meaningful as we discover how truly necessary we are to each other. Margaret J. Wheatley

Everybody can be great... because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve… You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love. Martin Luther King Jr.

The value of all service lies in the spirit in which you serve and not in the importance or magnitude of the service. Even the lowliest task or deed is made holy, joyous, and prosperous when it is filled with love. Charles Fillmore

We are called to be strong companions and clear mirrors to one another, to seek those who reflect with compassion and a keen eye how we are doing, whether we seem centered or off course … we need the nourishing company of others to create the circle needed for growth, freedom and healing. Wayne Muller

We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth. Mitsugi Saotome

Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not [only] for ourselves but for one another. Henri Nouwen


"Celebrating Black History Month…To Honor, Connect, & Appreciate"  02-19-23

Core Statement: 

 “Awareness, Acknowledgment, & Communication Help Break Down Walls Of Separation, Building Greater Connection” sv


Galatians 3:28 (ESV) 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one…

Romans 2:11 (NRSVUE) 11 For God shows no partiality.

Hebrews 10:24 (ESV) 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works… 

Galatians 6:10 (NRSV) 10 So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all…

Special Reading:

The Black History month honors African American people’s rich range of experiences, struggles and achievements throughout history and into the modern day… It’s a tribute to African American men and women who have made significant contributions to America and the rest of the world in the fields of science, politics, law, sports, the arts, entertainment, and many other fields.  While Black History Month is synonymous with prominent figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., there are countless other African Americans who've made a profound impact in history: self-made millionaire Madam C.J. Walker, astronaut Mae C. Jemison, open-heart surgeon Daniel Hale Williams, inventor Garret Morgan, media mogul Oprah Winfrey and "Father of Black History" Carter G. Woodson, who lobbied extensively to establish Black History Month as a nationwide celebration, among many others. 


The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them. Ida B. Wells 

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time… We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

We should emphasize not Negro History, but the Negro in history. What we need is not a history of selected races or nations, but the history of the world void of national bias, race hate, and religious prejudice. Carter G. Woodson

Won’t it be wonderful when black history and Native American history and Jewish history and all of U.S. history is taught from one book. Just U.S. history. Maya Angelou

Just don’t give up what you’re trying to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong. Ella Fitzgerald

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. Desmond Tutu


 “Let Your Love Light Shine”  02-12-23

Core Statement: 
“Shining Our Love Light Uplifts & Embraces All, Magnifying Our Good” sv 


1 Corinthians 13:13  (NRSV)  13 And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 16:13-14 (NKJV)  13 Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. 14 Let all that you do be done with love.

2 Timothy 1:6-7   (NKJV)  6 Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you… 7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love…   

2 John 1:6b (NIV)   6b …As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

[Love] is something that we nurture and grow, a connection that can only be cultivated between two people when it exists within each one of them – we can only love others as much as we love ourselves… We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection. Brene Brown


Valentine's Day, also called Saint Valentine's Day or the Feast of Saint Valentine, is celebrated annually on February 14. In honor of one or two early Christian martyrs named Saint Valentine and, through later folk traditions, has become a significant cultural, religious, and commercial celebration of romance and love in many regions of the world.

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection. Buddha

When we make the choice to fill our heart space with unconditional love, our worlds blossom into a beauty far greater than we have known. Rio Godfrey   

Love is our essential nutrient. Without it, life has little meaning. It’s the best thing we have to give and the most valuable thing we receive…  You will learn a lot about yourself if you stretch in the direction of goodness, of bigness, of kindness, of forgiveness, of emotional bravery. Be a warrior for love. Cheryl Strayed

Let the good in me connect with the good in others, until all the world is transformed through the compelling power of love.    Nachman of Breslov

Love one another and help others to rise to the higher levels, simply by pouring out love. Love is infectious and the greatest healing energy.  Sai Baba

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt. Charles M. Schulz


"New Horizons…Our Journey Into 2023  Part 2:Living Into Our Dreams”  02-05-23

Opening Statement: Black History Month

In 1915, in response to the lack of information on the accomplishments of Black people available to the public, historian Carter G. Woodson co-founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. In 1926, the group declared the second week of February as “Negro History Week” to recognize the contributions of African Americans to U.S. history. The week-long event officially became Black History Month in 1976 when U.S. president Gerald Ford extended the recognition to “honor the too-often neglected accomplishments of Black Americans in every area of endeavor throughout our history.
Black History Month was created to focus attention on the contributions of African Americans to the United States. It honors all Black people from all periods of U.S. history, from the enslaved people first brought over from Africa in the early 17th century to African Americans living in the United States today.

I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word. Martin Luther King Jr.

Core Statement:
“Intentionally Focusing On Our Heartfelt Desires Ultimately Manifests Our Dreams” sv


Philippians 4:8 (NASB) 8 …whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.

Hebrews 11:1 (NASB) 11 Now faith is the assurance of things expected, the evidence of things not seen.

Matthew 7:7 (NIV) 7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Proverbs 16:3  (NIV)  3 Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.

Mark 4:23-24 (NKJV)  (Jesus speaking to Disciples) 23 If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” 24 Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given. 

James 1:25  (NKJV) 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.

Special Reading:
The Law of Attraction is the most powerful law in the universe. Just like gravity, it is always in effect, always in motion. It is working in your life at this very moment. You are always in a state of creation. You are creating your reality in every moment of every day. You are creating your future with every single thought: either consciously or subconsciously… Expect miracles. The Law of Attraction allows for infinite possibilities, infinite abundance, and infinite joy. It knows no order of difficulty, and it can change your life in every way…


The universe is always sending you inspiration, you just have to listen and allow. Linda Armstrong
Faith talks in the language of God. Doubt talks in the language of man.  E.W. Kenyon
Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends 
everything. Napolean Hill

Let yourself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what you really love. It will not lead you astray. Rumi        
Within the seed of your desire is everything necessary for it to blossom to fulfillment. And Law of Attraction is the engine that does the work. Your work is just to give it a fertile growing place in order to expand… Your prayer causes you to focus, and the Law of Attraction causes everything in the Universe that's in vibrational harmony with your focus to come to you. Abraham (Esther Hicks)

Once you understand the Law of Attraction, and how it works, you can begin to consciously and intentionally create a better life: You can choose to respond differently to the situations that arise during your day…You can choose to think differently… You can choose to focus and think about the things you want more of in your life…You can choose to experience more of the things that make you feel good…You can choose to deliberately participate in the creation of your future by managing your thoughts and feelings. Using the Law of Attraction is a three-step process: ask, believe and receive.   --


"New Horizons…Our Journey Into 2023
Part 1: Envisioning Starts Us Forward”       01-29-23

Core Statement:

“Attuned To God’s Inspiration We Envision Dreams Forward, Beginning The Creative Process” sv


Isaiah 43:18-19 New King James Version (NKJV) 18 “Do not remember the former things, Nor consider the things of old. 19 Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness And rivers in the desert. 

Job 33:14-16 (NKJV) 14"Indeed God speaks once, Or twice, yet no one notices it. 15"In a dream, a vision of the night, When sound sleep falls on men, While they slumber in their beds, 16Then He opens the ears of men, And seals their instruction…

1 Kings 4:29  (NIV) 29 God gave Solomon wisdom and very great insight, and a breadth of understanding as measureless as the sand on the seashore.

Matthew 6:33 (ESV) 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Psalm 119:105  (NRSV)  105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

Unity Quote:

We find there is in man a knowing capacity transcending intellectual knowledge … When we discover in ourselves a flow of thought that seems to have been evolved independently of the reasoning process [intellectual brain], we are often puzzled about its origin. In its beginnings this seemingly strange source of knowledge is often turned aside as a daydream…  One should give attention to this usually faint whispering of Spirit in man. It is not of the intellect and does not originate in the skull [brain]. It is the development in man of a greater capacity to know himself and understand creation.  Charles Fillmore Twelve Powers Of Man


If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. Yogi Berra

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are. JP Morgan

God illumines the mind and shines within it. One cannot know God by means of the mind. One can but turn the mind inwards and merge it in God. Ramana Maharshi

Beware of letting current mind-sets destroy new possibilities. Remember, most new ideas seem outrageous at first. Make sure to give them breathing room. Roger Teel      

We all possess more power and greater possibilities than we realize, and visualizing is one of the greatest of these powers. Genevieve Berhrend

Visualization is daydreaming, with a purpose. Bo Bennett PhD

You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So get on your way!  Dr. Seuss


"Heart & Soul…Letter To God"  01-22-23  Letter To God

Core Statement: 
“Divine Ideas & Inspiration Guide Us Toward Infinite Possibilities & Prosperous Manifestation” sv 


2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.    

Corinthians 5:17 (ESV) 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.     

Jeremiah 29:11-12 (NIV) 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Proverbs 2:2, 5, 10 (NRSV)2 …making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;… 5then you will understand the fear (awe) of the Lord and find the knowledge of God… 10 for wisdom will come into your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul…

2 Corinthians 4:18 (NIV) 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is  
temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Psalm 51:6-8 (NRSV)  6 You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart.

Unity Quote:
…Observation shows that the purer the mind (having released old belief patterns) the greater it’s capacity to receive and interpret the ideas imparted to it by Spirit…Those who cultivate communion with the Father within become conscious of a guiding light…   Atom Smashing Power Of Mind Charles Fillmore


Letting go doesn't have to mean losing; it can be about coming into a new, open, clean space from which you can create.   Rebekah Elizabeth Gamble

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand. Albert Einstein        

To have God speak to the heart is a majestic experience, an experience that people may miss if they monopolize the conversation and never pause to hear God's responses. Charles Stanley 

Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul, the blueprints of your ultimate achievements.  Charles Haanel  

Today is your day to dance lightly with life. Sing wild songs of adventure. Invite rainbows & butterflies out to play. Soar your spirit and unfurl your joy. Jonathan Lockwood Huie


“Discerning Your White Stone Name…A New Vision Forward”   01-15-23

Core Statement:
“God-Self Whispers Our ‘New Name’… Calling Us Into Greater Expression” SV


Philippians 3:13b-14a  (NASB) 13b …but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal...

Job 17:9 (TLB)  9 The righteous shall move onward and forward; those with pure hearts shall become stronger and stronger.

Psalm 95:2 (ESV) Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Psalm 9:1 (NASB) 1I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart…

Revelations 2:17 (NKJV)  17He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says... To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Psalm 143:8b (NASB) Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Unity Quotes: 
A change of mind effects a corresponding change in the body. If the thoughts are lifted up, the whole organism is raised to higher rates of vibration…But first there must be a renunciation or letting go of old thoughts before the new can find place in the consciousness. Twelve Powers of Man Charles Fillmore

We find there is in man a knowing capacity transcending intellectual knowledge…  One should give attention to this…whispering of Spirit in man. It is not of the intellect and does not originate in the skull. It is the development, in man, of a greater capacity to know himself and the purpose of creation. Twelve Powers of Man Charles Fillmore


We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.       Maya Angelou

We can't be afraid of change. You may feel very secure in the pond that you are in, but if you never venture out of it, you will never know that there is such a thing as an ocean, a sea. Holding onto something that is good for you now, may be the very reason why you don't have something better. C. JoyBell C.

When we focus on our gratitude, the tide of disappointment goes out and the tide of love rushes in. Kirstin Armstrong   
In the attitude of silence the soul finds the path in a clearer light, and what is elusive and deceptive resolves itself into crystal clearness. Mahatma Gandhi

Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so shall you become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be…     
James Allen

Set your intention, and trust the universe to take care of the details. Mike Fotheringham

Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles… Martin Luther King Jr.

You have to keep moving forward…  Martin Luther King Jr.

White Stone Ceremony:
The White Stone Ceremony is an ancient ritual of new beginnings. In Jesus' day, when a person was released from prison, they were given a white stone to represent their new start. Through meditation listen to receive a word or phrase symbolizing a new start - a vision/intention Spiritually recognized to guide you forward into the new year.