Sunday, December 10, 2017

A Life of Character - Rev. Heather Dawn Clark

I trust my inner goodness and I notice the goodness in others. All is well in my world; I live a life of integrity and love.

And So It Is!

Friday, December 8, 2017


My first Sunday back after my sabbatical was December 3,2017. My last day here was August 31st, summer was ablaze! Now the night's are cold and very long. Winter is definitely approaching.

I was so grateful to be back home. I was welcomed with loving arms and I am very grateful. The Sunday flowers were given in my honor. I took them home last night after Wednesday's Wisdom.

There was also a tasty and beautiful chocolate cake which proclaimed "Welcome Home!"
There were three candles to signify the three months I had been away. After two attempts I finally blew out the three candles! (I guess I was internalizing the enormity of what had transpired in those three months.)

It is really great to feel valued.

But the greatest feeling in my heart is gratitude.
Rev. Pattie and me
I am so grateful for  Rev. Pattie Mercado and Rev. Judee Chapman, our two Assistant Ministers, and the consciousness they brought to our Center especially in my absence.  Not only did they each speak once  a month, but also they did all the other work, plus they both continued to do an excellent job in their own ministries. Plus they have their homes and families to look after. Rev. Pattie's full-time job is Youth and Family Ministry, which grew in my absence. Rev. Judee is the CFO of Mark Optics. Both already have very busy lives! It is an amazing gift of love that they both gave. Some of their responsibilities included: They attended the Board of Trustees Meetings, they ensured that all the administrative work was taken care of, they met with the practitioners for their license reviews, and they did so much more. Rev. Pattie left me a detailed report of many of the activities that they supervised. It is in two-inch-thick file folder.  They hosted the guest speakers. They planned, organized and participated in our annual pledge appreciation dinner. They communicated to the staff and other ministers. They are angels and I am greatly blessed. They kept the Center working so well that many people were surprised that I had already been away three months.
Rev. Judee and Santa
June Dickson, me, Rev. Judee and part of Diane Hennessy 

I am grateful for Rev. Karyn Allen and the excellence she provides as the Creative Arts Ministry. She selects the congregational music, plus AllenDale is the usually the guest musician on the first Sunday of the month. Her contribution is immeasurable. For the guest musicians that Rev. Karyn has arranged and for special concerts, I am grateful. 

I am also very grateful for our Administrator, Diane Hennessy. She has been doing two jobs for several months -- upstairs receptionist and business manager, Mondays through Wednesdays, then Thursdays she has been finishing her church-related projects. She has been such a gift to us all, with a consciousness of love and service. Diane's newest project is to create a Directory of Membership that is up-to-date. We have been eagerly awaiting this idea!

I am grateful Claudia Nelson, our Suites business manager and receptionist for Thursdays and Fridays. She does everything with grace.

I am grateful to Juli Isola for her brilliant work in marketing our Center. Juli's addition of  the Good News e-newsletter has been a big hit and  a grate help in communicating what was going on in our Center. She has been working closely with Rev. Pattie to plan a strategy for marketing our Center for the past three months but also has developed a plan for 2018.

Then there are all our practitioners, and the rest of the staff ministers, and the many ways in which they contribute.

I am so grateful for all the people who have continued to attend our Center in my absence; each one has blessed us all in a myriad of ways.

Gratitude is a multiplier of good. "My cup is over-flowing so I am drinking from my saucer."

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Wandering Off Your Path

I celebrate myself. I celebrate the path I am on. It is all good because it is all God. #AndSoItIs

Friday, December 1, 2017

The Mean Banyan Knocked Me on My Butt

The Banyan Tree in Lahaina

While I was on sabbatical, I had an encounter with this Banyan tree.  The tree covers more than half an acre, takes up most of a city block, started as an eight foot sapling in 1873 to commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of  the first Protestant mission in Maui. 

It has flourished. The roots grow from the branches and descend down into the earth, establishing new trunks. But it is the same tree. It is over 60 feet tall with six main trunks and a canopy that provides shade in the mid-day heat and the home for hundreds of birds.

This reminds me of life. It may look like there are many different beings on our planet, but we all come from the same Source.

My adventure consisted of attempting to take  a shortcut under one of the large branches. The wood of the tree is very hard. I took off my sunglasses but left the hat on. I ducked down, thinking I had given myself plenty of room to miss the branch. I had not. I hit myself smack in the middle of my forehead. In fact, I hit so hard that I knocked myself right on my butt.

If it hadn't been real life, and if I hadn't been intimately involved, it would have been hilarious. It did remind me of an Abbott and Costello routine.

My travelling companion had no idea where I was. He had not seen any of it. In fact he had just texted me to see if I was climbing the banyan tree. I texted back yes I was. In fact one is not allowed to climb or sit on the tree at all.

A lovely man started running toward me, asking if I was alright. Only my pride had been damaged. (And a little bruise on my backside, but my head was not injured in the slightest.) I felt so foolish.  Now when someone says that I am being hard-headed, I can retort that they have no idea!

The man who tried to come to my rescue explained that it must be easy to misjudge this tree, since earlier in the afternoon he had seen a full grown man do the same thing and actually knocked himself unconscious.

I can take many life lessons from this incident. Some of them are:
  1. When you are knocked down, pick yourself up, dust yourself off and start all over again.
  2. Nothing happens to you, everything  happens by means of you.
  3. New ideas are taking root right now.
  4. What starts out small, can become enormous.
  5. There is no need to keep your hat on when attempting a dangerous activity.
  6. Even when you think you are alone, someone is there to lend a helping hand.
I am so grateful for everything I experienced and am ready to be back home where I belong.

I hope to see you soon at the Center.