Thursday, August 31, 2017

What I Know for Sure

One of my favorite parts of the Oprah magazine is her "What I Know for Sure" column, so I'm sharing my wisdom with you in my own version of "What I Know for Sure."

What I know for sure is...volunteering and serving is the best, easiest and most fulfilling way to find belonging in any community. It gives us purpose to connect, fosters friendships, and offers a whole new reason for showing up. Whenever I start in a new group or community, I always look for ways that I can serve because I know it's the fast track to making friends.

I found our Center about 14 years ago when my girls were small and getting up by 6:30 a.m. every morning.  Since we weren't doing much on Sunday mornings AND we were up early, I decided to seek out a spiritual center with a vibrant youth church. God guided me to our Center and the most spiritually grounded, fun and loving youth director; our very own Ms. Pattie (now Rev. Pattie). I didn't know a soul when I walked in the door! It was just me and my girls. I asked Pattie if I could serve in youth church. Of course she said YES!

I was new to the Science of Mind teaching and really didn't know how I could help, but I was a warm body with a willingness to serve. At the same time, I signed up for Dr. Heather's Science of Mind classes.

I learned the philosophy from Dr. Heather in class and the application in youth church with Rev. Pattie, made complete by a hands-on craft!  Additionally, I made friends, so many friends, creating connections with all members of our congregation. My bond with Rev. Pattie is deep and lasting. She knows me so well and supports me in countless ways. Overall, my time in service made our Center my spiritual home.

I continue to serve, but in a different way. Although, you might see me back in the youth church in the not too distant future. I hear Spirit calling my name.

There are so many ways to be in service at our Center and I know there is the perfect way for you.

What I know for sure is that you will come away from a service experience more enriched with flourishing with friendships and a deep sense of belonging.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

'Being Kind in a Cruel World' Sunday Service

Kindness is the fruit of the Spirit. As I look for. embody and spread kidness, I am expressing the Divinity within me and changing the world around me. And So It Is

Friday, August 25, 2017

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Senior Minister's Sabbatical

A few weeks ago I wrote about the benefits of a sabbatical and thought I would add to those ideas some that I gleaned from my colleagues, particularly Rev. Dr. Petra Weldes and Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen.

What is a sabbatical? Sabbatical leave for the Senior Minister of the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley is a planned time of rest and renewal to support future growth. Sabbatical leave follows precedents in the academic community and among a growing number of private sector groups. This "extended time" is qualitatively different from "vacation" or "days off." It is an opportunity for the individual to strategically disengage from regular normal tasks so that ministry may be viewed from a new perspective because of a planned time of rejuvenation. Sabbatical leave is an extension of the Biblical concept of a Sabbath day for renewal and also the direction that fields should be allowed to lie fallow every seventh year to regain strength and fertility. A sabbatical is paid time off during which no teaching, preaching, seminars or workshops take place inside or outside the Center by the minister.

When does the sabbatical take place and how long will it last? My sabbatical will begin September 1, 2017 and end November 30, 2017. I will be back in the pulpit in December 2017 and intend to take my usual vacation next year.

Why is there a sabbatical for the minister? The practice of a sabbatical every six years is common in many congregations. A sabbatical is an investment in the minister's vitality and longevity and in the congregations' autonomy and leadership. I have been in service here for 18 years and have never taken a sabbatical (Although several years ago I took 6 weeks off and called it a sabbatical. My colleagues lovingly informed me that that was a vacation.)

What will I do during her sabbatical? I  will maintain her position as Senior Minister but will undertake a program of spiritual reflection, study and some travel.

What will happen on Sundays during the sabbatical? Regular Sunday services and activities will continue as always. Assistant Ministers, Rev. Pattie Mercado and Rev. Judee Chapman, and guest speakers will lead services during this time. We have some amazing guest speakers lined up including my mentor, Rev. Richard Rogers, Gino Walker, Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn, Rev. Dr. Harry Morgan Moses, and Rev. Dr. Maureen Hoyt. Some of them will also offer workshops after the Sunday service. Also stay tuned for some exciting classes and other activities.

Does my  taking a sabbatical mean I am thinking about leaving the Center for Spiritual Living? Not at all! In fact, I simply realized that I was overdue for some rest and renewal, a sabbatical is the best way to prevent burnout.

Can we contact you while you are  on sabbatical? In the case of extreme emergency I may be contacted through the Board President, Fred Mercado, or either of our Assistant Ministers, Rev. Pattie Mercado and Rev. Judee Chapman. (Of course, if you run into me at Ralphs, be sure to say hi!)

How does the congregation benefit from the sabbatical? You have the opportunity to realize you are an empowered community whose strengths include but are not limited to the Senior Minister. Guest speakers will offer different perspectives providing an exciting time of learning, experimentation and rejuvenation.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Friday, August 18, 2017

What Would You Love?

The Prosperity Plus II course which is nearing completion, begins by asking the students: What would you love? Not what would you like, or what would be okay if it occurred, but what would you LOVE in each of the areas of their lives. What would you love in terms of your body and health? What would you love in terms of your career? What would you love in terms of your relationships? What would you love regarding time and money freedom?

It is such a great question! Recently after Sunday service, practitioner Aidan Greaney led us in a visualization process and started with the question,
 'What would you love to see representing growth of our Center?' 
He took us through a process of making welcome those ideas and being grateful for  their manifestation. The second part of the process was asking us what would we love in our personal lives.

Although I have wants regarding relationships, health, and time and money freedom, what came immediately as my answer was to be such a powerful and clear channel for Divine Mind, that people who wanted healing would be healed just by being in my presence. It was definite. It was clear. It is what I truly want. And it is one of the main reasons for my sabbatical-- to get in touch with my calling.The irony is for  my entire ministry, this has been what I most greatly desired. And I often feel disconnected from it.

But how can I know that I have made a difference in people's lives?

I noticed years ago, almost from the time of working for my very first client, that people have  a tendency to attribute their healing to conditions in their lives and not to prayer. For instance, my first client had not been a very good student her entire life. She wanted to pass an accounting exam that she had failed twice before. We worked together. I prayed for her; she passed; she received an "A." And she explained that she had had a great sleep the night before the exam, the person grading the exams was known to be easy and she took her "lucky" bracelet with her. Now the truth was that consciousness was unfolding. I was confidant that the Divine Mind was guiding her throughout the exam. I told her she could borrow my believing and she did.

But what difference does it make who gets the credit? The bottom line is that she passed an exam with flying colors that she had not passed before. It doesn't matter if it is luck or consciousness unfolding. It doesn't matter whether I prayed for her or someone else had.

When I get my bloated nothingness out of the way of the Divine Circuits, I realize that the TRUE HEALER isn't me anyway. It is the power of perfect Spirit. 
"It truly is the "father within who doeth the work."
It is always the inner teacher/ father-mother God, Infinite Mind that does the healing. It is also that same mind that brings us clarity about what we would really love.

What would you love? Listen to that voice for God and make welcome those ideas. When you have clarity about what you would love, the next step is to sit in the silence and visualize yourself being, doing and having those ideas.

As the wonderful mystic Emma Curtis Hopkins used to say:
"There is good for me and I ought to have it."
Having your good, living your dream, blesses everyone  -- even the people who don't know you. People are blessed because the outer world is a little bit brighter, lighter and more beautiful because you are a spot where the Absolute is becoming the relative. So you become a holy place. the place where love blooms.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

"Accepting What Is" Sunday Service

I accept my and others humanity with compassion. I accept our Spiritual Truth with conviction and faith.' And So It Is!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Why Do People take a Sabbatical?

Genesis 2:  
"1. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. 
2.  And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had made.
3. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made." 
The people were instructed to remember the sabbath and keep it holy.  It was to be a day of delight and thanksgiving. So just as joy is more than the absence of sorrow, keeping the sabbath is more than the cessation of work. It is a time to develop a deeper, more meaningful relationship with God. It is a time to fully appreciate the blessings that surround and indwell us all.

Ministers, teachers and other professional people are encouraged to take sabbaticals periodically to rest and renew.

What better use of a minister's time and energy than to rest from the daily activities and to renew her connection with Source.

I am very grateful to be given a three month sabbatical beginning September 1, 2017.

Please know that I love my work and feel blessed everyday to be doing the work I am doing. I am blessed by the entire community -- the people who attend services here regularly, the ones who have been part of  our community in service, the hundreds of students who have studied with me. I am grateful to be part of a Center that values my contributions and service.

When I speak on a Sunday, I want to speak about the experience of Transcendence from a felt sense. I want to inspire other seekers.  When I truly experience the divine within nature and within myself, I experience transcendence. That is my hope for my sabbatical. I will be a better minister for unplugging and turning to the Source within.

Jason Silva spoke about the mystical experience recently. He inspires me.


Sunday, August 6, 2017

Compassion In Action, Sunday Service

Today I celebrate my Oneness with all of life. I bring compassion into action this day and Love becomes my way. And So It Is!

Friday, August 4, 2017

I Agree With God

In the August 1951 issue of the Science of Mind magazine, author Linda B Huber wrote an article titled, "With What Do You Agree?" The following is an excerpt from that article:
"Life for all of us should be so sacred, so sweet, so holy, so marvelous because we bear His Image, because we have been fashioned after his own likeness; because his Spirit is within us; because He hath set his Love upon us; because this world is so filled with His glory and wonders of His handiwork; because we are one Spirit, members of one divine family.
I agree with God only! Words of Life and Light. Say them, ye that are storm-tossed, sad, weary and alone.
I agree with God only! Words of Peace and Power. Say them ye that are discouraged, disheartened, doubtful and worried.
I agree with God only! Words of Truth and Beauty.  Say them ye whose lives are dark, sad, unhappy and unlovely.
I agree with God only! Words of Wholeness and health. Say them, ye whose minds and bodies are out of tune with the Infinite.
I agree with God only! I see only Good in every condition, therefore I know all things continually work together for  my Good. I see only God in my mind, my body and in all of my affairs. I agree with Peace. I agree with health. I agree with abundance. I agree with God, the Good, Omnipotent! Within me! Now!
I believe these words of wisdom are timeless and just as inspirational  today as they were 66 years ago. Let's practice together.