Sunday

One Spiritual Family

 "One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all." Ephesians 4:6

Love and faith respects all people. 

Our spiritual family includes every ethnicity, religion, language, and culture. 

I pray for the love and faith to respect and be kind to all people. 

I communicate acceptance and empathy to all who are different than me. 

I am grateful that we are all one in the same spiritual family.



Faith and Diversity

All life and human growth, at some point, asks us to adapt to what is unfamiliar to us. Faith in ourselves and our ability to meet new people and situations is essential for our health, well-being, and growth. Most of us feel safe and secure in our homes. Many of us are comfortable in our own community. When we are in unfamiliar surroundings, we get frightened and feel defensive.

Our faith invites us to adapt and learn when the environment, culture, language, skin color, or food is different.

Our faith is essential in building bridges and closing cultural gaps. 

Our faith gives us an opportunity to grow.

Faith is the key to opening our minds and hearts so that we can love each other.




The higher the walls...

The higher the walls we build, the more we are imprisoned by fear. 

If we invest our energy in feeling safe and secure from those we perceive as different, we will paradoxically feel less secure. 

Physical walls and psychological walls, which are created to keep the "others" out, also keep us imprisoned in our limited perspective. 

The more we invest in security and defensiveness, the greater the cost to our spiritual growth and freedom.



Begin now!

"And so we lift our gazes, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us." 

– Amanda Gorman, Inaugural poem, 2021

The work of coming together and healing our separation begins in the heart and soul of each one of us. If healing is to happen, and I believe it will, it will be made real by each one of us. No one will do it for us. The answer to healing our national divide can be found in the infinite potential and possibility of our Divine heritage.

We have joined together after hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, tsunamis, war, and terror attacks. Let us join together for the children who go to bed hungry. For the sisters and brothers who fear for their lives. For the women who have been abused and degraded. For all those who have experienced hatred, racism, sexism, and trauma.

Each one of us is called to heal our world.

Begin now!



Fear...

"Fundamentalism of all kinds – political, psychological, theological – offer the sweet promise of certainty, of resolution of ambiguity, and of strict instructions on how to live one's life.

...the secret fuel of fundamentalisms of any kind is fear- fear of others, fear of challenging, dialectic values, fear of change." - James Hollis, PhD

All fear is natural. We have all experienced fear. When fear wins and overtakes our lives, it leads to intolerance, hatred, and violence.

When we cannot face ourselves, when we cannot deal with the complex issues in our diverse world, when I fear you, I often try to repress or attack you.

Throughout our lives we have all been afraid. We have all been the attacker and be attacked.

"Fear is the enemy. Life is not your enemy; the other is not your enemy; fear is the enemy...Ask yourself of every dilemma, every choice, every relationship, every commitment… 'Does this choice diminish me, or enlarge me?" – James Hollis, PhD



"My life is my message." - Gandhi

The lives we are living are a clear demonstration of what we believe.  Our lives communicate to the world all that we think, feel, and believe.

Take time to reflect on the things you say and do, on the company you keep, and the messages you send. How are our lives contributing to the greater good?

Let us give ourselves in love and service to our fellow humans. Be generous with your spirit and your actions. A kind word, a caring action, a friendly smile, and hello can bring light into the world.



We need other people

We need to connect to other people to be fully human. We need other people to trust, laugh with, to treat with kindness and love. 

When I am challenged by the people I perceive to be difficult, I find that when I reflect and pray, I find answers. 

In these challenging and difficult moments I can decide who I really am and who I want to be. 

If we want a country that is more understanding, than I need to be more understanding. If we want a country that is more accepting, than I need to be more accepting. If we want a country that is more loving, than I need to be more loving. We change the world with one caring choice at a time. 

“Love thy neighbor as thyself” - Jesus





What can we do?

"A man has made at least a start on discovering the meaning of human life when he plants shade trees under which he knows full well he will never sit." - Elton Trueblood

"Even the strongest hands can lose their grip, the greatest minds can become cloudy, the biggest hearts can break. So be kind. Just always be kind." - Anonymous

We must teach each other and our children to have "good hearts". We must cultivate respect and trust for each other. We must be concerned for the rights, feelings, and general well-being of everyone.

Education is primarily serving others and leaving the world a little bit better than how you found it.

We can all give time, connection, attention, laughter, hope, and love.

"I believe appreciation is a holy thing – that when we look for what's best in a person we happen to be with at the moment, we're doing what God does all the time. So in loving and appreciating our neighbor we are participating in something sacred." – Fred Rogers




We need each other

We marvel at the sun, moon, and stars. We love the mountains, oceans, beaches, and deserts. Do we not see the beauty of the humans that pass by us every day.

Every person we see is a unique and marvelous aspect of creation.

Today we see so much division and separation. We need to see the Divine in our fellow humans. We need to treat each other with empathy, compassion, and love.

When we are born, we all must have human contact or we die. We thrive on human connection. We are all part of the same life force.

"No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main."

- John Donne

We need each other.



Let us remember...

Let us remember this is not the first time our nation has felt divided. On March 4, 1861, five weeks before the Civil War began, newly elected President Abraham Lincoln opened his heart and spoke these words:

"We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union who again touched, as surely will be, by the better angels of our nature."

- Abraham Lincoln



I feel the challenges of our world...

I feel the challenges of our world.  There is great complexity. None of us alone can solve the challenges of our complex world. 

We need to know that the choices we make contribute to the resolution of social and global concerns.

We are responsible for each other and our planet. We cannot leave it for someone else to solve. The time is now.

How do I care for the health and safety of those without a home?

How do I intervene with race and ethnic hatred and violence?

How do I provide enough food for starving children?

How do I stand for peace in a time of war?

The answer lives in me. In my spirit, in my soul. To change the world, I must change myself. To change myself, I must change my heart. I must risk being an example of love and acceptance.  I must forgive. I must work for unity. I must speak for peace and harmony.

Love is the only sane and satisfactory response to the challenges of the world.




Journey of self-discovery

"Every person, all the events of your life are there because you have drawn them there, what you choose to do with them is up to you." - Richard Bach

Everything that happens in our lives presents us with opportunities for significant learning. 

We evolve, and the truth of who we truly are is revealed.

There are no judgments or punishments, only lessons. 

It is our birthright to learn and grow.

There are no accidents. 

Everything is occurring for our growth and development. 

We are wise to ask "what am I learning from this experience?"

We are grateful to be on this journey of self-discovery.




Every contribution made in love counts forever

I believe that in our lives there are moments of awareness and awakening. Something, often miraculous, occurs to remind us that our life is not a fluke. We are here on purpose. In these moments, I believe our soul is calling out to us. 

"Wake up! This is not a dress rehearsal. It is time to straighten up and fly right."

These soulful moments invite us to heal our relationships with ourselves and others. They invite us to find peace in our hearts and in our actions. We are invited to act for the greater good of humankind and our precious earth.

The soul knows we are all part of a cosmic unity.  We are all co-creating emanations of God's unconditional love.

Welcome sisters and brothers.  We are being called together to awaken to the essential work of life.

LOVE.




Hero's Journey

"We have not even to risk the adventure alone for the hero’s of all time have gone before us."
- Joseph Campbell

We are all on a hero's journey through this life. We confront great challenges; heart surgery, pandemic, social justice, trauma. In each of our hero's journeys, we face times of transition and transformation. If we are awake and aware, each step of the journey reveals hidden truths and talents. We find the great treasure of ourselves. We find authenticity, transparency, vulnerability, and courage. 

Life calls us to adventure. Through birth, death, and rebirth we find the great expression of life. Our life! We create our greatest work of art. If we refuse to call to life, we stagnate and die long before our physical death. If we accept the call and show up each day with open hearts and minds we are rewarded with new life and new adventure. Through each adventure, we return newly empowered and with greater wisdom. Like the characters in Oz, we find greater courage, wisdom, and love. Our lives are enriched and we return to life and life is enhanced for all.



One human family...

The essential concern for humanity at this time is a lack of understanding and love. The answer to reconnecting is the ability to see everyone as a member of our human family. We are all more similar than we are different. 

When we encounter someone we perceive is different, it would be wise to ask ourselves...

How would I connect with this person if they were a family member whom I loved?

Another essential question...

Will I choose to be the best version of myself now?

When someone enters our life, welcome them into your life like a long-lost family member. Everyone brings the gift of who they are and we share the gift of who we are.