Great Morning Beloved!
How are we measuring up to our Values?
Last week we began doing a ‘check’ on our Mission and Vision. It was time to look at ourselves as Unity of Rehoboth Beach and really see if we are holding up to our Mission and Vision. I hope you all are taking this in and voicing your thoughts about your Unity. Now is the time, as it is every day.
Today, we look one step further to what we have listed as our Values.
If something is a value, from a personal point of view, it is important to us.
Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work.
They (should) determine your priorities, and, deep down, they’re probably the measures you use to tell if your life is turning out the way you want it to.
When the things that you do and the way you behave match your values, life is usually good – you’re satisfied and content.
But when life doesn’t align with your personal values, that’s when things feel… wrong. This can be a real source of unhappiness.
This is why, making a conscious effort to identify your values is so important.
If you look at your integrity, what was important to you to be a part of it?
Honesty? Respect? Compassion?
What are the qualities that make up your integrity?
Well, that is what we are asking, in a sense, when we ask, what are the Values that Unity of Rehoboth Beach IS?
Our Values are the HOW of it all. We did the What, and the Why last week. Now we look at HOW. How are we doing what we say we want to be in this Community and in the greater Community?
And they follow your Mission and Vision, our Values put feet to those prayers…the WHAT & WHY of Unity of Rehoboth Beach.
As a reminder, this is our Mission: Unity of Rehoboth Beach is a shining light…strengthened through support and fellowship, celebrating diversity by honoring individual Divine connection.
And this is our Vision: Unity of Rehoboth Beach is a vibrant and inclusive spiritual community, dedicated to growth and transformation through the exploration of universal Truth.
Unity of Rehoboth Beach exists to be a Shining Light, providing opportunities for spiritual growth and transformation.
Our Community is strengthened through support and fellowship.
We recognize the One Source that is Love, it is who we are and what we express.
We encourage Spirit guided exploration of our individual Divine connection.
We are Inclusive, celebrating diversity unconditionally as an expression of Spirit.
SO, let’s look at each one:
Unity of Rehoboth Beach exists to be a Shining Light, providing opportunities for spiritual growth and transformation.
When you think of a shining light, on a spiritual perspective, what does it mean to you?
Interesting synonms for Shining Light….choice spirit, leader, luminary, master spirit, sage,…
Think about the things, the activities we do here….do they provide spiritual growth and transformation opportunities?
Does that statement express our Mission and Vision?
Our 2nd Value statement: Our Community is strengthened through support and fellowship.
It’s hard to imagine that anyone who entered our Spiritual Center would not feel the love we have here…the peace that fills us when we walk through that door.
It’s so ‘bad’ that we can hardly get you in your seats and quiet before Service, our Fellowship is before AND after Service.
We show our love by praying for and helping others in our Unity family.
And we Support our greater Community when we do our outreach programs – our food drives and personal products for women and the Armed Service; like helping stuff back packs and collecting pet food.
We support the Greater Community when we tithe part of our Love Offering to community efforts like aiding school lunch and the War Dogs and local rescue organizations and the Foster Parents Association of Sussex County.
SO maybe we have this one covered fairly well, what do you think?
Next…..We recognize the One Source that is Love, it is who we are and what we express.
Well, we KNOW who we are and we are all working on expressing the Love that we are, in our own way.
Sometimes that’s hard to do, right? We all have questioned ourselves when we hear or repeat to ourselves that we are made in the image and likeness and therefore we are LOVE.
It’s hard to acknowledge that we are energy filled love and our purpose in this life, or one of them at least, is to express that love.
And the neat thing is that we get to express that love in many different ways – you choose if you will sing or sew, design or drive, ponder or pray…or all of the above.
Share your gifts…..share your love.
When you walk out that door, filled with the energy of this community, spread that joy and love and compassion wherever you travel through the week.
Next Value…..We encourage Spirit guided exploration of our individual Divine connection.
Spirit, Spirituality, I remember the discussion surrounding the writing of this Value. It was determined that the term Spirit could encompass Spirituality.
Spirituality is important – it’s being concerned with our spirit or soul as opposed to material or physical things. Its what we are doing.
And obviously it is spirit guided, if we are attuned to the Universal Energy, we are allowing ourselves to be Spirit Guided. And we desire to be guided to a connection to our Divinity. Its one of the things that got us here, in a Unity Center, that exploration of ourselves to answer that urge to connect with our inner Christ, our Buddha Heart.
We are Inclusive, celebrating diversity unconditionally as an expression of Spirit.
AS I was working on this, I looked at the definition of inclusive and found “all embracing” and it sounded so right. Giving hugs is a big thing here, and I guess I see a lot in our Hugs & Handshakes time. And I can tell by the difficulty getting you back in your seats that you really like it too.
And it doesn’t matter who it is, we try to reach out and embrace everyone as best we are able.
AS many of you may know, My mantra for many, many years has been, Loving is the answer.
I believe it is truly the answer to all issues. As we know, if we love our enemies, we no longer have an enemy.
And loving is an action word, a verb. Love is a noun. It is what we are. And the verb loving is what we DO.
I think we are doing well with our Values. But I and the Board wish to hear from you. So, take the time to let us know what your thoughts are.
We are here to stay. Unity is wishing to be an important part of Sussex County and your lives.
Help us make that so.
GREAT Morning Beloved!
Let’s talk about OUR Prime Directive…
Two weeks ago, we concluded our Summer Series on the Lesson we can learn from the many Star Trek and Star Wars incarnations. And there were many, and there ARE many more in each episode….I know, I’m still watching!
But it’s time to move on to other important things to discuss.
If we were to ask what is Unity of Rehoboth Beach’s Prime Directive, what would you say? How would you respond?
This Unity is yours. If you ever have traveled through out the country, or even the world, and visited other Unity Churches and Centers, you would find a wide variety of Unity’s, different versions;…oh, the Principles are the same and most, not all I’m sad to say, follow what the Fillmore’s, our founders, put forth in their Principles and their understanding of what Unity was and is.
If you have forgotten and wish for a reminder, sign up to take the Basics class in October. A few hours here with me and the Fillmore’s and you would understand why we do what we do here each Sunday.
SO, though we all start out under the Fillmore tutelage, some Unity Churches and Centers go their own ways, because the congregation asks for more Bible, or more traditional rituals, or more nature…the congregation guides the Minister or Spiritual Leader with their requests.
Let me emphasize GUIDES.
If they want communion, or the Lord’s Prayer and the majority of the Congregation wishes for that, the Leader either does it or leaves if they disagree and a compromise cannot be reached. Sometimes it goes against what the Leader sees as what the Fillmore’s wanted and can not follow the congregation asks.
For example, I can not agree on preforming the communion ritual every Sunday, as some churches do.
The Minister or Spiritual Leader always has the last ‘word’ but they also try to give what the congregation asks for. There is a reason for why we do what we do….ask if you don’t understand.
So, sometimes leadership and congregation part ways. And the congregation looks for new Leadership.
I think, so far anyway, we as a congregation and its Leadership, the Spiritual Leader and the Board, are all in agreement as to the direction we are going.
If not, then you, the Congregation are not talking to your Leadership. You are not taking advantage of the opportunities to connect with your Leaders…either the Spiritual Leader or your Board.
That is your responsibility to this Spiritual Community.
What does all this have to do with OUR Prime Directive?
So –What do you think Unity of Rehoboth Beach’s Prime Directive would be?
We do have one…actually a 3 part one…Mission, Vision and Values.
This week I want to review the Mission and Vision for Unity and next week we’ll review our Values.
And through these two weeks, YOU get to respond to anything that you do not understand or that you have a thought or suggestion about.
So, let’s start at the top….what is a Mission Statement?
A mission, in this reference, is a strongly felt aim, ambition, or calling.
Then, a definition of a Mission Statement would be: a formal summary of the aims and values of a company, organization, or individual. It’s something that states the overall purpose or goal of a business or organization.
So, what’s our Mission Statement? According to the Congregation a few years ago, it’s: Unity of Rehoboth Beach is a shinning light…strengthened through support and fellowship, celebrating diversity by honoring our individual Divine connection.
This is the WHAT of Unity of Rehoboth Beach. This is what some of you and some people no longer with us, thought Unity stood for in this greater community.
How do you feel about that statement?
Does it still fit?
Do you think Jesus had a Mission? A Vision? Values?
Of course he did! Though it was HIS mission, not a committee of congregants trying to make sense of what their fellow congregant members wished for their community.
His committee was God. He did God’s Will.
Matthew 20:28 “….He came not to be served, but to serve.”
We’ve been discussing God’s Will vs Our Will in Tuesday’s class & we have mentioned it a few times here also.
God’s Will means good for all involved. No ego involved. Simple.
So, lets go back to the Mission Statement that was set before Unity a couple of years ago…. Unity of Rehoboth Beach is a shining light…strengthened through support and fellowship, celebrating diversity by honoring our individual Divine connection.
Are we fulfilling that Mission Statement? Is this WHAT we are?
Are we a Shining Light?
Do we provide strength through support and fellowship?
Do we celebrate diversity by honoring our individual Divine Connection?
Is there anything missing in our Mission Statement?
If you have some thoughts about this, you might wish to speak to any of the Board , or me or to the Vision Team headed by Karen.
“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” Matthew 18:11
Like Jesus, we are not here to destroy Unity, but fulfill what we said we would do or we should change our Mission.
What have you made YOUR life’s mission?
Now let’s look at the next statement, Our Vision Statement: Unity of Rehoboth Beach is a vibrant and inclusive spiritual community, dedicated to growth and transformation through the exploration of Universal Truth.
Our Vision Statement is why we do what we do.
A Vision includes vivid description of the organization as it effectively carries out its operations.
AS I look again at our Vision, is vibrant a WHY?
How about dedicated to growth?
Exploration of Universal Truth?
WHY are we, Unity of Rehoboth Beach here?
When we met with Rev. Stephanie Seigh at our first meeting place, these are the statements that we came up with when trying to pull all the thoughts together from the over 30 people that attended the weekend workshop.
Its good that we look back to check ourselves…are we doing what we said we started out to do?
Are we ON OUR CARD?
Let’s talk about this. There are cards on the Information Table if you need a Mission, Vision & Values card. You have opportunity now to talk with your fellow Congregants & your Leaders if you have thoughts or questions.
I’m here Wednesday’s and Fridays to talk with you. And you can always request an appointment.
In other words, we are here to hear what you have to say.
Next week we will look at our Values.
So, between now and then, let’s get the conversations flowing, what are we doing right, what needs a second look…
Great Morning Beloved!!
What did we learn?
We started off this adventure looking at some of the gadgets we have today that started in Science Fiction- Star Trek actually! Where would we be without our Phones??? Maybe a bit less stressed and a bit more present.
Anyway, I imagine there will be many things that are, right now, in someone’s imagination that will develop in the future and we will wonder both what did we do without this and why do we need it!
And that’s it, our imagination. One of the 12 Powers that we all have and are waiting to be developed; or to unfold, may be the better word.
Charles Fillmore understood the importance of Imagination, making it one of his Twelve Powers. From his book THE TWELVE POWERS: “It is through the imagination that the formless takes form.”
Can you think of anything that you imagined into form?
The core of science fiction is our belief that through the power of our imagination, our vision of a better tomorrow that works for all, we can believe in impossible things…
“No use trying, said Alice; one can’t believe impossible things.”
“I dare say you haven’t had much practice, said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
— Lewis Carroll
So, I ask you, what impossible things have YOU dreamed this morning?
We learned so much more as we journeyed through Sci-fy. Gene Roddenberry had high hopes for the human beings that populated this blue marble floating in our Universe among many universes.
One more time, he said:
“Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”
Through every incarnation of Star Trek, Star Wars and all other science fiction and fantasy forms, Science fiction gives us a glimpse of what we can be. And it gave us and continues to give us ways to do that.
Recall one of the first questions we asked this summer, “What God have we created?”
We are created in the image and likeness of our Creator, yet we often create a god in our image with the faults and idiosyncrasies of humans.
The God of our understanding is of energy, is love and good. And so are we, if we would just let go of the ideas and domestication we have learned along our way. Enlightenment is releasing what no longer serves.
Many of the episodes we looked at and the many more that I watched as I was preparing these Lessons, reminded us that we are all of the Creator; we are all ONE. So many of the shows and movies and books have provided opportunities to remind us of that.
The fate of Data, the Android in Star Trek, The Next Generation had us look at CREATION….what does that actually mean? Who owned Data because he was created by scientists in the Federation?
The answer – in a sense, all beings are created but that does not necessarily make them the property of their creator.
Are we not created in the image and likeness of OUR Creator? We are not owned by that Creator. We have free choice.
The characters in that episode were challenged to let go of what they had previously believed to be true, what constitutes a living being.
And hopefully, so were we.
Time and time again we are challenged regarding how we treat anyone who is different from us in society. And how we reduce those who are different to non-beings.
Both in the wide variety of ‘aliens’ that were presented during the episodes and movies and in the instances when our ship mates were exposed to being treated as medical experiments and as prey in a hunt to the death.
Do you recall how you felt when YOU were the experiment? Or YOU were the prey?
Uncomfortable to say the least.
How easily we justify enslaving and killing anyone, or anything, not like us. And yet, our differences are absolutely necessary to make us strong. Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins to not just, tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in lifeforms. -. – Gene Roddenberry
Diversity is necessary for the survival of our species. Ironically, we continue to fear that which is different from ourselves.
Science Fiction writers have most often presented a look at the issues that we face daily – greed, homelessness, inequality, hunger…and more often than not, they give us a look at what we can become, a look at who we truly are if we just let our love shine through.
As we watched Luke grow with the Force, we got to see many things…learn many things
Starting with you must unlearn what you have learned.
The beginning of wisdom is acknowledging “I don’t know.”
How so like Luke were we in our youth…impatient, thinking we knew it all.
Luke was taught the Ways of the Force, that way of living, that philosophy so similar to our belief in the energy of the Universe that surrounds us all, encompasses us all.
George Lucas developed the Force from all religions, very similar to Charles Fillmore as he researched the religions and cultures of his day to develop Unity’s Principles and main ideas.
Lucas said that there is a conscious choice between good and bad, and “the world works better if you’re on the good side”. I believe Charles would agree with this, as it resonates with our 1st & 2nd Principle.
Obi Wan to Luke – “Let go of your conscious self and act on instinct. Your eyes can deceive you. Don’t trust them. Stretch out with your feelings.”
“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.” 2 Corinthians 4:18
Your eyes can deceive you. What is real and what is illusion? Something we must ask ourselves daily…
We were reminded that we are so much more than we think. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.
So many times, I have read or viewed Unity thoughts and Principals in the fantasy book I’m reading or, in these Science Fiction Movies we are discussing.
Yoda is a Unitic! The Force is saying the same things we say every week. We are all One. There is a Force that is surrounding us and enfolding us, a part of us on every level.
Through many episodes of Star Trek and Star Wars, we were brought to an understanding that our shadow, that part of us that we may not be very familiar with, that we may not even like, IS a part of us.
Feelings such as sadness, joy, anger, fear, and disgust can form the basis for the actions we take and the interactions we have with others. That makes the interplay between emotions incredibly important.
Captain Kirk showed us the importance of the shadow when he was separated from his dark side, he was dying without it. He could not function as the captain, he lost his ability to make choices, difficult choices that many times were a matter of life and death to his crew.
Shadow work is about opening your heart and making peace with your internal devils. It is about embracing your fears and weaknesses and finding compassion for your humanity
The Gospel of St Thomas states: “If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you.”
We may not have such melodrama in our lives, but to be a complete, whole human existing in this dualistic world, we must acknowledge our complete self and accept both shadow and heart into our understanding.
Dr. Judith Baard stated, “The interaction between the two Kirks dramatizes an important principle: the more volatile the emotion, the more likely we are to reach a wrong moral judgment. Likewise, the less emotionally agitated we are, the greater the chances that we will weigh alternative courses of action and reach a sound moral judgment.
Another thing Captain Kirk taught us, is ownership, responsibility. If you have ever watched Classic Star Trek, and I viewed them all this summer, how many times in each episode did he say, “MY Ship” My crew”?
ALL the TIME!
Look at how responsible you are in your life? In the things and people that you have some obligation…where do you stand?
We always have choice. And we choose where and with whom we spend our time and energy.
This is as it should be. SO, you get to choose….how are you doing with your choices? Are you pleased with how that’s going? Any changes needed?
It’s up to you.
Are we willing to befriend who we already are? Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves. If we are only loving part of ourselves, the parts we deem to be acceptable, is that how we’re loving our neighbors? Loving only the parts that we deem to be acceptable?
Abraham Lincoln asked, “Do I not destroy my enemies when I make them my friends?”
Dr. Johanna Vanderpol says it this way: “Star Trek explores what it’s like to be human. It creates a positive vision of humanity. It explores what it means to honor and respect another person.”
Let’s talk about one of the most important things in Start Trek – The Prime Directive.
“The Prime Directive is not just a set of rules. It is a philosophy, and a very correct one. History has proved again and again that whenever mankind interferes with a less developed civilization, no matter how well-intentioned that interference may be, the results are invariably disastrous.”
Our Captain Kirk understood this, and yet, he would ignore it time and again. To him, people are more important than rules.
He would enforce the spirit of the law above the letter of the law.
How does this apply to us? What is OUR Prime Directive?
I would suggest our Integrity. And what all is in your integrity? What is YOUR Prime Directive?
The Prime Directive of Star Trek asks us to respect ALL other ways of being.
Or as Wade Davis observed, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you: they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”
Honoring all paths isn’t easy. Contrary to those who think we don’t believe in anything, what we believe in is difficult to practice. A spirituality based totally on loving one another, honoring one another’s path, even when we don’t understand it… a spirituality without hard and fast “rules”, without rigid do’s and don’ts is much harder to practice than a religion where everything is clearly defined for us.
Remember, a major difference between Unity and Traditional Christianity is our free thinking.
We set out Principles and let you go.
We give you ideas, thoughts to ponder and allow you to put them into practice in your life….or not.
This path, although more challenging to travel, is much more satisfying. And while I recognize it’s not for everyone, it is my path.
I leave you with some of the best quotes from this series:
No, try not. Do or do not. There is no try.
“Size matters not.
Luke: I don’t believe it. Yoda: And that is why you fail.
We’re only as sick as our secrets….
“If you want to know who you are, it’s important to know who you’ve been.”
Roddenberry was trying to show us that for all our differences, we have just as much in common. We dream, we love, we fear, we laugh, we cry, we have children and families and in-laws. We are born and we die. Star Trek is about the journey in between.
HOW will you fill your DASH?