"Listen... and you will hear blessings dropping their blossoms all around you." - Rumi, 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, theologian
Listen. Now think of all the blessings you have received. No matter how long you are quiet, you will probably remember only a small fraction of the blessings that have graced your life. We spend so much time thinking about what is not going right that we forget to take time and reflect on all that is right and how fortunate we are. The more time we think about our blessings, the happier we will be. We will be stronger to take on the new challenges that await us.
This is my last message. It has been a blessing for me to find UUCL and make it a part of my life. It has been a blessing that Gary, George and I had two wonderful Boards to help guide our congregation through challenging times. It has been a blessing that we continue to grow and learn from each other. Thank you all for the blessings that I have received.
This will be my last Quote. It has been a pleasure to provide these.
We are Blessed with breath each moment until we have it no longer.
To know the source of breath is to have something truly worth celebrating for then we know who we are.
"Universalists are often asked to tell where they stand. The only true answer to give to this question is that we do not stand at all; we move." - Rev. Dr. Lewis Beals Fisher, Universalist minister, author, president of Lombard College and dean of Ryder divinity school affiliated with the University of Chicago. (died in 1936, age 78)
A couple of weeks ago I was out with a group of likeminded women. We were talking about current issues and one said something about me being religious. I said that I didn't consider myself religious and she replied "then Christian". I thought this was an interesting leap. My reply was, "not that either." So where do I stand? I read this quote, and it spoke to me. I'm moving. I have always questioned what I was told to believe. During our talkback discussions I love that I can freely express what I question, and I can say I do not have the answers. I paraphrase Donna Titus, a lifelong UU, who says something like "I may have changed my beliefs, but I haven't had to change my religion." I love this. I believe we are all moving, and that is what brings us to UUCL.
"To be beautiful means to be yourself. You don't need to be accepted by others. You need to accept yourself." Thich Nhat Hanh.
The river of life begs us to flow with it and bear witness to the beauty being presented.
"Finding beauty in a broken world is creating beauty in the world we find." - Terry Tempest Williams, author and Provostial Scholar at Dartmouth College
It has been difficult to find beauty in our world for a few years now, but just think of all the moments you have been inspired, awestruck and/or happy during this time. Those moments usually followed what someone did, a story you read, or best of all something you did - just to name a few causes. We do have the power to bring beauty to the world even when it or we are broken. We should cherish the beauty we bring and the beauty we find.
“Both science and mysticism describe a force that connects everything together and gives us the power to influence how matter behaves—and reality itself—simply through the way we perceive the world around us.”
― Gregg Braden, The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief
“When we nurture our Inner Beauty we are able to see it in each other and in the world we create.” Gary Stiles
“Listen with ears of tolerance! See through the eyes of compassion! Speak with the language of love. - Rumi, 13th century Persian poet
Maybe we don’t do this all the time, but we always come back to living our lives with tolerance, compassion and love. I experienced this during our Strategic Planning sessions, our talkbacks, our services, and throughout our communications every week. This is what I love about our Congregation.
“You can never cross the ocean until you have the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Christopher Columbus
We hold on to our preprogramed beliefs even as uncomfortable it is when we try to apply them to the present moment. When we lose sight of them we find a new world of possibilities. Do we have the courage?— Gary
“When we avoid difficult conversations, we trade short-term discomfort for long-term dysfunction.” - Peter Bromberg, author
We all have been in situations where we know we should have a conversation with someone, but we don’t. Where has that led us? We are going through a transition, and we need to have conversations so we move ahead in a positive direction. I hope you will join the Strategic Plan conversations next week. In the future if you don’t know where to start your conversation, I suggest starting with “Help me understand.”
“Jesus Christ knew he was God. So wake up and find out eventually who you really are. In our culture, of course, they’ll say you’re crazy and you’re blasphemous, and they’ll either put you in jail or in a nut house (which is pretty much the same thing). However if you wake up in India and tell your friends and relations, ‘My goodness, I’ve just discovered that I’m God,’ they’ll laugh and say, ‘Oh, congratulations, at last you found out.”
― Alan Wilson Watts, The Essential Alan Watts