Called by Love Presents: Codes of Co-Creation Meditation Garden Series

Called by Love


Called by Love Institute with Dr. Marj Britt will focus all their monthly events in 2016 at Unity of Tustin on the Meditation Gardens in preparation for Adventure in Faith 2016. Our book this year will be Marj’s long-awaited first book hot off the press! Marj will offer an intensive in November in conjunction with renowned spiritual teacher and Marj’s close friend, Andrew Harvey.

All are invited to attend the following love offering events as a path to greater depth of knowledge about Marj’s teachings on the Meditation Gardens:

May 13 & May 14, 2016
Site 3: Marj with David Jonathan
Glimpses of the Soul / Divine Imagination… direct guidance from spirit. Downloads.
Jun 17 & Jun 18, 2016
Site 4: Marj with Coral Rose
Going into Action: Executive Power of the Mind (Divine Mind). Thy Will be done through me this day. Divine Will and our surrendering to living God’s plan in our life. Using both right brain (creativity) and left brain at the highest level of understanding we have.
Jul 15 & Jul 16, 2016
Site 5: Marj with Melanie Davis
Discernment and Choice. Angels and sea monsters. surprises come in our lives ex:end of relationships, deaths, etc… things we didn’t / don’t want.
Aug 12 & Aug 13, 2016
Site 6: Marj with Fabienne Meuleman
Mystical Marriage. Integration of Divine Feminine and Masculine within you. Holy Union within our own being.
Sep 16 & Sep 17, 2016
Cave of the Heart: Marj with Kay Hultgren
Cave of the Heart: past – present – future as one, Multiple Realities existing simultaneously visible and Invisible.
Oct 14 & Oct 15, 2016
Site 7: Marj with Vanessa & Nicolaas-John van Nieuwenhuysen
Realization… See God in every stage of our live and in every stage in the lives of others.
*worldwide call on Wed 10/19 at 10 am Pacific
Nov 10 to Nov 14, 2016
Celebration Of All The Garden Sites
with Andrew Harvey & Marj at Unity of Tustin: details to follow.
Dec 9, 2016 & Dec 10, 2016
Site 8: Marj with Caroline Bush & AJ Lipscomb
Coming back into the market place with Gift Bestowing Hands. I am the Light of the world / You are the Light of the world / We are the Light of the world.
For more information on Called by Love and upcoming events, blogposts and more, please go to

Ambassador Team: Welcoming All to Unity

When we remodeled our sanctuary in 2013, we also added a Welcome Table outside the sanctuary. On Sundays, we have a Welcome Team known as ambassadors to greet our visitors and provide information for our community. Ambassadors keep an eye out for anyone walking by who is carrying the Welcome Pamphlet from the service or just appears to be looking for information and introduce themselves. We ask them questions such as how they came to find our church, where they live, and briefly invite them to visit hospitality, the bookstore, prayer chaplains and meditation gardens. We sometimes offer to give a tour and introduce them to others around campus. Our goal is for new or even not-so-new people to feel a connection to our beloved spiritual community.
Flyers for current and upcoming events are also available at the table. As well as a place to collect email addresses for those who want to stay connected with Unity of Tustin.
Ambassadors act as a resource for our community. We don’t know everything but have a general understanding of our church and know where to refer people. We are familiar with staff responsibilities, church events and publications, and selfless service opportunities. Each ambassador serves approximately once per month for about 20 minutes at the table outside the sanctuary after the 9:00 or 11:00 services.
We’ve found it to be fun meeting new people. We now have more friends at church, and we learn something new all the time, either about our church as we help someone find an answer to their question or an interesting detail about someone’s life. Susan says, “I know our team is making a difference when someone tells me they’ve been coming to our church since I welcomed them on a past Sunday.”
Do you feel called to join the Ambassador Team? We would like to grow our team and our ability to reach newcomers and our community in general. It isn’t necessary to be an expert on Unity of Tustin. We will provide training ahead of time so you will feel comfortable relaying information about our church community and you will always work with a team member. All you need is a willingness to be welcoming and helpful. If you are interested, stop by the table after service or email We’d love to have you!

“I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.” Matthew 25: 35Christy & Susan

Discovering a New Paradigm

by Rev. Carolyne Mathlin

Reality Lies in the Eternal
The impermanent has no reality;
reality lies in the eternal.
Those who have seen the
boundary between these two have
attained the end of all knowledge.

Realize that which pervades
the universe, and is indestructible;
no power can affect this
unchanging, imperishable reality.
The body is mortal,
but He who dwells in the body is
immortal and immeasurable
Bhagavad Gita

I have been trained all my life in a variety of settings, including spiritual ones, to go for the top. To shoot for the highest mark, even in stage development. If there was a second tier, that’s where I needed to be. If there was a third tier, that’s where the best people were. When fourth tier is illuminated, that will be the next frontier to strive for. The assumptions? The higher, the better. The more advanced, the more awake and of course, the easier life becomes.
In March 2012 I took the Leadership Maturity Profile offered by Cook-Grueter and Associates, LLC. I assumed, with all the work I’d done over the years, that I’d be second tier at least. Yes, I of course knew I legitimately had work to do, but I still felt as if I had done so much already that I must be somewhere near the top. And wasn’t it Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj who said that his understanding of consciousness never stopped, he just kept growing into the cosmos more and more each day? I’d say he was at a pretty advanced level when he said that already. I had no problem realizing I too was still advancing and growing. But let’s be honest (I thought to myself), my whole life I had been praised for being pretty mature and advanced, so I had to be somewhere at least in second tier, right?
Well, as it turns out, that wasn’t exactly the profile. I knew a lot of the maps. It’s something we pride ourselves on at Unity of Tustin. I even knew that the maps weren’t the territory. They were indicators of different ways of experiencing reality. But knowing the buzz words of second tier or even awakening is not the same as living from it. Your stage of development “influences what you notice and can become aware of, and therefore, what you can describe, articulate, cultivate, influence and change.” (Cook-Grueter) Basically, just because you know the words, doesn’t mean you know what they mean or that you live in congruence with them.
Susanne Cook-Greuter uses a phrase I have learned to embrace as a check-point for myself. It’s called “aboutism.” Aboutism is when you know something intellectually in a very deep way but that “head” knowledge doesn’t translate into your inner life. There is not integration or demonstrated understanding in your living or being. There is an overestimation of ego-development and a “privilege to sheer intellectual prowess, memory and the complexity of arguments over a more holistic integrated view of personality.” It’s the difference between speaking about something and speaking from something.
The reason there are degrees of development is because a new perspective is needed to be grown into and embraced beyond the scope of the current capacity to describe, articulate, cultivate, influence and change something. Later isn’t necessarily better; it’s simply later. Whenever some new level of integration or development occurs, most likely there was some challenge, often terribly painful, that forced (or invited, depending on how you want to look at it) you into looking at something in a more complex way, in a way that makes you change enough to address a situation from a new perspective. It’s a response to life that fosters new ways of making meaning in the world out of necessity.
In her paper “Nine Levels of Increasing Embrace In Ego Development: A Full-Spectrum Theory of Vertical Growth And Meaning Making” Susanne Cook-Greuter, writes “Life urges us again and again to solve disorienting dilemmas and discrepancies by responding with an enlarged and broader perspective that allows the issue to be solved at a new level of understanding. When the choice is between safety and risk, we can either open up to the unknown and explore it despite the anticipated discomfort or remain closed. All major change can create anxiety as we are creatures of habit. Stage change is likely accompanied with considerable discomfort, pain, losses, and uncertainty.”
When I read that, I groaned. More discomfort, pain, loss and uncertainty? Another thing I know is true in my head, I don’t want it confirmed by an outer authority that more is probably on the way, more opportunities to grow. It’s that part of living from resurrection consciousness where we befriend those times in our life when things are falling apart from a new level of reality. Instead of fighting what is, we lean in and let go of what needs to be released.
I also want to visit another essential point regarding growth work. There are two equally important ways to grow – vertically and horizontally. Growing horizontally means doing your work to be a better person. This means working on your relationships, developing healthy communication and compassion, discovering and living from your values, looking at the underlying thoughts, emotions and patterns that limit you so that you can be fully aware of the Divine spark that you are. Never stop doing that. There is a fullness to anyone who has really done deep work like this. There is a lightness and maturity to them that is infectious. You want to be around someone who is constantly learning and growing in this way.
The other type of growth is vertical. This is a trickier one. Again, this is the type of development that asks us to solve disorienting dilemmas and discrepancies. There is a necessity to move beyond our sense of the known, which tends to be comfortable even if it is not always beneficial. Honestly, I don’t think the equality of these two types of growth has been made explicitly clear enough. Understanding how you are currently seeing your world and stretching into another way of seeing can be equally transforming. Vertical growth happens when there is a critical point of discomfort and we have to risk what we know in the name of a better future. This is where trust, courage and willingness can become prevailing attitudes. Cook-Greuter writes, “While vertical development can be invited and the environment optimally structured towards growth, it cannot be forced. People have the right to be who they are at any station in life.”
I’ve been reading a lot about all this recently and find it really exciting to integrate it in a conscious way into my life, my work in Unity and into the DNA of our church culture. As a Board of Directors, we’ve started our own collective work on both forms of growth and look forward to sharing more in the coming months. Soul of SelfRadical InclusivityThe first evidence of that work is that we have added a new feature in this newsletter, an article on the evolution to a mission-centered ministry by Unity minister Rev. Barry Vennard. 

In May and June I’m going to be focusing on the principles and practices of discovering a new paradigm. That new paradigm for you might be focused on either horizontal growth or vertical growth. What I would suggest is that both are necessary. I’m going to be referencing Susanne Cook-Greuter’s work along with the teachings of Jeff Careira. This is a rich time for us all. There are so many places both publicly and privately that we can apply the practices and principles of discovering a new paradigm. I’m excited to take the journey with you.

During my upcoming series on Discovering a New Paradigm, I’ll be referring to two of Jeff Carreira’s books. I have found Jeff’s work to be profoundly moving and uniquely thought provoking.

Making a Momentous Leap

by Rev. Carolyne Mathlin

At our Annual General Membership Meeting on March 13 I shared some insights into where I see critical shifts in consciousness and key ministries where that shift is showing up in 2016. I likened the process we are in to taking a hike on solid ground, only to discover that the trail is leading us to another summit. And to get there, we must walk the tightrope in-between. We aren’t taking the long way down one mountain and up another. We are being invited to make a momentous leap. The following is what I shared with our community.Shift

Consciousness Shift / Stage Shift

The first and second principle of Unity is that there is only one power and one presence in the universe, God and that we are each individualized expressions of God. Yet, so often when it comes to interacting with the world and getting our basic needs met we can unconsciously revert back to seeing a dualistic force at play, that is denying our good or that we need to look outside ourselves in order to survive. The shift for us is to know and live from a field of consciousness that recognizes God in all of it and that we are the point of power for God in this world. There is no source outside of us. We are the conduits for good, security, love, etc. What we embody and how we create that is what we ultimately are looking for. We are the source, not something or someone outside of us. As a community, we are the source of what we experience here. It cannot be about a small group of people alone that support our community in prayer, financial gifts and service. It takes all of us.

This diversified engagement will help sustain an important vision that I hold. I see us moving from a minister-centric to mission-centric church. This is part of the movement into being a second tier spiritual community. A minister-centric church is one where a lot of what happens (or doesn’t) is based on a minister and select leadership. Members give because they like what the minister says or does. Historically, churches and organizations that are based on the cult of personality struggle when the figurehead struggles or leaves. The culture and viability of the church is based on a subjective, transient reality where the mentality is based in dualistic thinking.

A mission-centric ministry is really about participating in and supporting what we are here for. It is a call to action and embodiment, an extension of you. You are supporting and giving toward why Unity of Tustin exists and ensuring that our mission is here for you and the ones that are to still come. There is a greater sense of ownership and engagement. It’s less about the figure-head and more about why we are here. There is a partnership with all of us who consider Unity of Tustin our spiritual community that ensures that this is a place of deep mystical, spiritual practice for everyone where all can heal their lives, build their dreams, and realize God.

Through the power of guidance, listening, wisdom and love we embark on the journey of moving more into a sense of ownership and engagement with all the aspects of Unity of Tustin. As we heal our lives, build our dreams and realize God we individually will thrive. As we individually thrive, our community thrives. It is part of our testimony to the importance and power of why Unity of Tustin exists at all.

2016 VisionGroups
There are four key areas that I see this shift in consciousness showing up most prominently.

Deepen our prayer, meditation
Prayer and meditation will be a focus throughout 2016, particularly the practice of Centering Prayer. I will be leading a variety of classes and on-site mini-retreats so that we as a community have the opportunity to pray and meditate together. We have 25 prayer chaplains that just committed to another year of serving us and I am in the middle of teaching a prayer class that 30 people attended. Prayer and Silence is our foundation in Unity. It is one of the key ways we cultivate a capacity for God and a consciousness beyond our current level.

Revitalize Spiritual Education & Affinity Groups
Last year a team looked at the mission and vision of our Spiritual Education ministry and put into place some guidelines for living from our highest vision for spiritual education at Unity of Tustin. In 2016 we will look to implement that vision as well as support our current ongoing groups (affinity groups) to ensure a vital, spiritually fed and consciousness growing culture. These ministries are a clear vehicle for filling in the gaps in consciousness with spiritual teachers, teachings & ministries that will change your life and your / the world. Specifically, we will be offering more:

Unity International Spiritual Education and Enrichment classes
Integral Framework Classes & Teachers
Glimpse Practice Group (based on the work of Loch Kelly)

Develop Leadership for next 5-15 years
We have been in a time of great transition. Many key leaders and community members have literally moved away over last 2 years. Other key active leaders are moving into new roles as wisdom holders. It is time to call forward the next generation of leaders at Unity of Tustin to continue the legacy that has been tenderly cared for and cultivated here. Is this you?

Expand Outreach

In 2015 we started a new program as a part of our Outreach Ministry, the OC Food Project. We have been donating food and supplies to St. Paul’s Sunday Supper for almost nine months now. In 2016 we will expand our outreach and service to the community. Every 5th Sunday, starting on May 29, we will be putting together the entire meal at St. Paul’s. Many have held a vision of doing more in our local community. Now we are seeing the fruition of that vision. And, it will take us to realize it! More information will be coming soon so you can partner with us in serving our greater community in this loving way.
I came back from our February retreat inspired and feeling deeply connected to the Source of Being. During the retreat a line from Rumi kept coming through “There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” In the yogic traditions, kneeling and kissing the ground is known as pranam. Pranam literally translated means complete salutation. It is an expression of reverence to God and to the Divine in someone or something. We are not standing on the edge of the cliff any more – we are in the air, between two points of solid ground. And it is both exhilarating and a little unnerving. Karl Anthony was recently at Unity of Tustin for a Mantra concert/event. His new CD “Hold the Sky” is based on the idea that when the earth is shaking around you, the steady point is to hold the sky. My personal practice right now is to energetically kneel and kiss the sky in reverence to the path we are walking, to the Divine expressing in all that is arising and in devotion to the mystery unfolding.

Annual Meeting Report

by Jim Tyner, Board President

This year’s Annual Membership Meeting was both productive and entertaining. As Board President, I felt gratified to see over 80 people in attendance and I thank all of you for your commitment to our beloved spiritual community.

Election of New Board Members
This year, the nominating committee recommended Jason Hewitt and Gary Conway as their selections for the Board. Jason is currently a Board member, having been recently appointed to fill the vacancy created when Joe Hill moved out of the area. Both Jason and Gary were elected to the Board of Directors by a vote of the members present at the meeting.

Changes in our By-Laws
Aside from several tweaks, most provisions of the By-Laws had not been updated for up to 40 years. In addition to making the minor word and phrase changes that were obvious, the Board, working with the guidance of Unity Worldwide Ministries, was recommending the following three major changes.
-Throughout the document, written notice is changed from “mailed” to “communicated”
-A quorum for membership meetings is changed from “50 members” to “those members who are present”
-Change the amount the Board of Directors can pledge real property as collateral from $25,000 to $100,000

After vigorous debate, the members present voted to accept the proposed changes in items No. 1 and No. 3. Item No. 2 did not pass. The current quorum requirement will remain in effect.

In my annual report to the membership, I outlined what had transpired in 2015.

We held a Board, Staff, and Key Leader meeting in August 2015, where we looked at how communication between these three groups works and what we could implement to improve our communication. We also discussed action items that came out of our Heartbeat of the Community project.

We completely revised our accounting chart of accounts. This was a major undertaking that took an enormous amount of Staff and Senior Minister time. With the project completed we now have a much better reporting system and can better analyze our finances on an ongoing basis.

We competed the refurbishing of Victoria House and made a number of other improvements to our grounds and facilities.

We are still evaluating a possible Capital Campaign. With a 3 ½ acre property, our grounds account for a significant portion of our budget – especially in light of the size of our congregation. We are investigating a capital campaign that would fund a trust to insure that our grounds and gardens are adequately funded into the future.

Finally, at the end of the meeting, we held a question and answer session. Several requests included a detailed response response regarding the results of our Heartbeat of the Community project. We are in the process of reviewing all the data and will provide the community with a detailed update shortly.
It has been a real pleasure to severe our community as President of the Board of Directors. I look forward to a coming year and what will be ours to accomplish.