Youth Sunday at Unity of Tustin

Join your Unity of Tustin Community for a Youth-ful Sunday Service!
Adventure in Faith – Week 6
November 4 – 9 am & 11 am Services

 

August van Nieuwenhuysen, YOU student, will be leading the meditation and giving the talk at both services.  The title of his talk is, Being Bright and Free, as referenced in the last two chapters of Living From the Mountaintop, by

Christian Sorensen.

 

 


Former YOU student and current Youth and Family Ministry Teacher, Shannon Maddox, will open both services in prayer and give the AIF Testimony, Adventure in Faith and My New Purpose at Unity of Tustin.

 

“Spiritual Bypass Song” by Harold Payne

Spiritual Bypass song recap improv Unity of Tustin 8-5-18

Composed and performed by Harold Payne

Intro 1st service
WE can go from class to class and think that we’re learning
And buying books without pages turning
But we’ve got to jump in with both feet
Instead of avoiding the heat
And let the process keep churning Cause what gives light
Must endure burning 

Intro 2nd service
Things are not always what they seem
Sometimes there’s drama behind the scenes
There was a time when men didn’t say what they feel
But it’s time to get real
We’ve got to jump in with both feet
Instead of avoiding the heat
And let the process keep churning Cause what gives light
Must endure burning
You can meditate, cogitate, congregate & medicate
But if you wanna elevate
You’ve got to do the work

Watch out for spiritual bypass
Just glossing over and thinking we’re fine
By owning our shadow we can stand in the light
Making room for our dreams to take flight

Sometimes our backpacks need some rearranging
Knowing our needs are constantly changing
Once the power of our ego becomes a thing of the past
We can move a little further down our spiritual path

Watch out for spiritual bypass
Just glossing over and thinking we’re fine
By owning our shadow we can stand in the light
Making room for our dreams to take flight

It’s a different kind of open heart surgery
We have to speak our truth or commit spiritual perjury
And end up in some kind of metaphysical limbo
And run the risk of being a new thought bimbo

Watch out for spiritual bypass
Just glossing over and thinking we’re fine
By owning our shadow we can stand in the light
Making room for our dreams to take flight

Bridge from first service:
And whenever your focus starts to get blurry
Just remember the words of a bald headed guy from Missouri
And even when we’re pricked by the needles of a metaphorical cactus
Sometimes it’s just metaphysical malpractice

Bridge from 2nd service
Whether you’re all the way for Sydney
Or because you were brought here by Stedney
And even when we’re pricked by the needles of a metaphorical cactus
Sometimes it’s just metaphysical malpractice

Giving Made Easy

“The Inexhaustible Resource of Spirit is equal to every demand. There is no reality in lack.
Abundance is here and now manifest.”   – Charles Fillmore

Giving Made Easy was created to assist in making contributions easy for you. There are several ways to give to Unity of Tustin – online, phone app, texting (one time or recurring) – all secure and for your convenience.

Find step by step instructions here: Giving Made Easy (Revised)

Impassioned, Connected & On Fire in 2018

Dear Unity of Tustin Community,

My heart is so full as I reflect on all that 2017 has brought for us as a community. In 2017 we will have:

  • Offered over 120 Sunday and special services, inspiring, deepening and lifting people up through our prayer, ritual, music and message.
  • Served the greater community through the OC Food project, delivering groceries to St. Paul’s, serving a Sunday meal once a quarter and donating backpacks to children in need.
  • Focused on our Unity of Tustin community through our Ministry Fair and literally put our hand prints on the heart of the administration building, recognizing that our service does truly leave hand prints on the heart of Unity of Tustin.
  • Celebrated our children and teens’ graduation and stories of events and spiritual insights.

There’s been so much vitality and aliveness in our community and it makes my heart sing.

In Everything Belongs, Richard Rohr says, “God is always bigger than the boxes we build for God, so we should not waste too much time protecting the boxes.” I love this reminder. We set boxes around everything, even spiritual community. This year we came to you as a Board with our own awakening to some of the boxes we have been living in as a community. We realized that we have entered what Richard Rohr calls the liminal space (the space between). What’s bigger than the box we are currently living in? I see that something is wanting to be birthed. To go beyond the box and fully participate in the birth we have set our 2018 intention to focus on:

  1. Revitalizing our Worship Experiences
  2. Transition & Transformation Process
  3. Reaching Out to the Greater Community

I’ve been in many planning meetings over the last couple of days, casting the vision and setting the intention for 2018. I’m getting so excited for what is ahead of us. I see our community impassioned by vision, connected in Spirit and on fire with service.

In my travels during sabbatical I became aware of how hungry my own heart and practice was for the experience of God, or what we call the mystical. 2018 will be a year of walking through our own transformation and cultivating our mystic’s heart. And, if you’re confused about what that means, stay tuned, we have some ways for you to find out more and experience it yourself in the coming year.

During the month of November at the 9 and 11 am service we as a community will set the field for this transformational year of 2018 through setting our own individual commitments to spiritual practice.

Every year for over 12 years I have sat down in prayer and considered how I will give at Unity of Tustin. I consider it part of my sacred practice and a gift to myself to consciously participate with my community. Making a spiritual commitment effects both my individual practice and our collective practice. Every one of us who practice matter to the whole. It matters to us that you are meditating. It matters to us that you are giving. It matters to us that you are doing your self-transformation work. It matters to us that you are serving. You AND We are affected by conscious, intentional practice. I encourage you to join me in coming to church with your commitment card in November prayerfully completed. We will be receiving the commitments as our community sings “Here I Am Lord.”

I read each commitment card received, blessing the intention and celebrating your devotion to the Divine. This information is held in strict confidence and your card will be returned to you in time for the beginning of the year. We use the financial commitments outlined in these cards to make our budget plans for next year.

As we approach our month-long invitation into commitment to spiritual practice and living the vision of 2018, I invite you into deep prayer as you open to the guidance of Spirit. How are you being asked to stretch in a way that supports and enhances that Divine creative flow? Let there be vitality, abundance and joy for us all.

In Deep Love,

Rev. Carolyne
2018 Commitment Card

Adventure in Faith 2017

What is Adventure in Faith?

Adventure in Faith is an annual Fall program at Unity of Tustin during which the community comes together to do an in-depth study of a book.  The 7 week study is intended to increase our personal and community spirituality.  We deepen our connection to Spirit, Our True Self and our spiritual community.

In addition, we raise awareness of many aspects of our Unity of Tustin community.  This includes expanding our understanding of Unity of Tustin’s vision, mission, and values.

This time provides the opportunity to contemplate and take action on 6 spiritual practices:

  • Spiritual study
  • Devotion/worship
  • Selfless service
  • Conscious giving/tithing
  • Transformation of self/shadow work
  • Prayer and meditation

This program culminates with the opportunity to consciously set intentions for the 6 spiritual practices for the upcoming year.  And to punctuate our process of unfolding we enjoy a celebration together as one community in our community.

 

The Book Everything Belongs

This book, written by best-selling author, Fr. Richard Rohr, is an in-depth look into the reality of we humans being fully human and divine.  It examines the importance of welcoming everything into our lives, whether we consider it pleasant or unpleasant, fair or not, like us or different, a blessing or a curse.  Everything belongs.

 

Richard Rohr helps us to:

  • See where our ego gets in the way of our soul,
  • Clean our lens so that we can see clearly
  • Understand that the Universe is friendly
  • Explore the power and responsibility of free will
  • Know how prayer and suffering relate
  • Consider that to be forgiven is to know God
  • Recognize God’s most dangerous disguise.

Richard Rohr is frequently mentioned at Unity of Tustin and is a prolific author, Franciscan Monk and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation.  He is a strong proponent of the 12-step process for healing and growing our spirituality.  He practices and teaches Centering Prayer.

Study groups are meeting around Orange County (and some surrounding counties). Contact the church office for more information at 714-730-3444 ext 109. Download the book study guide by clicking here. Want more information about Contemplative Prayer and how to practice it? Find out here.

Centering Prayer by Gail Hamley, Licensed Unity Teacher

As you expand your meditation practice, in concert with your faith, you will find that these divine moments come more often, until you are finally awakened to your own deepest self, one with Christ.   – James Finley

Imagine a day of strenuous physical activity, and then at day’s end, you enjoy a cleansing shower, a mind/soul/spirit massage, and a deep refreshing rest. For anyone who has engaged in backpacking, hiking, construction work, or moving earth and stone during gardening, you know what I mean! The activity is synonymous with daily life and the shower to a washing away of all the ‘dirt’ or residue that has been clinging to the body of activity we have lived. When we finally stop, the massage and rest become so sweet that we can no longer return to the life once lived. This imagery came to me one day after I came out of a 20 minute session of Centering Prayer. Although I am not new to meditation, I became keenly aware that my mind felt, perhaps for the first time, truly rested.

Centering Prayer is a contemporary name for a contemplative practice that Jesus referred to as “prayer in secret” in the Sermon on the Mount, according to Fr. Thomas Keating, founder of Contemplative Outreach, an organization promoting the practice of Centering Prayer. Accordingly, it entails leaving behind external concerns and the intention of discontinuing interior dialogue via a sacred word. It is the groundwork for a commitment toward transformation.

In her book The Heart of Centering Prayer, Cynthia Bourgeault writes, “You have an intention to ‘be totally open to God:’ totally available, all the way down to that innermost point of your being; deeper than your thinking, deeper than your feelings, deeper than your memories and desires, deeper than your usual psychological sense of yourself. Ultimately, what will go on in this prayer is ‘in secret,’ hidden even from yourself, in that innermost sanctuary of your being.”

In the language of Contemplative Outreach, this ‘going deeper’ is a letting go called “consenting to the presence and action of God.” I believe it was this consenting that changed things for me that day mentioned earlier.

In Centering Prayer, “consenting to the presence and action of God” primarily requires an active participation by giving permission or an invitation to God. The word ‘consent’ comes from the Latin con (together) and sentire (feel)—to feel together. So in giving consent, there is a non-dual or unitive assumption when entering into Centering Prayer. You are aware of the omnipresence of God where God is here and you only want God. You clear away the debris to experience God, to know God without separation. The value of anything else is gone and you willingly wait, without clinging to any thought, and if you do get snagged in a thought, you return to your sacred word, one word that draws you back to emptiness. When we release all of our goals, wishes, dreams, terrors, and meandering of endless useless thoughts and give way to our love for God alone, we will change.

Where did this contemplative practice of Centering Prayer come from? Those who have researched it contend that it comes from the fourteenth-century spiritual classic The Cloud of Unknowing. Some who are familiar with the book suspect that the unknown author was a mystic who was giving instruction to his fellow monks because it clearly gives directives on living a contemplative life. He chose the metaphor ‘cloud of unknowing’ for objectless awareness or what we now call ‘non-dual awareness.’ His work includes another metaphor, ‘cloud of forgetting,’ to describe the discipline of letting go of objects of attention, returning the mind to its state of objectless awareness. Centering Prayer is considered contemplative because it is the active practice of stabilizing the mind in a state of objectless awareness.

The practice of Centering Prayer gives a venue through which God’s abundant grace forgives our human frailties and we dissolve in love. In The Cloud of Unknowing the author stated that meekness is the knowing of all of the self. We know we have frailties, which burden our hearts and sadden us, because we understand that they separate us from God, whom we love and long for. In this tender place, we come to realize the abundance of God’s love, that it is all encompassing and without end. It is, in fact, God loving us rather than us loving God. It is the worthiness of God that gives grace, not our worthiness, and we are in receipt of God’s grace as total cause. It is here where we learn to love. In The Cloud of Unknowing, the author used Mary Magdalene as an archetype for unrestricted love: “She hung up her love and her longing desire in this cloud of unknowing, and she learned to love a thing which she might not see clearly in this life, nor understand in her reason, nor yet feel in sweetness of love in her affection.”

In his book, Open Mind, Open Heart, Fr. Thomas Keating wrote that in Centering Prayer we “deliberately dismantle the emotional programs of the false self.” I have found the Welcoming Prayer to be most helpful in this endeavor throughout the day. Mary Mrozowski, one of the founders of Contemplative Outreach, formulated the prayer as a method of consenting to God’s presence and action in our physical and emotional reactions to events and situations in daily life. She taught, “To welcome and to let go is one of the most radically loving, faith-filled gestures we can make in each moment of each day. It is an open-hearted embrace of all that is in ourselves and in the world.” There are three movements of the prayer: 1) Feel and sink into whatever you are experiencing in this moment in your body; 2) “Welcome” what you are experiencing this moment in your body as an opportunity to consent to the Divine indwelling; and 3) Let go by saying “I let go of my desire for security, affection, and control and embrace this moment as it is.”

Although Centering Prayer is Jesus’ prayer in secret, there is a supportive sense when practiced within a group. Please join me in a Centering Prayer practice on Wednesdays at 7 pm starting on July 19. More details are on page 11. During our practice we will also engage in another contemplative practice, lectio divina, which is Latin for divine reading. I have often experienced these two practices together as a means of deepening our walk with God. I look forward to seeing you.

What is Unity World Day of Prayer All About? by Marty Beery

Several years ago while on a retreat at Unity Village near Kansas City, MO, my husband Harvey and I were able to attend the World Day of Prayer. What an eye-opening experience it was for me as I entered the Unity Village Chapel and saw that the entire front stage area was literally stacked with nearly one million prayer requests that had been received from around the world.

Even more impressive was the fact that every name submitted was going to be individually, lovingly prayed for in the silence by volunteers. Harvey and I were honored to be part of this beautiful prayer process with the devoted members of this huge prayer team that had come from across the world just for this sacred mission.

Newcomers to our own mystical, spiritual community in Tustin may not realize that Unity’s World Day of Prayer is both a global event centered at Unity Village…and a local event taking place right here at Unity of Tustin! Always held on the second Thursday in September, this beautiful tradition began just over 20 years ago as part of Silent Unity.

Silent Unity may be described as an international, trans-denominational, 24/7 prayer ministry, which has offered continuous prayer support for more than 125 years. Unity World Day of Prayer provides an opportunity for each of us, through prayer, to focus on the spiritual Truth that we are all expressions of the One, and that this recognition of oneness can, and will, heal the world.

The theme of this September’s Unity World Day of Prayer is “Peace in the Midst.” This theme provides the container for us to cultivate inner peace and explore meaningful ways to carry peace into the world for greater harmony and healing. While Unity Village has its own World Day of Prayer retreat, we will have our own day dedicated to prayer.

Here is how that sacred time will unfold in our sanctuary at Unity of Tustin:

  • You are invited to join us for an opening ceremony in our sanctuary beginning at noon. Members of our Reiki Ministry will participate in the opening ceremony.
  • The opening ceremony is immediately followed by a silent prayer vigil until 5 pm. It will be a time to pray and meditate, becoming conscious and receptive. Our Prayer Chaplains will also be present for anyone who would like individual prayers. During the vigil you are welcome to participate for any length of time.
  • During the prayer vigil, the Unity of Tustin Prayer Chaplains will also bless and honor each person in the prayer requests submitted, with confidential prayer and meditation.
  • The day will conclude with a closing ceremony at 5 pm.

Join with us on Thursday, September 14 by taking a midday prayer break, whether at your workplace or at home, or by stopping by Unity of Tustin for the World Day of Prayer 2017. For updates and more information, visit www.worlddayofprayer.org.

Introducing our Reiki Ministry

by Reiki Leadership Team: Marty Beery, Harvey Beery, Donna Evans, Susan Gilmore, & Rev. Carolyne Mathlin

Reiki is a Japanese form of Laying on of Hands that connects you with Divine energy. Once a Reiki practitioner has been attuned to receive the Reiki energy, they simply allow themselves to be a channel for its healing flow. The Reiki energy guides itself to wherever it is needed.

Reiki promotes relaxation and peace and reduces stress so that the body’s natural healing energies can flow freely and abundantly. Reiki is safe, non-intrusive, and works only for your highest good.

Reiki has been an important part of our community for many years now. It is offered by several of our Prayer Chaplains on Sundays after service (look for people wearing the green ribbon that says “Reiki”). It is also offered at our monthly contemplative Sacred Circle of Light service.

Because Reiki is such an important part of our ministry, we recently came together in prayer and vision to explore how we could serve Unity of Tustin even more through the practice of Reiki. While we have always had people doing Reiki on behalf of Unity, what came to us was the idea to create an official Reiki Team. Being a Reiki Team member means:

· You have at least a Reiki 2 certificate
· You are a member of the church
· You are willing and available to serve in the settings where Reiki is offered, namely at the monthly Sacred Circle of Light service on the third Monday of the month
· You are invited to participate in monthly Reiki sessions at Unity of Tustin
· You are willing to use Reiki best practices determined by the Unity of Tustin Reiki Leadership Team
· You communicate with one of the Reiki Team Co-Leaders if you have questions or need to step away from the team

If you are interested in serving in our Reiki Ministry, please contact Marty or Harvey Beery, our new Reiki Team Co-Leaders. You can also email unity@unitytustin.org and your inquiry will be forwarded to them.

We are so excited to step into this new opportunity to serve our beloved community through the practice of our Reiki Team.

The Light of Music & Art Illumines Our World by Amy Jahn, Music & Arts Ministry Director

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light.”
– Luke 11:33.

I have been reflecting a lot recently on all of the ways and forms our Music & Arts Ministry has shown up over my 17-year tenure as your Music and Arts Ministry Director. From that reflection I was inspired to share some of my notes (pun intended) on not only the essence of our ministry, but on all the ways we currently serve you and our beloved community.

We talk about this as ministry and it truly is just that. The consciousness of ministry is first and foremost on my heart and mind as I set about my work and as participants engage in music ministry service. Our spiritual practice begins and ends in prayer, remembering it is ultimately not what we do but who and how we serve that matters. It is in that intention of egoless consciousness that we use our service as an act of devotion, stretching past old limits and ideas into the areas Spirit calls us.

Our ministry embodies music and arts as a universal and profoundly sacred language of the heart. Music and art lifts our spirits and connects us not only to our Divine Inner Essence, but to that Essence in all beings. Those who serve in the Music and Arts Ministry are especially amazing because in addition to the desire to share their musical or artistic skills they come to serve and be orchestrated by the Divine. We experience the shift from performance to ministry through seeking to bring joy and facilitate a deep sense of community through our offerings.

Whether you are conscious of it or not, music and art is woven into almost every aspect of our Unity experience. As director, I am in a unique position to see how it impacts and touches your lives. I often hear from community members how the music you hear on Sundays, in a special service (including our monthly Sacred Circle of Light contemplative service), at a community picnic, or any other setting where live music is offered touches your heart and facilitates your experience of the Divine. It touches my heart to know that the careful and prayerful planning Rev. Carolyne and I do for all the places we offer live music is making such a difference in your experience of worship. We continue to be blessed beyond words by the talent and steadfast presence of our beloved Carol Roman and Richard Jennings. Through music and art we seek to create a field during services which complements and fortifies the receiving and integration of the words and consciousness being offered.

A cornerstone of our Music and Arts Ministry is our Voices of Unity Choir. Our choir continues to offer the opportunity for deep spiritual practice. For some in our choir, singing publicly is not something they would have done before they joined the Voices of Unity. Nearly all of them will tell you the experience they get singing together for our community is beyond anything they could have imagined. We work hard on the music, but consciousness, spiritual focus and growth are always the priority. We open and conclude every rehearsal in prayer and we are invited into deeper and deeper levels of selflessness in our service. It’s so beautiful to see the willingness of the choir members to stay at a growing edge musically, without engaging the story telling part of the ego. Public performing is usually a very ego based activity, which is often totally appropriate elsewhere but in this spiritual practice the releasing of that attachment and ego is part of the practice. It’s amazing to behold the humility our choir members embody in this work.

Over the last several years I have watched as the vision on my heart for increased arts offerings has come to fruition. This vision included broadening the ways that every member of our community can share their passion, creativity and love for this spiritual life beyond the scope of just music alone.

You’ve seen that expanded vision applied to events such as our wonderful Stone Soup creative sharing night, our Artists’ Fair and even the conscious movement classes. That expansion has only served to stoke the creative fires by complimenting and uplifting the music that’s always been a cherished voice for spiritual devotion.

Just like every area of life, something thriving needs renewed energy and support. The heart and consciousness of service sustains us all and keeps our ministry vibrant and alive with Spirit, your spirit. Do you have a skill that is ready to share? I’d love to know about it! Maybe you play an instrument proficiently. Or maybe you appreciate music and want to serve the Music and Arts Ministry in more administrative ways. I’m personally holding the vision for a highly skilled bass player from within our community who wants to share with us and I’d love skillful help with some of the administrative work! If you have a skill or talent to share or are interested in joining the choir, please reach out and let me know.

It has been exciting for me to be a part of the journey some people have taken from community or choir member to Sunday service platform leader to soloist. As we’ve worked together developing both skillset and confidence, they have ultimately gone out to let their light shine on that leap of faith. Whether you are a professional, amateur professional or someone who has always loved music and wants to stretch yourself, there is a place for you. In the safe space of ministry, the qualities of willingness, trust, and growth make it possible to share your gift in the spirit of service to our community and the Divine.