MINISTER’S LETTER  – OCTOBER 2017

Are you looking forward to a Fall Study Series?  We will be introducing a wonderful formatted program called: Absolute Abundance: Prosperity Teachings for the 21st Century beginning October 11th.  It is presented as a ten week, all church class with books, processes and fellowship.  The books will need to be ordered very soon.  Stand by for more information.  Mark your calendar, grab a friend, and get ready to have an expansive spiritual learning experience!

Unity Lincoln is a tithing church.  Each month we select two or three places to send our tithe.  They include: Unity Worldwide Ministries, Unity World Headquarters (which includes Silent Unity), Unity South Central Region, and Unity Lincoln Building Fund.  Due to the many disasters in September, we feel moved to share a third of our Unity Lincoln tithe with Unity of Huston to distribute where it can best serve.  Unity has a large Puerto Rican fellowship.  It had a beautiful large church and several smaller groups.  We have not yet learned what has happened to them and our Unity family in the Caribbean.  Please hold them in sacred prayer for safety and restoration.  When we know more, we will share.

Your Board of Trustees has been engaged in several training sessions with Kevin Hagemoser, a professional consultant and coach.  He is guiding us with church congregation growth, discernment regarding the move and other church business.  You will notice our income this month reflects payment for Kevin’s skills.  It also reflects high electric bills for fans, dehumidifiers and shopvacs to dry out the basement.

September was active and successful.  As we move into October and November, look forward to your Absolute Abundance and mark your calendar for Rooted in Peace, an award winning film showing: Sunday afternoon, November 12th at noon.  You won’t want to miss it!

Love & blessings,

Rev. Toni

 


 Steering Team Report

The Board of Trustees gave the Steering Team the job of “interviewing properties” for consideration to become our next church home.  Our procedure is, when the Steering Team has found a hopeful property they set up a walk-through for the Board.  After further review, when we think we may have “the one,” the Board will invite the congregation to visit and review the property.  Finding a hopeful property is a difficult task; weighing assets and faults, location and value within our price range (up to $300,000) is a challenge.

Do you remember all the lists of “Wants” that we created – our “Wish Lists?”  We have learned that it will take well over a million dollars to acquire a place that meets all the wants on the list – and then we will be making alterations on the place to our tastes.  The lists have helped us vision and learn about ourselves and our highest desires.  In our property search, what we have learned is to see the potential for creating what we are looking for over time – for everything on the lists.  How much room and property do we want?  We have also become aware that what we will receive is the opportunity to work together and grow spiritually as we grow our community.  It isn’t likely to be handed to us.  But, that does make sense, doesn’t it?

We are in the process.  As we are open and moving towards our right and perfect next home, the right and perfect next home is moving towards us.  Consider the idea of our moving from Adventure to Quest. ~

Rev. Toni

 


Absolute Abundance:

Prosperity Teachings for the 21st Century

The Absolute Abundance Course is an interactive creative course that includes a variety of exercises, videos, games, readings and other learning modalities that teach participants abundance and allow for a shift of consciousness.  The class provides all materials in a $40 workbook.  It will meet Wednesdays at 6:00 pm beginning October 11th.

Please sign-up and order workbooks ASAP.  The ten week class will be closed after the second week – meaning participation is closed from October 25th on.  This is because there is a foundation of learning and experiences necessary to grow the consciousness of the group.  Continuity and commitment is necessary to receive the gifts from the class.

Absolute Abundance is a results driven, tithe-based course with a money back guarantee.  If we follow the clear instructions which include tithing time, talent and treasure, we experience the opening of our abundance consciousness, expanded love and increased value for our Unity Lincoln community.

The course draws on contemporary social scientists such as Amy Cuddy, Brene’ Brown, Adam Grant, Fred Luskin and many others.  It presents the wisdom teachings of Unity teachers: Emilie Cady, Charles Fillmore and Eric Butterworth.  You will gain inspiration from current thought leaders like Marianne Williamson, Desmond Tutu, Deepak Chopra and Eckhart Tolle, to name a few.  Rev. Evan & Rev. Toni will co-facilitate.

 


Things I Believe & Things I Know

These words are not original but I have tried to live by them as close as possible for a long time, and know them to be true.  It doesn’t matter if you are short of money, people, energy or time.  What God invites you to do will always be greater than the resources at hand.  Living with the hand of God upon you means that at times you will be asked to act in spite of the evidence and then watch as the evidence changes.  When you have nothing left but God then for the first time you will become aware that God is enough.  You never become a believer by sitting down and believing it is so.  You must undertake something so great that you cannot accomplish it unaided.  This much I believe but I also know it to be true… ~ Dan Elsasser (The Steering Team)


We Stand At A Fork In The Road

by Georgia Feiste

At literally every moment of every day, we stand at a fork in the road.  One we traverse through suffering; it is the path of trial and error through the circumstances of our lives.  The other is one of spiritual transformation, and the desire to receive for the sake of sharing.  This path also is not easy, but it does not entail suffering.  Either way, we arrive.  We always arrive.

I’ve been slowly reading the Zohar, the source book for the Kabbalah.  The teaching that runs through it, and most strikes me, is that we “receive so that we might share”.  And, once a sufficient number of people are walking that path, a critical mass will be achieved to bring about the redemption of humanity as a whole – even those who have chosen to follow the negative path.  We are ALL redeemed.

There is a fable told that shows this clearly:

Imagine you have been given permission to visit both heaven and hell, and return to tell the tale.

With an angel for your guide, you are taken to the gates of Hell.  You are quite surprised that they are made of gold, and the lands beyond the gates are lush with foliage, flowers, and great beauty.  You then smell the luscious smell of well-cooked food.

You are lead toward an immense banquet table laden with every delicacy.  And, you are horrified to see hundreds of people seated that appear to be starving, angry and frustrated.  Each person has a long-handled spoon chained to their wrist; the handles so long they cannot put food into their mouth.  For all eternity, they are struggling to feed themselves a meal that is right before them, and they might as well be seated a hundred miles away.

Horrified, you are now more than ready to visit Paradise, and the angel responds quickly.  You are surprised to see that the surroundings are exactly the same; from the gate to the table to the long-handled spoons. But these people are well-fed and happy, despite the fact that their circumstances are identical to those less fortunate.  The difference is not in the situation, but how they respond to it.

Instead of trying to feed themselves, each of the souls at this table feeds the one across the table.  Receiving much, and sharing everything.

Humanity appears to be at a cross-roads.  The question is – which path will we take.  The one of greed, power, thievery and lies based on self-service OR the one where we accept responsibility for whatever we create, even when we don’t understand it, never see ourselves as a victim, and live without fear, unified by love, sharing all.

Blessings to all, ~ Georgia


CHILD OF LIGHT Prayer

by Martha Smock

(This prayer first appeared in Daily Word® in 1975.)

Child of Light, I bless you!
I think of you, I pray for you,
Not in terms of what I think you need
or what I think you should do or be or express.
I lift up my thought about you.
I catch a new vision of you.
I see you guided and directed by an inward spirit
that leads you unerringly into the path that is right for you.
I see you strong and whole;
I see you blessed and prospered;
I see you courageous and confident;
I see you capable and successful.
I see you free from limitation or bondage of any kind.
I see you as the spiritually perfect being you truly are.
Child of Light, I bless you!

 


Annual Selection Meeting – October 15th

Time is short if you have a desire to be nominated to serve on the Board of Trustees.  In accordance with the Bylaws of Unity Lincoln you must meet certain requirements.  We will happily get you a candidate packet.  Talk to Rev. Toni or one of the Nominating Team members, Annie Nuss, Adeline Mickens, or Kris Thaller.  There are two openings for a three year term to be filled this year.  We currently have one incumbent, Janet Carlson, and one nominee, Adeline Mickens. There are big decisions to be made by the Board this year.

 


This I Believe

By John Jones

What a shocking thing it must be for a child to hear a parent say, “I don’t love you anymore,” or “I won’t love you anymore if you do such and such,” or “unless you do such and such I won’t love you anymore.”  Then there’s the third-party warning or announcement: “your Dad (or Mom) says he (or she) doesn’t love you anymore because of this or that,” or won’t unless you do or don’t do a certain thing.  I’ll admit that sometimes siblings make a game of the second example as a form of one-ups-man-ship, but for a parent to threaten the removal of love from a child for the sole purpose of controlling that child is a cruelty beyond my comprehension.

I’ll be the first to admit that when I was growing up at home, I was a brat.  I was my Mother’s parents only grandchild for 13 years and was my paternal Grandparents only male grandchild named Jones for the same length of time.  I was loved to excess if that’s possible.  Another word to use would be spoiled, but I was never threatened with the loss of love because of my actions, or lack thereof.

My Dad was the oldest of seven children and when Grandpa Jones was out of town as a railroad engineer, was the man of the house, and I’m sure that was explained to the younger children, too.  With all those children in the house I imagine that there were lots of times when my Grandma and Grandpa were upset, but I can’t even imagine them ever threatening the removal of love.  So that when anyone tells me or anyone else that God loves them if or unless, I really get angry!  What is there about humans that makes us think that our heavenly parent is venal as we are?  Do we really believe that we can make God in our image?  I really don’t think that God is even capable of anger.  I do think, however, that there might be a shaking of the heavenly head from time to time followed by “what are they doing that for?”  I’m sure that when we got the gift of ‘free will,’ our Creator realized that there would be lots of times when the results of using the free will would turn out to be different than what we would have thought best.

Sometimes, if I seem not too interested in certain biblical passages, it’s because I just don’t comprehend the thinking of those so-called theological experts who tell us that they will tell us what God would do or think about every human action, and that the creator would consign us to an eternity of punishment for not behaving like some other human (or human state) wants us to behave.  God has certainly provided us over the years with enough folks to show us the happiness that being nice leads to.  They are all around and a lot of them are in church every Sunday, but some don’t have to be in a church to be a spiritual leader or example.

Peace, love, blessings ~ John


John Jones’ Book

This I Believe is now in print!  John is preparing to make the circuit as an author to promote his book.  It is the first of two books offering unique collections of John’s witty writings which were first published in Unity Lincoln’s newsletters.  The book is quite beautiful and designed to fit in a pocket or purse for easy reading.

It will make a gift to be treasured for that special occasion or for the holidays.  John has blessed Unity Lincoln’s building fund with all proceeds from sales – So it’s a win-win for everybody! Talk to John to get your copy and your gifts.  If you can arrange an opportunity for John to present to your club or organization, talk to John or Rev. Toni.  Let’s get the book out there!


 

Unity Lincoln logo t-shirts

now available – see Rev. T

Teal with embroidered white logo – XL, L, M
(others can be ordered pre-pay)
$20 each
(note on check: T for Building Fund)

 


CHOIR CALL!


Choirs get to enjoy music longer and at a deeper level than anybody else!  Anyone who has sung in a choir knows that fall is time to begin practicing holiday music.  Rev. Evan and the music team are busy selecting beautiful music for the season, beginning with special Thanksgiving anthems.  Holiday music practice begins this month.
If you love singing, you don’t have to commit to always be in the choir – instead, you can commit to sing through the holiday season!  Music team practice is Friday from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.  Let your heart sing this holiday season and enjoy the fellowship of the Unity Singers!


Everyone Counts!

The Board determined last week to begin to count attendance in the newsletter.  Because this is the first time, a standardized format is not created, yet.  However, we do have figures for the month of September to share thanks to the ushers keeping this count.  During the four weeks of September we had attendance of 61 people on Sunday morning.  We had two visitors sign the book.  We had stellar attendance at the Solar Eclipse Party: 26 guests and 13 Unity Lincoln people, a total of 39 people!  There may have been a few overlooked, ‘cause we were all looking up!

 


Peace Meditation

Let go of fear.
Let go of shame.
Let go of guilt.
There is only Love.
Engage Love.
Embrace Love.
Be Love.
Know Love.

Love is the way to inner peace, peace of mind and peace in the world.
Amen.

Make these words your mantra today, this week, this month.
Take a moment whenever you can and know love for yourself and others.


Unity Lincoln is a LGBTQ Faith Community

Last year Rev. Toni joined with a growing organization to practice our loving faith.  This year the movement is spreading broader and Unity Lincoln is participating in #PresentPerfect at www.InterfaithPride.org – on October 20-22, 2017.

MyOutSpirit.com – is celebrating 10 years of connecting LGBTQ people with affirming spiritual resources.  This year, across the MyOutSpirit.com media and LGBTQ community our Unity Lincoln invitation is issued.  We offer our loving, positive affirming welcoming Unity Lincoln spiritual community.  Our hearts and hands are wide open.

Here’s how many faith communities from each tradition have joined, so far:

23 United Church of Christ

20 Unity

17 Unitarian Universalist

14 Centers for Spiritual Living

13 Lutheran (ELCA)

10 Presbyterian

9 Episcopal

7 United Methodist

6 Metropolitan Community Churches

4 Catholic (American/Roman)

3 Baptist

3 Quaker (Friends)

2 Disciples of Christ

1 Jewish (Reform)

1 Interfaith

1 New Thought

1 Buddhist

1 Mennonite

1 Affirming Pentecostal Church International

Please spread word to encourage and welcome LGBTQ through your social media resources.  We would love to have many new people join us – not just for the one day but to be part of our growing spiritual family.



Bring It Home with Best Choice!

Now’s the time to clip the Best Choice labels off the cans in the cupboard!  Margaret Kendall and Merry Ford are busy counting and sorting the UPC symbols (SKU’s) we bring in.  We need more to earn $60 this year.  All labels need to be brought to church by the end of November to trim, count and package them to mail in. 
Only Best Choice UPC symbols are accepted in the Save-a-Label program.  Help support this good and easy community project.

 


Lincoln Refugee Winter Wear Collection

From October 22nd through November 19th we will be collecting clean warm winter outer wear for Lincoln’s Refugee Community.  Immigrants arrive in Lincoln from the Middle East and Africa with no idea of how cold it can get.  We have found a valuable way to help by lovingly passing along warm outerwear.  The need is present for all ages.

Imagine someone snug and warm and safe in that coat that hung in the back of your closet!


Talks on Truth – New Class – Tuesdays

Adeline Mickens begins a new class on Tuesday, August 8th, at 6:00 pm.  Note that this is a different day of the week than previous book studies with Adeline.  The book, Talks on Truth, is a classic by Charles Fillmore.  Talks on Truth presents fourteen enlightening talks by Unity’s co-founder exploring the metaphysical aspects of Christianity, and the basic principles of the Unity movement.  We have several copies of the book in the library for you to borrow and free copies available from Rev. Toni.  (A love gift to UL would be appropriate.)


A Course In Miracles

I was thrilled to learn that Unity has a class on A Course in Miracles.  For me this amazing book is a challenge for my mind and a soothing balm for my soul.  For those of you who are not familiar with it let me share a few lines from the Introduction: “This is a course in miracles.  It is a required course.  Only the time you take it is voluntary. …  The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught.  It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love’s presence, which is your natural inheritance.”

Evan Coleman is the facilitator/teacher.  Evan’s background in metaphysical studies adds much to our discussions.  He’s always open to questions and comments as we sometimes struggle to ascertain the meanings of the more poetic phrases of the course.

Many of my friends have read and studied the Course.  I don’t know anyone who has read it only once.  It’s like the Bible in that regard.  It just isn’t a book one reads once and says, “There.  That’s finished.”  The teachings of the Course, like many of the Bible, become a way of life.  To quote the Introduction again: “Herein lies the peace of God.”

We meet on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 in the basement of Unity Church and usually end between 7:40 and 8:00.  Please join us if you can.  I think you’ll be glad you did. ~ LaSandra “Sandie” Brown

(Thank you, Sandie, for sharing your experience.  Our fall class series will begin October 11th on Wednesday evenings, please come.  A Course in Miracles will resume in January.  ACIM is taught in many Unity Centers with enthusiasm, joy and respect as valuable teachings.  We are happy to offer it.  ACIM is not an official Unity teaching. ~ Rev. Toni)