MINISTER’S LETTER  – NOVEMBER 2017

Your Unity Lincoln Board of Trustees has put earnest money down on a property with a contingency that our building be sold (and, of course, the membership vote to approve the sale – sale and purchase both require vote of the membership to approve.)  So our current building is listed For Sale on the open market. Please refer all inquiries to our commercial agent, Don Kracke (402-432-3462) with KellerWilliams.  It is very important that you not get into conversation with people about the building, but refer them to the agent and let him do his job!  Your job (and mine) is to pray and hold the high watch for the right and perfect next people to come along who will value and use the building for their new purpose.  The purchase of a new property also requires our prayers, please.  We pray this or better!  Thank you God!

Join us the day after Thanksgiving for our usual Left-Over Feast! Good company, good food and a good movie are hard to beat.  Many years, the after Thanksgiving left-over party serves as the true day of thanksgiving!  No cooking, no dish clean- up, no family stress.

Fourteen Unity Lincoln people are in the midst of our fall program manifesting Absolute Abundance!  Each year the fall program unites us and guides us into greater awareness.  We experience wonderful conversations as we follow the materials and share our combined process, exploring and experimenting with Unity and Truth.  The covenanted group is now closed for the remaining weeks of this year as we delve deep into the material.  Closure is a requirement of this formatted program.

Get ready – the holidays are coming!  Because of our pending move, your board and I have geared back activities.  But that doesn’t mean we are going to miss the holidays!  Our most favorite activities will proceed.  SING! and Caroling will happen on schedule.  Also, read about our new fun and loving Teddy Bear Sundays happening throughout December.  This is an activity near and dear to Rev. Toni’s heart who was one of those children.  Christmas Eve we will celebrate together early in the evening at 5:00 pm and share a sacred Christmas Candle Lighting Service.  Bring the whole family to start your evening festivities with prayer and candlelight.

We also are doing our service projects.  We have collected supplies for the No-Kill Pet Shelters and we are now shifting to collecting Warm Winter-Wear for Lincoln’s Refugees.  Dan Elsasser is leading a program to encourage new people to attend on Sunday and sign the guest book in exchange for Thanksgiving meals for people.  Come on Sunday and bring a friend!

Sending you joy and giving thanks for all of you!

~ Rev. Toni

 


Important Film: Rooted In Peace

Unity Lincoln will screen Rooted in Peace – November 12th at Noon.  Mark your calendar – Invite your friends! We will be hosting a special one-time screening of the film Rooted in Peace Sunday, November 12th at 12:00 pm. Cost: $10 adults, $5 young people under 10.  This is an especially good film for teens to grow consciousness!  We would love for you to come join us!

Rooted in Peace, director and award-winning filmmaker Greg Reitman invites viewers on a film journey as he learns to take notice of the world we live in and proactively seeks ways to find personal peace himself.

The film relies not only on memoir, but also interviews with such luminaries and activists as Deepak Chopra, music legends Donovan, Mike Love, and Pete Seeger, film director David Lynch, Noble Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire, media mogul Ted Turner, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, green architect William McDonough, neuroscientist Dan Siegel and many others.

Reitman learns from all of them, and heeds Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s words, that “if the forest is to be green, every tree must be green; if there’s going to be Peace on earth, then everybody needs to experience that quality of Peace within themselves.”

Reitman’s journey is an example of transformation — how one person can learn to make the necessary changes to enjoy a better life — and in so doing inspire others to want to improve their own lives, and society as a whole.

Watch the powerful 2-min trailer here: https://youtu.be/eb97Tg7gdts.

Then make your plans to attend and be inspired!

We’d love to see you at the screening, and we’d really appreciate you helping us spread the word.  Please tell your friends to join us for this special one-time Lincoln screening of Rooted in Peace.  We’d love your help sharing on Facebook and other social media!

Thank you for your support!

 


TEDDY BEAR SUNDAYS


What is it? Every Sunday in December we will welcome your teddy bears to sit with you during service. The stuffed bears can sit in the pews or on your lap and under the tree until Christmas Eve when we will celebrate our first Teddy Bear Sunday. Be on the look-out this season for the right and perfect teddy bear or bears to bring to church to give to Lincoln firefighters or police officers who will give them to traumatized children during this holiday season.

On Teddy Bear Sundays we can fill the bears with love during the service. After service, December 24th they will be collected and put into protective plastic bags to go to the firefighters and police to carry with them in their vehicles. When they come upon a child who is experiencing a house fire or domestic trauma the child will receive a loving teddy bear to hold, hug and comfort.


Good Morning God!

by Dan Elsasser

Good morning God!  This church is your church.
Everything we do is done easily, smoothly and happily through you.
Everyone who needs to know us is being drawn to us
With ease so that they can be blessed through us.
We give loving service.
God’s service and love expresses through us.
Love permeates this church and is felt by everyone who crosses our doorstep.
Love is our theme.
Love blesses us and all who contact us.
Through love, all those we need and all those who need us are drawn together.
The love we give away returns to us as blessings unlimited.
Happy people and loving interactions bless us and fill our hearts with joy.
Good morning God! We’re ready to let you work through us today!


The Blessings of Birthright

by Georgia Feiste

     I’ve mentioned before that I am reading the Essential Zohar, primary book of learning for the Kabbalah.  I am doing this in my continuing self-study of the world’s religions.

     This morning, I read the story from the book of Genesis of the twin brothers, Esau and Jacob; specifically as it relates to the blessings of birthright Isaac gave to each of them.  Jacob received the blessing of above and below, eternal and not constrained by boundaries.  Esau received the blessing of below, finite, fleeting.  The story applies strongly to the culture we are living in today:

     Our country’s culture is built on a selfish desire to receive, with the primary concern being to satisfy immediate physical needs, and material growth and gathering, to the detriment of others.  It has abandoned the concept of “the greater good” in order to satisfy a craving for MORE.

     This is short-sighted, reflexive behavior and is the essence of the desire to receive only for ourselves.  This negative inclination reacts to temptation or opportunity like a cat to catnip.  We have become obsessed with whatever satisfies our desire RIGHT NOW.

     Fortunately, while this appears to be a huge part of the world’s culture, there are large pockets of humans who much prefer to receive in order to share.  It is reflected in whole countries, and in regions within the United States.  I, myself, have been accused many times under the context of being a liberal of “deciding who receives, and how much, willing to take away the hard earned money of the rich.”  My response has been, and will continue to be, “we are given much so that we might share with others less fortunate.”  This is reflected in the story of Jacob and Esau, a story of the building of a spiritual structure, and the need to observe that order.  The alternative is not so much evil as it is chaos.

Blessings to all, ~ Georgia


Left-Over Party & Movie

Friday, November 24th, the day after Thanksgiving, you are invited to join together with our traditional Left-Over Party at 6:00 pm.  Bring left-overs to share if you’ve got them.  We will have turkey and ham provided.  A joyful movie especially chosen by John Jones will be shared.  This is a laid back, easy evening, so don’t feel any pressure to provide – we always have plenty of food!  Come, bring a friend and enjoy the company and the movie.

 


This I Believe

By John Jones

About the time I think I’ve got everything under control, something happens that proves to me that I don’t.  Once upon a time I decided that the death penalty was WRONG.  That in a modern civilized society it wasn’t proper to have that society take another person’s life no matter how heinous an act that person had committed.  That if I couldn’t put a gun to a monsters head and pull the trigger myself (I couldn’t), I had no right to ask another person to do the deed for me.  Then something outrageous happens – a law-enforcement officer is shot in the back 15 times while he’s putting gas in his car; a child is kidnapped and dismembered; a member of the clergy and his church secretary kill both of their spouses with the excuse “God will forgive us.”  Can we take the chance that the perpetrators of these acts will ever be allowed to walk free and expose society to the risk that they will continue such acts?  But, what if … What if the wrong person is convicted of another’s crime?  It’s happened too often to be comfortable.  One very wise man (it may have been Thomas Jefferson), once said “It’s better that 100 guilty men should go free than one innocent man should be punished.”

This entire treatise sort of bogs down at the question “How do we get people to be nice to each other and play together lovingly?”  It seems most of us are able and willing to do that, but sometimes folks come along that want more – more power – more money – more of this or that or the other thing, and the rest of us are left to ask WHY?

There really is enough for everybody, you know?  Enough of all of it.  Even enough patience.  It just seems like it isn’t distributed evenly.  I’ve known too many folks who have way less than an equal/fair/average (pick one) amount who are happy, well-adjusted and quite content, to think that having more than you need is necessary for a fulfilling life.

It just isn’t “stuff” either.  The need to get two car lengths closer to the next stop light comes to mind.  Or the person who has been warned for half a mile that this lane ends soon, but is sure that he or she can cut in front of somebody where the road narrows.  Yes, I have done that, but at least not the violent stuff.  I saw a t-shirt once that said “Too lazy to work, too scared to steal.”  Thank God for the meek and mild among us.  That’s the type of people we need more of.  Without them we would have chaos.

Peace, love, blessings ~ John


It’s John’s Book!

Inside are musings-stories from life, random thoughts, and the sharing of insights from writers, thinkers, and artists that speak to the author, and he hopes you as well.

Originally published in Unity Lincoln’s monthly newsletter, these writings have been collected into two books, the proceeds of which will be donated to Unity Lincoln’s Building Fund.

 


 

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!


Holiday SING!

Always loved – the Holiday SING! is a sing-a-long lead by Paul Fox. Everyone is invited to come and join in singing your favorite Christmas and holiday songs. Casual, snuggly, fun! Mark your calendars on Saturday, December 9th at 6:30 pm.

 


Peace Meditation

We are inundated with conflict, tragedy, terror, and lack. Too often, we accept the invitation to engage and find ourselves perceiving no peace on earth, no peace anywhere around us.

What can we do? First, recognize that we, like the man in the country tune, are “looking in all the wrong places.” We are looking outside of ourselves, focusing on effects. Second, turn within. Connect with the ever- constant, eternal, unlimited, irresistible peace of the Divine Presence that lives, moves and has being within, though, and as us. Know this Truth for each of those struggling.

Allow yourself to be saturated with peace, with unconditional love, with the Truth that God is all there is and God is PEACE. Once you have soaked your spiritual sponge in peace, bring yourself back to the world and squeeze you love and peace out over every situation: conflict, fear, and apparent lack. Saturate the world with peace!

Please take 15-20 minutes to sit with these words, to practice soaking until you are completely saturated with peace – and then go out and squeeze!

Love and blessings –

Rev. Sharri Johnson
One Heart Retreat Center
185 White Acres Lane
Marshall, AR 72650

 

 


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.)