Direct and support your Spiritual Growth - Learn how in this week's lesson from Rev. Joanne.
"Providing a Trellis"
Direction, guidance and support. Whether we are tending a garden or tending our spirituality, having a framework helps us to create a strong foundation upon which to base our growth.
Just as a tomato plant, grape vine or fragrant wisteria needs a physical framework to most effectively foster their growth, we as spiritual beings can benefit greatly from the “trellis” provided by engaging in spiritual community. The seventh in an eight part “Tending Our Garden” series of talks, in “Providing a Trellis,” Rev. Joanne reminds us that our spiritual growth depends on regular practices. Along with the spiritual practices of Prayer, Meditation, Tithing and Sacred Service, actively participating in Spiritual Community is one of the building blocks we can use to access the Christ within each of us and, as Gandhi said, “Be the change we want to see in the world.”
Being a part of a spiritual community is more than just attending services each week and contributing in the collection basket, although those things are important. We all help to create the spiritual community that is Unity Spiritual Center in a number of ways. In The Secret of Health, Richard Lynch says that “the meaning of Christianity lies not just in joining a church or subscribing to a creed, it is not simply tolerating your fellow creatures. It is in being so filled with love of all life as to feel responsible for it.” Unity teaches that we are all connected. If we are all connected, then we are in fact at some level responsible for the world around us.
In 2019 we hear a great deal about diversity. For many people the word diversity is the embodiment of loving acceptance and fairness. For all of the good intentions in creating a diverse environment, the word can also mean categorizing people by their immutable characteristics of race, gender expression, or national origin. No two people are identical in their approach to the world, not even identical twins, and belonging to any particular diversity group certainly does not in and of itself mean there is agreement on a worldview. Rev. Joanne reminded us that while Unity Spiritual Center may not have the broadest representation of diversity of the kind commonly described, we do in fact have another kind of diversity that is just as important – diversity of thought.
Part of being a member of spiritual community means to engage with each other in an exchange of ideas. As a community we certainly are not homogeneous in our outlook on religious beliefs, spiritual practices, political views, our personalities or how many trips we’ve made around the Sun. Those raised in traditional and non-traditional religious backgrounds can learn from each other. Conservatives and Liberals can learn from each another. The young and the old can learn from each other. But the only way we can learn and grow is to engage in the healthy open communications that being in spiritual community promotes.
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another. Hebrews 10:24-25
Unity does not teach that we are waiting for Jesus to come again one day to save us, but rather that we all have the Christ within us to be love in action here and now. Help to build and maintain the trellis that is Unity Spiritual Center by following this week’s Spiritual Practice:
This week, choose to engage in a new way in your spiritual community. Have you been hesitating offering yourself for sacred service? Find a place, sign up, and make new friends while supporting USC. Is there someone new to meet? Introduce yourself and invite them to sit with you in fellowship so you can get to know one another. Take time to hold your community in prayer each day . . . the daily prayer call is a great way to engage in this. How can you become a support in a deeper way?
I have been attending USC since 2005 and have been a member since 2008. In that time I have found many ways of sacred service. Each time I have served, it has been the perfect thing for me and USC, and for the perfect amount of time. To everything, there is a season . . . In order to continue to contribute to this vibrant community and stimulate my own personal spiritual growth, I have taken on the sacred service of this weekly blog. It is essential to understand that there are no insignificant ways to serve. As Mother Teresa said so well, “We can do no great things, only small things with great love.” What will you choose to do with great love?