As I reflect back on the past year, I am filled with gratitude for the many blessings I have received. Gifts exchanged over the holiday season come in
many different packages, sizes and shapes. Some glisten and sparkle, while others come simply covered in brown paper bag. Some oddly shaped presents can be difficult or are too large to wrap. The same can be said for our blessings. Some like unexpected income sparkle in our hands while the loss of a loved one, or a new president-elect who opposes the ideals and morals many believe in may be too difficult for us to wrap our hearts and minds around.
When we are enveloped in Spiritual Principle, we know that all experiences despite the packaging and the size of importance we give them gleam with opportunities for our greatest, highest Good. My capacity to see and experience Life, Love and Wisdom as I stood at the bedside of several individuals in our community who were preparing to make their transition blessed me and opened my heart in ways I can’t begin to put into words. As my father was admitted to the hospital 5 times this past year, fearing during his last admittance this fall that he was preparing to leave this Earth, I understood the gift of surrender and the sacredness of each moment. As chaos and scandal plague our president-elect, and our government, although at times we may find the packaging to be distasteful, let us know and affirm that the gift of Goodness is contained in this experience.
I am also appreciative for the love and support I received from members and friends of Unity by the Shore as I began to spread my wings this year by creating new services, activities, and made changes to our Sunday service. On a few occasions when interacting with other individuals from larger communities, I heard them refer to UBTS as a little church or a small church. Does the size of a building or the number of members determine the value or the power of a community? I think not. Like the various gifts we exchange as a token of our love the essence of a gift comes in various shapes and sizes. Our community has heart and soul and is filled with creative, giving, caring, and spiritual conscious individuals.
As I look ahead to 2017, I am excited about the limitless possibilities that lie before me and our spiritual community. This year at UBTS, I will be asking the question, “How can we move from being comfortable to flourishing?” We will look at our current vision, mission, and core values to determine if they are still relevant and create excitement to unite us to stretch ourselves to be our boldest selves. I will be asking you throughout the year how can you and we as a community glimmer, glisten, and sparkle like the true gift that we are?
“Live your truth. Express your love. Share your enthusiasm. Take action towards your dreams. Walk your talk. Dance and sing to your music. Embrace your blessings. Make today worth remembering.”
― Steve Maraboli