Dear Spiritual Family,
This time of the Great Pause has allowed for a great amount of contemplation, reflection, and conversation. I have been able to speak to many throughout our locality and across the world about the experiences, concerns, fears, hopes and triumphs during this worldwide “Time of COVID”. The only thing consistent in the conversations has been the humanity. Individuals are individuals for a reason. It is possible to see, hear and interpret the world in the way that is best, most convenient and to the best of the ability of the individual. I have often recognized this to all of you as a strength in the make up of humanity, and especially our community. I completely enjoy and relish in the wide range of views and feelings that are present in each one of you. I have find an overwhelming sense of satisfaction when we are able to gather and know that the spectrum on just about any issue runs from one end of the dial to another and yet we are all able to be in the same place, at the same time and have a conversation and respect the individuality of the other. We open the beginning of each service welcoming all, no matter the background, label, or creed one recognizes. Now is the time to remember all of that as we move through this time and move forward.
We recognize that we share in the responsibility of allowing Divine Light to flow through us as we recognize it in others. We must be willing to do that when it comes to matters of humanity as well as matters of spiritual understanding. In our humanity we live a spiritual existence. Our spirituality and our understanding of the universe is not a separate piece of our existence. The way in which we conduct ourselves, speak to one another and respect views, even on what would seem very human issues is a direct result of our willingness to know that the Light of Creation is working through EVERYONE even if we don’t quite understand why or how a person is saying or doing certain things.
I thought it may help at this time for the community to understand some of the items that are being taken into consideration in planning to move forward.
· The considerations of the concerns of the public and the members are foremost. In this community of individuals there are many.
· The outline of measures sent out through Unity Ministries.
· The outline of measures sent out through the state.
· The outline of what is required to keep the church building insured and liability insurance intact.
A full plan will not be released until after the next board meeting on the 24th of May. I know, as with any plan that includes a community not everyone will be totally satisfied. This is as it should be. When our feathers are ruffled it is THE perfect time to reflect on WHY. It is also the perfect time to decide how we may be able to shine the Light of Spirit through our frustration. Deuteronomy 4:29 “From there you will seek Spirit, and you will find the Light if you search with all your heart and soul.”
On a personal note and in closing:
Like all of you, I have opinions, and convictions on just about everything, including the many facets of COVID. I count my position in being a sound post for many a blessing, in that I have been able to hear about many personal stories, and opinions. I have also learned a lot about my position as ‘leader’ at this time. A long time ago in a classroom far, far away I was part of a world simulation. In the simulation there were certain areas that had resources that others did not. I was ‘ambassador’ for my ‘country’. I sent letters to all the other ambassadors to sit down and have a chat so we could come to a peaceful agreement, somehow meet in the middle. None of the other ambassadors showed up to my meeting attempt. There was so much fear generated by the thought of ‘failing’ the simulation that most took on a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude, and an attitude of survival of the fittest. That experience has resurfaced in my memory at this time. I still recognize listening to other’s viewpoints and finding a middle ground is possible for most issues. I also recognize that speaking and listening with people individually or in very small groups has allowed an openness of communication and an understanding that has been empowering. I have had to reflect on my own convictions and have even adjusted a few. I have found ways, like opening the doors of the church for donations to be dropped off for a Boro and Women’s Service Project to help families that are in special need of home and personal hygiene products, to share the Light, and not the fear with each other. Find your own ways, based on your own convictions, all the while knowing that many others are doing the same.
Many Blessings, my friends, I look forward to visiting with you through the online offerings and in person, soon.
Rev. Jenn Shepherd