I woke this morning with my mind filled with the image of our sanctuary on a Sunday morning. It was an ordinary Sunday morning at Unity on Greenville that I envisioned. You were there. You who live single and you who live as couples. You who are gay, lesbian, straight. You who’s gender identity is male, female, or still in question. You who are young and you who are mature in age. You who’s skin is the many beautiful shades of skin. Yes, you, all of you filled our sanctuary with the unmistakable glow of your love.
For those who gather at the “yellow church at the corner” known as Unity on Greenville, none of the identifiers seem to matter. “Your soul is welcome here’ is more than a clever tag line, it’s how we live. Our core values are more than an occasional recitation. They are who and what we are. They are how we identify ourselves not only by what we wish to be rather by what we have always been.
Unconditional love, Conscious spiritual transformation, Acceptance and inclusion, Spirit of service, Expression of Divine Light
With this image of our spiritual community fixed in my mind, I shudder at the thought that as our lives disperse and each continues their daily lives, there is an experience that doesn’t include the love, acceptance, and support that is found in Unity.
I shudder to think that any of you may be the recipient of anything that is less than love from our society yet, the events last weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia confirm yet again, this to be likely.
I view the photos and read the words of those who arrived in Charlottesville to demonstrate in the streets shouting slogans reminiscent of horrors of our past. I cringe at the site of burning torches being carried down the streets.
My heart aches with heavy sadness as I remember my neighbor in Florida who very proudly claimed status as a third generation card carrying member of the Klu Klux Klan. I feel the fear of a coworker who in a neighboring Florida town who experienced crosses being burnt on their front lawn. My friend and her husband are Jewish and after genetic testing for Tay-Sacks Disease chose to create a family through adoption. They adopted a brother and sister who are black, thus the cross burning followed by death threats followed by less than kind words being spray painted across their garage and drive way. Ultimately my friend and her young family moved out of their hometown. I was told, by my neighbor (the KKK member) that they merely got what they asked for when they adopted out of their race.
I still feel the incredible shock when hearing the story of one of my nursing home residents when I worked in Sugar Cane Country of south central Florida. He, as a black man, was ordered to serve as the cook for local KKK meetings. He shared the fear he felt for himself fulfilling this directive and for his family if he didn’t comply. Out into remote meeting grounds he went to feed those who gathered abhorring his vey race and color. “They weren’t so bad, after all, they didn’t do anything to hurt me.” he shared with humble gratitude,
Each person will do what they are called to do as advocates for compassion over oppression, for kindness over intolerance and for love over hatred. I know you, I see your acts of kindness for all others, and I hear your words of embracing all other. I felt the love fill our sanctuary to welcome our guest of the Chickasaw Nation. I heard the joy and laughter as we shared Ramadan dinner other events with our Muslim friends of the Dialogue Institute.
Now, as much as any other time, your love is needed in our world. So please, please don’t be shy or hesitant stand up and to show the world the light of your love. Allow your love to be the balm that soothes hatred wherever and however it rises. Allow your love to be the antidote that calms the wrath of separation in our cities and in our country. Allow the Christ light that shines so brilliantly as you on Sunday to carry you through the week as a light bearer in all you do, everywhere you go and with everyone you meet. Just as we as a spiritual community need the love of each other, our cities, our country, and our world needs you love.
Marianne Williamson reminds us in her writing “Return to Love”
We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us
It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
We are magnificent at making life manifest. Sunday we will hear stories of life’s gracious manifestations. Judi Raines and Sandra Monogue will share manifestation experiences of their life.
Join us at 11:00 for our celebration service. Come, share your love and know “your soul is welcome here”!
Love and peace to all,