Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
This month we are looking at the Power of Prayer. There are so many different understandings of what prayer is, but the easiest way for me to think about it is that in prayer, we re-unite with the "All that Is". There is no need to plead or beg a force outside ourselves to hear us, as our lives truly reflect the inner prayer we say each second. We are always praying. Our words are prayers. Our thoughts are prayers. Our lives reflect our prayers.
A lot of us were raised in religious climates which told us about a judgmental God who was a little like Santa Claus- "making a list, checking it twice...gonna find out who's naughty or nice". So when we learned to pray, we were trying to figure out how to placate Santa.
But when we recognize that we are created with each new breath by a loving creative force for Good, and that praying is our conscious alignment with that force, our whole idea about prayer shifts. Praying without ceasing then really means entering the "secret place of the most high" and is a lovely retreat and deeply restorative.
We then begin to recognize the importance of becoming aware of our habitual self talk...our thoughts and words...so that we are affirming the Truth of a loving God, and not reciting lack or limitation for our subconscious mind to hear. We begin to realize that it is more about what we are praying FROM, than what we are praying TO!
Just a little over 90 days ago, SANCTUARY NYC sprang into life at West Park Presbyterian Church on 86th and Amsterdam in NYC. Some of us had been praying from a place of creativity and visioning, to allow what was birthing itself as our collective energies to become manifest. And on October 23rd, 2011, we got a chance to let that vision live! We made a three month agreement with our friends at West Park, to pay a very fair beginning rent of $1000 per month for three months. We also helped the church to raise additional funds to purchase a boiler which is now happily cranking out heat. We were blessed to have some financial help up front to get our website going, our newsletter hosting and office basics (like a printer and paper) going. And the fabulous Tony Sills provided us with kerosene heaters to get us through the cold holidays before the boiler was working.
So now we are at the point of negotiating a longer term agreement with West Park. In order for us to really move into our offices, we will also need to do some construction. And in order for us to really be self sustaining as a full service all week ministry- which we already are- we will need to be intentional about raising a budget for that purpose.
We have been implementing ways for the community to become self supporting, and now you may Donate through the Auto Tithe function on the home page of the website.
We have also already completed one wonderful four week class, I continue to hold weekly Wednesday evening counseling sessions in my office for a love offering, the ongoing A Course in Miracles Class taught by Royo Mapes and Glen Ganaway is thriving in the Session Room.
Our Sunday experience has continued to become its' own very distinctive art form.
Rev. Ingrid Scott, the ministry team and I gave ourselves three months to see if we were weather worthy financially, and the answer is not quite....but almost.
We realize that we had a bit of a momentum lul when the temperatures were routinely below zero..(inside that is.) We also have been working to get our identity clear.
So now we have heat and we know who we are!! Pretty good for 90 days.
We are excited to be partnering with the Association for Global New Thought in structuring our yearly calendar around their Seasons. We are also delighted to be an Inter-spiritual Center, and would like to invite you to take a look at our website to see what that means at SANCTUARYNYC.org
You may also download Sunday talks on the site and catch up on events and classes, and view our Spiritual Practices and Principles and Core Values on the site.
So back to prayer. This all has been, and continues to be a beautiful manifestation of deep prayerful knowing. How is it possible for us to have sprung forth ? We were in service of a big idea, and affirming our role as the channels of Spirit throughout.
And now we are moving to a next step.
We will be holding a negotiation with the West Park Session on February 28th, to discuss what it would look like for us to develop a longer term relationship.
After that, we plan to hold a congregational meeting to talk with you about next steps.
After last week's Sunday service, a friend said to me, "I simply cannot imagine this not continuing and thriving! It is so beautiful! and creative and inspirational."
In 90 Days, a miracle has been wrought, there is no question about that.
So now, let us step into the next phase of our development with purpose.
And praying to be in alignment with "The All That Is" is the best location I know of to find the answer to the next steps.
As the Prayer of Jabaz reminds us," Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man (and woman) what G-d has prepared..."
Have a great week.
See you Sunday,
With love and gratitude,