Dear Sanctuary NYC Friends,
Well, I woke up this morning and could feel the subtle shift of season. When I opened the window I was not met with wall of heat, but with a temperate breeze. Delicious! I love the subtle shifts in nature. Living in a city, we can get out of sync with the conversation that is always going on in the natural world. We are on our way into Fall! Love it!
Nature is such a great teacher. It works in different ways, some subtle and some dramatic, to keep a stasis on this planet that humans seem determined to throw off course. But the balance keeps coming: hurricane here, a heat wave there. Our goal at Sanctuary NYC is to find a way to be in sync with the rhythms of 'life more abundant," instead of fighting it.
Jesus teaches about this when he says to those who would have him wage one political war or another: " I come that you may HAVE LIFE, and have it more abundantly." Our challenge I think, is in being creative enough to truly envision a world of abundance and to live into that, rather than focusing on what we don't want.
When we are in a competitive or a gossip mode (see Ingrid's piece) we are really siphoning energy from somebody else's creativity.
What do YOU WANT?
Who are YOU?
What kind of world do YOU envision?
The more we focus on this, and the less we focus on what somebody else is doing, the more creative a world we find ourselves in. Don't just critique somebody else's work. Create your own!!!!
Last Sunday we had a great time with Rev. Raedorah Stewart! As a prelude to our entering into the Season for Inter-Faith/Inter-cultural Harmony, she had us walking around the sanctuary in a living embodiment of our different roles in life. For instance, she asked us to go one place if we primarily identify as "white or black". Then, to another location of we identify primarily as "LGBTQ or straight," if we "supervise people or are supervised by," and many more.
It was fascinating to me for two reasons. One is that putting your body into something like this really drops the lesson into our physical being in a way that just thinking about it doesn't. It did for me, and I think about these questions all of the time! Secondly, I was fascinated to see that some of us have a more fluid sense of identity, and others of us are much more fixed. A couple of people were always in the "white, supervisor, straight," location.
I was moving a lot. I went to one place for artist, then back to another place for otherparts of myself. It was really interesting. I was also interested in the couple of people who elected to watch from their seats rather than jump into the game. The whole experience was really cool.
We also had a fabulous presentation by the folks from JUST FOOD after the service as our final presentation for the Season for Humane Service. They taught us about what they do to re-green our city and how they are building the urban farming movement. Wow. So, so exciting!
I learned something new too, which is that compost makes soil! I may be the only person on the planet who didn't know this, but I am now trying to figure out how to start composting. Also we learned that planting mint, all kinds of mint, repels mosquitoes. I am on my way to someplace to find some mint today!
The point of all this is to say that we can make a difference in our way of relating to one another and to the planet, and that it can be fun and creative, and community building. Together, we can figure out how to lighten our carbon footprint so that there is a world for our children and our children's children to enjoy.
This Sunday after service we will have a time to gather to just talk. I will be doing a "Spirit Talk with the Rev" in the sanctuary. One of our Steering Committee members mentioned that people were missing this time together to just talk, hear what we are up to in the Ministry team and the Steering Committee, ask questions, talk about ideas and to just hang out a little! This is my favorite activity to do really. I love to hear what you are thinking about. So we will plan to do just that from 4:15 until 5:30. See you then!
Our September themes for the month are Flow and Abundance. I am very excited to announce that Rev. Nancy Napier will be joining me as a regular part of the service to do a weekly teaching. Nancy will do some teaching around the idea of "Flow", this Sunday and I will bring the message on "Abundance."
We really have so enjoyed the five minute talks by the Ministry Team this month, and this whole new idea has sprung forth from that experience. I know you will love this new weekly addition. I know I can't wait! This Sunday Rev. Roger Mapes will be the final five minute speaker on Forgiveness. Lots of good stuff goin' on!!
Rev. John Elliot's class on Intention, Intuition and Inspiration starts on Thursday Sept. 13th. Rev. John was my teacher at Agape UTSLA, and is a friend and a really terrific teacher. You won't want to miss this. As with all of our classes, we offer this for a love offering. Revs Glen Ganaway and Roger Mapes ongoing "A Course in Miracles" continues on Wednesdays. We are planning a beautiful and meaningful service to honor the memory and further heal on the 11th anniversary of 9/11, Sunday 9/9.
My class will be announced as soon as we are able to confirm dates and locations that don't conflict with the many other exciting events we are planning. Check the website at Sanctuarynyc.org for details and to sign up.
Our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY GALA will be held on Saturday evening, Nov.10th at a beautiful brownstone in Harlem. We are going to party!!! and celebrate this beautiful movement in Spirit called Sanctuary NYC. Tickets for the gala will be available soon, so get out your evening wear!
We are also about to do a major and wonderful RAFFLE. This Sunday the Steering Committee will tell you all about it. There are some awesome prizes in the pot. Tickets are ten dollars. I would definitely buy a few to possibly get an iPad or a dinner for two at any number of delicious restaurants or well, show up Sunday to hear about it! The person who sells the most tickets will win 5 days to one week (depending on location) at my time share! The main site for that is in Palm Springs, CA, but there are places all over the world where it can be used.