Unity of Brazosport
Something New in the Neighborhood
 

Enter subhead content here

         Sunday Jan 17: 

  Something New in the Neighborhood        

  How do we show up as a member of a spiritual community?   

  Inspiration and ideas about community, how we serve, and how it serves us

  in 2016 from Nancy Coneff, former Board President, shared below. 

 

SOMETHING NEW IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD

Unity Church of Christianity - Brazosport

Jan 17, 2016

Copyright, Nancy Coneff 2016

Paul's Letter to the Romans 14 verse 19:  Let us then pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.

Review 5 Basic Unity principles - on our home page

1st 2nd principles are about Who We Are

3rd principle: How We become - through our thoughts held in mind, we develop our individuality, create our experience.

God_Is_I_Am.jpg

 4th principle: How we as individuals turn to God, our Source,  and remember Who we Are. Prayer and meditation are individual spiritual practices. We open our hearts to guidance of the Holy Spirit.

5th principle: Act on the Truth.  It's about how we express our Source:

 by holding the highest thoughts in mind,

 giving the glory of the Christ of our being into expression this time/space

Do we need to go to any church for any of this? Of course not. So why do we VALUE the experience of coming together with others in a spiritual community?

 3 motivators to accomplish anything:

For our selves, for others, and for God. We aim for Authentic Spirituality. A shared aspiration.

--Ralph Waldo Emerson:  "In our definitions, we grope after the spiritual by describing it as invisible. The true meaning of spiritual is real; that law which executes itself, which works without means, and which cannot be conceived as not existing.'

As we aim to live the 5th principle as individuals, We Study the teachings and understandings.  We Pursue the spiritual practices. We learn and grow as individuals, expanding creation.

We mature in spiritual awareness, we begin to express the spiritual dimension in our thoughts.  We think differently.  Our thoughts change how we perceive, change the way we look at things.  As a result, our experience changes. We practice.  We see our everyday lives unfold in new ways.

comunity_compass.jpg

 Some can unfold this spiritual growth by themselves.  Most of us find we need help to accomplish it.  We seek others who are aiming to unfold and express their spirituality,   who aim to practice these principles.  As we grow in Spiritual awareness, we grow in Love.  We ask "How can I "USE" what I have learned?   In a natural unfolding of the Love that we are, we seek to serve.   We join in relationship with others. We seek COMMUNITY. A Spiritual Community.  Who do we join with?

  • Those who share our Vision.
  • Those who share our desire to grow in Spirit.
  • Those with experience, who can help us,
  • Those who can inspire us,
  • Those who offer to lift us when we get sidetracked,
  • Those who amplify our understanding and share our practice of spiritual values: Healing, guidance, forgiveness, peace, creativity, prosperity.

Jesus said: "For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them."  Our coming together in Community expresses BOTH our desire to grow,  AND our desire to serve, To give and receive.  And Jesus has promised to be with us as we join in Spiritual Communty.

In short:  We come together as a spiritual community to REMIND EACH OTHER of THE TRUTH OF WHO WE ARE.  Who we are IS The GOOD NEWS!  Remembering it is the challenge!  Spiritual community--study and work and practice with others who share our aim to remember--helps us unfold heaven on earth... as individuals and in our expression in the world.

Unity recognizes there are many paths to God. We see so many spiritual communities, from study groups and prayer groups to worldwide religious institutions, with so many different forms of worship, different practices and rituals for healing, for purification, for forgiveness, for peacemaking, for calling on help from the Spiritual dimension, for praising our Creator in music and song and dance, in art.....to me this simply gives us some idea of the Vast Enormity of God. 

So Spiritual Community is both: an aid in our remembering who we are, and an avenue for expression of who we are in love and service.

Speaking of Good News, ......after being a job seeker for over a year, I have been working full time since Tuesday at the soon-to-be-opened Denny's in Lake Jackson.

Denny's.  You have likely enjoyed a meal there.  Things have changed over the years. Denny's is working hard to be better than they have to be.  Quality food.  Excellent service.  Always open. I feel better about eating there now that I have seen it on the inside than I did before I worked there.

1.      In Lake Jackson, there will be 80 people working there: all ages, many races, many cultural differences....pulling together as a team, as one, to achieve the goal of the institution: to make money by feeding people.

2.      How do they accomplish their goal?  Shared vision, shared values, shared standards. "We love to feed people!"    

Waitress
At Denny's, shared values build community of service

 The first training session at Denny's?  Values.
  • You are not customers or consumers, but GUESTS-(suggests a relationship). we invite them in with open arms--our guests: the center of everything we do.
  • Open means open to all people, appetites and budgets. Honest, warm, inviting. Open-minded, open to new ideas. Open is HOW WE THINK AND ACT every day.
  • Proud of our heritage as America's Diner: quality food, healthy portions, at a fair price. Always open, and inviting guests around the world to a place where everyone is welcome.
  • "Hungry to Win" Constantly looking ahead, always moving, striving for more, hungry for greatness. Open to fresh innovative thinking. Success through teamwork, accountability, pushing the boundaries of ourselves and the Denny's brand.
  • "The Power of We:" Denny's family of employees: We trust, support and respect each other and work together for the greater good. Recognize the contributions of all and empower each and every one of us to achieve great things. Celebrate our successes together, and have fun doing it. A team of equals: know and do your job and share the work.

Wow.  Everyone to have this mindset--it's unstoppable!  How do you pull together 80 people into a team in 10 days? Set the tone, state the values and expectations.  Ask for commitment to align with them. Help them to follow through and learn to align and perform.

Shared vision, Shared purpose, or Mission. Shared values--quality, accountability, openness, innovation, integrity. Outward signs of alignment:   Uniforms, standard procedures, consistently high quality standards, extraordinary cleanliness.

And Denny’s is "hungry to serve" the communities where it does business.   As a neighborhood diner, Denny’s is committed to giving back to local communities through many programs, including No Kid Hungry, Hungry for Education, the United Way and countless local programs aimed at making the world a better place. Denny’s team members get involved in their communities by volunteering their time, making charitable contributions, serving food to those in need and helping raise money for local schools, churches, hospitals and athletic teams, to name a few.

Denny's is building a community here. Why? To Serve. Who will they serve?  The employees, the stockholders--AND the wider community. -- Self, others....and ultimately (thereby), God.

As they succeed--as WE succeed--we will create a source of community pride, a place where memories are made, traditions honored.  A place of joining in relationship.  An institution with heart, that can become the heart of a community--just as every spiritual community aims to do!

Denny's is creating a community of service.

Unity of Brazosport, our spiritual community, can actually share these same values.  Unity attracts both those who seek spiritual values, and those who wish to serve.  We are a community of people who know Who We Are, and who aim to recognize our True Self--the Christ--in everyone.  This is our shared Truth, our shared Value, our shared principle.

In Unity, we aim to follow the paths we were shown--by many teachers-- towards increasing Consciousness of Who we Are...Union with God. We serve each other by sharing the path, working to heal, encourage, inspire, our brothers in Christ.. 

Shared purpose?  Individually, our Purpose is that yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves. Our Spiritual Community, Unity of Brazosport, offers us one way--one of many--to connect with our individual purpose.  For me, Denny's is another way! And we can travel several of these ways to remember our Union with God all at the same time!  After all, that's what it's all about....the journey home.

At the first Board Meeting of 2016, it was decided:  Linda Carr's Committe will conduct a Vision and Mission statement review. (Call her if you would like to help.) 

Our original Mission statement: "To teach the principles of Truth as taught by Jesus Christ."

Updated in 1989:   "The primary purpose of Unity Church of Christianity in Brazosport is to provide and atmosphere of unconditional love and acceptance in which all attracted may feel free to discover their innate divinity and begin the process of raising their understanding Godward by practicing certain practical, spiritual principles taught and exemplified by our Elder Brother and Way Shower, Jesus Christ."

Our spiritual community is affiliated The Unity Worldwide Ministries. Their Vision is: A world powerfully transformed through the growing movement of Shared Spiritual awakening.

Their mission is "advancing the movement of spiritual awakening and transformation through Unity, a positive path for spiritual living."

The Association shares these values:

  • We are Spirit-led-- centered in God. Spirit leads our thoughts and actions as we co-create a world that works for all.
  • Generosity-living in the infinite flow of God's good, we draw from inexhaustible supply and wisely use our rich resources to serve the world.
  • Transformation: We are a dynamic movement on the cutting edge of spiritual evolution. We teach universal spiritual principles that change lives.
  • Diversity: We believe all people are created with sacred worth. We promote greater understanding among people in a spirit of unity.
  • Integrity: We act from a place of wholeness and are ethical in all our actions. We keep our word.
  • Unity

Unity of Brazosport, our spiritual community, has long stood upon these values. 

Values.jpg

  On our website, the Vision is "Bringing like-minded people together in their quest for Truth."

Our Mission statement:  Dedicated to teaching, loving, and inspiring people to be all they are created to be. Another way to put that:  Dedicated to teaching, loving, and inspiring people to increasing Consciousness of Who we Are...Union with God.

In other words:  Dedicated to reminding each other of the Truth of Who we Are.

Those present at my talk in July will remember I focused on the big questions: Who am I? and why am I here?  In case you missed it (!!) I AM a child of the living God.  One in Christ with all humanity.  Unity Truth principles 1 and 2.

The other question I addressed that day?  Why am I here. We have talked some more about that today.

I share the mission of the Unity Worldwide Ministries.  I am aligned with the mission of the Unity movement, and the mission of Unity of Brazosport.  Shared Vision, shared mission, shared values: THIS is my spiritual community.

My community faces some challenges. 

Many of you have been part of this community for many years.  You have been part of the struggles to maintain integrity of leadership, to maintain the spiritual focus, to continue financing the facilities and the speakers, to maintain participation of members.  Along the way, many have been hurt, disappointed, frustrated.  Some felt betrayed. Many who shared in our spiritual community no longer participate. 

Yup. Our human journey on the path is a messy one. Our lofty ideals guide us and inspire us...AND not only do our leaders mess up, but so do we.

Forgiveness is one of our spiritual practices, and we know it is not complete as long as we carry grief, resentment, or fear around an issue, an incident, a person, a group, or an institution. Healing is another spiritual practice, and this is where our spiritual community can serve us well.

Unity of Brazosport has survived.

 (- -Thanks to our Board Members: Arlene, Charlotte, Mary and Charlene who have led this church for the past 5 years. We acknowledge these Board members and we deeply appreciate their dedicated service.Thanks to them--and the Holy Spirit!, Unity of Brazosport has survived.)

From Gretchen Kane, current President of Ursuline Academy of Dallas (my high school alma mater):

I seriously doubt that community is fostered primarily by what we do in it or about it: how many persons we live with, how often we meet, or what we gather about. These issues are important. But, in the last analysis, our main concern, simplistic as it may sound, is whether we trust one another; whether we can be vulnerable in each other's presence; whether there is, when we encounter one another, a basic stance of openness to the self-revelation of God in the gathering.

 This is what allows for community to happen. 

"...Openness to The self-revelation of God in the gathering....."  We refer to this as Guidance of the Holy Spirit. The guidance of the Holy Spirit allows for community to happen. Community happens when we trust one another, and trust in the Holy Spirit.

Unity of Brazosport has survived. Now, we aim to do more than just continue. We are called to serve each other.  And more.  Our Vision--"Bringing like-minded people together in their quest for Truth" and our Mission--"Dedicated to teaching, loving, and inspiring people to be all they are created to be," call us to serve beyond what we are today.We are called to grow.   I believe there are many people who value our basic principles and would love to find a community where they can be inspired to grow and to journey on the path with others of like mind, with shared principles, shared spiritual practices, shared values.

Daniel H. Pink has studied motivation in the workplace. He gave a Ted talk in 2009 on The Puzzle of Motivation. He describes what he calls Motivation for Mastery - The desire to get better and better at something that matters.

Making progress, getting better, is a major reason people do what they do.  Example Wikipedia - expertise for free and to help others.

We are here this morning because we share principles, we share purpose, and we share practices like prayer, meditation, forgiveness, gratitude.  And we share desire to get better and better at something that matters, the desire to heal and renew our spirit of community.

(Look out.  I am getting ready to use some "dirty words" here, words like commitment, dedication, tithing, service, participation)--stay with me!

As we go about this process of healing and renewal,

we will reaffirm our values of integrity, generosity, transformation, diversity

 we will reaffirm our commitment to our mission,

 we will reaffirm our commitment to insuring this community continues to exist as a resource for increasing Consciousness of Who we Are.

 We will reaffirm our commitment to continue as a beacon, "Bringing like-minded people together in their quest for Truth."

 We will support this spiritual community with our time and our money because it serves US on OUR spiritual journey.

 We will support this spiritual community with our time and money because it serves our families, neighbors and co-workers for us to show up in the world as all that we can be- AND for US to see them and KNOW them as the Christ they are.

 We will support this spiritual community because it serves God by teaching, loving, and inspiring us as members of this community to get better and better at something that matters: Healing....loving....and inspiring our larger Brazosport  community with our service... our positive lifestyle..., and our creativity. Because we KNOW Who WE are--and Who THEY are.

We will renew our own spirit of community

 by healing our past disappointments, by inspiring each other,

 by growing our commitment...and our participation, not only in Unity of Brazosport, but in service to projects in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and our larger community.

As we renew our spirit, and reaffirm our commitment, we know the Law of Attraction will work as we have been taught: we will see more people finding their way through these doors to share with us on our spiritual journey.

You have likely heard this next quote  many times before.  But in the spirit of reminding each other of the Truth we already know, and inspiring each other to share it, here is Marianne Williamson's famous statement of the way the Truth heals:

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There is nothing enlightened about shrinking, so that other people won't feel insecure around you. 

We are all meant to shine--as children do.

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.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

 Friends, let's leave our fear and disappointment behind. Who we were does not change Who We ARE. 

You've heard the one about "going forward confidently in the direction of our dreams." Here's what Ralph S. Marston, Jr. From The Daily Motivator website tells us:

"True confidence flows from a strong sense of purpose (our Mission). True confidence is based on a genuine love of life and a love for the good possibilities that are always present (our Vision).

To be confident, we must be honest, with ourselves and with others. (integrity) We must be willing to give of ourselves (generosity), to do the difficult work that will create excellence (integrity).

The confidence necessary to move forward is always within reach. To the extent you let go of what doesn't matter, and put energy, enthusiasm and effort into what does, you become more confident, more effective.

It is time to stop hiding from the best possibilities. Invest your time, your actions, your life in what matters, and move confidently forward, transforming your highest visions into reality."

theres-no-unity-without-community2.jpg

Our Shared purpose, shared vision, shared values make Unity of Brazosport a Spiritual Community, with an aim to Serve as a beacon for Truth. As a Spiritual Community, let's let our light shine.  Let us inspire each other to express Who we Are more abundantly...

reminding each other as we do so, And shining the light to "liberate" our Brazosport community with our Presence--The Presence.

As we close our eyes a moment.... we consider our purpose:

Vision:

For Unity of Brazosport to thrive as a Spiritual Center, serving those who seek Truth with inspiration and resources for better living and for expanding expression of the Christ within.

Our mission

As a thriving Spiritual Center, Unity of Brazosport serves Brazoria County by upholding principles of Peace, Harmony, Creativity and Prosperity through cooperation and positive participation of our members in the life of the community. We let our light shine.

So Be it!      Ladies and Gentlemen:  Let's Do this!!

Unity of Brazosport
UnityBrazosport.jpg
507 So. Brooks St, (Hwy 36), Brazoria, TX 77422

 
Vision: "A community of unconditional love and acceptance where all may discover unity in Christ."
 Mission:  Dedicated to teaching, loving, and inspiring people to be all they are created to be.