By Rev. Linda Machesic, Temporary Senior Minister —
Every Sunday we recite our Mission Statement. We say, “Unity of Daytona Beach is a vibrant spiritual community that transforms lives by teaching and living the message of Jesus Christ.” Vibrant? Are we? According to Merriam Webster, “vibrant” is pulsating with life, vigor, or activity; it is responsive, sensitive. So, then, how vibrant are we at Unity of Daytona Beach? And what about the message of Jesus Christ? What does that mean?
Let us look at the question of vibrancy first. How shall we measure our vibrancy? We measure it by answering a few questions. How much activity is there going on here in our church? How pulsating is our energy? How vigorously are we applying Jesus Christ teachings in our lives? How responsive are we to this Mission in which we’re engaged – that of teaching the message of Jesus Christ?
As to how much activity is there going on here at the church? I’d say it is fair to middling. We have occasional workshops and concerts and we could do more. If our mission is to teach the message of Jesus Christ, we want to look at how much information we’re providing the larger community about just how to be joyous, loving, peaceful. Offering musical events that provoke such feelings is something we do from time to time; we can do more. The recent Greg Tamblyn concert was an example of offering such music to the community. There were 23 people in attendance. How can we reach more people? In April, we’re hosting an evening of Positive Music – look for more information and help us spread the word. Tell us how to fill the sanctuary for positive music events like this.
Information about how to love ourselves is another way to teach the message of Jesus Christ. Jesus, the man, loved others as well as himself. Bringing in programs that help people love themselves is an awesome thing we can do for the community. We do some of it. Hosting Martha Creek on both a Sunday morning and then for an entire afternoon workshop is a way we do this. We can do more of this and we can do a better job of promoting offerings like this. Look for more information on our Laughter Yoga workshop on April 8, for example.
Last month we hosted a workshop presented by the Doctors Stephen & Kenice Grand. Their subject was detox and attendance was higher than average. Attendees were people who do not ordinarily attend workshops like Martha Creek’s or Rev. Toni Boehm’s. My takeaway is that we have a ready and willing audience for more self-care workshops. Tell us if you know nutrition experts or experts in self-care of any kind that will help people love themselves in a very physical way.
So we can increase the activity here that supports the Jesus Christ teachings on Earth. Those teachings include the belief that each of us is Divine with Infinite Potential. Those teachings include the belief that we can do anything we set our minds to do. Eradicating ideas that we are limited is a very powerful tool for turning our thoughts to positivity. To that end, it occurs to me that providing an opportunity for small groups to study at homes or in the church on days that are not used for church has tremendous potential for us. We can bring everyone together discussing the same set of questions, the same book, sharing our very private and intimate thoughts in a safe environment. Transformation will happen. Count on it.
Small group ministries are powerful tools for personal transformation. Further when small groups are studying the same information and applying it to their lives, the potential for collective transformation exists as well. We’re going to embark on a five-week experience of small group ministries for such transformation. I will have rolled out the whole program on March 11. By the time you read this newsletter, you will already be engaged with a small group in your home, someone else’s, or at the church. Enjoy it. Be fully present to what it offers you. Be fully present to how you serve each other by being a safe place for sharing. Be fully present to a new way of thinking about change. Help co-create a new language we can use for describing the experiences of change in our lives. Help c-ocreate an entirely human experience of our spirituality. Help increase the vibrancy around here!