We Can Fly!

By Rev. Linda Machesic, Temporary Senior Minister —

Has a song bar or a chorus or a verse ever flown into your head out of nowhere? Well, just now as I sat down to write this final lead article for your newsletter, a verse flew into mine. Do you know the song? It was made famous by the Fifth Dimension.

Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon
We could float among the stars together, you and I
For we can fly, we can fly
Up, up, and away
My beautiful, my beautiful balloon.

Thank you, God, for the inspiration. I’ll work with this verse as a metaphor for my experience as your temporary minister. We have ridden together in a beautiful balloon – one created by Rev. Carmen’s sabbatical, my membership and volunteerism at our church, my intention to create a sabbatical ministry program for Unity Worldwide Ministries, and the bold leadership of your Board of Trustees. We have floated together – you and me. And, yes, we can fly and have flown. It has been a rich and rewarding experience for me. I hope it has for you as well. It is time for me to hand back the gavel and time for you and me to welcome Rev. Carmen home again.

My takeaway is sabbaticals are rich opportunities for all involved parties to fly among the stars for a time, think outside the box, renew themselves, or reinvent themselves, or rediscover themselves, recommit themselves to service, and grow beyond their current boundaries. The Board of Trustees can do and has done this and will continue to grow. Rev. Carmen has done this and will continue to do this and will continue to grow. You, the congregation have done this in myriad ways, including embracing a dramatic change in leadership and (some would say) dramatic changes in the Order of Service. You have signed up to go deeper and grow more through small groups. You have generously supported this sabbatical experience. And you should know that your generous support of this sabbatical experience will serve Unity ministries around the country.

My work with Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) has been happening simultaneously as I continue to co-create a brand new service being offered to Unity ministers worldwide: Sabbatical Support. While my original vision was to create a team of people to develop, implement, and run such a program – a team that would report to UWM’s Board of Directors, something even better happened. UWM said they chose, instead, to make Sabbatical Support a permanent part of their Member Services Department. They have taken the recommendations that I have made, along with those made by my partners in ministry, Rev. Pat Bessey, and Martha Creek, along with those made by numerous ministers I’ve interviewed about their own sabbatical experience and are turning all of it into a solid program. The program will be launched in June at the People’s Convention in Missouri. We have already received one call from a minister looking to take a sabbatical and another anxious to serve as a sabbatical minister.

We have flown together – you, Rev. Carmen, and me. Our experience is much farther reaching than you imagined. I am forever grateful to you. You are a loving, prosperous, faith-filled community already making a difference in the world. I am humbled to have been a very small part of your evolution. I’m stepping aside as your volunteer coordinator now. My time will be dedicated to writing and to serving Unity in a much different way. Please accept this prayer as my farewell gift to you. I’ll see you in church.

Thank you, God, for Unity of Daytona Beach
and its members. Thank you, God, for the spiritual
leadership of Rev. Carmen Zappi as she returns renewed
and prepared to resume her leadership with vigor and
enthusiasm. Thank you for the awakenings that continue
to happen here and the loving service being
provided to the larger community. Thank you for
the inspiration that propels Unity of Daytona Beach.
Thank you for the imagination and the love of the
servant leaders here. Thank you for the prosperity
consciousness that thrives here and for the wisdom that
serves as the bedrock for all who cross these thresholds.