by Rev. Steve Colladay

Why do you attend church?  And even in these times of social distancing, why do you attend virtual church? May I suggest it’s not just to continue your spiritual search and experience the sacred, but it’s to deepen your commitment to your spiritual journey and thus to co-create and partake of sacred community.

Milton Rosenberg in Pastoral Psychology says “People are coming to church not simply to partake of the sacred but to partake of sacred community.  We hunger for a kind of group association in which, through being ourselves, we may get to something greater than ourselves.  We long to touch the transcendent, and, furthermore, to do it in the company of others who, by sharing our experiences, verify and confirm them.”

Many of us after being spiritual seekers for a significant time in our life have now not only found a path, but we’re on the path, walking with other friends, or pilgrims, in a sacred community. Some pilgrims walk fast, some slow, some further ahead, some behind; sometimes it’s pleasant, sometimes the journey is treacherous…but we know we are on the right road and that others have reached its end, and we’re loved and nurtured by our community.

The spiritual pilgrim knows he/she is responsible for not only finding the path, but for staying on it, walking home with others. This awareness has taken on new meaning now—who knew that the challenges that awaited us with the onset of Covid 19? Yet the spiritual pilgrim knows that they are totally a key part of the sacred community: they are committed to being friends with one another and thus co-creator of a sacred community. I believe the loved and popular Unity hymn Weave* is all about sacred community:

Weave, weave, weave us together,
weave us together in unity and love.
We are many textures, we are many colors,
each one different from the other.
But we are entwined with one another
in one great tapestry.

We are different instruments
playing our own melodies,
each one tuning to a different key,
But we are all playing in harmony,
in one great symphony.

A moment ago, still we did not know
our unity, only diversity,
Now the Christ in me greets the Christ in thee,
in one great family.

Weave, weave, weave us together,
weave us together in unity and love.

—Rosemary Crow

Friends, this lovely spring time let us open to the call for an even deeper experience of sacred community in Unity of Albany as we one more time, take inventory of ourselves, our relationships with everyone. Let’s weave loving and renewed friendships!  Here are three Spirit in action steps we can take right now:

1.  Weave a loving friendship that deepens.  Commit to creating new, deeper friendships.  Move an acquaintance into a friend. Contact one friend from your past with but one goal: express gratitude and love!  Christopher Morley said “If we suddenly had five minutes left to live, five minutes to say all that we wanted to say, telephone lines would be jammed by people calling other people to stammer that they loved them.”

2.  Weave a loving friendship that opens your eyes.  Behold the Christ–see the hidden promise–in everyone you come in contact with this month: the stranger, people you’re having challenges with, the friend. Reach out, and reach inside your self.

3.  Weave a loving friendship that touches and heals your pain. Particularly during these challenging times, let’s open at a deeper level to the love and support of the indwelling Christ and your friends.  Our caring, mutual support is really an expression of God’s love—our core identity!