by Rev. Steve Colladay
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “We are challenged to rise above the narrow confines of our individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. …Through our scientific genius we have made of the world a neighborhood, now through our moral and spiritual genius we must make of it a brotherhood. We are all involved in the single process. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. We are all links in the great chain of humanity…We have before us the glorious opportunity to inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization.”
As we move into the summer of 2020, our church community continues to be in the midst of transition and deeply examining its reason for being, with a goal of not only creating an aligned purpose but also renewed relationship to the Unity Church in Albany community and its purpose, vision, mission and core values.
Even in the midst of COVID 19, perhaps especially in the midst of our shared experience calling for love, courage and willingness, will our Unity community, members and non-members alike, continue to rise above “the narrow confines of personal concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity?” Will we bloom where we’re planted–starting at home: at Unity Church of Albany and in our broader communities? Will we inject a new dimension of love into the veins of our civilization, starting right where we are: in our own church and local community? Will we individually and collectively take a bold step up and onto the world stage and join brothers and sisters in our Unity movement in seeing and co-creating “A world powerfully transformed through the growing movement of shared spiritual awakening”?
It has been said that many, if not most, people alive today live a life of quiet desperation. Perhaps this seems especially true now as each of us has been on a deep dive into a personal world that so suddenly has been upended. However, we continually yearn to be part of a community where we experience a power greater than ourselves. We long to touch the eternal, the transcendent. We sometimes forget that in the wheel ofLlife, God is the hub and each one of us stands at the edge with a direct line to the center. You know, the truth is that we can’t get closer to God in the wheel of our life unless we get close to each other. And conversely, we cannot get closer to each other unless we get closer to God. It’s our call.
We intellectually believe that we are one people, everyone a brother and sister, and yet the darkness in our lives and communities continue. A traditional rabbinical tale poses the question: how do you know the night is over and the day has come? “You know the night is over and day has come when you look into the eyes of any human being, and you see there your brother or your sister; for, if you do not see your brother or your sister, it is still night–the day hasn’t come.”
If you call Unity Church of Albany your spiritual home, I urge you to make this summer the summer of inquiring within–awaken to the call to give as much as you can to your church home, community, nation, and planet–to your life. For as we allow ourselves to be seduced by the ego, we’ll believe and act as if we don’t have time or the know how to bring forth new life in our community, for rising above our own personal concerns, let alone for injecting a new dimension of love into the veins of our community.
But as we know God’s love to be not a passive but a participatory emotion, then we’ll weave a love that sustains us, renews us, transforms us. As we look into the eyes of one another and behold the Christ, our day has come, and our community is reborn in love and joy. It is by deeply joining in spiritual community that the call to awaken occurs, where the darkness turns with the dawn and we weave a tapestry of God’s heaven on earth–right where we are.
Blessings and Love,