This past Sunday, July 8, Revs. Brian and Kristen featured a special panel interview with Susan Heinrichs and many of the musical stars from Celebration. This special service is but one in a series of Sunday talks under the theme of “The Courage to Connect,” which will be complemented by the new Spirit Group meetings that commence a little over a week from now. All these activities and more are part of UCOH’s year-long spiritual journey together under the theme of “The Courage to Imagine”. We are symbolically just beyond the halfway point in our community wide adventure together in 2018.
Six full months are behind us, and six more ahead. The UCOH Community is now entering into the third quarter of “The Courage to Imagine” experience. In 2018, we have been encouraged to courageously use the creative power of our imagination in new, innovative ways, to overcome limitations in our thinking, and to realize more of our authentic, Christ potential.
“The Courage to Imagine” master theme has been emphasized through many of the Sunday talks, the Spirit Group meetings, and in many of the weekly blog articles. In this third quarter, our featured theme is “The Courage to Connect,” and some of the upcoming Sunday talks and Spirit Group meetings will emphasize this aspect of our community journey together. We are encouraging ourselves and others to be creative in the ways that we not only connect with one another, but also how we connect with our own selves. Especially how we might more creatively connect with our own authentic, Christ nature.
It is useful to remember that we do not leave the themes of the previous two quarters behind. Rather, we carry them with us as the foundation upon which we express the courage to more authentically connect. So, before we preview the new quarter’s theme, allow me to quickly recap the spotlight themes for the first two quarters.
The Courage to Come from Within
We begin the year with a focus on the “Courage to Come from Within.” At the foundation of this idea, we were encouraged to seek opportunities to creatively connect with the “still, small voice” of Spirit within. Among other things, we were encouraged to ask ourselves: Where is my growing edge in learning to courageously listen for the voice of Spirit in all circumstances? Is there opportunity for growth in the area? If you are like me, the answer to the second question is a resounding YES! There is always room for growth. The journey is about learning where my perceived limitations are, and being willing to live at the growing edge of those limitations. To lean into that edge and be willing to grow beyond my perceived edge of limitations.
To achieve this end, one needs to be willing to connect with the deepest truth within their own being, their own consciousness. To strive for higher ideals in our life experience requires that we courageously connect with out deepest truth. We should be clear with ourselves that courage is no mere act of will. True courage is a palpable expression of authentic power sourced in the heart, and made manifest through the power of love.
The will alone is not responsible for the expression of courage. Without the power of love centered in the heart, there is no courage. Having the courage to come from within is also having the courage to come from the heart, to allow only the expression of the harmonizing power of love to come forth from your innermost being. Imagine the possibilities for our experience if everyone was encouraged to come from love rather than fear. How would that one strategy change the world and our experience of it?
The Courage to Soar
Entering the second quarter with a deeper commitment to courageously come from within at the deepest most authentic part of our being, we brought into focus the intention to have the “Courage to Soar.” As an expression of the heart, the courage to soar is a commitment to elevate our thoughts into the higher realms of manifestation.
Using birds as a metaphysical symbol of taking flight into the realms of higher, divine ideas and more love centered energies, we courageously connect deep within, and allow our souls and spirits to take flight. Through the power of love, centered in the heart, we rise above the weight of our fears in order to realize our divine potential.
We courageously ask ourselves deep, spiritual questions to encourage the expression of our true nature to support our souls in flight. How might we express the courage to trust the natural lift of Spirit that allows our souls to take flight and glide to newer, ascended heights in our thinking than ever before? How can we reframe the situations and circumstances in our lives to see them not as challenges intended to break us, but rather as expressions of Divine Spirit nudging and urging us to reach higher, to soar into the ascended realms of higher, creative thought and expression?
To use our imagination in ways that helps us realize our divine potential is the true purpose of imagination. Like all the other twelve creative powers, imagination cannot be left to its own devices. It does require great courage to unerringly wield the power of imagination in ways that are only positive and beneficial. If we are truly and courageously using our imagination to come from within, from the deepest truth of our being, then we will soar. We will achieve new heights in our experience. We will take flight, rise above the weight of our fears and realize our divine potential. We must have to get over it, as in, get above it. Be willing to see everything in life from an elevated perspective, one that is courageously focused on the higher universal truths that bind us all together. This requires both great courage and imagination. Fortunately, we all have a limitless capacity for both.
The Courage to Connect
As we enter this third quarter and turn our attention to the new theme of having the “Courage to Connect”, we will be emphasizing two ideas. The obvious one is having the courage to connect with others from the deepest part of our being. Perhaps a little less obvious is having the courage to connect with our own selves also at the deepest part of our being.
Any successful spiritual journey is progressive. Our past experiences provide the foundation from which we grow through new experiences in this here now, present moment. We do not leave the past lessons or experiences behind. Rather, we use them as the foundation upon which we continue to build a life grounded in spiritual principles and universal truths.
These themes build upon one another. They are not separate pursuits, but rather integral parts to a synergistic process to deepen our universal connection to spiritual truth. The courage to connect is the courage to come from within, just as the courage to come from within is necessary for expressing the courage to soar. They are all connected. Our journey is to more deeply and courageously integrate them into our soul’s experience. To be willing to live from deeper and deeper depths within our being.
The New Spirit Group Adventure
As we move through the coming weeks and months in this “Courage to Connect” adventure, the Spirit Groups will begin a new 5-week experience emphasizing the courage to connect. In this small group experience, we will explore what it means to authentically connect with others, but also how to be more connected with our own authentic selves. Among many other questions, we will consider the following ideas together:
Is there anyone at all I have left outside of my heart?
How do I imagine I would feel if I knew I was truly safe?
What will allow me to deepen my connection with others, as well as my own authentic self?
In the Spirit Groups, in the Sunday talks, and likely in a blog or two along the way, we will be encouraged to connect at a deeper level with our selves. We will aspire to asking questions that encourage us to creatively use our imagination to expand our capacity to express the harmonizing power of love. We anticipate an experience that deepens our connection not only with others, but most importantly with our selves. We look forward to experiencing one another growing in their capacity for authentic connection. If you have not yet joined a Spirit Group for this next leg of the journey, sign up for one today.
See you on the path. Peace.