THIS WEEK AT THE CHAPEL - December 12, 2017
SUNDAY AT THE CHAPEL
This Sunday is going to be a glorious day at Wayfarers Unity Chapel. It is our Christmas Program of Music and Readings. Marie Dunkle, Chris Casses and a small amount of assistance from yours truly (and I do mean small) is going to produce a great morning for everyone.
Marie and Chris have orchestrated (a musical reference here) a program of Seasonal Music from many different traditions. I will not give away some of the special treats they have in store for you. Nine members of our Wayfarers family will offer readings that they find meaningful in their personal Christmas Celebrations. Come early enough to enjoy coffee or tea and who knows, maybe a little Christmas treat will show up.
CHRISTMAS OUTREACH PROJECT
As always, you have been generous in your support of this year’s Christmas Project, and we will were able to make a significant contribution toward this organization’s initiative of providing Christmas gifts to children in need. ‘Richard’s Kids’ does good work all year round for needy Rabun County little ones. But Christmas is a time when each child should find gifts beneath their tree. Thank you for being a part of Christmas for children who without you might not have presents.
CONTACT THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Remember that the Board always welcomes your input. Our contact information is:
Dee Daley (404-219-8109) email@example.com
Marie Dunkle (770-335-0967) firstname.lastname@example.org
Garnett Nash (706-782-7234) email@example.com
Joyce Oliver (828-200-9160) firstname.lastname@example.org
A NEW WAYFARER'S DIRECTORY
I am absolutely committed to making my vision of a Wayfarers Directory a reality. Would you like to have contact information for our spiritual family members? I am often asked how to be in touch with someone, and I can’t always help with that request. I am going to put together a directory of those folks who would like to be included. I am starting to collect the needed data now.
It’s not mandatory, but if you want to join in this project, please send via an email response (email@example.com) this info:
• Your name (spouse’s name if applicable), name of other family members who share the home with you (if applicable).
• Mailing address and physical address if different
• Phone Number
• Email address
Please help me make this useful addition to our information network a reality. Just take a minute and send me your info.
This is the season of love and light: Advent…the season of great expectancy. For Christians the expectation culminates in the birth of a baby whose name was Jesus. It is a story that contains many levels of wisdom; from the Faith exhibited by Mary, to Joy to the World, to the gifts from the wise men, the bright and guiding star and many other layers of meaning.
One way I look at this story is that God was saying, “Look, folks, it is good to be a human. So good, that I am incarnating in human form just to illustrate the love that provided the spark for each of you to become a human being. That spark, which you will come to know as the Christ Spirit, dwells in all of creation.”
In the Advent tradition, this Sunday, December 17th honors Love; the one thing that I personally experience as our delicious connection with all that is; it is the divine spark of Love that glues everything together in this amazing network of life.
So, it is not surprising that this week my heart has been pondering Love as I have experienced it along the journey back to my source. The first real slam-dunk of God getting my attention happened when I was about 19. I may have shared this experience with you, but it bears repeating.
I was a sophomore in college. My focus was not on things of a spiritual nature…guys, sorority, parties, etc. were usually at the forefront of my thinking; though I admit to being somewhat in love with the academics. For the first time in my life I was getting positive feedback about my gifts in the various areas of study. But, on this particular day I was riding the bus home from classes. Nothing, really, was on my mind…I was just jostling along on the seat I usually occupied; the one directly behind the driver. When we stopped to let a couple of passengers off, the driver went inside the little neighborhood store where the stop was located. (That was a very long time ago, and the streets of Atlanta have been reconfigured many times, but I could go to that very spot this minute.)
I sat there just thinking of nothing and waiting for the driver to return and complete the few more miles to my stop. Suddenly, out of nowhere, I was filled with the strangest sensation. In a way it was a thought, in another way it was a feeling. I had, at that moment, an overwhelming desire to reach out and put my arms around the entire world and all its occupants. I deeply longed to pull them close in a comforting hug. I remember clearly thinking, “If only I could hold everyone in the world in my arms for a few moments, everything and everyone would be okay.”
The driver returned, and the bus continued on its route. I felt different – kinda funny, a little lighter. This was not something I would have considered sharing with even my closest friend. If you remember the story of the angel Gabriel appearing to Mary to tell her the child she carried was placed there by the Holy Spirit, the story goes on to say that Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.
I kept thinking of that passage, and knew that I had to be Mary (which is actually my given name) and keep this experience close to me and “ponder it in my heart.” After all, I didn’t want to be seen as odd or a “whack-o!” And I knew it was too important to give away…and speaking it would have deluted its strength.
That day, that moment, has remained vivid in my memory for nigh on to 56 years. I now recognize that it was my awareness of being one with all that is. It was powerful. It was Love expressed in the most meaningful way a young (not-religious) girl could have understood. Why and how it came is a mystery to me. But that is what life and spirituality is – a mystery.
It was that encounter with the divine that has helped me recognize other encounters along the way. There are many others; none as profound, but all with significance. Perhaps a time will come when I have the opportunity to share others with you in the hope that my memories of Love coming down (as we celebrate at Christmastime) will open doorways to your memories of precious times when you, too, experienced the miracle of Love – universal, unfettered and absolutely unconditional.
What a magical time of year this is for us. Love and Joy come to you!
Wayfarers Unity Chapel is entirely supported by free-will offerings. We are richly blessed by the people in our fellowship who give, and we are grateful for your gifts. If you would like to contribute financially to support this ministry, please place your love offering in one of the donation baskets at the Chapel entrance.
*Now you may donate on line clicking here and selecting the “Donate Now” option.
Tax deductible donations may also be mailed to Estatoah Wayfarers Chapel, PO Box 474, Dillard, GA 30537. There are self addressed envelopes at the Donation Center which may be used to mail your gift.
“Divine love thru me blesses and multiplies all that I have, all that I give and all that I receive.”