Devastating experiences at the whack of a cosmic 2x4 are never comfortable, but over time can be seen as course corrections, a wakeup call, or what one needed. I’ve had my share, and tend to rely on reframing in the long run.
The short version is what’s terrible today could end up being the best thing tomorrow. Or in some tomorrow. Events for our church family over the last couple of years qualify. I’m suggesting we put down, push aside, or let go of any issue or trigger we may have and reframe this experience to a metaphor of a cocoon.
This cocoon of change began with the retirement of our founding minister, Dr. Mitch Johnson. Many know, suspect, or anticipate change as difficult. Problems arise, adjustments happen, or they don’t. Some are easy. Others bitter. Change and transformation are seldom pretty or pain-free. Ask any butterfly.
In any profound transformation, everyone does the best they can to allow, accept, or advance the process. Some wait to see. Some rant. Some bale. All may hope for the best. In truth, we can’t escape from dealing with any needed change. If we resist, it’ll show up somewhere in our lives at another time.
This is our time. Thank God for people who stay the course, ride the waves, sit with, and participate in the steering a way through the transition. We are a church filled with these butterfly angels. In every cocoon, the walls close in, revealing many things to us and about us. Uncomfortable decisions have to be made. All kinds of new information pouring in on all levels: fight or flight. The truth is and remains we are in a state of transition…in a cocoon. To be transformed…to develop our new wings. First, we have to shed the old skin ways. And attitudes. Or keep some as a launching pad.
As always, fear is generally the first response. There are, by human standards, infinite possibilities of choices. In this cocoon of change, our church needs to move into the light of the new and what’s coming next. To become a church family requires surrender and commitment. To surrender to the process or surrender to the breaking of the cocoon and prepare to fly is what we are being called to. With trust, surrender, and commitment, we can break the cocoon and be a new butterfly in the world.
Trust in the gentle process that spirit guides us into being a spiritual home and community that serves. And we will triumph. To dance in the air of Nashville as a spiritual butterfly will occur. Many work daily to do the work to make this so. I ask each to hold this knowing. Through continual support and participation, we will break out of our cocoon and touch the sky.
To do that- begin again, begin anew, we must travel from head(reasons) to heart(love). Love calls us to reframe any past into the now moment. Do whatever we can to transform ourselves to this higher calling. The constant process of changing our belief systems to love and shine by contributing to this rebuilding is all of our work. Bravely choose the new wings for CSLNashville so that we can re-emerge from our cocoon. Let hearts rejoice in our next new adventure, and help us rise to our new calling, break out of the cocoon and fly again. To touch the sky will take work, ask any butterfly. Become with us.
Holidays always make me stop and reflect. In my mind, Labor Day is noteworthy as the beginning-of-the-end of summer, so I paused today to reflect on this year. And I’ve decided that 2020 has pretty much sucked. On top of the pandemic and all the restrictions and changes it has brought, I have personally lost two siblings and two brothers-in-law. When those close to you make their transition, we typically think of others close to us that may soon slip away from this human existence. I see my son look at me with a bit of worry since he’s lost three uncles and an aunt in such a brief time. Just recently, I learned that one of my dearest friends for the past 40 years is battling ALS, and I’m simply heartbroken for her family and her wide network of friends.
So how do we get past heartache? Well, sadly, alone, we don’t. I’ve come to believe that in times of loss (of family, friends, or ways of life), Spirit brings us comfort through those around us. I have a caring group “siblings” who serve with me on the Board of Trustees. I couldn’t ask for a more supportive group. While our larger CSLN family hasn’t been in face-to-face communication for much too long, I know they’re there. Their prayers and beautiful, positive energy are sustaining our community through all of our individual and collective losses. Thank you to all who pause each day to send comfort.
On a happy note, I want to welcome Lucia Coopersmith to the CSLNashville Board of Trustees. The Board voted to appoint Lucia to the position vacated by Rev. Lynn, as he moved into the minister’s position on the Board.
In her own words, Lucia said, “I would just like everyone to know that I love being part of such a wonderful spiritual community and that I look forward to helping our community grow over the next year.” We are so happy to have her light and love in this leadership role.
Love to All, Cate
Two Months and Counting
It’s been an interesting ride since our senior minister departed in mid-June. During that time, this congregation has stepped up to learn and do things that we had not experienced before.
The great thing about having a minister-centric community is that most of the members don’t have to worry about how things get done. Sure, anybody can volunteer to “help out” with various jobs, but in the end, the responsibility lies with the person at the helm. When that aspect of CSLNashville changed, the realization dawned on many of us that we had to make a change in our way of doing things. We could have chosen to move forward by becoming simply Board-centric, but to the Board, that wasn’t what we felt called to become. As we worked together to establish new protocols for getting the tasks completed, we realized that our focus had to be on the principles of our beliefs and the community itself. Therefore, we began seeing CSLN governance as Principal-centric/Community-led. We have chosen to call this change the Inclusivity Initiative.
Our first steps in implementing the Inclusivity Initiative were reopening our Board of Trustees meetings on Zoom, creating an informational pathway through our weekly newsletters and the BOT update on Sundays, and providing ways for the community to communicate directly with us even in this time of social distancing. Please keep your eye on our next stage: development of TEAMS. Members were asked to sign on to this process when they returned their member verification form. The TEAMS process means each aspect of the work of our Center will have a team supporting it. When the Board makes decisions, there will be input from the community.
This is a work-in-progress, and we need your involvement to be successful. Each of you will find your meaning in this initiative. Today this one spoke to me: Together Everyone Assumes Meaningful Support. What is the meaning for you?
Love and Blessings, Cate
We’re living through a tumultuous time. Consider the daily reminder of waking up to
a pandemic that causes us to always be on alert and on the ready for our safety, and requires distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing, and then add to that considerations for normal well-being, like work and creating income for food and housing, and then finding some general happiness, and you could say this is a stressful situation, for everyone.
How do we respond? Isn’t that the key? How we respond? How we respond to this current situation that is an invisible virus threat for us to contend with? How we respond to the difficulties created by the virus in the economy?
The Science of Mind, our teaching, our philosophy tells us that “We are enough”. We are enough because we are one with God. God is everlasting Spirit, an all-powerful love and all-knowing intelligence. God, the Universe, is infinite support and supply. God is one with you and surrounds and expresses through you. Therefore, you are enough because God is enough. How do we activate the power of God? We speak our word, speaking it with our mind and heart, and knowing that God, Spirit will make it so. We speak our word as a prayer that makes a statement of truth, not a plea. I know that God, the spirit within, through, and as me, expresses through me as wise choices, safety, and vibrant health. The entire Universe supports me now. I am God’s beloved child and I am enough. The entire power of the Universe awaits our word, our thought, and our deed to make it so. This is God’s gift to you. Jesus knew this and taught this. Will you not rise up and walk? Will you know with me that you are enough?
God’s grace surrounds each one of us and we know this is true now. We are one with God, therefore we are healthy, we are strong and we are prosperous. We are enough, and we say this in your name, knowing that it is true right now, and So, it is!
Blessings to you all!
When you reaffirmed your membership, you probably indicated multiple areas of interest. In the near future you will be contacted regarding your choices. Are you willing to serve on a team working to help reconstitute that aspect of the Center? Mission statements and goals will be developed. Your participation will this process will be greatly valued. You will have the opportunity to help determine the direction, the what and how, of the revitalization process. You will be a part of making it happen.
Odds are that you may have indicated more than one interest. When agreeing to be a part of the solution, please determine where your highest interests lie and only commit to what you can reasonably do. The leadership team at CSLN wants you to be successful in your commitment without experiencing overload or burnout. We look forward to your involvement in this evolution and transformation. “Nothing is too good to be true.” – Ernest Holmes
Submitted by Gary Bowers