"What Makes A Hero?" with Rev. Melanie Eyre this Sunday at 11:00 a.m.

Teflon or Velcro?

​Sister Joan Chittister tells the story of a seeker who once asked an elderly monk “What is it you do in a monastery?” And the old man took a minute and then he answered “oh, we fall and we get up, and we fall and we get up, and we fall and we get up again.” Do you ever feel like your life is following the same pattern? We fall down, we get up, and we repeat the process. What spiritual principles can we learn to help us bounce back more fully when we do

Build Your Boat – Navigating Life’s Changes

​ Thomas Merton once said that we may spend our whole lives climbing the ladder of success, only to find when we get to the top that our ladder has been leaning against the wrong wall. We are shaken when we find out that, in building a life that we call success, that we are told is success, we have focused on the shiny objects in front of us and have neglected to add to our toolkit so many of the tools necessary to navigate to the far shore of peace, wisdom and contentment. We

And Do What You Will

​Today’s title comes from St. Augustine of Hippo, one of the most influential thinkers in the Western Christian church. About 1500 years ago, he wrote: Once and for all, I give you this one short command: love, and do what you will. If you hold your peace, hold your peace out of love. If you cry out, cry out in love. If you correct someone, correct them out of love. If you spare them, spare them out of love. Let the root of love be in you: nothing can spring from it but good. …[1] 

The River Is Flowing – Jump In!

water, flow, wave

Do you feel abundant? Do you feel surrounded by the inexorable flow of health, joy, resources, opportunity? Right here and now? I’m not asking for a show of hands. Sometimes we don’t. Sometimes, often, I don’t. Well known author, teacher and Unity minister Eric Butterworth wrote: “in a time when the world is facing the grim specter of lack, there is a great need to understand the omnipresence of divine substance. There is little question that people can fail and even grow hungry in their experience of life. But the great truth of the “reality

Beloved Community – Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and a Look Forward

Tomorrow we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Although we celebrate this year on January 16, today is his actual birthday. He was born here in Atlanta on January 15, 1929. If he were alive today he would be 88. Dr. King was a visionary who taught us so much about community and the ties that bind us together in our common humanity. As we prepare to remember him and his work, I’d like to talk about community, of what he called the Beloved Community. Dr. King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, nearly 50

Here at One World, every week we affirm that we honor all paths to God. As an interfaith community, we celebrate that the world’s different faith traditions have much to teach us as we walk our own spiritual paths. We are now in the midst of the High Holy Days of the Jewish calendar, the ten days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. This year Rosh Hashanah began at sunset on September 13 and ended on Tuesday, September 15, and Yom Kippur begins on sunset on September 22 and ends at sunset on September 23.

In Hebrew, Rosh Hashanah means, literally, “head of the year” or “first of the year.” Rosh Hashanah thus is known as the Jewish New Year, even though it falls on the first day of the seventh month of the Jewish calendar, the month of Tishri.

Traditionally, Rosh Hashanah begins a period known as the Ten Days of Awe, or the Days of Repentance. It’s a time for introspection, self-examination, a review of the year past. It’s also a time of reconciliation, forgiveness, and renewal. Repentance, prayer, and good deeds are the focus during this holiday season.

While we may not all follow the Jewish faith tradition, don’t these three practices sound familiar to you, even though you may call them by other names? Don’t you find that these three powerful practices are a foundation of spiritual growth in your own life, whether you traditionally celebrate Rosh Hashanah or not?

The notion of repentance has developed a lot of “baggage” over the years, especially for those whose paths have taken them away from more traditional houses of worship. However, the source of the word “repent” simply means to regret, to be sorry. It carries no judgment. I think of awareness, consciousness, unfolding, growth. It means we’ve taken the opportunity to look back and see that we might have behaved in a different way, or made a different choice, to advance our spiritual path.

Prayer, the next step. We are a community that prays and strongly affirms the power of prayer. We align our focus, our thoughts and hearts to connect with Source, to know that we are one, that we affirm the truth of our wholeness and that of others. Prayer is a primary way we rest in Spirit.

And good works. What does that mean but service? We are the hands, the feet and the voice of the Divine here on earth, and the goal of our awakening is to spread that love and compassion to others. The spiritual path is not one we take so that we can focus on our own growth to the exclusion of the world – awakening necessarily includes opening our hearts to the oneness of all. If we believe we all are one, that separation is an illusion, then awakening inevitably means widening our circle of love, compassion, and care. Loving action follows, as we in this community know.

Through the ritual of Tashlikh, Rosh Hashanah provides opportunities to physically demonstrate our release, surrender, and commitment to renewal. On the first day of Rosh Hashanah, celebrants travel to a body of running water, a river or stream, and symbolically cast their sins into the water to begin anew. Now, the notion of sin can be a loaded concept, but one way to regard it that we find useful is as error thinking, letting our “monkey minds” get in the way of our direct connection to Source, to the divine essence that is always at our foundation and our center. We believe we are separate and act accordingly, in fear, in lack, or in despair. We can always turn and come back to Spirit, which in truth has never let us go.

In the Tashlikh ceremony, we may cast bread crumbs or other symbol into the running water. Some stand by the water and turn out their pockets into the running water, to release what they symbolically have been carrying around.

Doesn’t this sound like our own burning bowl ceremony, which we do annually here at One World? When we release those attachments, habits, errors, that no longer serve us? Such ceremonies of release have been practiced for thousands of years, recognizing the power of awareness, surrender, and beginning anew.

Rosh Hashanah at its core is a celebration of our ability to renew, to begin again, to celebrate and strengthen our connection with Spirit. So, may you have a good year – Shanah Tovah!