During the April 28 Rev. Carolyne Mathlin introduced Ruthanne Ali and the video included below. Ruthanne was then invited up to share with the community.
To listen to the audio from the service, press play.
Video played during service (without the music)
Over two years ago our community came together on a Saturday to ask the question “What is Spirit’s vision for Unity of Tustin?” A couple of important themes and ideas emerged, many of which centered around education and technology. As we have continued to ‘follow the dots’ (as Dr. Marj Britt has so often said) we have been able to implement some amazing strategic initiatives. We have:
- Increased the Silence in the Sunday service meditation from three to five minutes
- Hosted quarterly on-site meditation retreats on a love offering basis
- Sponsored annual off-site week-long retreats
- Changed the name of our Healing Service to Sacred Circle of Light to reflect that it is a contemplative prayer service
- Formed our Men of Unity (MUTS) group
- Installed and completely paid for Solar Panels (located on our education building)
- Installed energy efficient lights & water pumps around campus
- Updated our rapidly aging technological infrastructure
- New phone & internet system
- New wiring around campus
- New server and sanctuary computer
- New projector for sanctuary
Wow! In two years there have been a lot of changes and it has all been because of amazing selfless servers who have stepped forward to champion them. Throughout this time of growth, expansion and stepping into what’s next for UoT, your Board has realized we need to look at reorganizing our structure to best respond to the unfolding vision. When we ask big questions, we often will get big, life changing answers. One of the insights that has emerged is that our approach to adult spiritual education needs to change. As a result, I want to share with you that our beloved Ruthanne Ali will be leaving us and moving to Georgia to be with family. To hear the announcement in my talk from last Sunday, please click here.
Ruthanne has served in her role as Director of School of Light for 14 years. In that time, there have been approximately 200 spiritual teachers that have come to Unity of Tustin. It has been Ruthanne’s role to coordinate their time with us and to set the field for our community to experience their teachings. Ruthanne has also been the one to oversee our weekly and monthly educational offerings. In addition to her role, Ruthanne has been a friend and spiritual support for many of us over the years. Her love, wisdom, gentle presence and warm hugs will be deeply missed! This Sunday, April 28 we will be honoring Ruthanne for all that she has meant to us here at Unity of Tustin during and after the Sunday services.
Ruthanne has asked that people share stories, memories, pictures, etc. Unity of Tustin has meant so much to her over the years and she wants to be able to cherish those memories for many years to come. She would also love to have people’s contact information so she can keep in touch with us. If you are unable to be with us this Sunday, you are welcome to send your well wishes and contact information for Ruthanne to email@example.com. We will forward the information to her.
Most of all, I invite you to surround our beloved Ruthanne and this process of transition in Love and Light. We are all taking a step into what is next and with that step we are entering a mystery, a mystery that is to be revealed. What we know is that Love is present when we are present to that Love. May we all experience that Love as we walk together through this transition. I look forward to seeing you this Sunday.
Rev. Carolyne Mathlin Senior Minister
What do Thich Nhat Hanh, Neil Douglas Klotz, Hafiz, Paramahansa Yogananda, Jesus, Buddha and living your soul purpose have in common? Janet Conner.
I recently read Janet Conner’s book The Lotus and the Lily and took the corresponding telecourse. Both were fabulous. And, I’m so excited that Janet will be coming to Unity of Tustin Saturday, February 23 and Sunday, February 24 so you all can experience Janet’s teachings yourself. Janet offers wisdom teachings from teachers across spiritual traditions in ways that are meaningful for your life right now, wherever you are. Her style is to ask questions that help you look deeply into both your human patterns and the divine impulse in your life.
Her book is full of prayers, poems, practices and principle, all designed to help you consciously connect with your soul so that you are living your greatest purpose on earth. Janet’s soul program invites us to get in touch with the conditions in our life that our soul needs to fully thrive. She quotes the Buddha, “When conditions are sufficient there is a manifestation.” This book and her workshop at Unity will help us get clear on what our conditions are so that manifestation will naturally occur in our life.
I encourage you to not miss Janet Conner’s time with us next weekend. As a way to prepare for her visit on Wednesday, February 20 I will lead an introductory class, integrating several of the practices that will support what Janet will be doing with us on February 23 and 24.
On Saturday, February 23 from 1 to 5 pm Janet Conner will lead us in cultivating an understanding of the conditions and the symbols our soul needs to thrive. We will integrate our discoveries into a mandala of intention, using art supplies, your creativity and the energy of the group. If you have symbols or pictures that mean something to you, as well as any other supplies like scissors, paper, glue, etc. that you would like to bring, please do so. Note that this is not an art project, this is a soul project. You don’t have to be ‘crafty’ to participate. You just need a soul willing to express itself on paper (and everyone has a soul).
On Sunday, February 24 Janet will be our guest speaker at the 9 & 11 am service. Her talk is entitled “The Great Paradox of Prosperity.” She will then continue her workshop on the Intention Mandala from 1:30 to 4, with specific emphasis on how to be in a deep relationship with any intention you have so that it and you continue to grow together.
I encourage you to attend Saturday and Sunday. To help make it easier to attend we have priced the entire weekend at a reduced rate of $60. If you cannot make both days, come for what you can. Each day will stand on its own as well as build on each other.
Janet Conner is an up and coming powerhouse in New Thought. She takes ego-centered metaphysical teachings to the next level, inviting us to really look deeply at what our soul wants (and it’s not a new car). Her approach bridges the human and the divine in a way that allows both to express in our lives. Janet is not only a scholar but also has a compelling personal story you will want to hear, including healing from an abusive marriage, bankruptcy and more. She walks her talk and is an uplifting, inspiring, energetic spiritual teacher you will not want to miss.
There are several ways to get to know Janet more. Her website is www.janetconner.com. She also has a radio show on www.Unity.fm airing Thursdays at 11 am PST. For more information, visit her Unity.fm page http://www.unity.fm/program/TheSoulDirectedLife). Information on her visit to Unity and how you can purchase tickets can be found at http://www.unitytustin.org/2013/01/21/4134/.
I look forward to seeing you February 23 and 24 at Unity of Tustin as we welcome together Janet Conner.
In Deep Love,
I love the title of Pema Chödrön’s latest book Living Beautifully with Uncertainty and Change. I saw this title as an invitation and it inspired me to ask, “how can I live beautifully during times of change?”
Change is inevitable; my response is my choice. I have watched wisdom, love, guidance and compassion become an acquired, earned response to change in proportion to the depth of my own spiritual practice. During meditation, I ask “what is changing?”and “What doesn’t change?”
The long-awaited beginning of 2013 is here. According to many astrological scholars from across many traditions, the era of darkness has ended. The timeless nature of the eternal self has collided with the temporal, time-bound nature of the world of form. Time and timelessness have met and both have been altered by the encounter.
Our human inquisitive nature is most likely asking, “How does this affect me?” Right now, take a moment to reflect: how has your life changed in the last year? Now look back further: how has it changed in the last three years, five years, seven years? For me, much has changed, inwardly and outwardly. I am not the same person I was even a year ago. So much has changed and so much is still changing, sometimes rapidly. In his essay featured in The Mystery of 2012, Peter Russell explores how the time we are living in is like a singularity, a math term used to describe “a point when an equation breaks down and ceases to have any useful meaning. The rules change. Something completely different happens.” The rate of change and evolution is happening at increasing speed.
I can feel that in my own life, can you? Everything feels as if it is speeding up, accelerating. But for what purpose? To what end? Those questions are being asked in the minds and hearts of some of today’s most brilliant scholars, philosophers and mystics. You might even be asking them yourself. While these questions are important to ponder so that we all can be a beacon of light in the world, it is equally important to look at how we are showing up during this time of accelerated change.
At Unity of Tustin our practice is to transcend and include the world. There is an aspect of truth that reminds us things in this physical world do change. To deny that is to deny an aspect of our collective reality. It makes each moment we share together so precious. There is no moment that is the same. Each is its own sacred gift. In reflecting on the changes in my personal life and in our church community over the last couple of years, I am aware of this important teaching more than ever. Every moment together with each other, in prayer, service, study, and worship, has been precious.
In 2013 we will continue to embrace new levels of change within our community. Our beloved friend David Nowe will rededicate himself to Sannyasa. During this ceremony he will officially put on the swami robes he took off over 25 years ago and once again become Swami Brahmananda. This ceremony will take place on January 11, 2013 at 6 pm at Unity of Tustin. This has been a call of his heart and soul and part of his continuing evolution. With that evolution brings change for us at Unity of Tustin. In January 2013, David will officially move to Portland, Oregon to live at the Movement Center with Swami Chetenananda. This is two months earlier than our original plan. At this point in my own spiritual journey, I know that our human plans are merely guidelines and Spirit ALWAYS has the final word on all plan implementation.
David has been an integral part of our community and has developed deep relationships with many of us. He will continue to be in relationship with us at Unity of Tustin, occasionally facilitating meditation retreats, speaking on Sundays, and attending classes when he is in town. Soul friendships never end, they simply change form. David is a soul-friend of Unity of Tustin and now, our relationship is changing form.
Also in January we will celebrate our beloved Gail Hamley’s licensing as a Unity Teacher. This has been a journey of immense practice and depth. It will be a joy to celebrate as a spiritual community with Gail on January 20 at both the 9 and 11 am Sunday services. A reception at Hospitality will follow after each service.
On Palm Sunday, March 24, we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of Dr. Marj Britt at Unity of Tustin. Over the years Marj has been a visionary presence for our community, coming here when the Meditation Gardens did not exist and the congregation had only 35 people. I am in awe of her leadership and the fruit of the work we have done together over the years.
With all these changes in our community, it is clear that we are being asked to step into a whole new playing field in consciousness. We are each being asked to evolve at a rate equal to Consciousness Itself. Staying in alignment with the changes in consciousness demands commitment to spiritual practice. It is with this commitment that we continually tune ourselves to meet life as it is with Presence and Love. We enter the moment unencumbered by the past and not limited by our fear of the future. We must become malleable to Spirit and have the ability to respond to what is emerging.
Getting comfortable with change is a key part of the spiritual journey. To live beautifully during change is a high calling, embracing the emotions that arise with change as well as tapping into the greater Truth that holds and honors all that arises. As we align with the Truth and the part of consciousness that does not change, we begin to live beautifully in the flow of life. Our resistance, and therefore our pointless pain, diminishes.
As we enter 2013, we have profound work to do as individuals, but more importantly, as a community. It is time for us to step into a whole new playing field that models living beautifully through change. Our practice until now has tilled the soil of our individual souls. This has been the training ground for the skills we now need to navigate through any change or challenge that comes our way. Under the direction and guidance of the Holy Spirit, we are ready to step into the change and uncertainty as we live from our authentic being.
In Deep Love and Service,
Rev. Carolyne Mathlin
1. We Are Living Light and Love As Unity of Tustin
2. I Am Taking Responsibility for My Transformation
3. I Am Shifting to Higher Self
4. I Am Practicing Every Day
5. I Am Developing an Attitude of Gratitude
6. I Am Using SQ to Motivate Deep Change
7. I Am Spiritual Intelligence
Affirmations are based on Chapter 8- 12 of SQ 21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Cindy Wigglesworth.
Unity of Tustin teaches the importance of engaging in spiritual practices to create a container for the living Christ energy in all beings. These six spiritual practices are listed on the opposite page. Four practices are taken from the four yogas, one is taken from our Biblical tradition and one from our current understanding of the human psyche. For a detailed description of these practices, please watch the video below.
The purpose of committing to spiritual practice is to cultivate a sustained, conscious contact with the Light of your true Self. No one else can realize this Truth for you; it is your responsibility and your birthright to wake up to the Christ within. Your full participation in spiritual practice will help you become porous so that you absorb Divine Principle. The part of us that needs to practice is the part of us that forgets and is unconscious of God.Transformation occurs through a permanent shift in consciousness that is brought about through commitment to spiritual practice.
As you follow through on your commitment, you will be engaging in a discovery process. As you practice, you will naturally begin to notice where the blocks in consciousness and the opportunities for shift are in your life. Participation in each practice will give you full flowering in your current stage of consciousness and provide insights into your next evolutionary stage.
For the purposes of our work in cultivating spiritual intelligence with SQ 21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Cindy Wigglesworth, we encourage you to assess where you are in your spiritual journey and make a commitment to all six practices. As we participate in classes, attend church services, pray and meditate, do selfless service, explore shadow work and tithe to the source of our spiritual good, we are grounded in our practices so that we come to the place of transition where truth leaves the mind and enters the heart. The Truth becomes a living thing within our being.
Download and complete your personal commitment to spiritual practice here. If you would like Unity of Tustin to be in sacred partnership with you as you step into this level of commitment, you are welcome to send your commitment card to us via mail or email. We will hold all commitment cards in prayer for the entire year of 2013.
Unity of Tustin
14402 S Prospect Ave
Tustin CA 92780
It continues to be an honor to be in spiritual community with you. I look forward to another year of amazing moments, transformation and grace, individually and collectively. Together we are stepping into the field of miracles.
In Deep Love,
Rev. Carolyne Mathlin
- We Are Developing Social Mastery & Spiritual Presence
- I Am Teaching Spiritual Principles
- I Am Embracing Leadership as a Change Agent
- I Am Making Compassionate and Wise Decisions
- I Am Being a Calm, Healing Presence
- I Am Aligning with the Ebb and Flow of Life
- I Am A Spiritual Exemplar
Affirmations are based on Chapter 7 of SQ 21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Cindy Wigglesworth.
1. We Are Developing Self Mastery
2. I Am Committing to Spiritual Growth
3. I Am Keeping Higher Self in Charge
4. I Am Living My Purpose and Values
5. I Am Sustaining Faith
6. I Am Seeking Guidance from Higher Self
7. I Am Living the Truth I Know
Affirmations are based on Chapter 6 of SQ 21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Cindy Wigglesworth.
- We Are knowing the world.
- I Am connected with all of Life.
- I Am understanding other’s world views.
- I Am aware of the limitations of human perception.
- I Am living spiritual laws.
- I Am experiencing transcendent oneness.
- I Am universal awareness.
Affirmations are based on Chapter 5 of SQ 21: The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Cindy Wigglesworth.