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A Culture of Abundance…

“The world is full of abundance and opportunity, but far too many people come to the fountain of life with a sieve instead of a tank car… a teaspoon instead of a steam shovel. They expect little and as a result they get little…” (Ben Sweetland)

There are many religious/spiritual sages who share a similar insight which makes it hard to believe that humanity has still not gotten it, how can we create abundance in our lives and the world if what we fear and focus on is scarcity? What does it take for us to shift our thinking to a place of abundance? I often think of positive affirmation as a way to cultivate an abundant mind and using mantras as a way to change the way that we think. For example, if we hold the mantra in mind that, “I have an open and loving mind and heart” ultimately we will create a life that is open and loving. What we are willing to mindfully cultivate in our lives will shape us and everything that we do. This is why I feel that it is critical to engage in strategic and abundant thinking so that we can create and cultivate the life and congregation of our dreams.

With this in mind I have been working with the Board of Trustees and your Stewardship team to imagine what First Parish would look like if we were fully funded with resources to spare. What would our weekly programming offer, how might our facilities change and what would our members be focusing on? When we think strategically about our future it is critically important for us to think towards a culture of abundance instead of scarcity because ultimately we create what we imagine. We can even find this in basic ways, for example, if we wake up in the morning saying to ourselves, “I feel tired and burned out” guess what happens… We are tired and burned out. If we go to bed believing that we will “fall right to sleep and wake up rested” the chances are that we will do just that. The key to this practice of abundant thinking is to realize that our thoughts are far more powerful that we can possibly imagine.

What you think and how you think matters. This is why on Saturday, March 8th I want you to come to the seminar that we have planned on thinking abundantly. Many of you believe that this is all about strategic planning, which is half true, but it is also about taking note of how we each think. How and what we feel about First Parish is important but even more important is what our assumptions are. In this daylong session, with lunch provided, we will investigate our assumptions individually and as a congregation. Our collective imaginings will enable us to understand how we have created the congregation that we are and how we can mindfully and strategically create our future. I realize that we are all busy, now there is an affirmation that can be overbearing at times, but I need for all of the members and friends to attend this session. I cannot steer the USS First Parish without you and this is a critical moment to clear the decks and fully participate.

I have seen how you, the members and friends, have evolved as individuals and as a congregation in the short time that we have been together. It is palpable how reenergized and excited you all are about the community that we are working to create. The goals and tasks that we will endeavor to raise up over the next couple of months will be culled from your dreams. We will build a plan and our goal is to vote on this plan at our annual meeting in June. This plan will include your lists of projects, events and beloved traditions, it will be a living plan that will continue to evolve as we do.

I have dubbed March the month of abundance as we are about to embark on a journey that will begin with the sharing our dreams, continue with the annual canvass to garner renewed volunteer and financial support and end on the 30th with my installation as your 44th minister! Let us venture into this month feeling joyful for all the bounty and blessings that we have in this life! Be joyful for moments without pain, for a sunny day in the midst of a bounty of snow and for a community that truly cares about who you are and what you believe.

Peace and much love,

Rev. Marjorie