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Abundance or Scarcity… You Choose…

Posted by on Nov 26, 2013 in Minister's Column

Abundance is not something we acquire. It is something we tune into. (Wayne Dyer)

image014A sense of abundance is not something the we can acquire nor is it something that someone can give us; it is a state of mind that we choose. In a world that assigns value to items that are scarce, it isĀ  no wonder that we disregard the bounty of abundance that exists all around us. We tend to seek and treasure the items that are difficult to find. Think about gold or platinum, both considered a commodity because they are rare, and yet at the end of the day they are still rocks. Diamonds are beautiful based on the clarity and cut of the stone, but again they are just stones. Oil over time has become a commodity, especially since it has become less available; when we first started using oil it was a prevalent and a cheap source of energy but our mass consumption has made it less available and expensive. We value that which is not prevalent, and we ignore that which is all around us. What is this all about?

Water, we literally need it to survive and yet we pollute it, waste it, and do not give it a second thought. There are people in this and other countries who have to walk miles to get clean drinking water and realize its worth. We could consider time in the same way. When we have so much of time in front of us we are unconcerned, and yet when we are faced with the reality of the finite nature of life we take stock and get serious about a bucket list. Why do we only recognize and value the scarcity in our lives instead of revel in what exists abundantly all around us?

Last Sunday, I shared in my sermon that First Parish is in good financial shape, and afterward I was asked how could I possibly say this because there is clearly a deficit budget. Based on what I have seen with regard to your budget and the commitment to this community you are so close to having a balanced budget, you have funds set aside which are growing, and you care about the future of First Parish. If every member extended their pledge by $100 this fiscal year we would reach our goal of being balanced. Think about it, the difference between a sense of scarcity and abundance is $100. If that isn’t good news I am not sure what is. Yet First Parish propagates a history/story of scarcity instead of abundance. You are concerned about not having enough, and that “story” holds this community back from truly blossoming. I wonder if this is just the human condition rearing its “fear-based” head? Do we need that sense of scarcity to value what we have in our community? Is it possible to imagine abundance at First Parish and still want to participate, donate, volunteer? Last Saturday we had the fall cleanup and there were quite a few people pitching in and let me tell you more is way better than less… it was easier to do the work together, it was way more fun, and we got the work done faster.

Here is a truth — abundance is always available to each one of us; we just need to wake up, open our minds and hearts, and tune into abundance. We are wealthy in all the stuff that really matters: air, water, food, laughter, friendship, music, love, spirit, and we are comfortable with many of the commodities in life. Do we need more of the commodities to be truly happy? What do we need in our lives to feel like we have enough to be truly generous?

Thank you for all that you do and share with the First Parish community and one another!

In love and peace,

Rev. Marjorie

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Sharing The Word…

Posted by on Nov 12, 2013 in Minister's Column

image014Is it me or is time flying by really fast? It seems just like yesterday that I moved into Stow and started officially ministering to First Parish, and here we are in November speeding towards Thanksgiving. I find it important when dwelling, at times, within a whirlwind to reflect and take stock of where I have been and where I am going; it helps me to place my current moment in context. I began in September sharing with you my thoughts about Speaking Our Truth in Love, in October I entered into a discussion about the “Interdependent Web” of which we are all a part, and this month I am entering into the territory of “Relationships.” I do not plan to focus on romantic relationships per se, but instead on how we decide to enter into mutual relationship with one another and how we cultivate and maintain these ever-evolving connections. What helped me to decide on this specific theme is that it is a natural progression from whence we came. We endeavor to be mindful of the words we use with one another and the importance of love. We acknowledge our interconnectedness, and now we make conscious choices to enter into covenantal relationship with one another. Why is a covenantal relationship different than any other? Because it is a formal agreement to be with one another in a manner that is beyond the every day of an acquaintance or passerby. We enter into an agreement to walk this walk or roll this roll together and to do so based on the golden rule, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. It is easy to fall out of right relationship with one another as the least miscommunication can cause hurt feelings and a rift. First Parish can be the one community beyond home and work that we can challenge and support one another to stretch beyond where we have felt comfortable before. Stretch not to breaking but to a place of transformative growth. How can we grow together?

As I start to contemplate the eighth sermon that I will share with you this Sunday I reflected on the seven sermons that I have shared with you thus far. History has been kind to church goers of contemporary times. Topics that once took hours to unpack and deliver now stretch our patience at twenty minutes, even though they are filled with engaging stories, metaphor, and antidotes about how to live a good life and do the right thing. I vowed as I began this church year to expand the range of my style from heart-centered to funny to intellectual. I have delivered a varied cadre of speaking styles on a wide range of topics including my most recent invitation to contemplate difficult truths about life and death. What I have realized over these two months is pretty much what I expected… some topics and styles will resonate with some of us while others will not. Here is a perplexing and challenging truth for a minister: what some of you like to hear me speak about others in the community do not. My choice is to endeavor to make some of you happy all of the time or try to make different people happy each week. So as your minister I have decided to continue to vary my style and content to reach as many people as possible from week to week with differing topics. What does this mean? If you do not like a sermon that I preach on any given Sunday…be patient. That sermon that will touch you deeply and that resonates with your soul is not that far away. If you really want to hear me preach on a specific topic just let me know what you are longing to have me read, research and write about because I do endeavor to include your interests into my repertoire. As I said to you during my candidating week and not so long ago: my job is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable, and if you feel challenged from the pulpit on any given Sunday revel in the fact that clearly you are stretching and growing in new ways. I am forever thrilled to be on this journey of hope, love and discovery with you!

Peace and light to you during this season of introspection.

Rev. Marjorie

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