Dear Members and Friends of Unity,
Ever since the winter soltice our particular hemisphere here on our little planet Earth has been slowly turning back toward the Sun. Even though on February 2nd the Ground Hog didn't see his shadow, thereby (according to the various legends) officially designating only six more weeks of winter, the end of February and early March sure made up for it by giving us LOTS OF SNOW! I, for one, had developed quite a "special" relationship with my snow shovel. So much so that I started to ponder the positive attributes of (heavens forbid!) a snow blower. After I came to my senses, I realized that all that snow shoveling was actually a form of meditation. It's fascinating because when I would just focus on the snow and the shovel, I fell into the momentary flow of the task and before you could say "Jack Frost," I was finished. I'm not sure how all that works, but a least I know when I'm willing to just be present in the moment and allow Spirit to move through me, a lot of my so-called tasks seem effortless.
Now with the coming of spring we all anticipate the wonderful joy of rebirth: the budding of the trees, the greening grass, the return of the song-birds and most importantly our soaring spirits of the incredible potential we have for our own re-generation. Here at Unity we celebrate the Lenten season, which starts on Ash Wednesday and cumulates on Easter Sunday. The word Lent comes from the Anglo-Saxson word for spring, which is dervied from a verb meaning to lengthen. Lent comes in the spring when the days become noticeably longer. The word Easter comes from the Anglo-Saxson word Eastre, the name of the Goddess of spring, in whose honor a fesitval was celebrated each April. At Unity of Missoula, our Easter festival starts with the Lenten booklets published by Unity Worldwide Ministries, available in our foyer before Ash Wednesday March 6. For Easter itself, we begin with a before-Easter Service potluck brunch and end the service with spring flowers. For those of you who may be interested in exploring in more depth Unity's approach to Lent and the Holy Week, I suggest reading Keep a True Lent by Unity co-founder Charles Filmore. Copies of this book may be found in our church library. Here is a summation quote from Mr. Filmore regarding Lent:
"As day after day we steadily adhere to our firm resolve to follow the steps outlined for the Lenten season, we discover that we are building on a firm foundation, and are mounting into a higher consciousness. We come to know that Christ is indeed with us and is resurrecting in us His realizations of Light, Life and Substance." - from Keep a True Lent
As with the birth of Christ Consciousness and the Coming of the Light that we celebrate at Christmas,indeed, as an extension of that same consciousness within us, we can demonstrate our "Divine Ability" to roll away the stone of our lower ego-self and become renewed through "crossing out" those ways of being that no longer serve us and in so doing become the best Christ we were created to be.
On behalf of the Board of Trustees, we wish you a blessed Lenten season and hope your spring is one of joy, gratitude and love. Never let a moment pass you by to express your divine nature in all things and in all situations. May everyone manifest their Highest Good and don't forget to HAVE FUN!
Peace and Prayers, Jeff Haberman, President for the Board of Trustees