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January/February 2011 Newsletter

LETTER FROM OUR SPIRITUAL LEADERS, by Stew

Our theme for the New Year is “Heaven in 2011.” This, of course, does not mean we intend to leave the planet this year! “Heaven”, or “The Kingdom of Heaven”, is not a place; it is a state of consciousness. It doesn’t have a zip code, but it is invariably where we find ourselves when we open up fully to our God-nature and are in alignment with our highest truth. It is always available to us, always pouring out love, joy, abundance, wholeness and peace, always our safe haven in the storms of the world (and of our own minds!). So this year’s theme implies that we intend to hang out more often in the Kingdom, to not be so quick to forget it and to return more quickly when we realize we’ve “left”.

It all sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? And, our lives offer so many potential distractions, so many opportunities to pull us off center and away from our awareness of spirit, don’t they? Our busy schedules, jobs, relationships, money worries and health issues can all seem to conspire against us in our intention to remember our spiritual natures. In my case, I rang in 2011 with the worst case of upper back pain I’ve ever experienced. It was indeed difficult for me to remember my wholeness when I couldn’t lift up my arms. On the other hand, because of the “pre-prayer-ation” I’ve done, I also noticed that I was often able to use my symptoms as a reminder that I had the greatest doctor in the universe within me, and that it was on the job. I was able to see the “all-ness in the illness”, that every little cell in my body was happy and well, and hold my pain in the light of truth…at least most of the time.

It’s also difficult to remember our wholeness if we choose to think more often about our issues and shortcomings. If we want to experience the Kingdom more this year, we can start by focusing more on what’s right with us instead of what we think is wrong with us. By unfolding that which is good and beautiful and true about us, rather than dwelling on the things about us that we believe must be changed, eliminated or excised before we can show up as the spiritual being we desire to be. By putting our attention on evolution rather than resolutions; evolving more of what we already are in truth: spirit, whole, holy, love. (Interestingly, evolving means “opening what was previously rolled up” ).We can bring this essential truth to everything we think, say and do, including when we’re at work and with family and in our relationships and out in the world. In the process we will be enfolding our humanness, even our pain, in the arms of the divine and blurring the imaginary separation between them. We’ll be building on our strengths and radiating light, love and compassion to those things we might want to change so they too can develop into strengths. In other words, we’ll be in heaven in 2011. I feel tremendous joy and appreciation to be hanging out there with all of you!

NEW OFFICE HOURS: (2489 Lake Tahoe Blvd, Suite 27)

TUESDAYS 12-2 | WEDNESDAYS 10-2

You are cordially invited to come by and sit in the sacred energy, browse the lending library, or just say hello! It’s a wonderful space!!

Of course our Spiritual Leaders, Hillary & Stew, are ALWAYS available (except Sundays or Mondays, unless an emergency) during the week and are eager to meet with you for spiritual counseling** and/or prayer, to talk over the Sunday talk or Unity principles… or just to chat. “There are so many of you we’d love to know better.” Feel free to call the office anytime and make a date with them.

**Spiritual counseling is what you might consider if you need a reminder of the Truth of what you are, a tool to access that Truth to help you through a certain situation, help with how to communicate what’s alive in you, an empathetic ear, etc.

New PCs: Unity at the Lake is proud to introduce our newest Prayer Chaplains: Kathleen Harris, Kathi Cross and Ken Cross

They will be joining Karen Martin, Kristina Hoffman, Alysone Hussmann and Jazz Christianson in blessing us and praying with all of us. Every Sunday celebration service at least 1 Prayer Chaplain is available to help bring what might feel heavy on our hearts to a higher consciousness and celebrate the life of God within us and all around us. And we remind you that prayer is also a great time to be grateful for and celebrate what is right in our lives and bring forth more of that.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Annual Membership Meeting: Sunday, January 23rd, immediately after our Celebration Service at the Senior Center. All are invited (though only members can vote) to gather as a spiritual community as we revisit 2010 and share our vision for 2011. Lunch is provided. All members should have received their letters that includes the ballot. Let us know if you have not received yours. Please bring this with you, or if you will not be attending you can mail it in. There is also a survey to get you thinking about what works and what doesn’t work for you about UATL, or to write your thoughts on what else you’d like to be doing. We are such a great community and we can become even more of what we’re meant to be. This survey will be available to everyone on the back table at Sunday celebration service or in the office sacred space. Your voice is important.

Holotropic Breathwork: Saturday, January 29th, 2-5pm. $60 per person (ask us about a sliding scale), pre-registration required by January 18th. This is not a class on proper breathing techniques; however, it is a superb way to begin the new year in a transformative celebration of Self! Within a safe, sacred and nurturing container, your own breath can open you up to a profound release of physical, mental and emotional blocks that no longer serve you.

Couples Gatherings: Hillary & Stew have been married 30 years. They have used spiritual principles in all areas of their life to create a successful partnership at home and “at work”. They will share a different way of looking at the most challenging aspects of relationship. They will also offer tools to build on the strengths of your relationship and help transform the challenges in order to make them work FOR us. It is always possible for both partners to get what they need. There is a lot of wisdom and support to be gained in a groupsetting. The plan is to meet once a month, February through June, and then see how we feel about continuing. Hillary & Stew are planning a 3 day Couples “Advance” in October at Zephyr Point which would be a perfect culmination of these Couples gatherings. For committed couples only, please let us know if you are interested ASAP.

Valentine’s Day Vow Renewals: Make this much more than just a Hallmark holiday. Renew your vows, renew your love…celebrate each other in a meaningful ceremony performed by Hillary & Stew. ½ hour time slots available…$50 suggested L.O. Call the office now to make your reservation.

ONGOING EVENTS IN THE OFFICE

Wednesdays, NOON-12:45, PRAYER/MEDITATION CIRCLE is the best 45 minute God vacation/spa package you can give yourself.

The following ongoing events are available for a Love Offering:

“Awakening Wednesdays”: Every Wednesday night from 6:45-8:15 PM (note new time), we gather for ongoing book study, meditation, heart-opening and spirited discussion, tool sharing and, generally, furthering our spiritual awareness and understanding. Come join this sacred, fun, and beautiful gathering! Our study of Loving What Is continues for another few weeks. All are welcome. Keep tuned for our new book study soon.

Our healing circles are now the 1st Tuesday of each month (February 1st, March 1st) 2pm SHARP at the office. Together we all learn how to hold the high watch for ourselves and others. When we have a large circle of people involved the energy fairly sizzles! This is simply one of the best ways we know to align our minds with Divine Mind and claim our Divine Inheritance!!

Meditation Circle: NOTE NEW SCHEDULE: Now the 2nd and 4th Wednesdays of the month from 6-6:30pm (January 12th and 26th; February 9th and 23rd). Join us as we sit in the silence and in the beauty of our own divine awareness. We simply come in, sit down, meditate and say “Namaste”. We welcome meditators of all levels. If you are new to meditating please arrive by 5:45 so we can share what we do and provide any needed instruction, or call and speak to us first.

SUNDAY CELEBRATION SERVICES: (10:00AM at the SLT Senior Center - 3050 Lake Tahoe Blvd.)

12 Powers talks: On the first Sunday of the month…

February 6th: The Power of Strength (wear spring green)

March 6th: The Power of Wisdom (wear yellow)

Immediately following our Sunday celebration services:

Annual Membership Meeting: January 23rd, immediately following service (see above).

Recirculation Sunday: January 30th. Bring 1 or 2 gently used items you’d like to pass along to Sunday service. All items will then available for a love offering to benefit UATL.

OneHeart drum gatherings: January 30th & February 27th, following service. Everyone is invited to join in a circle of joy and celebration of the Divine Heartbeat within! Always a blessed time together as we create & express the healing rhythms of our hearts. All levels welcome, listeners & dancers too! Feel free to bring your drums & shakers - some instruments will be provided. Love offering.

Message from the Council: The Gift of Unity at the Lake, by Peter Hussmann

As the first decade of the new millennium comes to a close I reflect on what has been the most tumultuous decade in my life so far. On a global and national level we have survived Y2K, a Presidential election decided by the Supreme Court, the horrific attack on 9-11, the beginning of two wars and the end of one of them (so they say), a nation divided by ever increasing animosity between “Liberals” and Conservatives”, the incessant fear mongering of our media, and the increasing intrusion of technology into our daily lives. On a personal level I have been dealing with chronic back pain for the last 5 years which at times leaves me physically and mentally exhausted. I have gone through two back surgeries with lengthy recoveries and then fell off of a ladder exasperating the situation. I was laid off from my job of nineteen years and have found it difficult to find employment due to my physical condition. All of this can and does leave me at times feeling depressed and disheartened.

But I am fortunate to have found Unity at the Lake which every Sunday renews my spirit and replenishes my soul. A place where I can find unconditional love and support from some of the most amazing people I have ever met. A place that has the most beautiful and inspiring music ministry which lifts me up and fills me with joy every time I hear them.

Through the teachings of our Spiritual Leaders Stew and Hillary, I have been given tools that I can use to help me through tough times, which can help me remember the truth of who I am. I now know that I have everything I will ever need in me already, that I am a perfect creation of God. I have been reminded that when I am in despair that I should think of moments of joy in my life and it is amazing how many more there are of those than the opposite. When I start thinking about those moments, and about the people in my life who love and support me I realize I am so very blessed.

So as I reflect on the last ten years I can choose to live in fear of what the future holds, or I can be present to the opportunities which are unfolding around me.  I know that I can create the kind of world I want to live in by living the truth of who I am.

Thank you Unity at the Lake for the gift you have given me, the gift of love, hope, and faith. To the members of my Unity family I see the coming year as one of health, joy, and prosperity for each and every one of you. Bless you all.

Faith in Action:  We thank and bless all those who have helped to contribute 28 “doves” toward our Pledge program. This represents almost half of our projected income of 2011, giving us a very stable base from which to manifest and experience another prosperous year for UATL.

We joyfully affirmed and celebrated our abundance thru financial support of the following during the period of October – November – December 2010:

Carol Christensen * Homes for Our Troops * West Central Region *
Hands & Hearts Fund * Sierra Agape Center * Unity Institute *
Salvation Army – Haiti * Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship * Silent Unity
Total of outgoing tithes for this period was $2126.29. Thank you, God!

Special Thanks: to everyone!!!Due to your overwhelming support we were able to share $1500 worth of joy with 3 families this year from our Hands and Hearts/Adopt-A-Family program! We shopped for 3 moms and 9 children; you donated items and created 3 wonderful gift baskets the moms; you even donated the wrapping paper – we let 12 people know that we care. In addition, you contributed to 3 huge bagfuls of bears to be distributed to children in our community who have emergencies and special needs for comfort.

Our Sunday talks are now available on our website, beginning shortly after each Sunday service. Tell your friends! This is a wonderful way to introduce other folks to the Unity message.

You can now make donations (for regular tithes, building fund, Minister’s Fund and Hands and Hearts) and purchase all the below CDs, plus CDs of Sunday celebration services, directly from the website via PayPal or credit card.

UNITY AT THE LAKE CDs:

Visit the CD Ordering Page

*NEW OneVoice CD!!!: "Spirit In Bloom"...If you love singing along with our UATL music ministry OneVoice or you enjoy complimenting your meditation time with their sweet melodies, you'll be in "Heaven in 2011" with our newly released CD! Some of our most heart opening, uplifting & most loved selections from 2009, recorded live at our Sunday Celebration services. Now available for a love offering - at the back table on Sundays, or call the office to order & we'll mail you one...(530) 544-2266.

*And now presenting: “Piano Melodies”...a compilation of solo piano music joyously played by our music director Kristina. Live improvised melodies recorded at the beginning of our Sunday services, created with the intention to open hearts and set the sacred energy of the day. Available now for $10 each.

*Journeys to the Heart...We’ve gotten rave reviews for our meditation CD, lovingly created by Hillary, Stew, Kristina and Jazz. It includes four inspiring journeys, accompanied by angelic music, to transport you on an inward journey to your own vastness and power. Each of these guided meditations will open your heart and lead you to a deeper knowing of your highest Truth. $15 each.

*"Hands and Hearts for Haiti"... this awesome live recording is from the benefit concert for Haiti put on by James Crawford in February 2010 (thank you, James!). Another great collection of songs with many of our favorites including "Rising Again" &"Heal This Land”. Love offering.

*"Morning Meditations '09"...9 beautiful songs by OneVoice with meditations led by Stew & Hillary, recorded live during our Sunday celebration services.  A perfect way to begin the day!  Love offering.

*"Morning Meditations '07" is also available for a love offering.

If you miss the format of our past newsletters and would like to volunteer your skills in that regard in the future please let us know.


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