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Thursday, October 3, 2019

Authentic Connection

On Saturday, September 14, Rev. Toni Boehm, facilitated a group of 40 Unity Spiritual Center Denver members in a process to discern our vision, mission and core values. It was a fast-paced and effective process. In little more than 4 hours, the group was able to develop powerful statements that will help guide us as we chart our course and move into our future.

Although there were a few dissenting opinions, both the vision and mission statements were overwhelming approved by those present for the service on Sunday, September 15. They were also ratified by the Council at the meeting on Wednesday, September 18.

Our vision statement is the highest vision we can hold for our world. It is -

A spiritually awakened world living Oneness.

Our mission statement expresses what we will do to help manifest our vision. It is -

We inspire transformation. We live consciously. We connect authentically.

Our core values are: 

Transformation, Connection, Inclusivity, Spirit-led, Inspiration, Innovation.

A team of four volunteers is working on developing clearly expressed definitions for each of these, as well as outlining at least three actions that each of us can take to live into our core values. They have set October 31 as their deadline for completing this process. You will be hearing more about that in November.

I am personally thrilled with the outcome of this process. Our vision and mission statements and core values are rich with potential and possibility. They give us much for which to aspire. They also provide me with fodder for Sunday messages.

Over the next three Sundays, I will be exploring each of the three statements that make up our mission statement, beginning this Sunday with “We connect authentically.”

As a community, we have said that one of the ways that we will engender a spiritually awakened world living Oneness is to connect authentically. If we wholeheartedly commit to connecting authentically and all that doing so entails, we will contribute mightily to realizing our vision.

Authentic connection includes, first and foremost, conscious connection with the Source and with our True Nature/Spirit/Soul, or by whatever name we know it to be, as an individuated expression thereof. As I mentioned in my post last week, it is time for us to begin to more fully and completely embrace our essence as the Christ/True Light/Word, again, by whatever name or nature you know it.

We connect in many ways, predominantly through prayer, meditation and contemplation. We may also connect in other ways such as through music, nature, dance, and play. There are many empowering ways to authentically connect with our Soul. However we do it, the important thing is that we do it. Each of us is here to bring our unique and wondrous Selves into manifestation. To do that, we must be authentically connected to our Self.

Authentic connection also includes connecting with ourselves as we show up in these human bodies with our desires, needs, longings, history, beliefs, conditioning, and all that makes up our unique personalities. Self-awareness and self-connection is key to knowing what motivates us and what triggers us. It is also essential in learning to accept and love ourselves right where we are while also recognizing our potential for greater realization and embodiment of our True Nature.

Authentic connection is also imperative as we navigate relationships with each other. Authentic connection asks us to risk being vulnerable, to share our feelings, to be honest about our desires and disappointments, and to be willing to hear the same from another, even when doing so has the potential to stimulate uncomfortable feelings.

Authentic connection also includes the willingness and availability to be present to those who are different from us. This includes differences in religion, race, sexuality, gender identity, political ideology, or any of a number of labels that we allow to segregate us.

Our commitment to living the statement, “We connect authentically,” calls us up to a high standard. When we strive to remain conscious of this commitment, notice when we are not fully living it, take actions to change our thinking and our behavior, and correct our course accordingly, we will most surely contribute to a “spiritually awakened world living Oneness.” Because we will be much closer to being spiritually awakened individuals who are living Oneness.

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