Letting Joy Lead

by Scott Kalechstein Grace

scott-grace_free-hugsI do what I love. For a living. Full time. Have done so for twenty six years.

Lately I’ve had a few months in a row of practically no income, and Mr. Fix It (my mind) has stepped up to the plate with a very familiar solution involving two steps:

1) Freak out.

2) Use the adrenaline gained from freaking out to make things happen.

Mr. Fix It has given me this advice my entire adult life. He has glimpsed the future, and assures me that it will suck unless I let a sense of urgency push me to do things that have generated income for me in the past : Continue reading Letting Joy Lead

Our Senior Minister Job Announcement Has Taken Flight!

Candles honoring our search for a part-time interfaith minister with interspiritual and New Thought leanings.How does a minister find the perfect community in which to unfold their gifts? How does a spiritual community connect to the right and perfect minister to lead them in their next stage of growth?

These are some of the questions the Search Committee has entertained in recent months. And now, after eight months of self-study, visioning, and refinement, we are posting the Job Announcement inviting applications for the role of part-time Senior Minister, starting when David Bell retires in June of 2017.

Help Us Give Wings to our Announcement

Now, it’s your turn again. We are asking that each of you pause now, close your eyes, and feel exactly how you want to feel when our new minister is among us.  With the right and perfect person leading us in our next stage of collective and individual spiritual growth, how do you feel?

Thrilled?  Grateful?  Relieved?  Excited to support them?  Excited about the support they provide you? What do you most want to feel in the presence of our new minister ? Invoke that feeling now, and let it fill your body for a moment or two. Energize that feeling as a way of helping our Job Announcement fly to the minister who is, at this very moment, seeking us.   Continue reading Our Senior Minister Job Announcement Has Taken Flight!

Feeling the Presence of Spirit in Times of Loss

river - change heron_dance

“There is a river flowing now very fast.

It is so great and swift that there are those

who will be afraid.

They will try to hold on to the shore.

They will feel they are torn apart, and will suffer greatly.”

~An unnamed Hopi elder

into-the-light-maciver
“With all your science can you tell how it is,

and whence it is,

that light comes into the soul?”

~ Henry David Thoreau

At the Interfaith Center we receive many wisdom teachings to help us through the inevitable losses in life. But sometimes, the river of change feels like a torrent. Then, despite all we have known in steadier times, we can be hard pressed to let go and allow the river to carry us. Continue reading Feeling the Presence of Spirit in Times of Loss

A World in Turmoil

Painted by Sara, 10, Zehra, 12, and Ayla, 11, students at Funkor Childart Centre for disadvantaged students in Islamabad, Pakistan. The children there are like a beacon in a troubled word, with their desire for friendship and goodwill among the world’s races and religions.
Painted by Sara, 10, Zehra, 12, and Ayla, 11, students at Funkor Childart Centre for disadvantaged students in Islamabad, Pakistan. The children there are a beacon of light in a troubled world, with their desire for friendship and goodwill among the world’s races and religions.

At the first Sunday service of 2016, senior minister Dave Bell encouraged us all to see the turmoil in the world in a hopeful light. Rather than getting stuck in grief over expressions of violence and hatred — from the Paris shootings to widespread U.S. rejection of Syrian refugees — we can see these events as catalysts that are dissolving unsustainable ways of living on planet Earth.

Fear-based ways of relating to the world must pass away for humanity to make a leap into higher consciousness. The actions of terrorists, or the words of politicians who demonize those who seem “different,” provide fuel that can catapult humanity into embracing a higher path. In our outrage, we can be moved into action and make the world a better place.

As an example, Dave shared his experience at an Open House and Prayer Service two weeks ago at the Muslim Community Association of Ann Arbor. There, hundreds of people gathered to show support for our local Muslim community. To Dave’s amazement, when addressing the group, one of the imams there actually thanked Donald Trump for suggesting that U.S. mosques be closed. Why would he express gratitude for such a hostile expression of intolerance? Because those very remarks have galvanized so many members from Christian and other faith communities to stand up for their Muslim brothers and sisters. It is providing opportunities for people everywhere to move into a deeper expression of oneness.

Continue reading A World in Turmoil

Metaphysics Class Tackles “Life’s Persistent Questions”

What is God? This class looks at the science of the invisible to answer life's perennial questions.With both daytime and evening options (1 pm and 7 pm Wednesdays), Senior Minister Dave Bell’s new Metaphysics class is underway. Here are the questions the class explores, plus a Metaphysics Reading List Dave developed from his personal library. The class runs 8 weeks and tuition is $35 for the entire class. Email dave@interfaithspirit.org if you have questions 🙂

THE QUESTIONS
  • What is Metaphysics?
  • The Nature of the Divine
  • The Nature of Creation
  • What is Reality?
  • Does Evil Exist?
  • Are there Unforgivable Sins?
  • What is a Soul?
  • What is Consciousness?
  • What is the Role of Scripture?
  • What is the Role of Compassion and Forgiveness?
  • The Three Phases of Mind
  • Prayer and Meditation
  • Prosperity
  • Does Reincarnation Occur?
  • The Near Death Experience
  • What is Mysticism?
RECOMMENDED READING

Books by Dr. David Hawkins Continue reading Metaphysics Class Tackles “Life’s Persistent Questions”

Whatever Happens Can Be Interpreted for Your Own Good

Image showing how perception is malleable - a key metaphysical principle in A Course in MiraclesHave you ever wondered about the name, “A Course in Miracles,” which is often quoted at Interfaith? The “miracles” refer to tiny shifts in perception which give us the power to transform suffering into blessings. Here is a reading about Perception shared by member Jan Peacock at a recent Sunday service. Continue reading Whatever Happens Can Be Interpreted for Your Own Good

Believe in Yourself

Yesterday, Dave Bell showed us how our own beliefs about ourselves (often old, subconscious beliefs, ingrained from childhood) create our experience. Isn’t it amazing that our  Divine soul’s expression is empowered, or inhibited, by what we believe? Yet it’s true. As Henry Ford say, “Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t…. you’re right.

What if you allowed yourself to express your soul’s essence, right here, right now? Here’s a little encouragement from an unexpected source: neuroscientist Jill Bolte Taylor.

What it Means to “Hold Space” for People, Plus 8 Tips on How to Do it Well

Reblogged with permission from Heather Plett, a teacher, writer, and coach whose work fosters mindfulness, growth, and positive change.

Heather Plett reblogged by the Interfaith Center for Spiritual Growth, Ann Arbor's alternative church experience.
When my mom was dying, my siblings and I gathered to be with her in her final days. None of us knew anything about supporting someone in her transition out of this life into the next, but we were pretty sure we wanted to keep her at home, so we did.
While we supported mom, we were, in turn, supported by a gifted palliative care nurse, Ann, who came every few days to care for mom and to talk to us about what we could expect in the coming days. She taught us how to inject Mom with morphine when she became restless, she offered to do the difficult tasks (like giving Mom a bath), and she gave us only as much information as we needed about what to do with Mom’s body after her spirit had passed.

“Take your time,” she said. “You don’t need to call the funeral home until you’re ready. Gather the people who will want to say their final farewells. Sit with your mom as long as you need to. When you’re ready, call and they will come to pick her up.”

Ann gave us an incredible gift in those final days. Though it was an excruciating week, we knew that we were being held by someone who was only a phone call away.

In the two years since then, I’ve often thought about Ann and the important role she played in our lives. She was much more than what can fit in the title of “palliative care nurse”. She was facilitator, coach, and guide. By offering gentle, nonjudgmental support and guidance, she helped us walk one of the most difficult journeys of our lives.

The work that Ann did can be defined by a term that’s become common in some of the circles in which I work. She was holding space for us.

What does it mean to hold space for someone else? It means that we are willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome. When we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgment and control.

Continue reading What it Means to “Hold Space” for People, Plus 8 Tips on How to Do it Well

August Happenings

Dear Friends,

The weekend of Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9 will be great days for us to come together, celebrate, and support the Interfaith Center.

On SATURDAY, AUGUST 8 at 8 pm, music director Alaura Massaro is hosting concert with a talented group of musicians and performance artists to benefit Interfaith.   All  musicians, poets, and performers are donating their time and passion, and ALL proceeds will benefit the Center.  We would love you to join us and  fill the room with your great energy.  Invite friends and family too!

On Sunday, August 9,  after the service we’ll hold the Raffle Drawing for Interfaith.  (see Amazing Prizes here and get a batch of tickets if you don’t have them yet — only $2 each for a chance to win the prize of your choice).  Concurrent with this festive occasion, Dave and Judy are hosting a party to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary with their Interfaith family. Please join us in wishing them well! Bring a dish of finger foods and your dear self!

Cafe 704 coffeehouse event to benefit the Interfaith Center featuring Alaura Massaro and Friends.To see what else is happening, check out the August Interfaith Inspirer here.

How the Worst Moments in Our Lives Make Us Who We Are

How can we deal with devastating disappointments without losing faith?

Yesterday, Associate Minister Annie Kopko shared how she was able to reframe a crippling childhood pattern to transform the pain and insecurity it spawned.

“At any moment, you can change your perspective,” she told us. But how?

The video below teaches us with inspired and uplifting examples. Reframing pain and disappointment is a characteristic of resilient people. This capacity honors our experience while reconnecting us to our innate divinity and restoring trust in the Creation.

Enjoy this profoundly uplifiting TED Talk by Andrew Solomon on “meaning making.” Then let us know what you think in the comment section.