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.

 

May is for Manifesting

Maypole with streamersThis month we kick off with a visit from Scott Grace.  Scott is the author of Teach Me How to Love: A True Story That Touches Hearts and Helps with the Laundry.  He is also a transformational musician who has performed at events for the likes of Deepak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Alan Cohen, and Byron Katie.

Come let go of old beliefs about scarcity and struggle, and give a hug to senior minister Dave Bell who returns from Florida on Sunday too!

Topics for the Month:

May 3 – Manifesting With Ease (Scott Grace, Guest Speaker)

May 10 – The Future of God (Dave Bell)

May 17 – Why We Don’t Forgive (Delyth Balmer)

May 24 – Surrender – A Practice (Dave Bell)

May 31 – Joy Is Yours (Dave Bell)

Continue reading May is for Manifesting

Letting Go

Each Sunday, members of our Interfaith family lead portions of the service.  Last Sunday Rod Rodriguez shared wisdom from Rumi and Osho to highlight the topic “Letting Go.

The Tent, by Rumi

The Tent, an allegory for meditation practice.

Outside, the freezing desert night.
This other night inside grows warm, kindling.
Let the landscape be covered with thorny crust.
We have a soft garden in here.

The continents blasted,
cities and little towns, everything
become a scorched, blackened ball.

The news we hear is full of grief for that future,
but the real news inside here
is there’s no news at all.

~Translation by Coleman Barks (italics added for emphasis)

Continue reading Letting Go

Welcome to the Interfaith Inspirer blog

new-growthLast Saturday, the Interfaith Center celebrated its 17th birthday. In addition to a tasty potluck, games, and reflections from founding minister David Bell,  the Center honored the occasion by launching a new website.  It was a fitting time to unveil this new branch of our community:  not just a birthday, but also the day of the Spring Equinox. Continue reading Welcome to the Interfaith Inspirer blog

Flute Meditation & Hand Pan for Relaxation

Deepest gratitude to our friend Don Allen for these song gifts.