From the Board

Hello- my name is Judy McGowan and I am currently serving as the President of Unity of Inner Peace. Perhaps the best way for you to get the flavor of our small study group is to browse the weekly emails I or other Board members send out regarding our our weekly service topic. You’ll notice that we also occasionally ask questions meant to motivate, provoke thought, inform discussions of our larger purpose, etc. Here they are!


October 19, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

What a privilege it is to be able to invite you to hear this Sunday’s speaker, Mary Soper. She is an advanced soul, guru to many over the years. After accepting our invitation, and thinking about what she would like to share, she came up with the following:

Many have heard some of us talk about Alice Tredway, who was our spiritual teacher who lived in Munising. We studied with Alice, who had studied with many great teachers from around the world, including spending time at Pendill Hill, a Quaker community. Along the way, Alice studied energy therapy/e-therapy, and from that emerged symbols – a technique that can be used to delve into one’s spiritual being.

During this time together I will review symbols, talk about how they can be used for spiritual insights, and we will sit together for a symbol session. This should be an enlightening time together, and participants will learn a new technique for their own growth and knowledge. Symbols are great for clarification of issues, erasing past thoughts and actions, and a way to delve deeper into one’s spiritual dimensions.

Mary says, “This should be a very interesting session, and I’m looking forward to leading this time together. It will be FUN.”

In conclusion I would say, this is a unique opportunity, and we hope that you will bless us all by adding the energy of your presence.
Lovingly,

Judy

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October 11, 2017

Dear Friends of Unity,

With medical care being such a current critical issue in Marquette, we find our scheduling of this Sunday’s speaker, Dr. Lisa Long, as quite timely. Her chosen title is “Remembering the Sacred: Critical conversations in the medical office.” Her biography is below:

Lisa Long completed her medical training at the University of Michigan and residency at Marquette Family Residency Program. After completion of residency, Dr. Long practiced traditional family medicine in Negaunee. While practicing there, her appetite was whet for identifying core cause of disease and she embarked on a quest to treat the whole person and fundamental cause of disease, rather than clinical manifestations of disease. It was at this time she became exposed to the disciplines of Environmental Medicine, Energy Medicine, and Integrative Medicine.

She left traditional practice and pursued more in-depth training in these subjects, and enrolled in a 2 year Fellowship of Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, the first of its kind. While participating in the Fellowship, she practiced medicine as an inpatient physician at Upper Peninsula Health System – Marquette. She is Board Certified in Integrated Medicine, and is the first physician in the Upper Peninsula to achieve that designation. She is excited to incorporate the knowledge she acquired during clinical practice in outpatient and inpatient realms with Integrative Medicine as an Assistant Director of the Marquette Family Medicine Residency.

On a personal note, Lisa is the wife of Lee Ossenheimer and mother to three children – Jesse, Lauren, and Alex. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, walking with her dogs, kayaking, creating nutritious meals, and spending time with her family.

We invite you to reward yourself for all of the work you do all week long, by taking a break and coming to Unity this Sunday morning to hear an enlightening talk by Dr. Long. Of course, there is always time for questions and comments.

Keeping the high watch,
Judy

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October 5, 2017
Greetings, Friends!

This Sunday at Unity we will be listening to a recorded lesson from Reverend Michael Jamison.

As a reminder, here is some background information that Rev. Jamison provided to us. He was the founder of our study group:

I started your study group in November 1982. I left you in August 1983 to go to work at Unity Village. I turned the names and addresses over to Ruth Singer when she graduated from ministerial school, and she pioneered you into a church. Later, I became a minister as well and took the church in Topeka, KS, where I have been for 28 years. I see you are back to being a study group. Would it be helpful if I mailed you CDs of my Sunday services?

Discovering Unity back in 1982 and starting the study group in Ishpeming right after was a major turning point in my life, and I would like to give back and pay it forward in some way. Abundant Blessings to you and Unity of Inner Peace.

Since this communication, Rev. Jamison has sent us several CDs to use if desired. Our Unity group has found his style to be entertaining, easy to listen to, and imminently informative!

This Sunday, we will be listening to his talk titled “Body and Soul.” I’ve had the chance to preview it, and we are in for a treat! I have no doubt that it will provide us a springboard for another excellent discussion.

Our service starts at 10AM- hope to see you there!
Steve

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September 25, 2017

Dear Friends in Unity,

We are living in such heavy times, natural disasters, man made threats. But we each are centers of energy, and we get to chose what we nurture. I choose to nurture love, peace, calm. Those of you who know my husband David know that he chooses to nurture humor. Each Sunday morning as we come out of meditation and share the deep insights or direction we have received, David, who cannot seem to enter that deep meditative state, chooses to share some humorous piece of wisdom he has discovered somewhere during the week. I must admit that at first I was embarrassed by his blurts, but now I realize that he is a healer in his own way, his, a valuable contribution. With that in mind, I’m choosing to share with you an original he came up with at home this week. One day he looked at me with great purpose while stating, “I’m going to enter The Silence.” In wonderment I gazed at him, hardly believing what I had heard. But then, he removed his hearing aids.

What do you choose to nurture?

Lovingly,

Judy

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September 23, 2017

Unity Friends,

This is to inform you that there has been a change for this Sunday’s service. Barb Marcum, who was scheduled to speak, called to regretfully withdraw because of an unexpected event to which she must attend. We hope she will reschedule for a later date.

In her place, we will be sharing the next CD in a series by Topeka, Kansas Unity minister, Michael Jamison. It is entitled, “The Judas Ego.” Jamison, a very dynamic speaker, has stirred our interest with his own take on Unity teachings, Biblical history and spiritual evolution.

Hoping to see you tomorrow,

Judy

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September 20, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

After a long summer of travel and outings, may we usher in the new season – autumn- by greeting one another with fondness and enthusiasm at our beloved Sunday morning circle.
Our speaker this Sunday will be Barbara Marcum, who will relate her remarkable spiritual path from the time she was abandoned by her mother when just a year old, through numerous suicide attempts, to the companionship of a spirit entity named Georges, to receiving ministerial papers from a Spiritualist Church in Toledo, Ohio, and on to the present day. Markam has chosen as the title of her talk, “Feeding Our Spirit,” and she wants people to come away with TRUST and a SURENESS THAT WE ARE ABLE TO OVERCOME ANY OBSTACLE.

Do come and receive this spiritual food, and also remember that this is POTLUCK Sunday as well.

Looking forward to seeing YOU there.
Judy

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September 17, 2017

Greetings Friends-

I trust everyone is enjoying these days of summer revisited.

I have to confess that when I exclaimed out loud that these days were “too hot for me,” I garnered many a withering look from my co-workers!

This Sunday at Unity, I will be revisiting something else- the second half of our topic from July 30th. On that Sunday, we discussed “The Surprise of Being Here.” This was based on John O’Donohue’s comment that most of us never quite get over the surprise of being here, in human form, on this great big earth of ours among other surprised people.

Building on that, this week we will be discussing “The Surprise of Not Being Here” – how we conceptualize, anticipate, and deal with beings disappearing from the world of physical form.

It’s a rich topic, often dismissed as morbid or depressing but in fact, it is one of the phenomena that gives meaning to our lives.

Franz Kafka’s quote may seem blunt– and it is definitely open to misinterpretation– but it’s still worth thinking about:

“The meaning of life is that it ends.”

I look forward to mining the collective wisdom of our group as we explore this together.

See you Sunday!
Steve

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September 8, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

Well once again we have a fascinating CD to share in the form of a sermon by Rev. Michael Jamison, Unity minister in Topeka, Kansas, former resident of the UP. I have been in Unity for 39 years, but have never heard some of these terms put into concept form in the way that Michael does. The title of this sermon is, “The Jesus Ego,” and as Michael states that Jesus is not God, and that living in physicality requires an ego, away we go! Here are a few more waker uppers – If the soul chooses the body in which to incarnate, does the ego choose the soul?

So why is all of this important? If Unity’s purpose is to help you to wake up and to live your most inner directed life, how do you do that? Come this Sunday, Sept. 10, so that you can go away with some great ideas to ponder and activate.

Lovingly,

Judy

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August 31, 2017

Dear Friends,

This morning as I was watching the news on TV, there was a segment about the beginning of the new school semester. A teacher was interviewed briefly, and behind her I could see some of the things she had put up on the walls of her classroom. One read, “You are what you do. Say, ‘I’m sorry.'” I shuddered.

Now I know this teacher is well-meaning, wanting her students to consider the affects of their behavior, but has she considered that there may be children walking around telling themselves, “I did such and such. I must be really bad.” And even traditional Christianity teaches that we were born so bad that a scapegoat, named Jesus of Nazareth, had to die because of it.

Which brings me to what attracted me to Unity in the beginning, and has held me here for 39 years. Unity teaches that we were born good, and our life is about coming into a greater and greater awareness of that. As we do, the outer reflects the inner. And along the way, we learn to forgive ourselves and others “our trespasses.” Remember, how many years ago, the song “Born Free” burned its way into our psyches? It’s time now for a new anthem – “Born Good!”

And as for that teacher, bless her for her loving intentions. Teaching is hard work!

In Unity,
Judy

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August 23, 2017

Dear Friends of Unity,

Trinity vs. Unity. What does that even mean? And how do names like St. Patrick, St. Augustine, Charles and Myrtle Fillmore, Jesus of Nazareth figure into this dichotomy?

This Sunday’s audio lesson “Spirit As Shamrock? No!” by former “Upper,” the Rev. Michael Jamison, will spark your critical thinking on this subject. Come share Jamison’s enthusiasm and scholarship on these concepts, so much a part of the Judeo-Christian debate. There is a distinct possibility that you will discover some fun facts of which you were unaware before, facts that may guide you on your spiritual path.

Let’s “make each others’ Sunday” by being there.

And .. THIS SUNDAY IS POTLUCK SUNDAY!

Lovingly,
Judy

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August 17, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

Our speaker this Sunday, Thomas Cappuccio, has had a long and honorable life in the world of art. Google his name on the WEB for both examples of his work and a fascinating description of his philosophy on being an artist. It describes art as what we would call a spiritual practice. The following are just a few facts related to his life.

“Thomas Cappuccio was born in Italy. He came to the US at the age of 12. He received his BFA from Pratt Institute, and his MA from Brooklyn College of CUNY. He has had an active exhibition record in painting and drawing, illustration and mural painting. He has taught in New York City, at Kendall College of Art and Design, the University of Oregon, and was Professor of Art and Design at Northern Michigan University until his retirement. Cappuccio has exhibited widely at the national and international level in over 200 juried and invitational exhibitions.”

Yet what Cappuccio wishes to talk about this Sunday is not art, but health. He himself has been “on a healing path for four years now,” and is “trying to integrate mind and body, the physical with the metaphysical to achieve a positive outcome.” Thomas says, “I have been reading and studying One Spirit Medicine by Alberto Villoldo, PH.D. The topic focuses on discovering our inner healer. To truly heal we need to return to practices discovered by shamans millennia ago, how to detoxify brain and gut with superfoods, working with our luminous energy field to heal our body. Through ‘One Spirit Medicine,’ the shamans found that they could grow a new body that allowed them to live in extraordinary health.”

Cappuccio says he is very excited about doing this presentation. And we have found that nothing is more gratifying to a speaker than the possibility of opening a new world to others. Come and be prepared to grow.

Lovingly,

Judy

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August 10, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

There is a change in subject matter for this Sunday. That which was listed in the August newsletter for this date will be presented in September instead.
So, for this Sunday, be prepared for an inspiring discussion on Unity’s perspective on healing. Ann Russ will share Unity’s most recent booklet on the subject, which offers information on co-founder Myrtle Fillmore’s personal healing , and the principles for healing she has shared for all to use. This work was the original foundation of Unity. There are also beautiful healing affirmations which you can write down and take home with you for your own use.
Come and share your voice, or just quietly listen and store up ideas for the season when you might need them most.

Lovingly,

Judy

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August 3, 2017

Dear Friends in Unity,

Picture a two and a half year old little girl, blond, shining, first born, star of the show suddenly finding herself displaced by not just one, but two baby sisters. Twins. And as though that were not enough, one of the twins was born with severe “differences.” Thus circumstances demanded that much attention was diverted from her to the care and survival of the newbies. She was jealous as hell! Years later we find her in a position of leadership at a university, a place where her voice is heard and her opinions matter. In her spare time, she performs in musical theatre, usually in starring roles.
Except for college days, the twins have always lived together. Even in their late twenties they share an apartment as each pursues their separate callings. Interestingly, the “healthier” one is known for her compassion, is already an RN and is completing work on becoming a nurse practitioner. Her sister, the one who has undergone more surgeries than most of us could imagine, is a college graduate and pursuing post graduate classes to advance even further at her job. She is smart, funny, and very outspoken, sometimes treading where others fear to go. Her most memorable and perhaps important work is educating others on what it is like to be what she calls “diffabled,” that is, what it is like to be able in a different way.

Why do I tell you all of this? Perhaps it is because it helps to see a purpose in our lives. Would our little blond have tried so hard to be all she could be if things had been easy for her? Would the born healthy twin have developed the compassion and desire to help others to such a great degree had she not felt it first for her twin? And who knows what great service the “diffabled” twin will do – for others in the same boat, but also to educate others toward greater empathy and understanding?

So let’s, for a moment, talk about you. What do you look back at in your life and wish it had been different? More “perfect?” More to your liking? Would you be the marvelous individual you are today without your life history, your life challenges? Every day we have the opportunity to ask ourselves what we really want, and then make the choices to evolve in that direction.
Oh “Birther of the Cosmos,” we thank you for this journey of opportunity.

Lovingly,
Judy

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July 28, 2017

Happy Summer to All!

What stunning days we’ve been having, eh? Each one an opportunity to marvel and appreciate.

This Sunday I will be leading a discussing centered around the topic, “The surprise of being here.”

The phrase comes from an interview with John O’Donohue (former priest, poet, and philosopher) in which he said that “we never quite get over the surprise of being here.”

The surprise at being born, and at being on this earth with a bunch of other surprised folks! Typically we spend much of our lives dealing with that surprise and trying to make sense of it.

I’ll present some background material from a few different sources and then a few question prompts to get our “discussion chords” warmed up. And then off we’ll go!

Looking forward to seeing you among us. The service starts at 10AM.

Warm regards and again, Happy Summer!

Steve

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July 19, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

For all of you who will be in town this Sunday, we hope you will consider joining the Unity circle for this eye-opening presentation. Sue writes:

This Sunday Sue Schenk Drobny will lead a discussion on “Consciousness is the Key,” which will be based on an article in the June “Science of Mind Magazine.” This article got Sue thinking “but what are some practical tools we can use to remain conscious once we get there??” That’s where “The Work of Byron Katie” comes in…this teaching was always a little “out there” for Sue, but she found some handy forms on line that take you step by step through the process, which she will be sharing with you. We can work on our own “mind traps” and discuss if you’d like, or just silently think about them to yourself and work on them at your own pace at home. You have a thought, it’s really bothering you….but, IS IT REALLY TRUE???? Another tool in our “spiritual sanity kit.” Come and find out this Sunday!

Sue never disappoints! She always presents a fresh point of view. Come, enjoy, appreciate.
Lovingly,

Judy

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July 13, 2017

Dear Friends in Unity,

This Sunday will be full of insight and wisdom. We are honored that our guest speaker will be Lydia Hoff, born in Brussels, Belgium 96 years ago. When asked for a brief biography and description of her talk, she wrote the following:

The subject of my talk cannot be better described than by using the title of the book by Celia Viggo Wexler: Catholic Women Confront Their Church!
“I was born In Brussels, Belgium, raised Catholic although my parents were not practicing (like many Belgians), went to Catholic school til at age 12 was home schooled, for reasons too long to explain here. I loved my church, the liturgy, had a strong faith and beliefs.

I married in the states outside of The Church to an atheist Jew; returned to the church for a few years after a priest in Marquette explained to me that it was possible. I finally left for political reasons and the strict dogmas that I had begun to question.

I needed something else. You welcomed me at Unity but in view of my history it was not enough. I was still conditioned to be in a real church, with liturgy, etc., and found my comfortable place in the progressive local Episcopal church, still catholic but with a small ‘c.’ “

If you are like me, so many questions arose as I read this description. Where was she during WWII? Why and how did she come to the United States? to Marquette? Why was she home schooled? What were these “political reasons and strict dogmas” that caused her to rebel?

Lydia Hoff is, of course, an individual with an individual story, but we will also glean universal truths through the telling of her experience. We hope that you will join us on Sunday for this unique experience.

Lovingly,

Judy

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July 5, 2017

Dear Unity Regulars, Irregulars, and Friends, 🙂

This Sunday we have the privilege of being put under the spell of Lee Ossenheimer, in my opinion one of the most engaging speakers around, either on or off the platform. Lee has graciously consented to take time out of his vigorous lifestyle and abundantly busy schedule to share with us what is on his spiritual Mind these days – “Change: Identifying and Managing the Positive and Negative Influences in our Lives.”

Of this Lee says:
Human Beings are consciously and unconsciously conditioned by their environment. All individuals can choose to play an active or passive role in the process of their conditioning. Observing and identifying our environmental influences is essential for personal growth and enrichment. We have the ability to manage the outcome of our choices by elevating our level of awareness to this potential.

Lee’s bio:

“Lee Ossenheimer has a professional background in vocational, technical, and curriculum development. He has been influenced by his partner’s background in medicine and her search for a ‘Holistic medical perspective’ over the last two decades. Lee has had the opportunity to study Esoteric Healing under Dr. Barbara Briner at the Institute of Bioenergy Studies in East Lansing. In addition, he has participated in the Science of Yoga, Breathwork, and Pure Meditation under the guidance of his living Guru, Mata Yogananda at the SRMC of Michigan. Eckhart Tolle and Eric Butterworth teachings enrich his life daily. He considers himself to be a life student, focusing on the richness of self-consciousness and maintaining peace from within.”

All of this will be happening at our annual OUTDOOR service which will be held at the home of John and Militza English, 450 East Ohio St., Marquette. The time is 10:00 am, as usual. And, it will be our monthly POTLUCK as well. Bring a dish you’d love to share. And, if possible, do bring your own folding chair. The service will be moved inside if weather is an issue.

Call Militza at 225-1561 or 361-8222 if you have any further questions.

Most of all, be prepared for an absolutely enjoyable time.

Lovingly,
Judy

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June 29, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

As you peruse the Sunday Schedule (see July 2017 newsletter), let us give thanks together that we live in a land of freedom of speech and religion. We have the opportunity to not only listen to our inner voices, but to speak those words out loud and to live them publicly. May we bless this month’s presenters, and give thanks that their words are delivered with love, that their intentions are for “The Highest Good for All.”

In celebration, Judy

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June 21, 2017
Hi Unity Friends,

Recently we received the following e-mail from Rev. Michael Jamison of Unity of Topeka, Kansas:

I started your study group in November 1982. I left you in August 1983 to go to work at Unity Village. I turned the names and addresses over to Ruth Singer when she graduated from ministerial school, and she pioneered you into a church. Later, I became a minister as well and took the church in Topeka, KS, where I have been for 28 years. I see you are back to being a study group. Would it be helpful if I mailed you CDs of my Sunday services?

Discovering Unity back in 1982 and starting the study group in Ishpeming right after was a major turning point in my life, and I would like to give back and pay it forward in some way. Abundant Blessings to you and Unity of Inner Peace.

Barb Dupras was one of the members of that original study group, and she remembers Michael Jamison well. Since this communication, Rev. Jamison has sent us several CDs to preview and use if desired. With all of this in mind, we have chosen to play one of his CDs as the lesson for our service this Sunday. The title is “Spirit as Validator? Yes!”

Curious? Come join us this Sunday, June 25th, and we also invite you to bring a dish to share for our monthly POTLUCK.
Looking forward to the fun,

Judy

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June 15, 2017
To All Unity Folks and Friends,

This Sunday you are in for a very unusual morning. Our speaker is Eeva Miller, and the title of her talk is “HOW HEALING PAST LIVES CAN HELP YOU in YOUR PRESENT LIFE.”
By way of an introduction, Eeva is “a retired high school special ed. teacher, former Five Tibetans Yoga teacher, Laughter Yoga leader, and has studied several energy healing modalities.”
According to Eeva, she “has been facilitating past life healing for over 15 years. This just started to happen by itself as my yoga and meditation practice deepened. I do not charge but request that it is paid forward.”

On a personal level, Eeva “has a cat, a dog, and a gorgeous horse.”

Won’t YOU give yourself this very special gift by being there to receive Eeva’s special presentation?

Yours in Unity,

Judy

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June 9, 2017
Dear Friends in Unity,

It’s a Sunday to put on your thinking hat, as the old saying goes. We are going to read and discuss together “The Contribution of Buckminster Fuller” (and if there is time, “The Pairings of The Twelve,”) of our study book, The Twelve Freedoms by Unity minister, Phillip Pierson. Pierson writes:

The last of my supporters that I want to introduce you to is R. Buckminster Fuller. As probably many of you know, he was a genius of the 20th century. I love to share that he was probably the only person that Einstein ever asked to meet. In 1938, Bucky wrote a book (the second of twenty nine) entitled Nine Chains to the Moon. In it, he talked of Einstein’s theories and postulated how they could be used. The publisher told him they wouldn’t publish it because he couldn’t possibly understand Einstein’s theories well enough to make the statements he made. Bucky responded by saying, “Why don’t you ask Einstein if I do?” They did and as a result, Einstein wanted to meet this man who understood his work enough to tell him how his work could be used. And so, Bucky had his meeting with Einstein and the book was published.

When I looked at his books carefully, I found that all through them were metaphysical insights that he spoke to in clear philosophic terms. To him every physical principle has a corresponding metaphysical expression. And while he was a genius in consructing physical forms, he was also a champion of the truth that metaphysics is the reality of the world we live in and which shapes our lives.

And so, we explore the metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller and how it correlates to Unity’s Twelve Powers, or as Pierson presents them, the Twelve Freedoms. Hope to see you in the circle on Sunday.

Lovingly,
Judy

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June 1, 2017

Dear Friends in Unity,

It looks as though maybe, just maybe, spring is here to stay. It’s been such a long wait that I had started composing little sayings in my head, such as “I had a date with spring, but it stood me up.” But now it’s here, and I subscribe to John Muir’s statement that, “In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” So, we have an indoor church – Unity on Sunday mornings – and an outdoor church – the fabulous world of the U.P. May we embrace and enjoy each.

Lovingly,
Judy

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May 18, 2017

Dear Friends of Unity,

This Sunday, May 21st, we will continue our fascinating reading and discussion of The Twelve Freedoms, by Unity minister Phillip Pierson. The chapter under consideration will be “The Contribution of Pierre Teilhard de Chardin,” and has to do with evolution, most particularly the spiritual evolution of humankind.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1891-1955), was the originator of the often quoted statement, “You are not a human being in search of a spiritual experience. You are a spiritual being Immersed in a human experience.”

Teilhard was a Jesuit Priest who was also a philosopher and scientist (paleontology and geology). “Some of his writings were published, but the majority, including The Phenomenon of Man, were not during his lifetime because the Church at Rome forbade it. In fact, not only was he denied permission to publish his thoughts on evolution, he was forbidden to teach anymore and sent to China to pursue his work in paleontology.” After his death, his family published his work.

In this chapter, Rev. Pierson will discuss Tielhard’s teachings as they relate to the subject of his own book.

Come and join us as we dive into this pool of inspiration.

In Unity,
Judy

P.S. A heartfelt Happy Birthday, today, May 18th, to Mary Wardell.

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May 10, 2017

Greetings Dear Unity of Inner Peace Members and Friends,

Ah, Mother’s Day. If we have been fortunate, this brings up visions of mother love, dedication, sacrifice -poignant memories which cause us to want to respond with loving messages, gifts, making the day special in some way. But we at Unity would like you to consider adding something unique to mark Mother’s Day this year. This Sunday morning, our speaker will be none other than super awake, super dynamic mother and grandmother, Helen Haskell Remien. Helen has a tendency to grab and hold our attention through both her words and her example. Below, you will find her description of what she plans to share this Sunday:

“On January 21, 2017, I joined my niece, a professor of Political Science and International Relations at Stockton University in New Jersey, and a van-load of her students at the Women’s March on Washington. This high vibe empowering experience birthed the focus of my 100-Day Project: One Hundred Days of Activism from the Inside Out. During the daily process of reflection and activism, questions arose for me:

What does it mean to be patriotic?

How do we balance our beloved handcrafted daily living with the call to be active citizens?

And, what do we — each one of us — stand for?

This Sunday, Mother’s Day, I will reflect on my personal journey living with these questions, guide a short meditation, and invite you also to reflect and share.”

Yes, Mother’s Day, a day of sweet celebration, but so much more! Come. And if possible, you might even consider bringing your own mother.

Blessings,
Judy

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May 2, 2017
Dear Unity Friends,

We are in that odd time of year, a time of what feels like waiting. Waiting for color, waiting for warmth, waiting for things to come out of hibernation. Winter is gone, but the next season has not really sprung forth. Are you too in a period of drabness, of waiting?

Have you ever walked down the stairs to the breakwater at Presque Isle Park and looked at the rocks both in the water and piling up on the island side? Are we not drawn first to the colorful rocks in the water? Or walked the beach area north of Picnic Rocks viewing the smorgasbord of small rocks there? They entice us to wade in the water to pick them up and examine them closely. Occasionally we find an agate, considered a little more precious than the rest, but usually, as lay people we can’t give them names. We just see how beautiful they are. The colors are vivid and we are tempted to put them in our pockets and take them home. But for those of us who have done so, when we get them home, we feel somewhat disappointed because when dry, their color and lustre have visibly faded. They look no different than the piles of dry stones on the beaches, the ones we either walked over unseeingly, or grabbed and moistened to see what they really were.

What does this have to do with us? The beach stones are of the element earth, as are we -ashes to ashes – but it takes the element water to bring out their true color. What is the element that you need most to bring out Your True Color? Perhaps it is the earth for one who thrives on gardening, or one who feels compelled to mold clay into objects of beauty. Perhaps it is air for one who loves to feel the wind in his face while racing down a ski hill, or who sends forth her words into the universe. Perhaps it is fire for one who makes objects of iron or who loves to create nourishing meals using the heat from stoves and ovens. Or perhaps it is water for one who swims or is an environmentalist campaiging to save our water sources from pollution.

In a loving universe with loving intentions there is no best way for you to bring out your true color. Only you know what it is, and all you need do is give yourself permission to shine. So, Jump into the Water of Your Soul, and Show us Your True Colors.

Lovingly,
Judy

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April 28, 2017
Dear Unity Friends,

We will hear from a new voice this Sunday. According to Steve Schmunk, our esteemed Board VP and web master, this is “the scoop.”

We will be listening to a sermon titled “Grief and Praise,” by Gretchen Thompson.

Gretchen Thompson was one of the ministers at the Unity Unitarian Church in St. Paul, Minnesota, where Ann Russ and Steve Schmunk attended during the years they lived there. In fact, Rev. Thompson presided over their marriage ceremony. This is one of the sermons from that time.

Gretchen is a compassionate, active observer of life. She is known as a storyteller extraordinaire, able to touch the common humanity of people with engaging narratives about every day life that wind their way towards memorable spiritual lessons.

This sermon is included in one of her books titled, “Souls Magnified.”

So we invite you to absorb a fresh perspective, and, afterward to join us in our monthly POTLUCK!
The presence of each of you makes a huge contribution.

Lovingly,
Judy

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April 21, 2017

Welcome all Unity minded people,

This Sunday the highly trained duo of Richard Leinonen and Gail Razavi team up for their long anticipated presentation entitled, “Give Yourself the Gift of Self-Confidence.”

When asked to elucidate, Richard simply said for folks to ask themselves, “Is public speaking really to be feared more than death? And, “How do you overcome that fear?”

So I ask, are you open to receive or to expand your gift? If so, we look forward to seeing you this Sunday.

Lovingly,
Judy

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April 14, 2017

Hi All,

Come and join us as we explore Easter as a day of resurrection. No matter where you are on your spiritual path, there is always more to which we may rise. Using Unity resources, a bit of Spong, and shared personal insights, Judy McGowan will guide our experience.

(And, you’ll still be out in plenty of time to enjoy your families and those special meals.)

As always, lovingly,
Judy

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April 7, 2017

Unity Friends,

Have you ever read anything by Ralph Waldo Emerson and not come away feeling enriched? Well this Sunday, our speaker, Bill Waters will be focusing on “Emerson and Success.” With Bill’s probing style, enthusiasm and curiosity, we are bound to feel energized anew about the ideas of this great lecturer, essayist and poet of the transcendental movement, the movement that taught that divinity pervades all of nature and humanity.

Come, be uplifted.

Reminder: Board Meeting after the service.

Faithfully,
Judy

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March 31, 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Unity,

In a recent dream, I was asked the question, “Who do you trust the most?” I immediately and joyfully answered, “myself.” Someone close by seemed surprised and disappointed, turned on her heel and walked away. I got the distinct impression that I had grown into this answer over a lifetime. It isn’t that I don’t need other people, but my greatest source of trust comes from within, and the answer should read not “myself,” but “My Self.” Big difference. Keeping that channel open with the Higher Self makes the difference between calm and anxiety, confidence or helplessness, an important message in this time of, to put it mildly, TRANSFORMATION.

Who do you trust the most?

In it together,
Judy

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March 24, 2017

Dear Friends in Unity,

I’m always amazed at the quality and degree of accomplishment demonstrated by the people who say, “Yes,” to our invitations to be presenters for our Sunday morning services. This week, in Martha Fotopulos, we have a prime example. Martha’s current focus is painting, but here is her own description of what she brings to us:

Martha will discuss and demonstrate the benefits of physical warm up prior to creative activities such as painting, writing, problem solving, etc.
Martha grew up in a family of successful creative thinkers, with very successful careers. Her education began at home with drawing lessons at age four. Her sister said she taught Martha to see.
Her formal education was at the College of Saint Teresa in Winona, Minnesota; B.A. Degree from Governor State University in Chicago Heights, IL; dance training with Keith Allison in Chicago and Robert Joffrey in New York City.
Martha is now a nonrepresentational painter, using watercolor and acrylics.

So, we hope to see you joining us for this unique experience, and, don’t forget it is
POTLUCK SUNDAY.
Please bring a generous amount of your favorite dish so that we can welcome any guests.

Lovingly,
Judy

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March 17, 2017

Hi All,

For those of you who like learning about basic Unity teachings, this Sunday is for you. We will continue with our reading and discussion of Rev. Phillip Pierson’s book, The Twelve Freedoms. The chapter we will focus on is Chapter Three, “The Contribution of Charles Fillmore.” What did he do? Why was it different? What is its meaning for us today? You will also have the opportunity to examine Fillmore’s Metaphysical Bible Dictionary, an example of his extraordinary scholarship.

Looking forward to sharing a lovely and meaningful morning together……

Judy

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March 10, 2017

Dear Unity Folk and Friends,

Here we go again. Week after week your Board does their best to come up with services that will be timely, significant and have both personal and universal appeal. This week is no different in that regard, yet it is unique in that we have never done anything quite like this before.

It is no secret that currently there is a great deal of unrest in this country. People have responded to this by unleashing their feelings in a variety of ways, some positive and some very negative. The response of a small group of people in this community was to write a Pledge for a Kinder Community, its purpose to raise consciousness. The ideal is that people will read it, sign it if they are in agreement with its tenets, then live it out. The Pledge has been published in the spring issue of the UP Magazine, Health and Happiness, and is on the WEB at www.AKindCommunity.org. The language is intentionally simple and direct so that people of varied backgrounds can resonate with its message.

This Sunday at Unity, we will read and discuss The Pledge together. Then the opportunity to sign it will be available. The desire is for Marquette to be not only a “Cool City,” but a “Kind Community.”

Please join us.

Judy

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March 2, 2017

Dear Unity Friends,

As you know, last Sunday was our Annual Membership Meeting. It was a time to review what we had experienced together during the past year as well as to make some decisions about the next. You will find that information scattered throughout this newsletter.

Even though we are officially a study group rather than a church, our format has remained a combination of the two. We do meet at a specific time and place on Sunday morning, include an opening statement, an adaptation of The Lord’s Prayer, meditation and music. However, as we have no ordained minister sharing a message with us each week, we look for other ways to inspire, and to awaken what may be called the spiritual life or Spirit in Life – Spirit as Life. As Unity is called “Practical Christianity,” we not only find ways to present Principles, but also to bring to light how these principles are expressed through chosen lifestyles. With this in mind we study books, listen to or watch CDs and DVDs, and invite people from within our circle or from the community at large to share with us their insights and experiences. And the great bonus is that we always have the opportunity to pause when a question or comment seems in order.

We are grateful for all of those who participated this past year, and by checking the Sunday Schedule below, you will get a sample of what is in store for the new.

Yours in Unity,
Judy

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February 23, 2017

All Unity Folk,

This Sunday is your opportunity to have your voice heard as to what you liked about this past year at Unity, and what opportunities and purpose you would like to explore next.

Come with your thinking hat on, your heart open, and your potluck dish in hand.

Yes, Sunday is our Annual Membership Meeting followed by our monthly Potluck. Let’s celebrate!

Faithfully,
Judy

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February 16, 2017

Hi Folks,
In this world of busyness, there are two things I’m hoping will grab your attention.
First, this Sunday, Feb. 19th, we will be continuing with our in-circle reading of Unity minister, Rev. Phillip Pierson’s book, The Twelve Freedoms.  Last month we began with, “The Real Purpose of Life,” and will now continue with, “How It All Came To Be!”  It would be good to remember that “Phillip Pierson has been a minister and metaphysician for 55 years.  During his 25 years on television, he interviewed leading scientists, doctors and leaders such as Buckminster Fuller, Deepak Chopra, Bruce Lipton and hundreds more.  In this book, he captures the wisdom of his life’s search for understanding of what makes life work successfully.”
Second, the last Sunday, Feb. 26th, will be our Annual Membership Meeting.  This is the time at which we all gather to review what has been accomplished during the past year, then make some plans for the next. To do this we will discuss the results of the recent survey; discuss such things as a name Change for our group; how to make Unity more widely known in the community and not to be confused with Unitarian; the possibility of changing the lyrics of The Peace Song from a hope to an affirmation.
    This is also a call for new Board members.  Fresh “blood”, fresh ideas, and a commitment to making our Unity group thrive are vital. ( Please respond by sending an email to Judy at <owlady@chartermi.net> if you are interested.  The Board will be installed or confirmed at this Annual meeting.)
    In conclusion, you can show both your support and appreciation for the existence of Unity of Inner Peace by being present at this meeting.  You are Unity.  Also it will be Potluck Sunday.
Enthusiastically,
Judy

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February 9, 2017
Dear Unity Circle and Friends,

A Critical Consciousness in Relation to the Earth and All of Her Beings is the title of our timely talk this Sunday. With the government backtracking on decisions regarding the environment, and bull dozing ahead on others, we have invited April Lindala, Director and Teacher of Native American Studies at NMU to speak to us about the physical and spiritual repercussions of such decisions from a First Nations point of view. What is regarded as healthy for the whole?

We hope you will join us as we consider the future of the UP as well as other sensitive areas of our country. Guests are always welcome.

With greatest sincerity,
Judy

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February 2, 2017
Dear Unity – Minded People,

When I go to bed at night, I find it wise to keep pen and paper handy because often as I am falling asleep or am in that hazy state of awakening, I inwardly hear what I perceive as messages, words of wisdom. Of course, in this sleepy state there is the impulse to simply roll over, telling myself that I will remember what I heard when I wake up fully. I don’t! Hence the pen and paper.

Recently, amidst all of the turmoil in the country over who is right and who is wrong, I heard the following; “Do all the good you can
To all the people you can
In all the ways you can.”

I knew immediately that this was a poem stored in my memory from long ago, so in my haze I wrote that much down. When I got up, I turned on my computer and “Googled” the first line. This is what I found:

“Do all the good you can.
By all the means you can.
In all the ways you can.
In all the places you can.
To all the people you can.
As long as ever you can.

(This poem has been popularly attributed to John Wesley, co-founder of the Methodist Church, but has never actually been found in any of his writings.)

Of course the thought occurs to me that people have differing ideas of what is “good,” but as I trust myself to, ” Do unto others as I would have them do unto me,” I find the poem a pretty impressive talisman for these or any circumstances. Do you agree?

All One,
Judy

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January 26, 2017
CALLING ALL UNITY FOLKS AND THEIR FRIENDS!

This Sunday we have the privilege of a very special event at Unity. Local musician, Michael Waite will be creating our service through the magic of his music. Michael is going to shape his talk around songs and so the title is “Intentional Songwriting.”

Here is Michael’s biography:

22 years ago in Kalamazoo, a trombone student named Michael Waite fell in love with a ballerina named Erica Creighton who lived down the street. The problem was that she had only a passing interest in him. He wrote his first song (Erica’s song) in order to keep her interested. Soon the two were off on a wild ramble into the West, riding freight trains and taking odd jobs to keep themselves fed during their search for home, themselves, each other, and enlightenment. After some looking they found a place north of Marquette on the Wilson Creek to build a house and raise their three children. The house features a dance studio and gathering space. Michael finished college at NMU as a voice student and continues to write and sing songs about the human experience.

Though he doesn’t mention it, the guitar figures strongly in his music as well.

We can’t urge you enough to make the effort to join us this Sunday morning, to share in this joyous occasion. Come, bring your families, friends, anyone you know who might be interested.

It is also POTLUCK SUNDAY, so we would appreciate your bringing an extra generous amount of whatever you decide to prepare, so that we can serve guests as well.

Come early, stay late. It will be great.

With abundant enthusiasm,
Judy

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January 20, 2017
Unity, Unity, Quite a name that word Unity.

This Sunday our wonderful Board VP and webmaster, Steve Schmunk, is our speaker. In his words:

“It’s All Invented: knowing how our language shapes our inner and outer worlds, how should we proceed?”

There are myriad quotes, books and movies reminding us of how our attitude affects our life experience, including:
– look on the bright side
-you get what you expect
-don’t sweat the small stuff, and it’s all small stuff
-the book, “As a Man Thinketh”
-the movie, “The Secret”
to name a few.

With your help, I’m going to take a deeper dive into this topic, looking at how the words we use truly do shape our life experience–and the life experience of others. Whether thought, spoken or prayed, the words we choose to use are powerful. This Sunday morning, we’ll explore this together. In this realm, we’re all experts!

What could be a more pertinent topic at this time?! Won’t you join us to share in Steve’s wisdom and perhaps to spread some of your own. Hope to see you there.

Peace,
Judy

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January 13, 2017
Dear Unity-Minded Folks,

As we believe that all people are part of the Great Oneness of Spirit, our services offer information on the personal experiences as well as points of view of many. This may come in the form of talks given by people in the community, our own members, and others at a greater distance through the medium of audio or video formats. One could call this Diversity.

This Sunday we are going to take a different track by sharing in the reading of a book by one of Unity’s long time metaphysicians and ministers, Phillip Pierson. One of his more recent books, published in retirement, gives us the understanding and wisdom he has gained through 55 years with Unity. We have chosen this book, The Twelve Freedoms: An Understandable Path to Total Freedom, because with new people constantly joining our circle, a time for grounding in the actual teachings of Unity seems appropriate. Even if, however, you are a long time Unity student, Pierson’s ideas will make you sit up and say, “Ah, yes. I needed to hear that.”

May the sun shine on your path as it leads you to Unity this Sunday.

Good cheer,
Judy

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January 5, 2017
Dear Unity Friends,

Now that the celebrations are over and the new year is in full swing, we hope that joining us on Sunday mornings is one of your resolutions. You are part of what makes getting up and out there on these cold, dark mornings, worthwhile.

This Sunday we will continue with the Adyashanti audio series, “Resurrecting Jesus.”

“Spiritual leader Adyashanti’s Jesus does not transcend the world and its sorrows as Buddha does, but instead throws himself fully into life and his humanness, with all its joys and sorrows, as a ‘redemptive act of love,’ he says. By redemption, Adyashanti means to make whole, recognizing the union of our humanity and divinity.”

Our specific lesson this Sunday will be about parables and koans. Hope to see you there.

Lovingly,
Judy

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December 29, 2016
Dear Unity Members and Friends,

“To recognize the worth, quality, importance / cherish, enjoy, esteem, prize, relish, respect, savor, treasure, value.” In these definitions you will recognize first the verb appreciate / then its synonyms. As we bring to a close another active year for Unity of Inner Peace these are the words that we use to describe the organization, its teachings and all of the people who participated in its life this year – those who allowed us to use the clubhouse, those who prepared the room for our services, those who attended, those who presented, those who planned and directed.

Each of us has his or her own reasons for participating. For some it is a place that welcomes those who want to break with the past, to nurture their spiritual evolution. For some it is a place to broaden ones definition of spirituality, to define and recognize Spirit in all that is. For some it is a bonding place for those who are “foreign born,” those not born into the tribe of the UP. For others it is expanding the scope of their UP upbringing by bonding with those “foreigners.” Whatever it is that brings us together, an energy greater than any one of us individually is created, an exponential energy for good.

And this is what we appreciate, why we are grateful. May the year 2017 find us ever deepening and expanding our expression of all for which we stand. Thank you, Unity of Inner Peace.

Lovingly always,
Judy

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December 15, 2016
UNITY FRIENDS,

To help celebrate this wonderful time of year, we invite you to join us this Sunday at our Christmas service. Roslyn McGrath has created a participatory ceremony called “Renewing Our Spirits: Meditation and Water Ceremony.” Of course we will sing a few songs together, and all of this will be followed by our Christmas potluck.

We hope to see you, and remember, there will be no service the following Sunday, Dec. 25th.

Always warm together,
Judy

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December 9, 2016
Hi All,

This is a quick note to notify you that our scheduled speaker for this Sunday, Bill Waters, will not be available at this time. He will be out of state.

In Bill’s place, I have pulled from my audio tape file a Christmas season message from Unity minister, Michael Moran. Mike is a pleasure to experience, with his radio voice, his Irish sense of humor, and his deep commitment to The Christ message, as interpreted metaphysically.

Hope you’ll show the true Yooper spirit, and show up despite the weather. What’s a little snow, eh?

Love,
Judy

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December 1, 2016
Dear People of Unity,

I’d like to share something which was brought to my awareness through this week’s Spong newsletter. It is a portion of an interview by David Remnick of The New Yorker in which he asks President Obama what he told his daughters after Donald Trump won the election.

“What I say is that people are complicated. Societies and cultures are complicated. This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding. You should anticipate that at any given moment there’s going to be flare-ups of bigotry that you may have to confront, or maybe inside you that you have to vanquish. And it doesn’t stop. You don’t get into a fetal position about it. You don’t start worrying about apocalypse. You say, OK, where are the places where I can push to keep it moving forward?”

This message is, of course, universally important, and most assuredly in alignment with Unity teachings, but it also speaks to a recent local happening, an event in which a lovely, intelligent and service-minded individual, a woman who spoke at Unity earlier this year, was abused in a public parking lot while two witnesses stood by and did nothing. Uninvited and unwelcome information was spread on social media and people who care felt a need to respond in some way. Today I called this woman, born outside of this country, and word for word, this was her response.
“how this made me feel”
“I experienced something I was sure would never happen to a woman. Working with woman who has been abused open my eyes to a way of life I never dreamed. I question their reasons for not filing a police report. All had a fear of what happens to them after he is released. Their life and the life of their children would be in danger. I told myself I would worry about that later. I would call the police. God has a way of putting your proud statement to the test. During my trauma, my first thought was to tell no one, not even my husband. I did what my father taught me, always look for two good reason why someone did something mean to you, and choose the one that make your heart smile. My choice, he had just lost his job as the holidays were approaching. Under no circumstances this excuse his behavior but it allow me to find forgiveness in my heart. My father always said, if you forgive someone, and seek revenge, you have not forgiven. After two weeks of nightmares, I confided in a friend, hoping that the nightmares would ease. She, on the other hand told a group of people, one being a reporter. When I spoke with him, I could and would not allow him to think she was lying so I had no choice but to say it had happened, and I asked God to forgive me for misleading the day it happened. Now my husband became aware and wanted to see punishment by calling on legal counsel to keep this private as to what our plan would be. But this blog raised so many unanswered questions about how Americans deal with hate. American values differ from the way I were taught. My belief that only God can judge. If you hate or hurt someone, God can not live in your heart. I have walked away from many organizations where the environment is toxic. I can’t and will not be a part of anything that will remove God from my life. If you for a moment whisper something negative, and die at that moment all the good is gone. I know this may be strange to a lot of people, but that is ok. I have a goal of returning to Paradise. I have forgiven the man and the two women who stood watching and I pray we all meet in Paradise. I would love to pursue a course that would take me to Washington to pass a law to protect women when her abuser is released. Let us all pray that I am able to do this for us all.”

So, the question arises, how will you, how will I deal with injustice when it stares us in the face?

In spiritual partnership,
Judy

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November 25, 2016
Greetings Unity Family!

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of you. I hope you had a blessed day yesterday.

This Sunday at Unity, we’ll continue with the audio series by Adyashanti called “Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic.”

Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

Hope to see you Sunday to hear this engaging, insightful, and compelling storyteller.

Service starts at 10AM.

Peace,
Ann

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November 15, 2016
Dear Friends in Unity,

This Sunday, the Sunday before Thanksgiving, be prepared for a morning full of blessings. To begin with, we have a truly outstanding speaker, a must experience – Melissa Middleton, who will speak about “Awakening to Personal Challenge.”

Melissa Middleton will share a few nuggets of her story of the awakening power of difficulties. A story of finding the path from a life and career as an environmental scientist, through illness and loss from workplace exposure, to health and teacher and practitioner of mind-body therapies. This challenge afforded the opportunity to transform Learning by sitting with migraine, following intuition rather than intellect, awakening qi (chi) and allowing it to teach. After 5 years she was able to return to health and community and opened Awakenings. This is an an adventure for Melissa to apply the approaches learned while healing and transforming herself to work, relationships, the art of bodywork and teaching, and the business of cultivating livelihood.

Melissa continues to cultivate her health, potential and work with continued meditation and qigong practice, research and training. Her credentials include Associate Qigong Instructor with Healing Tao USA, Shambhava Yoga Meditation Instructor, licensed massage therapist, and craniosacral and energy healing therapist. She has studied with several Qigong (chi kung) teachers and benefited from training in the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program and Yoga Calm and many visits to the Great Stupa at the Shambhala Mountain Center in Colorado.

As if that isn’t enough, following the service is one of our most fun social hours of the year – THANKSGIVING POTLUCK. Our irrepressible home style chef, Bill Waters, is once again bringing a freshly roasted turkey, and adding a gourmet dressing to whet your appetite. The rest is up to you – to make it as sumptuous, beautiful and grand as your imagination allows. I’m sending this notice early in the week to give you a chance to choose, shop and cook to your heart’s content. I urge you also to be generous in the proportions of your contributions as we will have several guests present as well.

Here’s to a healing morning, full of love, laughter and a profound message.

Blessings all around,
Judy

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November 10, 2016
Greetings Everyone,

We recently finished poet John O’Donohue’s “Divine Imagination” audio series. We loved and were inspired by the depth, richness, and spiritual insight that series offered us.

I’m happy to announce that this Sunday, we’ll be watching John’s video called “A Celtic Pilgrimage” – which was filmed in Ireland.

Here’s a description …

“In the Irish psyche, landscape has a unique presence. One of the wonderful insights of the Celtic imagination is that landscape is alive.”

With A Celtic Pilgrimage, you have the opportunity to walk with Irish poet and philosopher John O’Donohue through the breathtaking landscape of western Ireland. Weaving ancient wisdom with personal history and stunning imagery, this documentary reveals the Ireland that gave rise to the spiritual wisdom of the Celts—and inspired John O’Donohue throughout his remarkable life.

“A pilgrim travels differently,” observes O’Donohue. “Always in a pilgrimage, there is a change of mind and a change of heart.” With mischievous humor, keen awareness, and a poet’s gift for the truth, O’Donohue invites you to see the landscape of Ireland through his eyes—as a living source of wisdom, beauty, and transformative spiritual power.”

We’ll be watching this video in its entirety (about 50 minutes) – so our Sunday service will run a bit longer. Best to plan for about 1.5 hours.

Looking forward to pilgrimaging with you and John this Sunday!

Peace,
Ann

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November 3, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

As I write this, I realize that our national election is less than one week away. Turmoil seems to reign. It seems thus important to remind us all of Unity’s basic teachings.

“Metaphysics is the study of the ultimate reality that underlies and transcends the physical realm. In Unity, we refer to this reality as divine ideas.
Absolute Truth is the realm of divine ideas in God Mind. Truth is absolute, universal, unlimited, unconditional, unchanging, and complete.
The term relative truth refers to the world of the senses. Time, space, form, changeability, experience, and perspective are components inherent in the concept of relative truth. It is our experience as humans living on the physical earth plane.
The relative world, or the world of appearances, does not have independent existence from the Absolute realm. It exists solely through the formative power of thought.
Even though relative experiences are not considered to be eternal Truth and therefore are not in the same realm as the Absolute, we tend to experience them as real.. They feel very real. This is why there is such a strong need to cultivate balance in our lives as we learn to acknowledge our humanity and affirm our divinity.”

AMEN!

Lovingly,
Judy

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October 27, 2016
Hi All,

We have a fascinating topic for Sunday’s talk. Richard Leinonen, who augments his time at Unity with participation in other esoteric studies, will be our speaker. His topic is Cause and Effect, and the Evolution of Consciousness. Richard is also an active participant in Toastmasters, so we are expecting a thoughtfully prepared presentation.

We look forward to your presence and participation at the service as well afterward at our monthly POTLUCK. Do bring something you love to share.

Lovingly,
Judy

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October 21, 2016
Greetings!

This Sunday, 10/23, at Unity we’ll continue with our much loved audio series by poet and author John O’Donohue called The Divine Imagination.

Here’s an excerpt of what you can expect:

“When God is hardened into a visible image, and worship reduced to a program, we remain exiled from what is truly sacred—the world around us and the “divine imagination” that created it.

“John O’Donohue immerses us in what has been called the “greatest miracle” of Celtic spirituality—nondualism and its tradition of experiencing the divine as a lyrical, tender, creative force not visible, but always present.

“Complete with original Celtic teachings and enlivened with poetry and philosophy from past and present, The Divine Imagination calls for us to approach each day with wonder, knowing that God is always present and that we are already home.”

We hope to see you Sunday as the Divine Imagination calls us forth to approach each day with wonder – knowing that God is always present – and that we are already home and deeply loved. Service starts at 10AM.

Peace,
Ann

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October 13, 2016
Hey all you busy people,

We hope that this Sunday you will put your focus on Unity, and come to hear one of your own, Suzie Saari, as she presents “Some Thoughts on the Serenity Prayer. From my angle…..”

Suzie says

I have used the Serenity Prayer since the late 1980s and have found it to be an excellent tool in dealing with day to day questions that arise. I think that many people may have problems at times with ‘what is.’ Maybe this can help provide some tidbits to help with that. This simple prayer comes up often for me when discussions turn to spiritual matters.

When asked to describe herself, Suzie adds

I am a grateful retired person with more hobbies than I will ever have time for. I am involved with a couple of local history groups, like writing and the outdoors. I have a great appreciation for flowers,trees, rocks and minerals. I am also drawn to journalism and politics. In general, I am very curious by nature. I have two grown children, and a 16 month old grandson, who has given me an entirely new perspective once again. New perspectives keep coming, don’t they?

Suzie appreciates her friends at Unity, and we appreciate her spending her time with us to share life from her perspective.

See you Sunday.
Judy

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October 6, 2016
Hi Everyone,

I’ve been noticing double rainbows in the sky lately. Partial ones – their color barely visible in the heavily curtained grey skies. But they’re there – and what a thrill to see! An oasis of color in the neutral grey skyscape.

Another oasis is Unity. The pace of life is fast, there are many responsibilities to handle, and continuous requests of our time and attention. How wonderful it is to take a pause — and gather on Sundays to sit together in the circle to meditate, to share, to pray – to just BE.

This Sunday, we’ll continue with the audio series by Adyashanti called “Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic.”

Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

Hope to see you in the circle this Sunday to hear this engaging, insightful, and compelling storyteller.

Service starts at 10AM.

Peace,
Ann

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September 28, 2016
Dear Friends in Unity,

According to our survey, you love really interesting speakers. With this in mind, do we have one
for you!

Nancy Paton, who has been a guest speaker at other Unity Churches and venues in the Detroit
Metro area for many years, is traveling all the way to the UP next weekend so that she can not
only see our glorious environment, but also that she might share her book and life story with YOU.
For approximately twenty-five years, dreams have helped Nancy Paton to heal her past and to
discover hidden talents and abilities which she did not know that she possessed. She will share
her unique and fascinating life story, hoping that you’ll be inspired to explore your own untapped
creative potential, or to recommit to the creative urges that have already made themselves known.

Nancy Paton, M.Ed., has a masters degree in art therapy. She gives workshops on dreams and
the signs and symbols that serve to guide and uncover our innate creative and spiritual
gifts. Nancy enjoys photography, and is the author of “An Unconventional Life: A Journey Beyond
Limitation to Gifts of Creativity.”

So, here is your opportunity to not only hear someone else’s unique story, but to be inspired to
enrich your own. Nancy’s book will be available for purchase and signing after the service.

Enthusiastically,
Judy

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September 22, 2016
Greetings!

Happy Autumn everyone! I love this time of year. The leaves are starting to turn and the colors of Fall bring even more beauty to this land that we are privileged to call home.

This Sunday, 9/25, at Unity we’ll continue with our much loved audio series by poet and author John O’Donohue called The Divine Imagination.

Last time, we left off with John talking about beauty – that beauty is definitely from elsewhere.

John says, “When we approach with reverence, great things decide to approach us. Our real life comes to the surface and its light awakens the concealed beauty in things. When we walk on the earth with reverence, beauty will decide to trust us. The rushed heart and arrogant mind lack the gentleness and patience to enter that embrace.”

We hope to see you Sunday as the Divine Imagination calls us forth to approach each day with wonder – knowing that God is always present – and that we are already home and deeply loved. Our service starts at 10AM.

It’s also Potluck Sunday! If you can, please bring a dish you love to make and love to share.

Peace,
Ann

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September 15, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

According to the Internet,

“Established in 1995, the Cedar Tree Institute is a nonprofit organization providing services and initiating projects in the areas of mental health, religion, and the environment. It offers mental health services on an individual basis, works with faith communities and environmental groups, and is currently involved in ongoing partnerships with the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Forest Service, and five American Indian tribes in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”

The Director of this unique institute is Jon Magnuson, and we are honored that he has accepted the invitation to speak at our service this Sunday morning. The subject of his talk will be, “The Gift of Water: Northern Great Lakes Water Stewards – an Interfaith Environmental Initiative.”

If you ask people in the UP why they choose to live here, most often the answer has to do with the natural environment, the Great Lakes in particular. Bordered by three of the five largest, finest lakes in the world, we have an awareness of their blessing. Let’s show up on Sunday so that we can learn more about preserving this gift.

Lovingly,
Judy

PS: Board Meeting immediately following the service.

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August 30, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

To us here in the UP, Unity Headquarters may seem far away, and the services they offer may be only on the fringes of our awareness. With that in mind, and because our prayer requests seem to be increasing, I would like to share with you information received directly from Silent Unity.

About Silent Unity:
Silent Unity, the worldwide prayer ministry of Unity, has been praying with people seeking spiritual support, for 125 years. The 24/7 prayer ministry – which responds to prayer requests via telephone, postal mail, online, or via the uPray free mobile app – serves people of all faiths from all parts of the world.
Silent Unity prays affirmatively, believing that God is everywhere present and active in and through all lives, and serves with sensitivity, compassion, and confidentiality. From the moment a prayer request is received, the sender is lovingly enfolded in prayer. After a response has been provided, the prayer request is placed in the Silent Unity Prayer Vigil Chapel, where prayer is continuous for 30 days.
In the sacred space of the Prayer Vigil Chapel, located beneath the light beaming from the cupola of the Silent Unity building at Unity Village, all prayer requests are enfolded in prayer. Here someone is praying 24 hours a day – praying as a kindred spirit, in a consciousness of oneness with God.
The ever-shining light in the Silent Unity cupola is a reminder that you are never alone – not even in your darkest hour. Silent Unity is as close to you as a prayer. It is the light that shines for you!
The Silent Unity prayer ministry is supported primarily by freewill offerings. Every prayer request is held sacred and confidential and receives the same loving attention, regardless of donation or ability to donate. No matter how you contact Silent Unity, you will first receive personalized prayer and then a letter of support.

History of Silent Unity:
In the late 1880s, Unity’s co-founder Myrtle Fillmore’s life was transformed when she heard and believed the idea, “I am a child of God, and therefore I do not inherit sickness.” Speaking life-affirming words to her tuberculosis-ravaged body, she went on to live a life of health and wholeness.
News of Myrtle’s prayer experience spread, and people near and far began sending their prayer requests to her. In 1890 Myrtle and her husband Charles began a prayer ministry. Daily they held in mind and heart the prayer requests of everyone who contacted them. That was more than 120 years ago – the beginning of Silent Unity.
In 1907, Charles Fillmore, Myrtle’s husband and co-founder of Unity, added new telephone technology to the prayer work of Silent Unity. He knew that this would enable even more people to receive the prayer support they desired. Silent Unity now prays individually with callers from around the world 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Silent Unity is often referred to as the heart of the Unity movement, and for many people, it is a heart that beats in rhythm with our world. Personal journeys and human history have been enveloped in prayer for more than a century, including world wars, natural disasters and social upheavals.
As director of Silent Unity for years, James Dillet Freeman spoke and wrote of the purpose of Silent Unity as helping people rekindle their faith. This sacred work and purpose continue today. Centered in God and united in prayer, Silent Unity uplifts minds and hearts to give people whatever faith, courage and strength they seek.
Every prayer begins by affirming the truth of God’s perfect life and love at work now and for the highest good of all.

Contact information:
Silent Unity, 1901 NW Blue Parkway, Unity Village, MO. 64065-0001
Or 1-800-NOW PRAY (669-7729)

May this inspire you to make this contact when your head and heart tell you that you could use some uplifting prayer support for yourself or another.

Lovingly,
Judy

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August 25, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

Two years ago, Craig Teed, a local Marquette resident and former Unitarian minister, talked to us on the subject of “Homosexuality, Neither Sick Nor Immoral.” It was a subject uppermost in our local news at the time. This Sunday, Craig’s subject will be “Islam at a Crossroads: The Religion has Decisions to Make!” You can see by his choice of topics that he is not afraid to approach controversial subjects. We also know that he gains his perspectives after much study, and that they are expressed with directness and honesty.

We hope that you will honor Craig’s presence with your own, that is, we hope you will make the decision to be join us this Sunday – for Craig’s talk, and, in addition, for our monthly Potluck.

Looking forward to seeing you,
Judy

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August 18, 2016
Hi Unity Friends,

Of course there are still places to go and people to see while summer holds out, but Unity of Inner Peace meets every Sunday morning regardless of the weather or the season.

With this in mind, we hope you will consider joining us this Sunday as one of our in-house favorites, Sue Schenk-Drobny, leads a discussion on the subject of “More Tools for our Spiritual Tool Box.” Sue will share helpful concepts that she has learned from Science of Mind readings, and will be inviting others to offer information about the tools that work for them.

There will also be some back issues of “Science of Mind” magazines for you to take home with you should you so desire.

See you there.

Lovingly,
Judy

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August 2, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

With the November election fast approaching, we are being bombarded with both facts and propaganda aimed at getting our vote. The biggest “eye in the sky” however, had to be the recently televised political conventions. In order to be better informed, I was determined to watch as much of both as possible, to listen and weigh the issues and candidates for myself. (Thank heavens for DVR which allowed me to take it in smaller doses and to watch at a time more personally convenient.) Each person got up and expressed their ideal, their reason for being a supporter.

For some reason, this made me think of the ideals of Unity in general, and Unity of Inner Peace in particular. A few years back when this newsletter was actually printed on paper and sent out in the mail, it always had front and center, our Mission Statement. This statement was created by Unity of Inner Peace members participating in a retreat at the Jackson camp on Fish Lake. All contributed, and this was the result:

Unity of Inner Peace is a loving, inclusive community which:

Nurtures the recognition of God within;

Explores and affirms spiritual truths and principles;

Raises awareness of the oneness of all creation and;

Celebrates the joy of God in our everyday lives.

Our vision is a healed world.

Democrat, Republican, or Independent, this is the platform that WE offer and represent, and I for one, am grateful to be a part of this movement.

The Highest Good for All,
Judy

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July 27, 2016
Unity Members and Friends,

This Sunday we have the distinct privilege of welcoming Khadijah Wilson as our speaker. Khadijah, born in the British Virgin Islands, came to this country at the age of 18 to attend college. She is now married to Dr. Carter Wilson and has two children, a daughter who just finished medical school and a son that attends NMU and is president of the Black Student Union. She and her family moved to Marquette three years ago.

Khadijah serves on the Executive Board of the Women’s Center, is President Elect of Rotary West, and has been nominated for Membership Chair of Toastmasters

Khadijah speaks several languages. She assists the FBI with human trafficking cases, is involved with a Muslim human trafficking center in Cincinnati,Ohio, and mentors college students that have been sexually assaulted.

As the subject of her talk, Mrs. Wilson has chosen to tell her own story. We who hear her will be greatly enriched. I hope you will be among them.

Namaste,
Judy

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July 21, 2016
Unity Folks and Friends,

This Sunday is one of our favorite services of the year, our annual outdoor service. We will be meeting at the home/yard of Militza and John English – 450 East Ohio St., Marquette. Service begins at 10:00 AM as usual. As we plan to hold our service in the lovely setting of their yard, we request that you bring along, if possible, your own folding chair. Also remember, this is our July POTLUCK, so do bring a generous amount of your favorite dish to share. Should the weather prevent us from being outdoors, we will simply move inside.

Our speaker will be Ann Russ, who will be talking about “Walking the Celebrant Path.” Ann has recently completed Celebrancy training, and she will share some of those experiences with us. Most importantly, she will share what this means for us, for Unity.

Ann’s bio is as follows:

Ann is a ceramist who designs and handbuilds memorial urns, reliquaries, and Spirit Bowls- vessels and containers for honoring life and its transitions. For her, it is a sacred act to handbuild vessels that will someday hold the remains of someone who was loved and existed upon the earth.

Her ceramic work is strongly influenced by the natural world around her, a love of simple and elegant architecture, and a childhood fascination with the objects used for enacting sacraments from her Catholic upbringing.

Her love of ritual, symbolism, and ceremony is now expanded into her new role as a Celebrant. Ann currently serves on the Board of Unity of Inner Peace in Marquette.

We sincerely hope that you will join us on this special day. It will be a time of unlimited joy and camaraderie.

Always with love,
Judy

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July 14, 2016
Greetings Everyone!

It’s raining today and I was reminded of the Who song about how only love brings the rain.

‘Only love can bring the rain
That makes you yearn to the sky.
Only love can bring the rain
That falls like tears from on high.

“Love, reign o’er me
Rain on me, rain on me.
Love, reign o’er me
Rain on me, rain on me.

“I can’t sleep, and I lay, and I think
The night is hot and black as ink.
Oh God, I need a drink of cool, cool rain.

“Love, reign o’er me
Reign o’er me, o’er me.
Love, reign o’er me, o’er me
Love”

If you’re like me and need of a cool drink of rain, come to Unity this Sunday. We’ll continue with our much loved audio series by poet and author John O’Donohue called The Divine Imagination.

We hope to see you Sunday as the Divine Imagination calls us forth to approach each day with wonder – knowing that God is always present – and that we are already home and deeply loved. Service starts at 10AM.

Peace,
Ann

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June 29, 2016
Dear Friends in Unity,

Humans are always at a cross-roads whether internationally, nationally or personally. There are always decisions to be made – today, whether or not to stay in the European Union; in our history, whether to stay a part of England or follow a cry for liberty; personally, whatever it is that you have been thinking of doing with your life to continue in your evolutionary process. Each decision seems crucial to the people, the person making it. So in celebration of July 4th, Independence Day, and considering all of the above, I would like to share as a reminder, a quote from W. H. Murray.

“Until one is committed there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.
Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.”
“I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: ‘Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.’ “

Let us choose wisely and commit to living fully.

Ever grateful,
Judy

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June 22, 2016
All,

This is a Sunday to which we have been looking forward with much anticipation. Mary Wardell, reporter and columnist for The Marquette Mining Journal, will be our speaker. So many of us have been so impressed with her writing, her thought process that we felt inclined to approach her about joining us as a Sunday morning speaker. She had never heard of Unity before, but was so warmed by our Mission Statement that she gave an affirmative answer. In fact, she has even joined us as a participant in our circle several times now.

The following are Mary’s own words:

As a reporter for the Mining Journal, I bring people the news. But as a columnist over the last two years, I have had the privilege of sharing my opinions about the perilous and inspiring times we live in. I’ve written about class and politics, as well as more personal experiences like coping with anger and grief, cultivating peace and joy, and drawing strength from loving relationships.

It has been a profound privilege to be able to voice inner misgivings, fears and ways of coping, and find that the ideas that feel vulnerable and scary to me seem to strike a chord with readers. I couldn’t be given a greater gift than the gestures of validation and support I’ve received–including this invitation to talk with members of the Unity organization.

I was raised in the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (school and church) and now identify loosely as a Buddhist, Christian and general student of life.

My talk will be called: “Getting around to R/Evolution: Navigating uncertain times with the gifts of the spirit.”

___________________________________

Following the service will be our traditional POTLUCK, where we will relax and enjoy each other’s company.

We so hope to see you all there to give of your love and energy, to receive the gifts of our speaker and the presence of all others. Invite your family and friends. All are welcome.

Lovingly,
Judy

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June 16, 2016
Greetings to everyone!

Yesterday while in Traverse city, I had an opportunity to tour the former State Hospital/Asylum which was built in 1881. It was established for the care of the mentally ill, and cared for patients during outbreaks of tuberculosis, typhoid, diphtheria, influenza, and polio. It also cared for the elderly, served as a rehab for drug addicts, and was used to train nurses.

What was astonishing to me was the discovery that the asylum’s treatment approach was built around the philosophy that “beauty is therapy”. Patients were treated through kindness, comfort, pleasure, and beautiful flowers provided year round by the asylum’s own greenhouses.

Times changed however, as did treatment strategies starting in the 1950’s with drug therapies – and the asylum closed in 1989. The beautiful historic buildings were scheduled for demolition – but rescued at the last moment by a group of visionary Traverse City residents. Historic preservation efforts are now underway – and the buildings and property are evolving into condos and lofts, gardens, shops, restaurants, bakeries, and a site for festivals. Beauty continues to be honored, valued, preserved and attended to in these renovation efforts.

Beauty as a healing agent. What does that have to do with Unity? Well, everything.

This Sunday 6/19, at Unity we’ll continue “The Divine Imagination” audio series by Irish poet and author John O’Donohue. John was known and loved for his “insistence on beauty as a human calling and a defining aspect of God.”

Beauty as a “defining aspect of God”. No wonder it heals us.

Please join us this Sunday as the Divine Imagination calls us forth to approach each day with wonder – knowing that God is always present and that we are already home. It promises to be a beautiful way to start your day! Service starts at 10AM.

Peace,
Ann (Board Secretary)

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June 9, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

Hold onto your hats. This Sunday our dear friend Sue Schenk-Drobny will be regaling us with tales of her latest adventure. As you know, Sue’s goal after retirement was to travel to and experience places that others only talk about. Because of her very nature, she combines information with humor and spiritual insights. This week’s journey? “Land of the Eternal Blue Sky – Mongolia.” You’ll go home with an enhanced sense of appreciation and some unforgettable mental images.

Enjoy!

Judy

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June 1, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

We all love this extraordinary place we call the upper peninsula of Michigan. The woods, the rocks, our lakes, especially The Lake, are a gift in the life of each of us. Yet, isn’t it good to get away now and then? Don’t we see things differently when we are in a new environment? I had such an experience recently while sitting in an airport waiting for the call to board my flight. We do sit rather close to one another in such circumstances, perhaps noticing the people at our elbows far less than those sitting across from us. With them there is that eye contact thing. Eye contact is really very intimate, and we sometimes have a tendency to shy away from it if there is anything questionable in the encounter. So in this airport two men settled themselves in the seats across from me. I noticed that they were Asian, then perhaps Japanese. Next, I couldn’t believe what my own psyche did, as I regard myself as a pretty universal thinker. My mind popped back to World War II, and there was a moment of suspicion. One of the men was far older than the other, and was receiving instructions about the information on his ticket from the younger man. Neither spoke English. I tried not to stare, but something was drawing me to keep stealing glances. They were quiet in their conversation, looking at me occasionally because they couldn’t avoid it. Then something happened. The longer I looked, the more I was taken by the nature of the older man. There was an incredible calm, an incredible sweetness to his whole demeanor. I so wanted to know who this man was, wanted to Know this man. Was he a Buddhist priest in street clothing? Just the way he sat, with pant legs creeping up, showed me that he was entirely unselfconscious. I didn’t speak, though I wanted to, may have if we had been there longer. Instead, as life would have it, the call came, I arose and boarded the plane to move on with my life, newly aware that I had old prejudices that could pop up when least expected. But even more than that, that there are people in this world who move us deeply, lift us to higher levels just by their very presence, their very essence. Who was this man? I do not know, will probably never know, but I have been forever changed, and I am grateful.

Judy McGowan

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May 25, 2016
Hi Everyone,

Spring is shy in our neck of the literal woods. It made a brief appearance, then quickly disappeared. The trees and the flowers took notice though – and are celebrating with their joyous leafing out and colorful blooms! They are optimistic and patient with Spring’s shyness. I learn from them as I cultivate my own patience and eagerness for warmer weather.

I also learn from the wisdom and graciousness of Irish poet and author John O’Donohue. He so beautifully tells us that “Nature is the direct expression of the divine imagination.”

This Sunday at Unity we’ll continue with his highly engaging audio series called “The Divine Imagination”.

Here’s an excerpt of what you can expect:

“When God is hardened into a visible image, and worship reduced to a program, we remain exiled from what is truly sacred—the world around us and the “divine imagination” that created it.

“John O’Donohue immerses us in what has been called the “greatest miracle” of Celtic spirituality—nondualism and its tradition of experiencing the divine as a lyrical, tender, creative force not visible, but always present.

“Complete with original Celtic teachings and enlivened with poetry and philosophy from past and present, The Divine Imagination calls for us to approach each day with wonder, knowing that God is always present and that we are already home.”

I hope you can join us this Sunday for this highly moving, lyrical, and inspiring work! Service starts at 10AM.

Peace,
Ann Russ, Board Secretary

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May 19, 2016
Hello Everyone,

The forsythia is in full sun yellow bloom, the tulips are standing tall, and the daffodils are showing off. Warm weather has arrived (hopefully?). People are starting to wear shorts – they’re either eager or optimistic – or both! It’s always remarkable to me that clothing choices become colorful this time of year – as we transition away from the black, brown, and grey of the cold months. We bloom just like the flowers!

At Unity this Sunday, May 22nd, we’ll continue with our new CD series by Adyashanti called “Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic.”

Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all all existence.

Hope to see you this Sunday! Service starts at 10AM.

Peace,
Ann Russ, Board Secretary

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May 12, 2016
Greetings one and all. The event that you read about in the May newsletter is finally here! This Sunday, May 15th, singer-songwriter-recording artist Cathy Bolton will we the featured presenter at our Unity service. Some of you may recall that she worked her magic for us two years ago this month, presenting a message through music and the spoken word. Well, she loved her time with us and we with her, so were extra delighted that she accepted our invitation to return.

For the past 24 years she has performed her music across the U.S. and Canada, The Netherlands, Australia and Germany.

And for the past 19 years she has worked alongside her friend and colleague, Neale Donald Walsch, the author of the Conversations With God books. Cathy is the music minister of his spiritual retreats and serves as VP on the Board of Trustees for the nonprofit Conversations With God Foundation in Southern Oregon.

Her compositions were included on 2 Windham Hill Records compilation CDs along with music by Yanni, George Winston and Jim Brickman. She is currently composing songs for her 10th album.

Neale Donald Walsch says of Cathy, “The joy, the love, the gentle wisdom,and the deep insight that
Cathy and her music bring to the room produces the Miracle called Healing. I’m always humbled and inspired by her.”

Cathy’s CDs will be available for purchase after the service, and she will join us for POTLUCK as well. Please do come and show your support for our big event. Your friends and families are welcome as well. We just ask that you bring an extra large dish for our potluck to ensure that all are welcomed and fed.

Here’s to a joyous Sunday!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lovingly,
Judy

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May 5, 2016

This Sunday is Mother’s Day. All of us are here on this planet because of our mothers. God bless them!

The nurturing we humans need comes not only from our mothers. We all take turns nurturing one another in a variety of ways whether we are conscious of it or not: saying the right words at the right time, being present when someone needs us, being of service, giving a grateful hug. The list is actually endless. Often times people do not or cannot tell us how they have been affected.

Each of us has life stories to tell, meaningful stories. Hearing the stories of others can enrich our lives, possibly even provide “Ah-ha!” moments during one of life’s junctures. Lives can change because of these powerful stories.

I invite you to come to Unity this Sunday, and if it is your pleasure, to share the story of someone you feel nurtured your soul. You never know how what you already know may affect others.

So says Gail Razavi, who will lead Sunday’s discussion. Gail, having been in the executive business world for 30 years, chose a change – to fulfill her artist’s passion to become a Wedding Gown Designer and Tailor. This passion is about making people beautiful/handsome for their special occasions. Gail found Unity of Inner Peace through Rich Leinonen, who shared stories of connection and unique togetherness.

I’d like to make note that nurturing happens across gender, age, and species. If you have photographs that illustrate your idea of nurturing, do bring them along.

Joy, love and peace,
Judy

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April 28, 2016
Dear Unity Members, Friends and Guests,

As you can see by the schedule in our May 2016 Unity newsletter, we have an exciting month ahead of us! Makes us think of our founder Charles Fillmore, who said, “I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm.” (And may we suggest you make a special notation on your calendar for potluck Sunday as it is not on our usual last Sunday of the month.)

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 31, 2016
Dear Unity Friends,

Last night before going to sleep, I opened John Shelby Spong’s book, The Fourth Gospel: Tales of a Jewish Mystic. I did this for two reasons: First, because we are now in the preparation stages for Spong’s second visit to Marquette, on September 10th of this year; and second, because a new personal goal is to read something spiritually nourishing before going to sleep at night, making for a better night’s sleep and adding to the riches of my subconsious mind.

What I read last night was the book’s preface, which turned out to be a brief memoir of Spong’s own spiritual evolution from the family’s church of choice in Charlotte, NC all the way to where he is now, a retired Bishop at his home church in Morris Plains, NJ, an internationally known figure. He mentions church after church, some attended, some where he ministered. He mentions the people who most impressed him and why. He highlights cultural and political issues with which he was confronted and which made him chose new directions. I appreciated his story.

This early morning, before arising for the day, a time when insights often come, I related Spong’s writing to an issue that David and I seem to be bringing up more and more often. We have questions about our own heritage, and guess what? There’s no one around to answer them. WE ARE the older generation! People look to us for answers, not for questions! And so it suddenly dawned on me how valuable Spong’s example is. Write it down before it’s lost. Yes, I know that people write family histories all the time, but it’s the focus of Spong’s writing that grabbed me. He’s not just telling us where he was born, how often he moved, where he went to school, what holidays his family celebrated and what they ate, he’s telling us what made the man, the man who makes us sit up and listen! The focus is Spong the spiritual being.

Following on the tail of that insight came another, this one about our Unity circle. Yes, we do pass the candle after meditation, giving each person an opportunity to share from his/her Heart and Mind, but as I visualized this, suddenly in my mind’s eye, the table in the center of the circle became a sacred campfire, with each person sitting there an elder, regardless of age, honoring the spirit of self and other by first sharing his/her own story and then by listening and accepting that of the other.Yes, our circle….a sacred place.

Each Sunday we say, “Our vision is a healed world.” Perhaps the time is now for those of us who are not already doing so, to pass on our stories, through both the written and spoken word. We are the peacekeepers. How did we get that way?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 24, 2016
Hi All,

Just wanted to send a reminder that after our Easter Sunday service we will be having our monthly POTLUCK. Hope to see you all there.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 18, 2016
Dear Friends in Unity,

It’s been a long, often anxious but also faith-filling year for this Sunday’s speaker, our own Dr. Bob Lamb. Bob has expressed, very emotionally, on more than one occasion, how the prayers and principles of Unity have both buoyed him up and and helped him through the fires of not knowing, not knowing if his body would make it through the stresses and surgeries presented to him. Well, he has made it through, and as a thank you gift to us, he has consented to sharing the spiritual insights gained through this experience.

We hope you will join us for this intimate and instructive time.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 11, 2016
Dear Friends in Unity,

Before anything, I want to remind you that this Sunday Daylight Savings Time kicks into effect. We “spring forward,” that is, we set our clocks ahead an hour before going to bed on Saturday night. Wouldn’t want to miss you on Sunday morning!

And I know you wouldn’t want to miss our very special speaker, Colleen O’Hara. Colleen has been a part of Unity of Inner Peace for twenty some years, and was one of those responsible for keeping Unity alive and moving forward when our minister, Ruth Singer, retired. She has held may positions of leadership in our church group and was a regular monthly speaker for a long time, igniting interest and championing Unity principles. But as we all know, life flows in cycles, and for awhile now, Colleen has been focused on doing inner work, quietly digesting deep spiritual experiences and receiving insights. Now, a new cycle has begun, and much to our delight Colleen feels ready and eager to open her soul to us this Sunday with her message entitled, “The Phoenix Rising.”

So let us likewise rise to the occasion and warmly greet Colleen and each other this new day.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 4, 2016
To All who have participated in Unity of Inner Peace at any time from Feb.2015 to Feb. 2016,

REVIEW, REVISE, RENEW! That was the theme of our annual meeting held on Feb. 21st. We started with the mission & vision statements of both Unity Worldwide and Unity of Inner Peace; went on to U of IP’s history, introduced the Board, releasing one member and electing a new one; reviewed our finances for the year; then went on to Accomplishments; closing with feedback. But for those present it was the list of Accomplishments that was most startling, and they asked that I share this with you.

Speakers, book discussions and DVDs or tapes to fulfill the suggestions from last year’s annual meeting.
Books:
Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller, Commentator Rev. Phillip Pierson (our mentor)
Tapes:
Basic Laws of Cosmic Power by Eric Butterworth
Forgiveness is the Key to Happiness by Gerald Jampolsky & Diane Cirincione
CDs:
Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic by Adyashanti (ongoing)
DVDs:
The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience by Dr. Andrew Newberg

Speakers: Their Occupations, Passions and Journeys
Bill Waters – To Cuba with Love
Mike Ryan – Marquette School of Therapeutic Massage
Lee Ossenheimer – The Art of Self Discovery as Demonstrated Through the Ages
Liz Yelland – Essence of the Mandala
Suzie Saari – Mother’s Day
Sue Schenk-Drobny – Spiritual Experiences- Mojave Desert & Center for Spiritual Living
Sue Schenk-Drobny – Challenges of the Day, How Science of Mind Would View Them
Lisa Long- Integrative Medicine
Barb Marcum – The Quiet Mind
Alicia Smith – A Heart Before Medicine
Jim Clumpner – Sort of a Biography
Angela Johnson (Angela Miller Porter) – The Yoga of Green Living
Angela Johnson (Angela Miller Porter) – Reincarnation
Ann Russ – Dreams As Sacred Portals
Mohey Mowafy – The Meeting of Christians & Muslims On American Soil
Steve Schmunk – In the Area of Personal Spirituality, We Are All Experts
Steve Schmunk – When the Background Becomes the Foreground
Brandon Young – Meditation, The Key to Happiness
Roslyn McGrath – Mary Magdalene Tour of Southern France
Mary Soper – Spirituality in the Aging Years
Diana Magnuson – Tai Chi
Doug Russell – Room at the Inn
Helen Haskell Remien – You Are the Valentine: Loving Your Soulful Handcrafted Life
Judy McGowan – led Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas discussions

We celebrate Unity of Inner Peace as a unique expression of Unity Worldwide’s Vision and Mission. The Vision is ” a world powerfully transformed through the growing movement of shared spiritual awakening.” The Mission is “advancing the movement of spiritual awakening and transformation through Unity, a positive path for spiritual living.”

We thank you for being a part of Unity of Inner Peace, a powerful building block in this ever-expanding movement.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan, a voice for Unity

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February 18, 2016
Come One, Come All.

It is time for our Annual Membership Meeting, the time when you get to express what you feel were the “Wows” of this past year, what you felt were the “Duds,” and what new ideas you’ve been champing at the bit to put into action. It will not be a political debate (Thank you, Spirit!), but a time to make your loving voice be heard. Your presence and ideas will help keep this living, breathing spiritual community alive!

Besides, it’s POTLUCK day and word has it there will be a Gopher’s carrot cake to help celebrate Leap Year.

See YOU there.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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February 11, 2016
Hi All,

What a wild and busy weekend in Marquette. So many things from which to choose, but with that said, we hope you will choose Unity on Sunday morning. Our gift will be to experience the enthusiasm and creativity of Helen Haskell Remien, creator of the Joy Center in Ishpeming. Helen has chosen as her title

YOU ARE the VALENTINE: LOVING YOUR SOULFUL HANDCRAFTED LIFE.

Helen says:

I’ve been feeling it lately — that soulful richness of life, as if it is all poetry, as if spirit, body, mind are all in sync, and every moment is packed with something to savor. It is a good feeling, to live from the inside out, to love the details of the handcrafted lives we are creating Let’s bask in love this Valentine morning, not only for the world around us, but for the world that emanates from within us, the world we create moment to moment. Let’s explore a template for living this handcrafted world with all its rich details — fully, mindfully, joyfully. And let’s savor this Valentine morning here at Unity that we share together!

Amen!

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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February 5, 2016
Dear Fellow Travelers on the Journey of Life,

These days it is so easy to hibernate, only going out when we have to, enjoying the beauty of our homes, winter’s art work through our windows. I love this silent self- contained world. But eventually I feel the need for more. I open a door or a window and am startled at the freshness of the air. I hear a crow, the melody of a songbird, even somewhere in the distance a dog singing a mournful lament as though it has lost its dearest or only friend. In this instant I realize that there is so much LIFE beyond my own capsule. Just when I think I have it all, know it all, have done or felt it all, an overwhelming sense of the ever present newness of life washes over me … and my soul rises up. How about yours?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 28, 2016
Hello Unity,

We welcome yet another marvelous opportunity for both broadening and deepening our spiritual outlook and practice. At last year’s annual meeting when the question was posed, “What would you like to add to our Sunday morning experience?” one of the answers was to present practices which combine the physical and spiritual. To respond to that request, we had a presentation on dance, and now this Sunday it will be tai chi. Our presenter is a dynamic person, active in this practice: Diana Magnuson. Diana, you will recall did a very well attended presentation for us last year on the spirituality of her art work (see the Jan. 2016 cover of Marquette Monthly magazine for an example).

The title of this Sunday’s presentation is “Movement as Medicine, Tai Chi for Health and Wellness.” Diana will talk about Mind/body medicine, then present and teach the Standing Post structure. (Diana added that both feet remain on the ground 😉.) It’s the core of tai chi and a great mind/body practice. Those present will have the choice of participating or simply observing.

We encourage you to come and be a part of this rich experience in whatever way you choose.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 21, 2016
Calling All Truth Seekers,

Fortunate us. As a Unity Study Group, Sunday after Sunday we get to explore and expand our understanding of the world, seen and unseen, past, present, future, and all for the enrichment of our souls. Such freedom. This Sunday it is our privilege to place our attention on the perspective of Angela Johnson.

Angela is a holistic health coach and environmental educator. She currently teaches at NMU in the Earth, Environmental and Geographical Sciences Department, and also writes for the broader community on a variety of eco-spiritual topics. Angela’s spiritual training comes from a variety of sources but primarily her own personal prayer/meditation and the teachings of the Ananda Church of Self Realization. This church, much like Unity, believes there are many paths to the one truth. It is a path that seeks to uncover the unifying perennial philosophies that unite all truth seekers. Reincarnation is one of these perennial truths.

This Sunday, Jan 24, Angela will be leading the service on the topic of reincarnation. We will look at some of the ancient teachings on reincarnation from various religions (including buried teachings from within the Christian religion). Angela will also share a few personal experiences/insights into her own past lives. Reincarnation is a fascinating subject that mystifies many. It is Angela’s hope that even if you have no direct insight into your own past lives, this service will help you to understand the basic principles of reincarnation and how that insight can inspire us to live well, love deep, and learn much in this life.

So, we invite you to come listen and share, to give and receive the gift of our time together.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 14, 2016
Hi All,

Remember that Sunday in November of last year when you all showed up to hear Mary Soper speak about “The Spiritual Path in Retirement Years?” We were all disappointed that a health emergency prevented her from being with us that day. Well, Mary has rescheduled for this Sunday and we hope you will all return for her words of wisdom. She has given her talk an alternate title of “Spirituality in the Aging Years,” but it’s still all Mary.

In case you missed her bio the first time, I am re-printing it below:

Mary Soper is a trained social worker who spent most of her career working with various aspects of public policy and marketing, economic and community development, travel and tourism, as well as being involved with human rights issues. Widowed at age 24, she has two adult children and three grand children. Soper is the oldest of nine siblings, all living, and in their fifties and sixties. Mary retired in 2004.

A forty-year resident of Marquette Michigan, Soper is a cum laude graduate from NMU in social work. She is a former campus chaplain in the Catholic tradition. She was a founder of the Marquette Women’s Center, President of Northern Initiatives, and was instrumental in bringing the International Winter Cities Festival to Marquette in 1997. Soper held a number of public policy positions in the Michigan Department of Commerce including the Yes Michigan economic development program and promotion of Michigan as a travel destination to out-of-state areas including Chicago, Indianapolis, and Cleveland. Former Director of Development for Mackinac State Historic Parks, she was also the founding director of the Michigan Public Policy Initiative, a joint venture between the Michigan Nonprofit Association and The Council of Michigan Foundations. Her last position was as Director of Tobacco-Free Michigan.

Mary has had a lifelong interest in growing in her spiritual life. A student of Alice Tredway as well as Alana Rubenfeld and Kay Miller, Soper studied and taught principles of the mind/body/spirit connection.

She embraces three key principles in her life – unconditional love, non-judgment and knowing there is always free choice.

Soper is an author, having written The Hospital Handbook, Strategies for Surviving the Hospital Stay, a book written for patient advocates.

Let’s all show up in true Yooper style this Sunday, that is, let’s not let a little cold and snow keep us away from a great moment.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 8, 2016
Dear Friends of Unity,

This Sunday we begin a new CD series recommended by Ann Russ. It is Resurrecting Jesus: Embodying the Spirit of a Revolutionary Mystic by Adyashanti. The description below is from the CD back cover:

Even though the majority of us grew up in a culture suffused by the mythos of Jesus, many of us feel disconnected from the essence and vitality of his teachings. With Resurrecting Jesus, Adyashanti presents us with an invitation to rediscover the life and teachings of Jesus as a direct path to spiritual awakening. In this provocative and stirring inquiry, Adyashanti reveals the man known as Jesus as an exemplar of the realized state and a model of enlightened engagement with the world. Tracing the story of Jesus from his birth to the Resurrection, he shows how the key events in Jesus’ life parallel the stages of spiritual awakening and shares the profound implications this represents for modern seekers.

With Resurrecting Jesus, readers/listeners from all walks of life will explore “the transmission of infinite love” that his story represents-and how that love revolutionizes our lives and our world.

Adyashanti is an American-born spiritual teacher devoted to serving the awakening of all beings. His teachings are an open invitation to stop, inquire, and recognize what is true and liberating at the core of all existence.

So, this Sunday, with a sense of great anticipation, we will begin Session 1 “Encountering the Mystery.” We will listen for about half an hour, then take time to personalize what we heard by way of discussion and comments.

Let’s start the year anew!

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 6, 2016
Dear Ones,

Ah, New Year’s resolution time, the time when we think of ways to improve ours lives, both in satisfaction and effectiveness. Is it eating less of some things, more of others, is it getting more exercise, is it traveling to places we have always wanted to experience? These are all pretty mundane, but what is really behind these resolutions?

After being gone from Marquette for longer than expected and being confronted with unusual circumstances in the process, I’ve had time to reflect on what I want most in my life day by day, minute by minute. It all comes down to two words – enhancing or enervating. In Unity we all agree that we are energy beings, so what is it that enhances our energy and what is it that is enervating, deprives us of energy? The answers are unique to every person, so no one else can answer for us. But as we each desire to live our best lives, does it not behoove us to ponder this question in regards to everything we do and think, day by day, minute by minute? Just imagine if that question had been part of ones psyche from the age of reason on? It’s definitely a Stop-Think question, or perhaps a Stop-Feel question.

During our time in Missoula, David and I twice visited the Unity Church there. That group, like ours, exists because of the desire and elbow grease of its membership. We found their openness, their friendliness and their expression of universal truths to be energy enhancing. Also while in Missoula, we viewed a movie, “Whiplash” for which its supporting actor received an academy award. This was especially meaningful during our visit because this actor was a graduate of the University of Montana in Missoula, and his now deceased parents were known and admired for their contributions to the community. J.K. Simmons, in his acceptance speech at the awards ceremony, consciously disregarded the usual lengthy strokes to important folks, and instead devoted precious time to the following:

Call your mom, call your dad. If you’re lucky enough to have a parent or two alive on this planet, call ’em. Don’t text. Don’t email. Call them on the phone. Tell ’em you love ’em, and thank them, listen to them for as long as they want to talk to you. Thank you. Thank you Mom and Dad.

Through this conscious act, Simmons enhanced his own energy and the energy of others. May our own resolutions be to do the same. Happy New Year one and all.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 9, 2015
Hi All,

Just a reminder that this Sunday is our CHRISTMAS SERVICE and POTLUCK.

The heart of the service will be our shared discussion on “The Spirit of Christmas.” What is it? How was it born in you? If it has changed over the years, how so? (See the December newsletter for a complete description.)

Regarding the potluck, ham will be provided, but the rest is up to you, your opportunity to create a feast to remember.

Come and share the love.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 4, 2015
Dear Friends in Unity,

You will notice by looking at the Sunday Schedule below, that we are breaking with tradition. For the sake of members who are traveling for the holidays, instead of having our Christmas service on the Sunday before Christmas, we have moved it to the second Sunday, Dec. 13th.

In addition, this year the service itself will be different. Instead of a performance type of service, we are going to create a family type of Christmas service, that is, we are going to invite each of you to dig deep and share your consciousness on the subject of Christmas. For this reason we are presenting a few questions now, so that they have time to steep.

Realizing that all of you have experienced the Christmas season differently, we will consider Christmas’ past and Christmas present. This will give you the chance to share what in the past has brought you meaning and joy, or, if this has not been the case, how has the empowered you changed that picture in the present?

So, the questions to consider are as follows:

What is that shimmer in the air at this time of year? What is the Spirit of Christmas?

How was it born in you? experiences……

If you have re-imagined or reinvented Christmas, what does it look like for you today? experiences……

In the future? ideas….

We look forward to a warm and lively time of openness and sharing during both the service and afterward at our annual Christmas POTLUCK. We look forward to your stories, full of poignancy, laughter, tears, hopes and wishes.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 3, 2015
Calling All Unitics,

This Sunday we will hear a stunning presentation by Roslyn McGrath entitled ” Mary Magdalene Tour of Southern France: My Inner & Outer Journey.” She describes it thus:

Roslyn will share highlights of her recent trip to Southern France with Sacred Mystical Journey’s director Finbarr Ross, a keeper of the Mary Magdalene legends, and Flo Aeveia Magdalena, author of I Remember Union, a first-person retelling of Mary Magdalene’s role in the Christ mission, along with some of the impact this trip has had upon her.

Roslyn recently published The Third Mary, a series of channeled messages from Mary Magdalene’s mother, as part of her ongoing process of receiving and sharing higher dimensional energies in many forms for our healing and upliftment, including Goddess art and meditations, energetic healing, readings, intuitive counseling, life purpose drawings, and whimsical stories and poems. She has been a member of Unity for many years now and appreciates the opportunity to gather together to share our stories and to support one another in our personal spiritual growth.

How fitting and timely to have this presentation at this time of year. We look forward to Roslyn’s setting the tone for our Christ season. And of course, it’s always more complete if you are there.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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November 27, 2015
Dear Unity Minded,

“The following is a quote of a woman’s transformative spiritual experience.
I was lost; I had no sense of God’s direction. Everything was dark. I cried out–nothing. Finally, God asked me if I would do anything he asked. I surrendered everything, including my faith and my salvation. In an instant, God returned everything to me, transformed. He liberated me. From that day forward, a new relationship existed between God and me — but I am not attached to doctrine, dogmas, rituals. I see God’s action all around me. I cry easier at the joy of what I see, I sing spontaneously and I have found myself and my beliefs continually expanding, becoming more inclusive, more universal.”

“The spiritual brain is capable of a wide range of perceptions and experiences, but of all these experiences, the mystical experience is surely the most intense. Mystics describe an experience in which the distinctions between self and other — the barriers between inside and outside– are completely broken down. These distinctions and barriers are replaced by a perception of the oneness and unity of all things. Moreover, the perception itself tends to be associated with a sense of tranquility or peace.”

These are quotes from the DVD series The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience, lesson 23, “The Mystical Mind.” This lesson addresses such questions as, “What is a mystic’s definition of God?” “Who is a mystic?”

This lesson is perhaps the most intriguing of all in this series thus far, and well worth your time if you are available this holiday weekend. Now that the turkey has been consumed, let’s have a feast of another kind, shared thoughts and experiences on this subject of mysticism.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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November 18, 2015
Circle of Delight,

Oh fortunate us! We have a double header this Sunday, an amazing presence in our speaker, Mary Soper, followed by our annual Thanksgiving Potluck for which Bill Waters is providing the turkey. All we have to do is fill in the rest!

Mary’s topic – The Spiritual Path in Retirement Years:

Embarking on this topic may be more than a challenge. Rather, it may be futile, or could become embarrassing as I am not an expert in either. Rather, a student of the spiritual path for most of my life and an eleven year neophyte retiree, I chose this topic for my own learning and to clarify my thinking. I hope that Sunday will be a discussion on how to do one or both. I have some ideas to throw into a discussion pot and I hope all in attendance will share their ideas and experiences. I believe what may seem like two different path s are really one and the same. Let’s gather and share our ideas and give thanks for being able to do so.

About the Speaker:

Mary Soper is a trained social worker who spent most of her career working with various aspects of public policy and marketing, economic and community development, travel and tourism, as well as being involved with human rights issues. Widowed at age 24, she has two adult children and three grandchildren. Soper is the oldest of nine siblings, all living, and in their fifties and sixties. Mary retired in 2004.

A forty-year resident of Marquette Michigan, Soper is a cum laude graduate from NMU in social work. She is a former campus chaplain in the Catholic tradition. She was a founder of the Marquette Women’s Center; Director of Governor Milliken’s Upper Peninsula Office; Vice-President of Northern Initiatives and was instrumental in bringing the International Winter Cities Festival to Marquette in 1997. Soper held a number of public policy positions in the Department of Commerce including the Yes Michigan economic development program and promotion of Michigan as a travel destination to out- of- state areas including Chicago, Indianapolis and Cleveland. Former Director of Development for Mackinac State Historic Parks, she was also the founding Director of the Michigan Public Policy Initiative, a joint venture between the Michigan Nonprofit Association and The Council of Michigan Foundations. Her last position was as Director of Tobacco-Free Michigan.

Mary has had a lifelong interest in growing in her spiritual life. A student of Alice Tredway as well as Alana Rubenfeld and Kay Miller, Soper studied and taught principles of the mind/body/spirit connection. She embraces three key principles in her life – unconditional love, non-judgement and knowing there is always free choice.

Soper is an author, having written The Hospital Handbook, Strategies for Surviving the Hospital Stay, a book written for patient advocates.

What more can be said? I wouldn’t miss this Sunday for the world! How about you?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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November 13, 2015
Unity Friends,

This Sunday we continue with our study of Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller by reading and discussing Chapter 11, “On Being Me.” Each chapter of this book is rich with insights and thoughts for contemplation. A sample is as follows:

We now find that every human being generates a self-surrounding ultra-ultra-ultra-high-frequency electromagnetic field — exquisitely ephemeral but exquisitely real. Each individual’s field alternates between positive and negative. When an individual is feeling predominantly negative mentally, the field is negative, and vice versa. (Bucky Fuller)
With this statement Bucky opens up the possibility of understanding many of life’s phenomena. The realness of this electromagnetic field may well be what allows animals to discern and respond positively or negatively to people. The same thing is probably very true about why some people’s “energy field” attracts positive feedback from people and others attract the opposite. As a metaphysician, I would say that these fields reflect not only our negative or positive states of mind, but also contain the image fields of our imagination that set the stage for the outworking of our lives. The key to the part they play in our lives is the matter of patience that Bucky exalts. When people seek to change their “energy field,” they find that one good day of positive imaging and thinking doesn’t usually affect much change in their lives. It takes a persistent and patient change of our radiation of energy to get the job done. It also aligns with Teilhard de Chardin’s belief that evolution takes place as levels of life combine, interchange energy and produce a new level of life. (Phillip Pierson)

I would also like to remind you that each Sunday between now and our Christmas service, which will be on Dec. 13th this year, we are providing you with the opportunity to contribute a special offering for the purpose of creating a joyous holiday for some individual or family in special need. The box for this purpose will be on the table where you pick up your Daily Words. If you have a suggestion as to whom you would like to see receive this gift, you may make your suggestion by responding to this e-mail, or by approaching David McGowan, our treasurer, at our next Sunday service. If no one is suggested, the money will be donated to Room at the Inn.

At Unity we join together to make a better world. Hope to see you there.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan
Board President

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November 6, 2015
Truth Seekers,

We are having a first this Sunday. Brandon Young (father of Psi) has long nurtured a desire to share with us his journey of truth seeking through meditation, and this will be the day. Brandon calls meditation the key to happiness and the meaning of life. He explains how it has helped him to know the difference between living and surviving. He will give his perception of the hows and whys of meditation, what the goal is, what the hindrances are, what the Truth is. And if enough time is available, he will approach the subjects of reincarnation and enlightenment.

During our time together, Brandon will lead us in a brief meditation, and will fulfill another of his life’s dreams – singing a song for us while being accompanied on guitar.

It is always a pleasure to see someone break out of self-consciousness into SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS. Won’t you join us as we celebrate this passage by one of our own?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan
Board Chairperson

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October 29, 2015
Friends in Unity,

So, you’re on your way to bed and would like the last thoughts before you go to sleep to be something inspirational. When this happens to me, I like to pick up one of two magazines, either Science of Mind published by the Centers for Spiritual Living, or our own Unity Magazine (not to be confused with the Daily Word). They contain short inspiring and thought provoking biographies, interviews, etc. In the September/October issue of Unity Magazine I found an interview with Neale Donald Walsch, author of Conversations With God and 29 other books. His latest is God’s Message to the World: You’ve Got Me All Wrong. The following are excerpts from the interview conducted by Katey Koontz, editor of Unity Magazine:

NDW: The question is not to whom is God talking. The question is who’s listening? The day of the individual guru is over. This is not about Neale Donald Walsch. God talks to everybody all the time. People all over the world are sharing with each other in a teaching, helping, and healing way – not the least of whom are the people putting out the very magazine in which this interview is appearing. This is just another instrument, another version, another conversation with God. God is talking to us all the time in every way that God can possibly get through to us, including a small magazine someone happens to pick up that causes them to say to themselves, ‘Wow, this is exactly what I needed to hear at this point in my life.’

So, what was the, “Wow” thought for me in this article? It was as follows:

KK: I love your metaphor that God is the stem cell of the universe. How does that work?
NDW: It astonished me to learn that there are undifferentiated cells in the human body that can become brain tissue, muscle tissue, heart tissue, or whatever other tissue we want to duplicate. In my conversations with God, I was invited to explore the possibility that God is the original, pure expression of the essential energy that we call life itself undifferentiated, which has the ability to individuate and differentiate itself and form a million, gazillion different physical expressions of life. If the human body is capable of such a miracle, what is the universe capable of?’
KK: The flip side of ‘As above, so below?’
NDW: Precisely, but we need to let go of our limiting ideas of what the ultimate reality is. Shakespeare nailed it when he had Hamlet say, ‘There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.’ Our opportunity then is to at least consider the possibility that there just might be some data missing.

In our Sunday services we are constantly sharing our own conversations with God, as well as listening to those of others. I invite you to take part in this Oh! so exciting practice. And here, we are wide awake. 🙂

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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October 22, 2015
Hi One and All,

Time for our last October gathering of the year. If you have not yet joined us this month, we hope you will do so this coming Sunday. Our wonderful Unity of Inner Peace Vice-President and all around wonder man, Steve Schmunk, will be our speaker. He has chosen the intriguing sounding, “When the Background Becomes the Foreground,” for his title.

In addition, it is warm and fuzzy POTLUCK time immediately after the service.

We hope you will join us as we stretch our spiritual muscles with Steve, and strengthen our Unity family ties afterwards as we share our food and our relaxed and authentic selves.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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October 16, 2015
Greetings All,

This Sunday we will read together and discuss Chapter 10 of Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller, “Reality.” This chapter is so full of rich ideas and illustrations that I wish I could reprint the whole thing right here, but alas, I can only pick a paragraph to illustrate my point.

“So what is the reality of your life right this minute? Are you sitting somewhere reading this book and finding yourself all alone as far as the world is concerned? No that’s not the reality of your situation. You are immersed in waves of invisible energy patterns that are influencing you in some manner; not just the radio waves and others like it, but the wave patterns of the thoughts of individuals and groups from all times. Some bounce off your own pattern integrity, but others penetrate your consciousness at some level and influence you like the wind catches a wave and forms bubbles for a time. If you read this book and find yourself moved to a different thought about what is real, you won’t be just influenced by the book, but by the numberless agreeing thought patterns that are already washing over you constantly. This is how we sometimes seem to see things change in human affairs; they seem so sudden, but they are actually the fruition of countless waves of thought patterns that have been produced before.”

Another announcement which seems important to the above and to our Unity way of life, is that Oprah is presenting a 7 part series called, Belief. It begins this Sunday night, Oct. 18th at 8:00 PM on the OWN TV channel, and will deal with the commonality of human’s desire to touch The Infinite, regardless of where in the world they live or what faith path they have been taught or that they pursue. Check dailyword.com/oprah if further information is desired.

Sharing the faith,
Judy McGowan

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October 9, 2015
Hi All,

Are you ready to be pulled out of your comfort zone? This Sunday Mohey Mowafy, Muslim, and retired NMU professor will address “The Meeting of Christians and Muslims on American Soil,” among other issues. Remember, we will not only listen, but also have the opportunity to ask any questions on our hearts and minds, to deepen our understanding on this critical subject.

Your presence is a gift to us all.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 30, 2015
Dear Friends in Unity,
With the advent of the Pope’s visit, and the response which he received, the question comes to mind, what makes someone great? Is it power, is it wealth, is it fame?

Who are the people in your own life experience that you have regarded as great? For me, I think of my paternal grandmother. I remember that when I attended her funeral, and the minister read the portion on love from 1 Corinthians, I had the overwhelming insight that I had experienced love incarnate in the form of this modest and nurturing little woman. She made me feel good and special, welcoming me into her presence and giving me her full, loving and accepting attention no matter where I was on my life path.

I think of the woman who was head of the education department at the university where I got my degree at the ripe old age of 50, who saw glimmers of what my special contributions could be and encouraged those to flourish and grow. She gave me confidence and encouraged that which was unique in me.

There was the wife of a lodge brother, friend and employee of my father, a humble little lady who had emigrated from Germany during hard times, learned the language here, married and was very successful as a homemaker, wife and mother. She had big thick glasses and varicose veinny legs, but to me she was beautiful. Why? Because whenever I saw her she made me feel that way. In her presence, I became beautiful, intelligent, talented because that is what she saw.

There are others, of course. But what do they all have in common? I feel it is that they, like the Pope, reached out. They lived from their own rich spiritual centers, and each in their own way encouraged me to do the same.

In Unity we say, “I see the Christ in you.” Unity teaches Greatness, that we are ALL blessed with this God Given Potential to BE not just to have, but to BE – Faith and Will and Understanding and Imagination and Zeal and Power and Love and Wisdom and Order and Strength and Renunciation and Life. They teach us to accept our wholeness, to relax into it, to know it, and to lovingly let it reveal itself in and through us, for our own joy and for the benefit of all. And it also goes beyond what the Pope offers: Its male leaders can marry. Its women leaders have equal authority to male leaders. And regardless of the sexual orientation with which we are born, we have equal rights to leadership and to marriage. In Unity, we truly have “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” That is greatness. And that is why I embrace Unity.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 24, 2015
Dear Unity Friends,

This Sunday we offer the gift of one of our favorite speakers, Ann Russ. Ann has given her talk the title of, “Dreams as Portals” and describes it in the following way:

Are our dreams a dialogue with Spirit and the unseen world, an expression of the secret wishes of the soul, or the recycled flotsam and jetsam from our day?

While no consensus has emerged that answers that question, you are invited to explore this rich topic with me this Sunday at Unity.

I will be showing dream imagery and themes depicted in art, as well as sharing some of my art sourced from my own dreams. I will talk about some spiritual perspectives related to dreams – and share a method of working with them that has yielded rich insight of a practical and spiritual nature for me.

I do not think of myself as a dream expert. I have, however, been chronicling and attending to my dreams for 25 years. I believe that people are the best interpreters of their own dreams – and that there’s value in sharing dreams with others.

Time permitting, you are invited to share a dream in the Circle this Sunday, if desired.

What more can be said except that we hope to see you there. Remember, it is POTLUCK Sunday, so there is plenty of time for the enthusiasm to continue after the talk.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 18, 2015
Hi All,

Just a quick reminder that this Sunday will be the last in our series of audio tapes by Eric Butterworth. The subject is “The Dynamics of Speech.” Hope you’ll be a part of the listening and discussion to follow.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 10, 2015
Dear Unity Friends and Family,

Happy New Year! Well, at least it always feels like a new year when Labor Day is in the rear view mirror and schools and clubs and churches begin anew after the long summer break. Which is what we are doing here at Unity of Inner Peace.

In early summer Angela Johnson, who has been attending Unity for awhile, enthusiastically offered to be a Sunday presenter. I am always very pleased when someone steps up to do this, but I suggested she hold off until the fall when folks are back in town and she would be more apt to have a full house. So, here is the new season and Angela its “big bang.” I hope that you will be in attendance to receive Angela’s gift.

Angela Johnson is an educator in the field of spiritual ecology. Her two great passions in life being spiritual and ecological flourishing. She has been teaching at NMU in the Earth, Environmental and Geographical Science Department for the past three years and also in the broader community, most recently at the Michigan Yoga Festival. According to Angela, the ecological crisis is a spiritual crisis and the healing of people goes together with the healing of the earth.

Angela has been meditating on the path of yoga for the past ten years. Her spiritual training comes primarily from the Ananda Church of Self-Realization. In addition to spiritual studies, Angela received both her bachelor and master’s degrees from Michigan State University in environmental studies and sustainability. Her focus in graduate school was on sustainable community food systems and she continues to work on issues of food today both on and off campus. Angela is permaculture certified and as of June 2015, she is also a certified health coach through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition.

Angela is beginning to take her message outside of the classroom. She is currently writing her first book, The Yoga of Green Living: an eightfold practice in mindfulness for personal and planetary health and high flourishing. From this she will share.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 3, 2015
Dear Unity Friends,

Have you ever heard of the Johari Window? It is a tool for consciousness raising to which I was introduced at a Unity church in Rocklin, California a number of years ago. It is simple yet profound. Picture a window or square divided into four equal parts. The upper left portion is titled “Public.” In this square you would write information about you that both you and others know. The upper right portion is titled, “Blind Spot.” In this square you would write information about you that you don’t know but others do know. Obviously you need a little help here. The lower left portion is titled, “Hidden.” In this square you would write information about you that you know but others don’t know. The lower right portion is titled “Unknown.” This portion, of course, is glaringly empty because it is reserved for information that neither you nor others know about you. Why do I bring this up? Because currently I find myself in the middle of two feuding parties, both of whom are convinced they are right and have all of the answers. I’m considering sending each of them a printout of the Johari Window not just for consciousness raising but also as a peacemaking tool. Perhaps it will encourage honesty, and help to pull up the shade on temporary ego blindness. You may not be in the unfortunate spot of being caught in the cross hairs of a feud, but you may still find the Johari Window an interesting tool for looking at yourself in ways you had never before considered. I recommend it, and sans the feud, it can be fun. (If you want to see the actual image, google, “Johari Window.”)

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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August 28, 2015
Hi All,

Well, we’re in for another fascinating study, i.e., reading and discussion of the work of Buckminster Fuller. In Unity minister Phillip Pierson’s book, Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller: How to Let the Universe Work for You!, Chapter 9, “Evolution,” he states that both Bucky and Teilhard de Chardin rejected Darwin’s theory of natural selection. They felt is was a smaller part of a much bigger evolutionary design.
For Bucky and Teilhard the process of evolution is governed by a greater expression of awareness of generalized principles of being or expanding consciousness. The push forward in evolution is from within. This becomes recognized as instinct in animal life and then carries into the early humans species as an inner voice. With the advent of the human capacity for reflection more and more of evolution becomes dependent on the human’s ability ‘to think for itself.’
Bucky says that evolution is now proceeding on two levels of unfoldment. One, which he calls Class One, is evolution driven by the discovery and unfoldment of general principles that work for the benefit of all humanity. Class Two is the evolution of ideas and actions that seem to move humanity forward, but always driven by person gain in some form or other.”

Add to this wonderful discussion the fact that it is POTLUCK Sunday, we’re all going to be vibrating at high frequency. 🙂

Looking forward to seeing you.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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August 21, 2015
Hi All,

This Sunday we continue with one of our all-time favorite tape series, The Basic Laws of Cosmic Power. We hear Eric Butterworth as he talks about “The Potential for Love.” In it we will hear such statements as the following:

Jesus famous statement that, ‘Ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free,’ does not mean freedom from something, but rather, freedom to be something.

Our greatest freedom is the freedom to love.

Love is the action or process of cosmic law, a depth potential within every person, sometimes expressed, sometimes seeking unsuccessfully for expression. It is this frustration of that love potential within us that is at the heart and root of a startling number of mental and emotional illnesses, probably closely related to all of them.

Psychology says that the greatest need is to be loved. Wrong! The greatest need is – to love. There is a need to express love.

And so on. As it is literally impossible to leave a Butterworth session without feeling deeply enriched, we Invite you to join us on Sunday for this consciousness feast.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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August 14, 2015
Unity Folk,

All of you who have experienced Sue Schenck-Droby’s Sunday morning sharings, know that she is a great story teller. She combines her sense of humor with the wisdom she distills from her experiences. Her description for this Sunday is , “Musings from the Berry Patch – Challenges of the Day and how Science of Mind would view them.” Come share the indoor sunshine.

Lovingly,
Judy

Also, a reminder that there will be a Board Meeting immediately after the service.

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July 30, 2015
Dear Friends in Unity,

Man is a stream whose source is hidden. Our being is descending into us from we know not whence. … I am constrained every moment to acknowledge a higher origin for events than the will I call mine.

As with events so it is with thoughts. When I watch the flowing river, which, out of regions I see not, pours for a season its streams into me, I see that I am a pensioner; not a cause but a surprised spectator of this ethereal water; that I desire and look up and put myself in the attitude of reception, but from some alien energy the visions come.

The Supreme Critic on the errors of the past and the present, and the only prophet of that which must be, is that great nature in which we rest, as the earth lies in the soft arms of the atmosphere; that Unity, that Over-Soul, within which every man’s particular being is contained and made one with all other; that common heart, of which all sincere conversation is the worship, to which all right action is submission; that overpowering reality which confutes our tricks and talents, and constrains every one to pass for what he is, and to speak from his character, and not from his tongue, and which evermore tends to pass into our thought and hand, and become wisdom, and virtue, and power, and beauty. We live in succession, in division, in parts, in particles. Meantime within man is the soul of the whole, the wise silence; the universal beauty, to which every part and particle is equally related; the eternal ONE.
Ralph Waldo Emerson, The Over-Soul

As we come together at Unity of Inner Peace, we read, we view, we listen, we talk – constantly raising our awareness of this Truth, and nurturing in us the courage to accept its message.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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July 24, 2015
Dear Unity Friends,

Buckminster Fuller, one of the world’s truly great and original minds, is brought alive for us in the book Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller: How to Let the Universe Work for You. For those of you new to our discussions, this book was created by Unity minister, Phillip Pierson, for the purpose of not just sharing “Bucky’s” thoughts, but making them more understandable/reachable for the lay person. This Sunday, our own Steve Schmunk will be our guide as we read together and discuss Chapter 8, “Love.” We hope you will join us.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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July 16, 2015
Hi All,

At this time of year we, as individuals, are scattered here and there, enjoying family, friends and the out-of-doors. However, Unity’s doors are still open each Sunday morning, so if you are available, we’d love to have you join us for an hour of listening to, and contemplation and discussion of Eric Butterworth’s taped thoughts on “The Creative Process.” We’ll start promptly at 10:00 so that you will still have plenty of Sunday left for other things.

Hoping to see you there….

Lovingly,
Judy

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July 9, 2015
Dear Friends in Unity,

First off – this Sunday’s service will be held at the home of Militza and John English, 450 E. Ohio St., Marquette. It will be held outside in their fabulous yard, weather permitting, so please bring along a folding chair. (We will move inside if necessary.) There will be a potluck following the service.

Our scheduled speaker is Jim Clumpner, whom we have been inviting for years to speak. He finally conceded and says it will be a one time happening. Jim’s biography is fascinating, beginning with his statement that he felt at one with nature and spirits until a trauma, at age seven, caused by misinterpreting knowing of a death, with being the cause of the death, changed his psyche to one of guilt. His life experiences after that would make a riveting movie. In later years he had the good fortune of spending a great deal of time with “The Alice” of Munising, the person responsible for changing the lives of many people, including many of our Unity folk. Jim will conclude our time together with a Prayer Symbol Circle, a process used for healing or helping, learned from Alice.

Your presence is treasured.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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July 1, 2015
Dear Unity Participants,

What a great joy it is to be a part of a circle of people for whom the development or opening of greater consciousness is of primary importance. We are surrounded by a world of strife and beauty, but unless we look beyond the surface of all manifestations we are starving ourselves. As people who care and share, I would like, with your permission, to tell you about a recent happening in my life. A person close to me and for whom I care greatly, recently “lost” his mother, someone for whom he had held vehement desires for separation in thought, word, or act. Of course, the more vehement the desire, the louder the broadcasting, the greater these feelings grew and magnified. I heard expressions like, “If I’m dying, don’t tell her. If she dies, I will finally be free.” The obsession never let him go. But being a good person at heart, and wanting Truth above all else, he kept opening and maturing. Last summer, his mother wrote him an e-mail saying that she was now looking at him differently and could they start a new relationship. Without thinking, he sent a bombastic reply. But then guilt set in. Perhaps he had responded too automatically, too erratically, and so for only the second time in many, many years, he visited her. He found her alone and willing to talk. They discussed things private to their experience for two and a half hours before other family members arrived home. But now there was a chink in his armor. Seeing this old, physically ill person and gaining a greater understanding of the defenses she had created to survive, compassion was born. Four months later she lay dying. He found out about it on Facebook. Her family did not call him. What was his response? He immediately booked a flight to be by her side, hoping to talk to her, to say goodby. When he arrived she was in a coma, so all of the conversation was from His mouth, but really soul to soul. He asked for forgiveness and said he forgave her. He came out of the experience feeling joy, and a different type of liberation than he had ever imagined possible.

Yesterday, knowing I would be preparing to write this newsletter, I woke up hearing these words; “The greatest act of love is forgiveness.”

My dear one realized that he loved where he thought there was only hate. He realized that he had the power to forgive and to live triumphantly. And so it is this that I wanted to share with you, knowing that though the story may seem personal, it is really universal in its message. Thank you for your gift of listening.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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June 12, 2015
You with a Unity State of Mind,

Those of you who know or are aware of Barb Marcum know that she has led a most unusual life. For example, Barb was a psychiatric nurse for 30 years, came from a ministerial family, channeled an entity names Georges for 25 years. This Sunday she has chosen to speak to us about, “The Quiet Mind, the benefit and value of.” How can we help but be inspired by her mere presence, much less her willingness to speak her Truth.

I’m going to do myself a favor by being present. How about you?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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June 2, 2015
Dear Friends in Unity,

With so much strife in the world, both near and personal or country or worldwide, it feels important to affirm Unity’s core value that All are born good, that the Christ, God’s idea of man, is in each of us just waiting to be recognized and invited forth. Thomas W. Shepherd, Unity minister and author says, “Every individual human expresses the Divine in whatever capacity available at this level of growth. From Jesus Christ to Adolph Hitler, everyone exercises the gift of free will. The differences appear because people have the power to allow God’s Light to shine through them or to block willfully the expression of Absolute Good.” As we differentiate between the Being and the doing, may we continue to grow in understanding and compassion as we affirm and encourage the Light potential of All.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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May 27, 2015
Hi All of You Wide Awake People,

Recently Dr. Lisa Long gave a talk at the library entitled, “Babushka Medicine: Tips for Health from our Grandmothers.” This Sunday at Unity, Lisa will expand on this subject and also give it a spiritual focus for us. Lisa says, “Sometimes we are bulldozed by information about how to be happy and live a healthier life. Many times, the content of the information is misleading, contradictory, or just too complicated to follow. Come learn what you forgot you already knew about whole life contentment.”

Lisa’s autobiography is such fun to read that I decided to pass it on as written.

Dr. Lisa Long is a Michigan native who grew up in a small farming community downstate. She is the youngest of three children and attended Michigan State University where she received her B.S. in biology. From there she moved to Ann Arbor to attend medical school at the University of Michigan. While she was at Michigan, she was reintroduced to an elementary school peer, Lee Ossenheimer, and fell in love. They moved to Marquette to finish her training at the family practice residency, fell in love again, and never left the area. She and Lee have three amazing kids- Jesse, Lauren, and Alex.
After residency, she worked in Negaunee for seven years, then changed career paths to be an inpatient only hospital doctor in Marquette. During her working career, she became very interested in alternative medicine, nutrition, and non-conventional models of health care delivery. She then pursued a fellowship in Integrative Medicine from the University of Arizona under the direction of Dr. Andrew Weil. Integrative medicine is the concept of taking the best evidence based ideas of healing from not only western and eastern medicine, but alternative medicine as well.

As you can see, Lisa is not only bright and educated, but human and approachable as well. Her awareness is ever expanding, and we are privileged to have her share herself and her knowledge with us.

Won’t you come on Sunday and help to make a great day even better? Besides it is POTLUCK, POTLUCK, POTLUCK Sunday.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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May 22, 2015
Hi All,

“Revelation, Salvation and the Brain.” This is the subject of our DVD this Sunday. The description in the program guide says, “Through our newfound abilities to study the brain, it is possible for us to ask and answer a lot of fascinating questions about how and why human beings experience revelation and salvation.”

We at Unity of Inner Peace are becoming famous for posing questions and discussing possible answers. For example, the guide states, “Incommunicable attributes of God usually include those related to being omnipotent, eternal, infinite, omniscient, and omnipresent – things that human beings simply are not.” Wait a minute, if at Unity we state that we are in God and God is in us, does that not mean that at some level we may be all of those things, that it is our own self limited thinking that makes us small, prevents us from living from that point of view? Just thought I’d ask. If you are also interested in listening, then questioning, join us this Sunday for an intriguing session.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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May 14, 2015
Unity Friends,

For those of you who remember, last year our own Sue Schenk-Droby delighted us by relating her experience of hiking Mt. Rainier, and the spiritual lessons gained in the process. This Sunday we are in for more fun as Sue shares
“experiences with the Unity Group in Mohave Valley, Arizona, and at the Center for Spiritual Living in Seattle, Washington – or, how I spent my winter vacation, descriptive true stories with Sue Schenk-Drobny.”

Need I say more than that you are invited to be present to receive the gift of Sue’s unique perceptions and wit.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

PS: Board members will meet after the service.

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May 8, 2015
“My heritage, legacy, motherhood, stories passed down through great grandmothers, mining heritage…..” These are all subjects that will be shared by Suzie Saari as she opens our Mother’s Day discussion. You will then be invited to share your own stories, perhaps things that helped form your character, whether through “positive or negative” demonstrations. This is a day of the heart, a day in which we get to know one another better, a day to appreciate the sacredness of motherhood.

We hope you come and add to the richness of the day.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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May 1, 2015
Dear Friends,

What an exciting Sunday is in store for us! We are all aware of the work of Liz Yelland, local artist, muralist, illustrator and mandala maker, but this Sunday we will have the privilege of having her explain some of that work to us – the essence, therapeutic qualities and value of the mandala, in particular.

Elizabeth has been painting murals and mandalas in the UP for 25 years, in museums, businesses, hospitals, schools and homes. Her favorite personal projects are the “Mandala Meditations” blank art cards which are sold in many gift stores and galleries in the UP. Liz says that discovering mandalas in life is an ongoing adventure. The first awareness we have of a mandala is our mother’s eyes. Looking into them we see our first mandalas. ( Mandala is the word for circle in the Sanskrit language. )

Liz applied her first murals to walls in her high school, Gwinn, Michgan 1982. She had 4 years of technical art college, majoring in illustration at Kendall School of Art & Design in Grand Rapids, 1986. Her first 8 years out of school were spent in the screenprinting industry. In 2003 she attended MUM (maharishi univerity of management) Fairfield, Iowa for the advanced technique of Transcendental Meditation and Sidhis course of yogic Flying. Her husband and her stepson both practice TM with her. She lives with her meteorologist husband and two cats in Negaunee, MI.

Creativity, an expression of Spirit. Won’t you join us?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 29, 2015
Dear Believers in Unity,

“Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”

“No man can reveal to you nothing but that which already lies half-asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.”

Why the quotes, you ask? How often have you heard or read a few lines that grabbed you and wouldn’t let go? This past month, when the drama of wind and snow and frost persisted beyond its welcome, my husband and I took a short trip south, south of the Mackinaw Bridge that is! We headed for beaches that belch up Petoskey stones and other fossils at this time of year, hoping to fool ourselves into thinking that the change of seasons had begun. Though we did not experience the warmth that we had desired, I did make a marvelous discovery, a quotation by Kahlil Gibran, printed in a local publicity magazine. It caught my imagination, and caused me to feel those bare feet and that playful wind in the hair after all. Back at home, I felt inspired to check the internet for other quotes by Gibran. The second one caught my attention, as I had expressed the same thought in a conversation with Lee Ossenheimer after his talk last Sunday. To me it defines a wonderful reason not only for reading spiritual literature, but also for coming to Unity of Inner Peace on Sunday mornings – to help awaken that which has been “dawning in your knowledge.” That ever awakening, ever expanding awareness is our goal, and we pursue it together, with love.

Ever lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 9, 2015
Dear Ones,

What can I say, what can I do to ignite interest in you to come and share this Sunday morning with us? Here are some of the thoughts you will hear expressed this Sunday through the voice of the late Unity minister, Eric Butterworth.

God is centered in you. It is the action of God working in you that gives you faith.
It is the same for all persons.
God was no more centered in Jesus than in you. Jesus was more centered in God.
… believing from the consciousness of God.

Each time we spend a Sunday morning listening to and absorbing a Butterworth talk, someone comes up to me afterward to ask if they might borrow the tape so that they can hear it over again, to hear it in its entirety. Just as Maya Angelou was mentored by Butterworth in life, we have the same opportunity through these tapes. The series is Basic Laws of Cosmic Power, this week’s tape, “The Faith Factor.”

With all of this in Mind, we are envisioning a vibrant, pulsating circle of interest. We hope you will be a part of it.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 1, 2015
Dear Fellow Explorers of Spirituality,

Easter and the days leading up to it are regarded as the most sacred of days for those who call themselves Christian. Did you have a Christian upbringing?
What was Easter like for you growing up? Was the focus on the sacrifice and triumph of Jesus as described in The Holy Bible? How did the visitation of the Easter Bunny or new spring outfits or special dinners figure into your day? Has all of that stayed the same for you? If not, how and why have these important changes come about?

This Sunday, April 5th, Easter, inspired by requests submitted by you at our Annual Meeting, the Board decided to take a bold step. Setting aside the tradition of having a speaker for the service, one who shares his or her own thoughts on the importance of Easter, we will instead be inviting those present to share their own Easter journey – from what to what, so to speak. Jesus as Savior vs Jesus as Mentor is an example of one possible line of thought.

Of course no one who feels uncomfortable speaking need do so, but we hope you will take this opportunity to proclaim the movement of the sacred within you. Remember, only you can tell your story, and if it involves nostalgia and laughter, all the better.

Looking forward to hearing your story…..

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 25, 2015
Hi Folks,

We’d like to encourage you to come to Unity this Sunday to give a warm welcome to our speaker who will have his first Unity experience. His name is Mike Ryan and he will be addressing the importance and types of touch in our society. The healing aspect will be included as well. Things to know about Mike are as follows:

Mike has had a private massage therapy practice since 1988.
He began the Marquette School of Therapeutic Massage in 2001.
Mike was a State of Michigan Board of Massage Therapy member from 2009-2013.

It is also one of your favorite Sundays, any time of the year – POTLUCK SUNDAY.

Hoping you choose to be among those present, and to bring your favorite dish to share.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 18, 2015
Dear Unity Friends,

Every time I read another chapter of the Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller book that we have been reading and discussing monthly, I get excited all over again.
Each month’s study leads to greater insights.

According to this chapter,
The human brain is a physical mechanism for storing, retrieving, and re-storing again, each special-case experience.

The mind, however, is not a physical property as is the brain. It is an awareness – that allows humans to be aware of what is in the brain’s storehouse of special case experiences and make use of that information. By screening brain’s information or experiences, mind comes up with insights that capture generalized principles; for instance, principles of mathematics from its beginnings of one plus one to present day Quantum Physics.

Mind also reveals insights of a more personal degree. For example, the brain may store up many experiences of our failing in some area of our life, but the activity of the mind may suddenly produce an insight into all these special-case failures, to produce a new approach to life that can produce success. (This activity is different from intuition.)

As you can see, this pretty much covers life, both personal and universal, so it has something to say to each of us. On Buckminster Fuller Sunday, we pass the book around the circle, take turns reading a paragraph or two, then stop for questions or discussion. It is always both lively and informative. And, the more individual expressions of MIND present, the better. We’d love for yours will be one of them.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

(Contrary to what had been previously announced, our chapter for this month is Chapter 5, “Brain vs. Mind,” rather than “Intuition,” which will be next month.)

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March 13, 2015
Dear Friends,

This is our Sunday of the month in which we set up our television set and view a DVD from The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience series. We will be viewing Lecture 17, “The Brain’s Influence on Religious Ideas.” The presenter is Dr. Andrew Newberg, Director of Research at the Mynra Brind Center of Integrative Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He is also a Professor in the Departments of Emergency Medicine and Radiology at the hospital.

We seem to get mixed reviews on these presentations. A few who have attended find the series dry, lacking in emotion. On the other hand, most who attend find the presentations informative, full of new material not gleaned from the New Thought materials to which we have the greatest exposure. With this in mind, I invite you to join us this Sunday to form your own opinion. Either way, you are bound to learn something new.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 5, 2015
Hi All,

(Before I share information about our subject this Sunday, I’d just like to remind you that Daylight Savings Time kicks in this Sunday.)

Once again we have the opportunity to hear the voice and words of Eric Butterworth, one of Unity’s icons. Butterworth says that we see things not as they are, but rather as we are. Thus our purpose is not to set things right, but to see them rightly. He has full faith that we were created, and have the full potentiality, to do just that. Won’t you join us as we hear Butterworth describe this Law of Visualization. As always, the joy comes not just in the hearing, but also in the discussion that takes place around the message presented. We bring it to life!

With love,
Judy McGowan

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February 25, 2015
Dear Unity Friends,

In the latest issue of Unity Magazine in the department called “Sage and Savvy Voices” is an adaption of a 2014 radio interview with Matthew Fox. In my days of working at Christ Unity Church in Sacramento, I had the opportunity to hear Matthew Fox when he was invited to our church as a guest speaker. At the time, Mr. Fox was a Catholic Priest, who had been silenced by The Church for one year because of his radical teachings. But that day, when he got up to speak, the first words out of his mouth were, “Now, as I was saying —” 🙂 Mr. Fox, of course, now represents the Episcopal, rather than the Catholic Church. Known and respected around the world, I was so pleased to see him represented in our organization’s magazine, and would like to share some of his insights.

“Education has been a very important part of my focus for the past 40 years, and I feel strongly that we have to train a new generation in different ways. It’s not enough to put a book in a person’s hands. You have to include the body in the classroom as well. You have to include all the chakras, not just our left brains. We’ve found ways to do this that are not only effective, but also fun: dealing with clay, dance, music, poetry, or painting – not to produce an objet d’art, but to create a process where people get in touch with their deepest feelings, whether of joy and grace or suffering and grief. To get in touch with out creativity is to allow the creative spirit to move us to become a conduit for the spirit. Creativity is meditation too.”

Here at Unity of Inner Peace we study spiritual principles. This is what binds us together. But we also feature people from within the group and out in the community who are demonstrating the creative spirit in a multitude of ways. We can see, hear and feel the high voltage of energy that comes through them when they have connected with that which is theirs to allow, to receive, and to transmit/ to share. We love it because it resonates with something in us. We know it is a part of being truly alive. It affirms that which is in us as well. And it expands our world of possibilities.

So, I invite you to peruse our Sunday schedule as well as the announcements in our newsletter, to alert you to special moments both in our services and in the community.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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February 6, 2015
Hey Beloved Friends in Unity,

The weather is wintry, but don’t give us the cold shoulder! Come, and enjoy some warm discussion about your favorite Sunday morning subject – spirituality.
We’re having a discussion, which will be led by Steve Schmunk, our Board VP, who has submitted a few suggestions as to what direction this discussion may take. Consider the following:

“We talk often about spirituality, assuming that we’re working from a common definition of the concept. I’m guessing that if we discussed it more in depth, if we discussed:

  • what the concept of “spirituality’ means to us,
  • how much of our life it touches,
  • what kind of actions it dictates,
  • how much comfort it brings us, and
  • how our early experiences shaped our current concepts,

we would be surprised at the richness and variety we find in our midst!

In the area of personal spirituality, we are all experts. Please come and offer your particular expertise as we have what is sure to be a stimulating discussion, aided by some initial questions to get the wheels turning.”

Need I say more? So let’s don our hats, pull on our gloves, rev up our engines and circle around the – candle, as we joyously continue sharing our sacred path to enlightenment.

Oh, and don’t forget, that after the service we will have about a 20 minute annual meeting, during which time you will be invited to share any perceptions you have for improvement of Unity of Inner Peace.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 30, 2015
Dear Unity Friends,

Week after week we gather on Sunday mornings to have reignited in us what we already know at some level. Sometimes the information we hear sounds brand new, and yet there is a resonance there that says, “Yes,” and keeps us coming back. Sometimes the concepts seem so deep that we’re not even certain we’ve gotten the point, but as we question and hear responses, those ideas too begin to come to life. Those who are not ready for what they hear, may not return. Those for whom this is all old news, may move on. But the point is that we have created a center, a format for the deeper issues of life to be presented and digested for the sake of further growth, healing and understanding.

Recently I chose a book from my home library that seemed to pop out and say, “Pick me.” You know how that happens. It may be an old book that you read long ago, or one you purchased with the intention of reading “someday.” Funny how when that happens, it is just the right book for you at the moment. Recently, the book that popped out for me was, Finding What You Didn’t Lose by John Fox. The subtitle is “Expressing Your Truth and Creativity Through Poem-Making.” I had obviously read it at one time and found ideas that had touched me in some way. I am now re-reading the book and adding new highlighting to that which I had already done. But the one poem that has spoken to me more than all of the others thus far is one written by the author himself. It is called “When Someone Deeply Listens to You” and reads as follows:

When someone deeply listens to you
it is like holding out a dented cup
you’ve had since childhood
and watching it fill up with
cold, fresh water.
When it balances on top of the brim,
you are understood.
When it overflows and touches your skin,
you are loved.

The poem goes on, but it is this portion that grabs my heart. All of my life, spirituality has knocked at the door of my consciousness. Many environments are dry, not open to the life giving breezes of spiritual expression. Many are one-way, as the Sunday morning church service in which you listen quietly, then go home and think about what you have heard. But who is there to listen to your soul’s responses?

Why do I tell you all of this? Because in the circle of Unity of Inner Peace you will find a circle of listening, listening and sharing, sharing and listening. This is not a one-way Sunday morning service in which you quietly listen, then go home to think about what you have heard. This is a place where you are invited to present an idea of your own, to listen to others’ ideas, to question, to respond. This is a place where “someone deeply listens to you”, “where you are understood” and
“you are loved.” The door to spiritual consciousness is open. Won’t you come in?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 22, 2015
Dear Unity Friends and Supporters,

It never ceases to amaze me how the Marquette area is just teeming with highly intelligent, creative, active and expressive people. It is a pocket full of blessings for all of us who reside here. I say this as an introduction to this Sunday’s speaker – Diana Magnuson – who has chosen to share her passionate point of view with us in a talk entitled, “Eyes Wide Open, Resignation, Choices.”

In lieu of an introduction, we share the following information:

“Diana Magnuson is an artist who illustrates. She resides in Marquette, Michigan. She has 98 illustrated children’s books for educational and trade publishers in her resume, including numerous illustrations for Dungeons and Dragons as well as past commercial work for The Wall Street Journal in her advertising days. Two of her illustrated children’s books, Trail of Tears and Home on the Range, are available as part of the Smithsonian Institute and Native American Museum DC bookstores.
Her emerging artistic style reflects a focus on nature using allegorical realism. She, along with her husband, Jon Magnuson, are environmental activists and members of their local faith community.”

So, I encourage you to join us as we circle up with energy and enthusiasm to show our appreciation for the gift of Diana’s presence. And afterward, ahhh,
POT LUCK!

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

(Samples of Diana’s illustrations can be found at www.dianamagnuson.com and on the cover of the Dec. 2014 issue of Marquette Monthly.)

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January 17, 2015
Dear Friends in Unity,

Close your eyes, breathe, and as your eyes are closed, concentrate your attention on a star of light in the distance. Your inner world gets brighter and brighter until the point of light has disappeared, and all is light. You are having a transcendent experience in which the Human and the Divine are One.

This is a moment with Eric Butterworth, in which we, via audio tape, place ourselves in his Basic Laws of Cosmic Power workshop. Our subject this Sunday is “The Art of Concentration.”

Butterworth says, “Learning is what you have left after all you have heard.” Won’t you come to discover what “learning” is yours?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 8, 2015
Hi All,

Most likely the trees are down, the goodies eaten, the thank yous written, and in spite of frigid temperatures, the hearts warmed. So we can now come back to Unity fully recharged and ready for our next “growth spurt.”

One of the things we strive for is to make our time together worthwhile by having lessons or speakers that really expand our perceptions and awareness. This Sunday’s shared reading and discussion of the book, Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller, chapter, #4, “On Being Human,” offers scientific principles, not just “Sunday School principles” on what we are, what makes life work and why. What more intriguing discussion can there be? And because each of you has a unique point of view, your presence and insights contribute to the evolution of us all.

Looking forward to seeing YOU.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 1, 2015
Dearest Friends in Unity,

What a show is going on before my eyes. As I sit thinking about what to write, mindlessly staring out of the window, suddenly, from the seeming void appears activity. Snowflakes. No surprise there, but now, watching mindfully, I realize that watching the snow is like watching a vignette of our lives. First there is stillness, then the “weather” begins – calmly at first, then blowing a bit sideways, then letting up as the crystallized bits appear to dance in place. But behind the scenes, the wind is inhaling, before exhaling with such force that where moments before there had been little fluff balls, suddenly black horizontal lines streak past like wild horses. But, ah! Just as quickly as it all commenced, it halts. The sun breaks through, the world shimmers, and I sit back in wonder at the beauty of it all. Human cycles, weather cycles, it’s all one.

While visiting a friend in California recently, I found these framed words on her wall: “A laugh is a smile that bursts.” That – is the kind of “weather” I’d like around me in 2015. How about you?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 19, 2014
Dear Unity Merry Makers,

May the wonder of the season be present as we gather together this Sunday for our yearly Christmas celebration — music, words of Spirit, love, laughter and good food as we give thanks for the life of Jesus the Christ and his inheritance to us.

Service at 10:00, followed by POTLUCK. YOU are invited. YOU are important.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 12, 2014
Hi All,

It is the season of wonder, and it would appear that we have a mystic in our midst. That would be Roslyn Elena McGrath, who earlier this year told us a bit about her two newly published books. This Sunday she has consented to return to share with us the life of her work at greater depth. In her own words, Roslyn says the following:

“We will tap into the wisdom of the group,
as sparked and supported by the Third Mary and the archetypal goddess energies,
by interacting with The Third Mary and Goddess Heart Rising
opening to the insights that evolve within us individually and as a group.”

Lest we jump into that immediately, we will first take a breath by having an introduction. Later, to further satiate our ever present curiosities, we will have some time for questions and answers.

Do come and join us as we enrich our souls with the uniqueness of this experience.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 5, 2014
Hi All,

It’s good to be back in town, and I can hardly wait for this Sunday’s presentation. Our very own Steve Schmunk, who so graciously held down the fort while David and I were in California, has selected as his subject, “Juiciness of Judgment.” As an explanation, Steve entices us with the following:

“I believe we talk about what we need to bring to our own attention, and I’ve spent entirely too much time in my life ‘passing judgment!’ So I’m going to talk about the compelling nature of judgment, the purpose it serves on a less obvious level, the effect it has on others and the impact it has on us.”

As you may or may not know, several years ago, Steve, along with his wife Ann, served as co-Board Presidents for our Unity group. Currently, Steve is serving as our Board Vice-President. He is also the creator of our web site. So that you may know more about this remarkable man among us, I would like to share the following information about him:

Steve “was born and raised in the Chicago area but made many trips to the U.P. from infancy on, visiting family in Munising. Since earning engineering degrees and a teaching certificate from Michigan Tech, Steve has had various careers, including oilfield engineer in Africa, Apple Computer store owner in Hancock, school health consultant in Marquette, environmental engineer in St. Paul, and now education/technology consultant here in Marquette. He reports that one trait that has remained constant throughout these stages is his desire to reflect on and explore the mysteries of life, and how those impact the day to day working of human relationships.”

Hoping YOU will be with us this Sunday to contribute your energy to what is sure to be both an enriching and thought-provoking morning.

Lovingly,
Judy

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November 14, 2014
To Our Ever Loving Circle,

This Sunday we will continue to study the book Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller. When we began, the person leading the discussion presented an overview of the introduction and Chapter One. However, the consensus of opinion is that though that style might work with most books, here we found that each and every word written was both interesting and important to our understanding. We wanted it all! So last month we changed our style. We passed the book around the circle, with each person reading a paragraph, stopping for comments or discussion at will, until we had concluded. This was a great success, and the decision was to continue in this way. So this Sunday, we will study Chapter 3, “How Not to Work for a Living.”

My advice – Don’t let the title be off-putting. You will learn how a pact with God changed this brilliant man’s life forever, and how it stands as an example of Divine Principles at work.

We invite you to join us on Sunday as we share our thoughts, our energy, our Selves.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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October 31, 2014
One and All,

One of the members of Unity’s circle came to me recently with a book that had moved him profoundly, had acted as a teacher for him in his desire to be a more loving human being. His thought had been that perhaps the circle could use this book as our next choice for study and discussion – for an even deeper recognition of our innate ability to love, for an even greater awareness of when we are being gifted with love, and how we in turn can be the givers of the gift of love. I think he’s on to something. Each time a concept is approached from a different point of view, we are awakened once again. Thank you, Brandon.

As this is the month of conscious Thanks-giving, I’d like to quote a few lines from this book.

“A moment of enlightenment is a moment when we realize the blessings that are always pouring forth. We are, by nature, endowed with qualities of absolute goodness – purest love, compassion, wisdom, and tranquility. Those radiant qualities are intrinsic to our being. A moment of enlightenment is the moment that we newly notice such blessings as having been all around us, and within us, from the beginning. Whenever we are ready to notice, we can sense their healing, liberating energy pouring forth right here, right now.”

“That radiant blessing of love has been coming to us from the start, not just from a few people close to us, but also from many not personally known to us or forgotten.”

“It’s important to be mindful that benefactors need not be infallible or perfect people. Just allow yourself to become newly aware of moments when someone’s unreserved love came to you – through a kind word, a gesture, a smile or a comforting presence. Try to recall someone like that from your childhood right now. Envision his or her smiling presence before you. Recall how good it felt to be near that person .. that is what it is like to receive love.”

May this month of Thanksgiving be one of enlightenment for you. The world longs for your blessing.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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October 24, 2014
Unity Friends,

One of our favorite speakers is coming back again. Craig Teed is both politically informed and spiritually inspired, a man of many talents and an original thinker. His topic will be “Faith and Reason: Two Vital Spiritual Tools.”

Craig Teed is a retired Unitarian Minister and mental health counselor, holds degrees in history and theology. He and his wife Shirley live in Marquette, where he works part-time as a tour guide at the Marquette Maritime Museum.

We look forward to this Sunday morning treat, as Craig always grabs our consciousness in ways that are unforgettable. And, to top it all off, this — is POTLUCK SUNDAY!

And speaking of being fed, it is remarkable how each person’s presence enriches the others in the circle, and we are grateful. I invite you to give and receive that blessing.

Lovingly,
Judy

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October 17, 2014
Oh, Fortunate, Fortunate Us,

This Sunday is book discussion Sunday, with Steve Schmunk as our leader. Our book, Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller: How to Let the Universe Work for You! is about the life and work of an amazing American man – scientist, inventor, speaker, writer. We have chosen this book to study because it records the outcome of a life lived in complete faith to a pact Fuller made with God. It is full of quotes from “Bucky” himself, but also commentary by Phillip Pierson, Unity minister. If I were to subtitle this book myself, I might use the words, Nuggets from a Great Mind.

Bucky went from a moment of contemplating suicide to becoming a man of universally recognized accomplishments. How did he do it? Come join us this Sunday as we read and discuss together Chapter 2, “Bucky’s Pact.” It contains a message for all of us.

Loving Fall, Loving You,
Judy McGowan

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October 10, 2014
Dear Unity Circle Friends,

This Sunday we will continue with the audio tape series. “Basic Laws of Cosmic Power” by Eric Butterworth. Butterworth is one of the all time greatest teachers of Unity thought. To amplify that statement, I would like to share with you a portion of the introduction written to the new 40th anniversary edition of his book, Discover the Power Within You. The following are the words of Maya Angelou who wrote the introduction:

” I first heard of Eric Butterworth back in 1955. At that time I was a performer based in San Francisco. My voice teacher happened to be a lay minister at the local Unity Church. He took me to his church the first time and I never left.
In the 60s, I moved to New York and attended the Unity Church where Butterworth was senior minister. Back then, the church met at the town hall on W. 43rd St. He became my teacher, and is now and shall remain, dead or alive, one of my teachers. Years later, Butterworth telephoned me and asked me to come back to New York to speak, and then, in 2003 when he died, I returned once more to give the eulogy at his memorial.
What I found so compelling in Butterworths’s teachings…………………….”

We hope you will join us this Sunday as we continue to hear what messages Maya Angelou and others found so compelling, so valuable to their life process.

Always lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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October 2, 2014
Dear Unity Circle of Friends,

I must confess that I’ve had a little difficulty deciding what to write about this month. My mind didn’t seem to want to settle down. However, just before going to sleep last night, the following words popped into my head: “Nothing is complete until the thank you(s) are said.” And I responded, “Well, of course. That’s it. How can I go forward in my thinking until I’ve completed what has occupied my mind and our Unity activity so powerfully this past year, this past month? The Bishop Spong weekend/event. And what is it that has yet to be done to make it complete? The expressions of gratitude, of course.

In my desk, I have drawers devoted to nothing but greeting cards. I love buying them when I see something that touches me, and choosing exactly which one serves an occasion. Some cards I’ve bought in duplicate because I simply cannot bear to lose track of the sentiment. Today, as I was rummaging through those drawers, I came across one of my all time favorites that speaks to today’s theme. It reads:

“Everyone needs recognition for his accomplishments,
but few people make the need known quite as clearly as
the little boy who said to his father:
“Let’s play darts. I’ll throw and you say wonderful!”

In case you have not already heard, the event was a huge success, with people in attendance coming up to us and exclaiming with overwhelming enthusiasm, “Thank you so much for inviting him to come. It was absolutely amazing!

And so, not because they have asked for it but because it feels so good to do so ,

To All who participated In Any Way
to make the event what it was, I now,
on behalf of the Spong planning committee, say loudly and clearly
“WONDERFUL!” THANK YOU! YOU MADE IT HAPPEN!

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 26, 2014
Dear Unity Circle,

We continue our expansion of spiritual understanding with the discussion of a new book, Metaphysics of Buckminster Fuller: How to Let the Universe Work for You. When we think Buckminster Fuller, the geodesic dome pops into our heads. But he was so much more. According to our author/commentator, long time Unity minister Phillip Pierson, “Bucky” can be described in the following way:

“You have only to read one of the biographies that have been written about Bucky to realize that he is probably the most unique and gifted man to ever walk the face of the earth. That is a big statement but I have read may biographies and I know of no one like Bucky. Who else has been called to talk to heads of States around the world, to Presidents and Boards of our largest corporations, to an international conference of surgeons, to over 400 universities around the world, to gatherings of the world’s leading scientists, to so many diverse leadership groups around the world. They all wanted to hear his exciting and inspired view of our universe, and how we can live in it successfully.”

We will begin our monthly discussion with the introduction and Chapter I, “Bucky’s God.” Books will be available for purchase. We hope you will join us.

In addition, this is POTLUCK SUNDAY. Let’s make it a Festival of Fun.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 18, 2014
Dear Unity Circle,

This Sunday will be a time of high vibration. In fact, for those who know this Sunday’s speaker, know that Helen Haskell Remien and the term high vibration are synonymous!

When asked for a brief bio and description of her Sunday’s presentation, she sent the following. I will quote it for you and then need say no more. Helen is expression personified.

“Finding Your Way Home”

“Right now the wind has picked up and the temperature has dropped twenty degrees in the last three hours. The sun shines; the clouds blow in; the rain falls; the sun breaks through. It is lively and ever-shifting, this humming drumming world we live in. And how do we find our stability, how do we remain grounded as the winds of change blow around us and through us? How do we find that place inside that is welcoming and warm and free from the outer winds of distraction, that place where we know that we are indeed home?”

“Join Helen Haskell Remien, yoga teacher, writer, lover of stories and laughter and proprietor of Joy Center as we settle into the moment and explore the topic of Finding Our Way Home.”

I will be among those eagerly present. How about you?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 11, 2014
Good morning Unity friends,

This will be a quicky. As you all know, this is the big Spong weekend. Sunday, however, will find the Unity folks back in their usual places at the Women’s Federated Clubhouse. We were scheduled to listen to a Butterworth audio tape, but with all the excitement of the day before still occupying our minds, it has been suggested that instead of listening to the tape, that we have a discussion of what we experienced at the Spong lectures. We will be prepared for either, and will go with the decision of the folks present. Wanted you to know in case this enters into your decision to attend or not.

Hoping to see you many times over the weekend. Come early to the lectures to be assured of a seat.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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September 1, 2014
To Our Ever-Expanding Circle,

It would seem that not everyone who attends Unity for the first time is ready to sit in a circle where everyone sees everyone else and where everyone has a say. Ultimately they either embrace it and return, or they depart for “safer” regions, places where they can be anonymous. Those who stay feel richly rewarded.

Years ago we chose to sit in a circle to create an outward symbol of equality rather than hierarchy. It allows us the opportunity to see and be seen, to hear and be heard — equally. By doing so we feel empowered and also gain a sense of trust, both of one another and in the integrity of our own words.

Back when I was in college, taking education courses, we were asked to ponder some interesting questions. One was, “When do people learn the most?” The most memorable answer was, “When they are positive they are right, only to find out that they are wrong!” Another was, that lecture alone is the least effective method of learning. Involvement, or hands on provide a far greater learning experience.

Bishop Spong in the Q & A section of one of his weekly newsletters made the following response to a young man who wanted to know what materials would best prepare him to be an effective preacher. Here is part of his answer: ” People do not have the proper setting in worship to process the things that you would be saying. They cannot in that setting disagree with you verbally, they cannot ask questions, they cannot object. This means ultimately that they cannot really learn in that setting. Churches need to offer their people a format for learning. In my opinion this will be a classroom setting, in which questions and challenges are welcomed and in which things can be explained over and over again, ideas repeated and consensus built. A worship service with a preacher behind an elevated pulpit speaking to worshippers sitting below is not that kind of place.”

So, why to I say these things? Is it to toot our own horn? No, rather it is to give affirmation of our Sunday morning style. We meet, we interact, we learn, we go home feeling elevated by our experience. And we are grateful. You, are welcome to join us.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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August 21, 2014
Dear Unity Members and Friends,

In case you don’t already know it, we have amongst our group of Sunday morning regulars, some very bright and warm hearted people. Such is our speaker this Sunday, Bob Lamb. Bob is a man of depth and intrigue, who also happens to have a great sense of humor and delivers a mean folk song.

Bob received his PH. D. in clinical psychology in 1967, was chief psychologist at the Marquette Mental Health Center for three years, and has been in private practice since 1972. His focus is on
“emotional awareness,
finding individual vital purpose in life &
quality management of one’s being.”

Bob’s chosen subject for this Sunday is “Inner Morality,” which he defines as having a clear inner dialogue with different parts of oneself.

We have found that one of Bob’s most endearing qualities is his willingness to be a cheerleader, either publicly or privately, whenever he perceives an individual coming into focus with the Truth of his or her own Being. He affirms the reality of their spiritual growth process, letting them know what he admires, even at times what he’d like to emulate, something we can all appreciate.

Ah, Sunday morning, a time to hear and be heard. Hoping to see You there.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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August 14, 2014
Dear Unity Friends and Friends of Unity,

It is with great pleasure that we welcome this Sunday’s speaker – Craig Teed. Over the years, when his schedule permitted, Craig has shared with us his brilliant mind – his scholarship, passion and creativity – and this Sunday he has consented to share with us what has drawn his attention as of late. Those of you who read the Mining Journal know they recently published his “op ed” (opinion editorial) written in response to the Bobby Glenn Brown issue that has galvanized attention in the UP. The title of his talk, “Homosexuality Neither Sick Nor Immoral,” speaks to that issue and beyond.

Craig Teed is a retired Unitarian minister and mental health counselor, holds degrees in history and theology. He and his wife Shirley live in Marquette, where he works part-time as a tour guide at the Marquette Maritime Museum.

Won’t you come and expand your consciousness on this subject? Increasing our knowledge benefits us directly, and better enables us to be objective in discussions with others.

Also, don’t forget that this is POTLUCK SUNDAY! It always both honors and pleases our guest speakers when they are invited to food and conversation after the service, so
BRING YOUR BEST and be prepared to relax and enjoy.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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August 7, 2014
Hi All,

Has summer arrived yet? These 50 degree mornings have us all wondering! But regardless of meteorological conditions, the weather remains the same on Sunday mornings at Unity of Inner Peace — always warm and welcoming.

This Sunday we will continue with our DVD Series, The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience; Lecture 11, “Religion and Mental Health.” We will be considering, from a scientific standpoint, the relationship between religion and mental health, and how and why religion or spirituality can be beneficial or detrimental to mental health. We are offered nuggets of information, gleaned from research, which provide us with material for both personal consideration and group discussion.

With all of that held in mind, we hope YOU will choose to help heat up the circle this Sunday morning.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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July 29, 2014
Unity Circle of Friends,

The issue of full acceptance of people with sexual orientation differences has been more and more in the news, even becoming part of the agenda of the Supreme Court. As a spokesperson for Unity of Inner Peace, I have felt the promptings to make a statement regarding Worldwide Unity’s stance on this issue. With the recent catalyst of St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Marquette stripping one of its own active members of his responsibilities in their church because he participated in a commitment ceremony with his long time male partner, and this de-activation being backed by the church hierarchy, it appears that this is the time. I do not know Bobby Glenn Brown, only of him through all the public responses to what has taken place, but I have come to regard him as a lead actor in the play called Spiritual Evolution.

Recently I wrote to Phillip Pierson, long time Unity minister and our study group’s mentor, on this issue. This is what I wrote: “According to a statement of belief printed in Unity Magazine awhile back, ‘…..it is imperative that our ministries and outreaches be free of discrimination on the basis of race, color, gender, age, creed, religion, national origin, ethnicity, physical disability or sexual orientation.’ In another Unity magazine, there was an article written by a gay man who claimed that homosexual acts described in the Bible were acts of power, violence and control They did not describe loving relationships. So my question to you as mentor and representative of Unity – are you aware of openly gay people, either men or women, who are serving in leadership capacities in the Unity organization? I would hope the answer is yes, that this is not just a paper policy, but I do not want to assume.”

Phil responded, ” I am so happy to tell you that the Unity ministry is loaded with gay ministers. The President of the Board of Unity School, who I told you just represented Unity at Maya Angelous’ Celebration Service, is gay. We have male and female gays in leadership and they are received very well. There have always been gay folks in the Unity movement, almost from its earliest days.”

No one can tell you what you must believe, but as people who participate in the Unity of Inner Peace Study Group in one capacity or another, now you know where Unity as a worldwide organization stands.

Peacefully and lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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July 24, 2014
Come One, Come All,

Sounds like a call to the circus, but it is really a call to join in a guaranteed lively morning because Bill Waters will be our presenter.

Recently Bill stated that his favorite quality is “curiosity.” Now we will all have the opportunity to discover what Bill’s curiosity has revealed on his chosen subject for the morning ——
“ETERNITY – It’s NOW. It’s F O R E V E R!”

Think of the morning’s message as the drop of love, laughter and peace which the world so needs. See us, the receivers, as the ripple effect, as we carry this Word, this vital energy ever farther away from center. A circle, a cycle of wonder.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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July 17, 2014
Dear Unity Circle, both regulars and friends,

It is our annual Sunday away from the Women’s Clubhouse, and Militza and John English have once again offered their home and their lovely yard for this service. Our featured speaker will be their long time friend, psychologist, Allyn Roberts. Roberts is a native of Marquette and comes back each summer to his home on Middle Island Point. As in the past, Allyn prefers not to lecture, but rather to be available for any questions you might like to ask. This leads to some lively discussion. The service will be followed by our monthly POTLUCK.

So join us for a morning of congeniality and spiritual focus at the home of
Militza and John English
450 East Ohio
Marquette
(906-225-1561)

The service will be in the yard, weather permitting. There will be some yard chairs available, but it would be wise to bring your own.
In case of inclement weather, we will move inside.

We hope you will join us for a zestful and enriching morning.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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July 10, 2014
Unity Circle of Friends,

This Sunday we will continue with our audio series by Eric Butterworth. Rev. Butterworth (1916-2003) is one of the most prominent names in Unity speakers and writers. The following are some quotes from the web site ericbutterworth.com:

“Eric Butterworth served as minister, author, and radio personality. He earned high respect for his delivery of universal spiritual ideas. His teaching focused on the divinity of all people, and his desire was that everyone would know their oneness with God.

Butterworth ministered in four Unity communities: Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Detroit and New York City. While in Detroit, the congregation raised funds to build the Detroit Unity Temple, the largest Unity church at that time. More than 2,000 people attended his Sunday services each week. In 1961, he began his ministry in New York City. His Sunday lectures were held at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and then Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, where the weekly attendance grew to several thousand.

Butterworth authored 14 popular religious books, including Discover the Power Within You and Spiritual Economics.

People from various religious backgrounds were attracted to Butterworth’s positive message. Oprah Winfrey praised Discover the Power Within You and said it was the most favored book in her personal library. Dr. Maya Angelou called Butterworth her ‘teacher.’ Butterworth dedicated his life to helping people to help themselves.”

It is a privilege to hear Eric Butterworth deliver his messages to us via these audio tapes. In addition, for those who wish to read his books, Unity of Inner Peace has donated three of Butterworth’s books to the Peter White Public Library.

Do join us if you are in town on Sunday. We are always the richer for your company and shared ideas.

Lovingly,

Judy McGowan

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June 30, 2014
Dear Unity Truth Students,

As you know, Renaissance woman, Maya Angelou recently made her transition. I fell in love with Maya and her writing way back in the late 70s, early 80s when I first read her book I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, the autobiography of her life from childhood through her teens. It is a rough story, one of her being raped as a young girl, to the birth of her son out of wedlock, but it is also full of humor and profound honesty. Even now as I re-read the portion about her and her brother having an uncontrollable laughing fit in church, the language used, the word picture painted, makes me laugh all over again, reminding me of the “trial” of sitting through adult church services when I myself was in confirmation class as a young person.

So it is with a sense of grateful affirmation that I just read on Unity’s website the following announcement:

“Unity Institute and Seminary awarded its first Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree posthumously to Dr. Maya Angelou, a Unity student for more than 50 years. Dr. Angelou was a member of the Unity Institute Advisory Board. She made her transition May 28th.”

May I suggest that if you have not already done so, you go on the Web to find the most wonderful interviews with her. Here you will hear about how her voice coach, Mr. Frederick Wilkerson, invited her to a Unity meeting, and had her read out loud from Unity’s Lessons in Truth the words, “God loves me,” over and over again until she was overcome with a profound knowing that it was true. Even in a recent interview with Oprah, for whom she had been a mentor, she still teared up, remembering. These three words thus guided her life and led her to say, “I can do anything and do it well because God loves me, and I am amazed at it and grateful for it.” She defined God as an undeniable Presence behind all that is Good.

Let us celebrate together the life and legacy of a dear sister, born Marguerite Johnson, who became Maya Angelou the unforgettable.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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June 25, 2014
Unity Circle (Don’t you love that? We’re a circle of teachers and students, givers and receivers, constantly changing roles.)

It is with great joy that I send a reminder about this Sunday’s service. It is a reminder but also an invitation to participate in what will be a special hour of your life. Why do I say that? Because our speaker/presenter this Sunday is Garee Zellmer – who though a student and teacher, as are we all, is also a facilitator – an organizational and process consultant and executive and life coach. She is a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute’s Coaching and Leadership programs as well as many other programs, and she is going to stimulate us to “Process Our Way Through Life.”

Garee describes the event in this way:
We often know WHAT we want and WHY we want it, but often get stuck with HOW can I get “from here to there.”

Over the years, I have become a “collector” of tools, strategies, protocols, processes, guidelines and other formulas that have provided guidance to me for everyday living. These have allowed me to continually connect (and reconnect) with Source and to reach for my goal of JOY and feeling good. In my talk on Sunday, I will share some of the resources and ways I have used them.”

Garee “lives, works and plays in Marquette and loves taking back roads to visit other parts of the world including locations where her children and grandchildren live.”

Working with Garee in the past has proven to be life altering, both for those present, and for those with whom we cannot help but share her message, the insights gained.

Please consider joining us. The lesson will be a gift to you, and your presence will be a gift to all.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan
OH YES. AND DON’T FORGET POTLUCK, a time to eat, talk, laugh and learn.

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May 22, 2014
Unity, a Circle of Light and Love,

Just as leaves are beginning to burst forth from trees and shrubs, and dormant plants are beginning to rise from the earth once again, so after such a long winter, you may be longing to burst forth from the confines of closed in shelters of any kind. But do remember that Unity is still there every Sunday, and we hope that you will consider balancing nature with the nurture of our consciousness raising hour.

We are getting close to the end of our discussion of the book The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom by anthropologist, Angeles Arrien. Each chapter reads like a separate book, so if you have missed any of our discussions so far, it really makes no difference. You will not feel lost coming in at this point. We will be discussing the chapter entitled “The Natural Gate” which contains such thoughts as :
“At the Natural Gate, we are encouraged to come home to our natural rhythm and our internal sanctuary.”
“In our later years, there is a deep desire to simplify our lives and to return to the enjoyment of our childhood explorations of the natural world. We recognize that it feeds our souls.”
“Another challenge at the Natural Gate is learning the difference between being alone and loneliness. Being alone without the comfort offered by silence and nature can generate isolation, depression and loneliness.”
“We need to consider who and what make us happy, and who and what makes us laugh. They are healing agents in our lives.”

Always you are a part of us, always you are welcome.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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May 14, 2014
A special “heads up” to all you Unity circle regulars and friends,

This Sunday we will be opening a surprise package! Of course, this is figuratively speaking, but what it means is that we will be blessed with the opportunity to share a new experience! New Thought singer/ songwriter/ speaker Cathy Bolton will be with us to weave her magic through both song and the spoken word. Cathy has worked with musical groups, but her solo career is what has gained her the most recognition. She has released 9 recordings, and her song “Dream Your Eagle,” putting to music the poem of her dear friend Dennis Weaver, was considered for a Grammy. Cathy is also Music Minister for THE CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD FOUNDATION.
Cathy has spoken and performed in concerts and churches throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, The Netherlands and Germany. Because she is currently caring for her aging mother here in the UP, she has offered to come to Marquette to share time and talents with us. We gladly accepted the gift!

We will be holding our monthly POTLUCK right after the service, where there will be time to talk with Cathy, and, for those interested, to purchase her CDs.
Do bring an extra large “pot” of food, so that if we have extra guests from the community, we will be “lucky” enough to have a generous amount of food to share.

So hoping to see you there…..

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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May 8, 2014
Friends in Unity,

Remember that newsletter column I wrote for March in which you were invited to explore the potency of going into the silence and creating a word list which describes your knowing of another person? This Sunday we hope to hear some of those words which you would use to describe your mother. In fact, I’m suddenly reminded of the old song, “M is for the million things she gave me
O means only that she’s growing old
T is for the tears she shed to save me
H is for her heart of purest gold
E is for her eyes with love light shining
R means right and right she’ll always be
Put them all together, they spell MOTHER
A word that means the world to me.”

Maybe your words and thoughts will not be as “poetic” – thoughts about our mothers can range from rapture to rage – but whatever our experiences, we learned from them important lessons contributing to the wonderful people we are today.

We hope you will join us on Sunday, and if you are so led, share a word that you feel best describes your mother, or even an experience which illustrates the spiritual gift she was in your life. And, if you have a photo you’d like to share, bring that too. Photos are so interesting and and such fun.

Happy Mother’s Day One and All.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 30, 2014
Dear Circle of Friends,

I don’t know about you, but I feel as though I’ve been invited to observe a birth. It is Mother Earth who is pregnant, and I do believe she is over due!

We here at Unity go through our own pregnancies, as each month seed ideas are planted, fertilized, gestated until – voila! – a new entity is birthed before our eyes.

This month we are especially excited about our Mother’s Day service, to which we are asking you to bring a photo of your mom, and, if you are willing, to share with us some spiritual lessons you perceive you have learned from her.

Then, on the 18th, we have a very special event. Cathy Bolton, Singer-Songwriter-International Recording Artist and Music Minister for THE CONVERSATIONS WITH GOD FOUNDATION will share with us a spiritual message through both music and the spoken word.

Won’t you join us to celebrate the birth of spring and our Unity “babies” as well.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 24, 2014
Unity Circle of Friends,

How do you enter a book discussion when you’ve neither read the book nor been present for the discussion of previous chapters? Answer – just show up! Each chapter stands alone.

This Sunday we will continue with discussion of cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien’s, The Second Half of Life -Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom. In the foreword to her book, Arriens states, “There are times when life sharpens, things come in to focus, and gradually you become aware that you are standing before a threshold.” Our chapter for this month is “The Bone Gate”, the threshold of Authenticity, Character and Wisdom.
“The primary question is, how and why do we avoid becoming who we truly are? What gets in the way of trusting ourselves completely? Under what circumstances do we deceive ourselves?”
“At the Bone Gate, we develop the self- regard to be true to who we are, unwilling to compromise our integrity in order to satisfy the expectations of others or win their approval. We know our behavior is authentic when we can consistently say what we mean, do what we say, and say what’s so when it’s so.”

Now if that isn’t food for deep thought and honest discussion, I don’t know what is. We hope you will join us, with wise woman Militza English as our guide. Remember, just as with the passing of the candle, you may sit in silence or contribute your own words of insight.

And, IT’S POTLUCK SUNDAY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 18, 2014
Unity Circle and Friends,

Easter, the day of Resurrection!
Won’t you come and celebrate?
the rising out of winter
the rising out of doubt
the rising of the sun
the Son
Our Way Shower.

Our Way Shower
the Son
the rising of the sun
the rising out of doubt
the rising out of winter
Won’t you come and celebrate?
Easter, the Day of Resurrection!

==> And do remember that you are invited to bring a dessert to share, in honor of the kid in all of us. HAPPY EASTER! <==

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 10, 2014
Unity Circle of Members and Friends,

Our Unity Circle is made up of people of diverse Christian backgrounds – not just personal backgrounds, but faith backgrounds. Some have been Catholic, some Lutheran, Mormon, etc. We all are at different places in our Spiritual Evolution and thus have different perspectives on the life of Jesus, different ways of perceiving and understanding the meaning of the gift of this great Being.

This Sunday, we will be the recipients of the understanding of Gail Razavi, as she presents the conclusion of her three part play, entitled, “The Gospel According to Mary, the Mother of Jesus. The Sacred Feminine.”

Won’t you join us for this special service of story and music, of passion.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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April 2, 2014
Dear Unity Circle and Friends,

Those of you who have been involved with Unity of Inner Peace for awhile now, know that when our founding minister, Ruth Singer, retired, we as a group decided we would go it alone, no ordained Unity Minister, no Licensed Unity Teachers. What we did have was a group of people passionate about the New Thought teachings of Unity and a great desire to continue the life of Unity of Inner Peace in Marquette. We had a member who was ordained in another church, and people of deep and varied experience willing to share the wisdom gleaned along their own spiritual paths. We had volunteers galore to both run and attend our services and studies.

But not unlike what happens in many small groups, fatigue set in, as well as the desire to branch out and explore other callings. We shrank in numbers, to put it bluntly.

But cycles do occur, and since last September, both interest and energy have been rising once again. We have not only welcomed new people into our midst, but some who took a sabbatical, so to speak, are returning once again to this place in which they feel seen, heard and nourished.

It is with that in mind that I have asked for and received permission to print a lovely and inspiring letter written by one of our members who not only recently returned from such a sabbatical, but who expressed a desire to serve as a member of The Board. Her reasons for this willingness were presented in the form of a letter – to Unity.
“Dear Unity,
You are like that small candle that sits on the windowsill of home. Your flame glows softly, steadily – visible on those long, cold, dark winter nights. In your subtle way, you offer illumination to those searching for a spiritual path. You offer travelers shelter in your warmth, openness, and friendship. You are a way station for explorers needing to stop and rest before traveling on.
You mean all those things to me and more.
Pardon my absence! I have been away awhile – attending to other paths and needs in my own spiritual journey. That doesn’t mean you haven’t been in heart and mind. I’ve thought about you – and often.
At this time – and with the permission of those here – I am called to assist – with others – in tending to your flame.
Ann”

As this is Easter month, I cannot help but see in this letter, this attitude, a resurrection. I feel a resurrection happening for Unity of Inner Peace, and an affirmation of what it stands for.

We do indeed, “welcome you with love and peace.”

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 27, 2014
All of those drawn to Unity,

Sunday’s talk is titled, “What is Eden Energy Medicine?”

As Unity students we have for years been hearing that we are Energy Beings living in an Energy Universe, and as such we have the ability to direct that energy for better or for worse. Barbara Dupras, our speaker for this Sunday, not only knows this, but has a passion for directing energy toward positive outcomes and assisting others in doing the same.

For those of you who don’t know Barb, or would simply like to know more about her, we can say that, “Barb Dupras’s passion for the past 20 years has been energy healing. She has received training in Healing Touch, Reiki, La Ho Chi, Devas Healing, Transformational Bodywork, and Soul Body Fusion. In 2010 she retired from her Social Work job and began studying Eden Energy Medicine. This year she has completed the 2 year Certification Program in Phoenix, Arizona and would like to share some of the things she has learned in her experiences.”

Barb says:
“In this presentation I will explain what energy medicine is and the reasons why using it in today’s world is so important. We will also learn simple ways to use our own bodies’ energies to improve our lives. Hopefully this talk will give you a new perspective on this subtle infrastructure of our own bodies, how well it serves us and how we can work with it.”

Barb’s work affirms The Vision Statement of Unity of Inner Peace; “Our vision is a healed world.” Won’t you join us this Sunday as together we open to this way of healing?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

****************Don’t forget, this is also POT LUCK Sunday. Come and share your best with your Unity family! *******************

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March 21, 2014
Unity and Friends,

It’s DVD this Sunday the 23rd, the day when we haul out our wonderful large TV for the purpose of viewing the seventh in our series titled “The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience.” Number seven focuses on “The Myth Making Brain.” We can all think of myths created in the past, however, we learn here that we create myths all the time. Why, how, when? What actually is a myth? What happens in the brain as this is going on? What are the feelings that go along with the myth creating process? Perhaps as a Unity group, we are discarding some of the myths of the past. What myths are we creating in their place? Why? Perhaps you, as do I, will find this both fun and important to contemplate.

Also this Sunday, we are going to have that promised election of Board members. We will introduce each candidate and you can write a yes or no, or even move that the whole slate be accepted. Some people have already been serving, some are fresh volunteers. Voting, we can remind ourselves as we look around the world, is a privilege. Let’s be grateful together.

And last but not least, those of you who attend on a regular basis know that we have one little (only in physical stature) person who steals our hearts week after week. Psi Young will celebrate his second birthday on Sunday. Happy Birthday, Psi.

Til Sunday when we share our minds and hearts……..

Lovingly,
Judy

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March 14, 2014
Dear Unity Friends,

This Sunday we continue our study and discussion of Angeles Arrien’s book The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom. Our chapter is “The Rustic Gate – Creativity , Service and Generativity.”

“The Rustic Gate is the gate of generativity. To generate is to initiate, to inspire, and to originate something that is meaningful, hopeful, and sustainable for ourselves and others. In generativity we become mentors and stewards. We give back to our families and communities, sharing our wisdom, experience and passion, and leaving a legacy.”
“Exemplary individuals are driven by meaning rather than ambition.”
“The ultimate task at the Rustic Gate is to create, generate and serve meaningfully so that our lives can become our message.”

And if we don’t? What happens when our generativity is blocked? That too is covered in the chapter. We learn terms like “acedia – indifference, without care, spiritual indifference, apathy;” “walking the procession of the living dead – soul loss, depression, stagnation.”

As I’ve said before, this book is so powerful, and remember it specifically addresses, in developmental stages, the second half of life. It helps us address where we are, where we might like to be, and why.

Looking forward to having you join us in this very meaty discussion.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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March 7, 2014
Unity Folks,

What a pleasure and privilege it is to have Roslyn McGrath as our speaker this Sunday. She has chosen as her title, “Living Your Soul’s Design. From No to Yes,” and she is the perfect example of her own subject choice. Roslyn has been a Unity participant for many years, even serving as our Board President. She was also the creator of a monthly magazine called Harmony Bridge for which she invited local people such as myself to find and express our voices. When asked for a brief biography which would serve as an introduction to some and an update for others, she shared this third person view of her path:

“Since being moved to reconnect with her true sense of self as part of recovering from a health challenge in 1993, Roslyn has continued to build a life based on an ever-increasing sense of purpose. She is a visionary artist, healer, channel, workshop facilitator and the publisher of Health & Happiness U. P. Magazine. Her first two books, The Third Mary: 55 Messages for Empowering Truth, Peace & Grace from the Mother of Mary Magdalene and Goddess Heart Rising: Paintings, Poems & Meditations for Activating Your Divine Potential will be released this June.”

Any time spent with Roslyn will reveal her exceptional mental capacities, her great sense of humor, and for our purposes, the spiritual focus of her life. Come sit at the feet of this intuitive teacher who will assist you in looking more deeply into your own soul.

Most important of all, remember that Daylight Savings time kicks in this Sunday. Move those clocks forward or you’ll miss the whole thing!

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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February 28, 2014
Dear Fellow Travelers on The Sacred Path,

Life sometimes changes profoundly in an instant, doesn’t it? This change can take many forms, but for my husband and me that change took place in the sudden passing of a lifetime friend. As far back as August, Dick had been having some difficulty breathing, but the doctor said probably just some scar tissue on the lung. After Christmas the problem became more severe, so toward the end of January he was to have an exploratory procedure. This was postponed by the anesthesiologist because of sudden rapid heartbeat. The next week the doctor found a lump under his shoulder. The week after that the cancer specialist said he had rapid growing sarcoma cancer and had 4 to 6 months to live. One week after that diagnosis, Dick died. We stayed the week, doing what one does for a best friend, and during that time we were asked to participate with Jan, now a widow, and one of her sons to give their pastor some personal information on Dick, information with which he could make the memorial service more real, more intimate for those attending. We each had our lists, short or long, but the word most often repeated was simply “kind.”

This creating of a life list, a character list, if you will, was the second within a month’s time. The first was in celebration of a life continuing, a celebration of the 60th birthday of one of our own, Steve Schmunk. His “beautiful bride”, Ann Russ, had requested that his many friends send greetings and memories, words of special meaning as a surprise for Steve. Ours was a list of qualities and characteristics that we see in Steve, and how these showed in shared experiences.

So how do these two instances relate to life changing in an instant? I realized it is not so much the occasion – life or death – but the fact that they both caused us to open our soul’s eyes, to see into the life meaning of each of these two men, one now passed, one we see as living on for many fruitful years. And even beyond that, I find that my husband and I are looking at each other differently, and will, I perceive, be continuing to look at others more deeply as well. What we may have been taking for granted may now loom large on our list of what is really important.

What does it take to participate in this enriching experience. I suggest sitting in the silence, inviting the words and pictures to come, and recording them, simple as that. Perhaps your lists will be shared, as in the instances above, perhaps they will be valued by you alone. But I guarantee that if you do this, your way of looking at life and those around you will “change profoundly in an instant.”

In closing, as usual, I’d like to invite you to be a part of the warmth of Sunday mornings at Unity of Inner Peace. You are material for some great lists.

Lovingly,
Judy

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February 18, 2014
Unity Friends,

This Sunday, February 23, we once again gather around our large screened TV, not to watch the Olympics, of course, but to continue with our DVD series, The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience. The subject this week will be “Spiritual Development.” The major issues presented have to do with the questions, “What are the different stages of spiritual development as people go through their lives?” and “How does spiritual development parallel brain development throughout the lifespan?” Dr. Newberg focuses on the work of James Fowler who takes us through stages from birth to death. Of course, not all people go through all of the stages, or, if they do, not necessarily in the time table Fowler suggests. The following is an example:

Infancy “is the stage where the seeds of trust, hope and love are developed. It is imperative that the environment provides enough consistency and nurturance and is not one in which – at least in animal models – results in lack of the neuronal complexity and interconnectedness that lay the foundation for future brain development. Such isolation is arguably associated with an overall lack of connections not only between the neurons in the individual’s brain, but also between the individual and the rest of his or her environment. If such a lack of connection persists beyond this stage, then the individual’s association areas may not form adequately, thus preventing the person from being able to explore spirituality and meaning in the first place. This stage is, therefore, critical for overall development – both psychologically and spiritually.”

My question is then, “How many abused and neglected children fall into this category the world over, and what work are neuro-scientists and other caring people doing to alter or redirect this outcome?”

Once again, I urge you to join us this Sunday to explore the stages of spiritual development. Greater understanding is our goal.

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ALSO, another POTLUCK Sunday is upon us. Come, bring a favorite dish, and talk, talk, talk with your Unity friends about the day’s lesson or anything else on your heart or mind. It’s a beautiful thing>:)

Lovingly,
Judy
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February 14, 2014
Unity Friends,

Oh my, oh my, oh my! I have just finished reviewing this Sunday’s chapter of the book we have chosen for discussion once a month. The book is, of course, The Second Half of Life by Angeles Arrien. The chapter is “The Black and White Gate” and the subject matter defining that title is “Relationships: The Crucible of Love, Generosity, Betrayal and Forgiveness.” The word “crucible” ought to give you some clue here. Working with this information will crack you open, invite you to look at yourself and those with whom you are or have been in relationship, with naked honesty.
The “gift” is that, according to Ms. Arrien,
“if we overcome fear and pride at the Black and White Gate, we receive plentiful wisdom gifts. Patience, tolerance and compassion emerge, signaling that we have moved past fear and pride. Anger and arrogance diminish. Gratitude and forgiveness, the wisdom practices of the heart, release generosity of spirit and open the door for healing. The gifts of contrition, reparation, compassion and mercy liberate the expressions of love and generosity that can begin to permeate and restore our relationships.”
That is the broad description of the arrival at your destination, but the questions arise, “What stations have I already passed through successfully, and which are the ones where I need to get off of the train and take up residence for awhile?”
Whether you come on Sunday and sit in silence with your inner dialogue, or whether you verbalize your experiences or questions makes no difference. Just come. You will be the richer for it. I only wish that we could spend a month of Sundays on just this chapter.

Til then…..

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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February 7, 2014
Dear Unity- Minded,

This Sunday we continue the Carolyn Myss audio series, “Energy Anatomy” with the Fourth Chakra, Part 2. As usual Carolyn is explosively dynamic as she imparts results and truths gleaned from her work as a medical intuitive. You won’t sleep through Sunday morning when Carolyn has the platform! 🙂

We will be starting our service promptly at 10:00 and sticking to the time schedule very closely. At the end of service there will be a 10 minute break after which we will hold a brief Annual Congregational Meeting. This meeting is a necessity according to our by-laws.

At this meeting you will receive a folder containing the following:
A printout of the 2013 treasurer’s report.
A printout of all of the books we have donated to Peter White Public Library since we began this outreach in 2001.
A booklet, “Keys to the Kingdom: Five Fundamentals of Truth”, explaining Unity teachings in a nutshell.
A card on which you will be invited to write your suggestions for an even better U of I P, along with the ways in which you could help to facilitate them.

There will also be
a brief oral history of U of I P.
a brief review of what has been accomplished this year (your input is welcomed).
an invitation for new Board Members.

We ask that you consider attending, and that you give forethought to those areas where feedback is important. Your individuality, your uniqueness is a gift to be shared.

See you on Sunday.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 30, 2014
Unity Family and Friends,

I have just returned from an island in the Caribbean which since 1989 has been the site of great destruction first by hurricane, then by volcanic eruption. Because the volcano is still active, two thirds of the island is in an exclusion zone, still considered too dangerous to live, work or even, for the layperson, to explore. Many people immediately left the island as a result, but others resettled in what had formerly been considered the less desirable portion of the island. With the help of the British government new homes, small businesses, schools, the infrastructure that keeps modern life going continues to be recreated. What is the people’s attitude? It is my perception that it remains much as I remember it being before all of this happened, that is, remarkably peaceful and considerate. Even the police force does not carry guns. This attitude acts as a magnet for newcomers who do come, to stay, and some who did leave, to return once again. Why do I write about all of this here? I’m not certain except that, as a spiritual lesson, it would appear that attitude, at any time, in any place, and under any circumstances can make or break how we feel about our lives, and in turn, how others may feel about being in ours.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 10, 2014
Unity, One and All,

Remember that Charles Fillmore quote about sizzling with zeal and enthusiasm? Well that is the life that Sue Schenk-Drobny has chosen for herself! An avid backpacker, Sue will share with us this Sunday January 12 her most recent adventure – “Backpacking the Wonderland Trail, 93 miles around Mt. Rainier in Washington State.” She will tell us about “raging rivers, rollicking bears, a Walk with The Wild Divine.” Anybody who has had any experience with the ups and downs of Mt Rainier will know that this hike is an amazing feat. How did it change Sue? I, for one, can hardly wait to find out.

See you Sunday.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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January 2, 2014
Dear Unity Family and Friends,

How does one start the New Year when it is zero degrees outside and the world is covered with snow? Settle in, hibernate? Even now tiny particles of white persist in floating and meandering across my view, they themselves too laid back to turn into full fledged snow flakes. But then as I turn my head slightly, away from the window, a photo image of Charles Fillmore, co-founder of Unity, catches my eye. I pick up the photo, flip it, and on the back is written these words:

“I fairly sizzle with zeal and enthusiasm as I spring forth with a mighty faith to do the things that ought to be done by me.”

Charles was 94 years old at the time! What better invitation to the New Year can we extend than that of assisting one another in our understanding of what it is that ought to be done by us, and then supporting one another as we do it? Here’s to a sizzling 2014.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 27, 2013

Loved Ones,

Our December newsletter spotlighted the idea that this would be the month we would be focusing on gifts – not gifts in hand, but gifts of the spirit offered by way of story and song. We started with Ann Russ and her 100DayProject, went on to myself doing readings on compassion and the Christ Consciousness, then Gail Razavi presenting Part I of her original play about Mary the Mother of Jesus and the Divine Feminine. All of this was highlighted by live music through the graces of Bob Lamb, Steve Schmunk and the whole circle, plus some recorded music. This Sunday December 29 we will conclude the month with Gail Razavi once again as she leads us into Part 2 of her play. All of the presenters this month have shared ideas and projects that are near and dear to their hearts, and your presence and open- hearted reception of their offerings has been your gift back to them. Feels really good, doesn’t it?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

PS: And for those of you whose gift was to bring a great dish for potluck Sunday (two weeks ago), we thank you too. You added good food and fun!

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December 20, 2013

To the Unity Circle Folks,

You are like a wreath of happy faces, and this Sunday, December 22, we have two things that will make you smile even more.

Steve Schmunk will bring his guitar and warm up his voice to bring back a favorite, a song with which he gifted us several years ago, a song we have been longing to hear again. “Christmas in the Trenches” is unforgettable and will leave you in awe.

Next, having moved from Minneapolis to Marquette, Gail Razavi, is the newest artist to join our Unity family. She is a Wedding Gown Designer, Dressmaker and Tailor, and says she is passionate about making women beautiful and men handsome for their wedding or any other Special Day. This Sunday, Gail will be sharing with us her very first play, “The Gospel According to Mary the Mother of Jesus. The Sacred Feminine.” (Act 1)

Let’s keep this wonder going by joining together in body, mind and Spirit for the most sacred Christmas ever.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 11, 2013
Dear Unity Questers,

In our Christmas celebration this Sunday, December 15, we are honoring JESUS as our WAY SHOWER, and feeling grateful for understanding his life in the following way:

“He (Jesus) was man on the quest, man making the great discovery of His divinity, man breaking through the psychological barrier between humankind and God, man proving the Christ in humankind and his or her inherent potential for overcoming, for eternal life”.

“Jesus was himself a parable. His life was an allegory of the experiences that each person passes through in developing from natural to spiritual consciousness.”

“Christ is not a person. It is not Jesus. Christ is a degree of stature that Jesus attained, but a degree of potential stature that dwells in every person.”

If this all sounds very heavy, it really isn’t. It is an absolute joy to comprehend, and on Sunday you will be hearing stories that will make your heart sing. There will be music to do the same. So do come and help raise the energy of our Christmas celebration as we embrace the ideal of “Compassion and the Birth of Christ Consciousness.”

And don’t forget —– CHRISTMAS POTLUCK, POT LUCK, POT LUCK! Tra-la-la-la-la….

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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December 6, 2013
Friends,

I am so excited to welcome Ann Russ as our speaker this Sunday, December 8th. Ann and I have been friends for a long time, and when I read the following words I thought of her:
“The creation of something new is not accomplished by the intellect but by the play instinct acting from inner necessity. The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” C.G. Jung

Ann is an artist through and through. I am always amazed and intrigued by the ideas that spring forth from her. Her delight and enthusiasm are contagious as she “plays” with those ideas. And, unlike some of us who never get beyond the idea stage, Ann has demonstrated over and over again the qualities of character required to carry through to completion in the outer what started from “inner necessity.” She is an elegant lady.

Of herself, when asked, Ann wrote the following:
“Ann Russ has been working as a professional ceramist for the past 10 years. She handbuilds memorial urns which is both a passion and a calling for her. Her studio is on Baraga Street in downtown Marquette.
Ann is also the originator and organizer of The 100DayProject, a year long volunteer project involving creativity excavation.
Ann lives in Marquette with her husband, Steve Schmunk, and their intrepid beagle, Ellie”

Won’t you join us on Sunday to bask in the light?

Lovingly,
Judy

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December 4, 2013
Dear Ones,

What is your gift? What is it that you create from deep within you and offer to the world? For some it may be a sense of stability; for some it may be a sense of humor; for others a sense of exploration and daring that inspires; for some it is communicating the feeling that all are important and loved. These gifts and others may be expressed in a myriad of ways. Do you paint, throw pots, write plays, make people laugh, move others to tears through your words, your warm embrace, your sense of acceptance? Are you the one who is just there when needed? Whatever it is that makes you feel alive, deeply and vibrantly alive, is your gift to share.

This month we will focus on these gifts of the Spirit, gifts that come from “the spiritual nucleus within each person.” (Charles Fillmore) Won’t you join us as we marvel together?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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November 27, 2013
Hi All,

This is Thanksgiving Eve, with the big day yet to come, but before you get immersed in the day’s feast and the love of family or friends, I just want to remind you that we will be circling up once again this Sunday morning, December 1, to listen to and ponder the wisdom of Carolyn Myss as she discusses the 3rd Chakra, in her series on Energy Anatomy. Won’t you join us as we allow ourselves to relax, to renew, to be, yes, just to be, together.

Looking forward….so looking forward….

Lovingly,
Judy

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November 20, 2013

Greetings All of you Grateful People,

Won’t you come and make our circle complete this Sunday at our joyous pre-Thanksgiving service?  Our own Bill Waters will be the speaker, and that means a lesson full of surprises.  As you know, Bill is a world traveler, and this Sunday he will glean, for us, the spiritual essence of his latest episode.  When I first asked him for a title for his talk, he said,  “How about – Travel In Mother Theresa’s Homeland:  Some Observations.”  Interesting, but a little dry.  Later when I asked for a brief description, he popped up with, “Whoever Goes to Albania and Why?”  Now that sounds like a brain teaser to me!  At any rate, we know his talk will be both lively and deep.  That is just who he is.

Then to top it all off, this is the Sunday when we CELEBRATE – our lives, our blessings and the living circle of which we are a part.  It is a time when we share our most delicious dishes in a POTLUCK spread that would make any fine restaurant proud.

Will I see you there?  I hope so.  I want the privilege of telling you that I give thanks for you –  as we all do for each other.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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November 15, 2013

Fellow Unity Study Groupers,

What do I say to awaken an interest in you if you have not already experienced some of our DVD series on The Spiritual Brain: Science and the Religious Experience?  Like scientific research itself, our study is long, detailed and gradual.  That is probably a good thing because we can only absorb so much at one time.  This month’s segment is “How Does Science Study Religion?”  In this segment we are asked to consider, 1) “What are the capabilities and limitations of using the scientific method to study religious and spiritual phenomena?” and 2) “What are the challenges to science in terms of evaluating spiritual experiences, analyzing the effects of religion on the brain and body, and defining what religion and spirituality actually are?” Sounds intense doesn’t it?  But each of our segments is so well covered that a scientist may say, “Ah, yes, of course.”  A layperson may say “Wow, I never thought of it that way!”

All of these early segments lay the ground work for up-coming lectures such as “Believers and Atheists,” “How the Brain Changes God,”  “How God Changes the Brain,”  “The Mystical Mind.”  All of these segments can be viewed and appreciated as individual pieces, but for those of you who like me, like to view a movie from the beginning while the scene is being set rather than dragging in minutes later and then guessing what went before, this may be the Sunday you decide to join us to begin your study.  For those of us who have already begun, we’re ready for more!

And don’t forget, in our Unity circle you always have the chance to put in your own two cents worth. 🙂

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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November 7, 2013

Dear Unity Friends,

This Sunday we continue our study and discussion of Angeles Arriens’s book, The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom.  We are going to enter the White Picket Gate, “Changing Identities, Discovering One’s True Face.”

Here are some quotes.
“In Africa, it is believed that we have passed successfully through the wisdom gate when we have blended together our five essential faces — child, youth, adult, elder, essence.”
“The White Picket Gate not only calls for the integration of the five faces, but compels us to awaken an inner spiritual authority, a sense of knowing the face of essence.  This process always involves a shift of identity, shedding what is false in order to find our true nature.  We go through witnessable changes and rebirth.”

Come learn and share.  It is valuable material and will resonate with what your soul knows to be true.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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October 31, 2013

Dear Unity Family,

Thanksgiving    or    Thanksgiving

How do you pronounce it?  If you are like me and everyone else I’ve ever known, you pronounce it the first way. For me, it brings up warm memories of Thanksgivings past, when as a child we went to Grandma’s house, to be enveloped in all of the signs of family love.  Arriving dressed in our finest we were greeted with hugs and laughter, the once- a- year scent of roast turkey filling the air.  The table too was wearing its finest, and atop of that table in anticipation of the feast to come was always a dish of black olives, a very special treat to be shared as part of the dinner.  Thing was, somehow that treat seemed to almost magically disappear before we sat down.  But grandma had a magic of her own – she never seemed to mind.  Now every Thanksgiving, I give thanks for my dear grandmother.  She is Thanksgiving to me.  How about you?  For what or whom are you most thankful this wonderful November of 2013?

Judy McGowan

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October 25, 2013

Fellow Travelers on this journey called Life,

This Sunday we continue our Great Courses DVD series, The Spiritual Brain: Science and Religious Experience.  We will set up our new large screen TV so that we can view and absorb this information in comfort.  This series is set up like a college course, featuring Dr. Andrew Newberg, a medical research doctor and professor, who explains the latest information on this subject.  As has so often happened in Unity’s history, we learn how science is now proving what has been intuitively known by the Fillmores and others devoted  to spiritual exploration and practice over the ages.  The course material is presented objectively, and the insights help to combat the claim that it is all “woo-woo.”

We can all study on our own at home, as I know we all do, but sharing our energy, ideas and experiences on Sunday mornings is a time I, for one, highly prize.  The term “exponentially” comes to mind.  When my kids were little I found that when there were two interacting with each other ( a polite term for bickering 🙂 it was irritating enough, but then when there were three, they each had two to bug, then there were four.  You get the picture.  THAT is when I learned the meaning of the word “exponentially.”  Help!  But reapplied to Sunday mornings at Unity, “exponentially” can only mean the greater good.  We thrive and grow in each other’s company, are fed and elevated by each other’s presence.  Won’t you join me there?

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan

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October 18, 2013

Hi Friends,

In looking over the Unity list of birthdays created over the past several years, it is clear that 99% of us are 50 years of age or older.   Therefore, it did not seem strange to accept Militza’s idea that we study and discuss the book, The Second Half of LifeOpening the Eight Gates of Wisdom by Angeles Arrien, cultural anthropologist.  Last month we were introduced to the whys and hows the book was conceived.  This Sunday, together, we will enter the first gate, “The Silver Gate, the gate of facing new experiences and the unknown.”  Below is a thought provoking poetic writing from this chapter:

“One morning I was sitting at my kitchen table, staring into space.  It was one of those windy days when the sun keeps coming out and going in.  All of a sudden, a  sunbeam crossed my kitchen table and lit up my crystal saltshaker.  There were all kinds of colors and sparkles.  It was one of the most beautiful sights I’d ever seen.  But you know, that very same saltshaker had been on that kitchen table for over fifty years.  Surely there must have been other mornings when the sun crossed the table like that, but I was just too busy getting things done.  I wondered what else I’d missed.  I realized this was it, this was grace.”

Are you that saltshaker?  Are you full of colors and sparkles that are just waiting to be revealed?  The Silver Gate is just the beginning.  We hope you’ll join us.

Judy McGowan

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October 13, 2013

Hi All,

Doing these reminders is such fun.  This week I got to ask Bill Waters for a bio to send out to whet our appetites for his talk. Wow!  Those of us who experience Bill on a regular basis already know about his keen mind, witnessing his ability to see things in a fresh way.  Read his bio below and see if you don’t get excited too.

“Retired NMU Professor of Criminal Justice with special interest in alternative approaches to crime and justice.  Accredited by the state of Michigan as a mediator/trainer with 22 years of experience in the field of conflict resolution both national and international.   Widely traveled including extended periods in South Africa as a Ford Fellow and as a visiting prof in the Graduate School of Economics and of Law at the University of Kwazulu-Natal, in Durban, SA.  Extensive international travel as a clown include Afghanistan, China, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, Russia/Siberia, Tibet and Tanzania.  BA in international Studies from the Ohio State University; MSW from the University of Iowa; MS from Xavier University of Cincinnati and two time graduate of the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse campuus clown camp.  Up-coming travel plans include clowning Germany (Leipzig) and conflict resolution training in Albania (Tirana and Elbasan) later this month.”

Bill’s talk is entitled, “Dawkins/Atheist and Spong/Believer.”

And speaking of “whetting our appetites,”  do remember that this Sunday is also POTLUCK Sunday for the month of October.  Bring yourself and your yummiest dish to pass.  It’s never the same without you!

See you there.

Judy McGowan

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October 6, 2013

Hi All,

Have you ever had the experience of reading a book or listening to a tape/CD for the second time or third or fourth, and each time finding something new  in the experience?  Sometimes it is because the material is so deep, other times because we have evolved spiritually since the previous encounter.  Well, that’s the way it is for me with Carolyn Myss, medical intuitive.  I just finished “reviewing” the second presentation from her “Energy Anatomy” series in preparation for this Sunday’s service.  And, once again, I am blown away.  I found myself raising my hand, laughing out loud, even tearing up at the end when something affected me at a deep emotional level.

For those of you who missed the beginning of the series last month in which Myss described her call to medical intuition, don’t be scared away.  Each lesson, which we will be offering once a month, will be packed with valuable insights.  Love yourself.  Come.

Judy McGowan

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September 29, 2013

Fellow “Unitics” :),

As the last Sunday of this month approaches, I wanted to highlight our opportunity for double pleasure.   First, we will have a guest speaker, Paul Olson, and, second, it is time for our monthly potluck.

When asked for a brief bio Paul wrote, “Paul Olson was ordained by the Federation of Independent Unity churches in 2001 and was a member until it disbanded.  His spiritual journey eventually led him to earn a master’s degree in social work.  He is an adjunct instructor at NMU and a mental health therapist in Ishpeming.  He writes plays and teaches a calligraphy class.  His daughter is only a few scant millimeters shorter than he is, and set to pass him up any day now.”  The latter info is because some of us remember when she was born!  Because Paul has been so busy with grad school and settling into his new jobs, it has been a long time since he has been available to us as a speaker.  We are highly anticipating his talk entitled, “Values and Goals.”

And pot luck.  Pot luck Sunday seems to be our greatest time of socialization.  We get to talk with our speaker and each other in a more leisurely fashion than on most other Sundays.  So, head out to the grocery store or farmer’s market so that you can concoct something that is signature you.   It’s fun to share.

Judy McGowan

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September 22, 2013

Hi All,

Tomorrow we begin our once per month DVD series, “The Spiritual Brain:  Science and Religious Experience” by Dr. Andrew Newberg.

Dr. Newberg’s bio states that, “Dr. Newberg has actively pursued neuroimaging research projects, including studies of aging and dementia, epilepsy, and other neurological and psychiatric disorders.  He has been particularly involved in the study of religious and spiritual experiences and the relationship among the brain, religion, and health.  Dr. Newberg’s research has included analyzing brain scans of people in prayer, meditation, rituals, and various trance states.  His research also has included understanding the physiological correlates of acupuncture therapy, massage, and other types of alternative therapies.”

“Dr. Newberg has taught medical students, undergraduate and graduate students, and medical residents about stress management, spirituality and health, and the neurophysiology of religious experience.  In 2010, he was named Teacher of the Year for the University of Pennsylvania’s Biological Basis of Behavior Program.”

Come and listen, watch and comment as over the months we learn how science proves what we learn or know intuitively, and even more, that about which we may still wonder.

Hope to  see you there.

Judy McGowan

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September 15, 2013

Hi All,

As you will recall from our recent newsletter, this month we are introducing three ongoing studies.  Last week I introduced a tape program titled Energy Anatomy by Caroline Myss, medical intuitive. Tomorrow Militza will introduce the book The Second Half of Life: Opening the Eight Gates of Wisdom, by cultural anthropologist Angeles Arrien.  Below are a few quotes from her introduction.

“The rites of passage from birth to fifty years of age are well defined.  We may go to school, get our first job, find life partners, raise a family, develop a career, and contribute to our communities.  But the skills we developed during the first half of life are not adequate, nor are they appropriate, to support us during the second half; the tasks and requirements for growth and change are completely different.”

“The second half of life is the ultimate initiation.  In it, we encounter new, unexpected, unfamiliar and unknowable moments that remind us that we are a sacred mystery made manifest.  If we truly understand what is required of us at this stage, we are blessed with an enormous opportunity to develop and embody wisdom and character. We enjoy limitless possibilities to restore, renew, and heal ourselves.  And because of our increased longevity, for the first time in history we also have the opportunity to create a map of spiritual maturity for future generations to use as they enter their own later years.”

Won’t you join us as we begin the exploration of the Eight Gates of Wisdom in a way that is personal to each individual.

Lovingly,
Judy McGowan