Sunday Message – August 27, 2017

Led (and piano’d) by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and peace to you this day in the Light. We give thanks for the small mercies and blessings in our lives, and the glimpses of beauty and kindness, which remind us of the Light’s presence. In times of division, it is important to remember we are all part of the same tapestry of life; children of the same creative being, regardless of what name or story you choose to ascribe to it. From the same Maker’s hands, from the same Light, taking part in the same glorious expanse of Life, we are each connected to the other, and everything else.

The noise of the angry world makes it easy to lose sight of these connections, but without them, it is difficult to trust anyone, and more difficult still to make peace. It is to the Darkness’s favor to have us squabbling amongst ourselves over things, each so convinced we are right, everyone has forgotten how to listen.

I believe silence is an integral part of life. Without it, you’ll go mad with the noise of living. It is in the silence that we are able to hear God, and hear others. Without pausing to listen we will lose sight of the inherent connection we have with the world around us, and our ability to make peace with those who are different from us. If we do not take the time to listen, observe, and understand, we will be lost in the chaos ourselves.

Being silent requires a dash humility, for it allows as how one does not already have all the information. Every person in the world knows something you don’t. We are both teachers and students in our time here, crossing paths with others who give us opportunities to share ideas and learn something new– things we cannot do successfully if we close ourselves off to the rest of the world.

Let us look, then, with wonder on the world around us, and not with fear. The Light is with us, and we were made to be part of this grand scene of creation. Though there is rage aplenty, let us walk with peace, and offer an open hand to the clenched fist. Let us be the first to offer silence, a chance to listen and learn, a refuge from the noise. Let us show our strength by the depth of our love, the force of our kindness, and the peaceful endurance of our hope.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – August 13th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair (piano’d by him too).

Good morning, and peace be with you this day in the Light. Peace may seem hard to achieve today, quietness hard to find, and reconciliation far out of reach. Some days there may be only noise. Some days, chaos will take the upper hand. It is on these days when faith is most difficult. Sometimes, my heart is not full of thanksgiving and prayer, only questions.

I find myself today lacking prayer. It isn’t enough. In the face of hatred and violence, it isn’t enough. Faith cannot be passive. We are, all of us, players in a story far bigger than ourselves, and each a participant in a spiritual battle raging every day. We mustn’t simply sit by and pray– God cannot fix these things for us, for we have done them to ourselves. It is only by being radically accepting, choosing love over hatred, peace over violence, and action over inaction that we have a prayer of combating the evil at work in this world.

And there is real evil– to deny it only gives the monster strength. Real evil is insidious; it permeates thought and reason, distorts reality, and makes hatred seem normal where it ought to repulse us. We cannot allow ourselves to become comfortable with the presence of evil. We must move through the world with eyes open, minds sharply attentive, and we must denounce evil, cruelty, and injustice wherever we see it.

While I know many of you listen from all over the world, today I find myself still shocked and heartbroken by what unfolded in practically my backyard yesterday– you may have seen coverage of Charlottesville in Virginia. I find myself compelled to say: these acts of violence will never be acceptable, and whatever ideology that hides behind White Nationalism (by whatever name it’s called), self-righteous patriotism, or Manifest Destiny: this is the great spectre which haunts the nation. This underlying sense of superiority will be the downfall of Goodness if it is not checked. When people begin to denounce reason, choose division over unity, reject science, and believe it is acceptable to take up arms against a neighbor, this is where evil takes hold. These are the things we must challenge daily in our lives, the things which much rally us to fight. One cannot fight evil with violence, for one begets the other in a cycle we see unfolding behind us through history. Instead, we must meet evil with unity, an unwavering commitment to love and decency, and the strength of heart to say, “You will not speak for us, and if that is how you would speak, you will not be welcome here.”

There is freedom of speech, but there is no freedom of consequence. If a person’s speech perpetuates evil and encourages violence, then that person has used their freedom in a way which compromises the freedoms and safety of others. As a people, we must not tolerate this. We must never tolerate evil, and this particular form of evil walks next to us every day. It sows its seeds in our neighbors, our coworkers, sometimes even our families. At times, the scope is so vast it seems there is nothing a person can do– what is one to a multitude? Very important, I’d say. Sometimes all it takes is one voice in a conversation to say, “that isn’t right.” Sometimes a small act of kindness can combat great damage done by evil. It doesn’t matter what you do– speak, write, rally, take relief supplies to those who need them– it only matters that use the voice you have, and do not participate in evil’s advance through your silence.

Peace to you, and be brave in the Light.

Sunday Message – July 2nd, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning and blessings this day in the Light. We give thanks today for the presence of the Light in our lives, the small things that make us smile, and the things that remind of what is Good.

The law of Light is above all Man’s. It is the law of Love. Where there is Love, no Darkness may triumph. Love is greater and brighter than anything, and it shines differently in each of our lives. May it never be for us to judge the manifestation or expression of love in another. For all that is done in the name of Love and Light, is done for Good.

Love is an organic thing. It lives, it breathes in the wind. It grows defiantly in concrete places, and flowers in the face of all adversity. It is the root, unkillable, undying, from which all our worlds and lives spread. From the root of Love sprang each of us, and in each heart lies the potential for Love to flower. The Tree of Life and Love is infinite– Love is not a finite resource. It is the heart which floweth over, able to give boundless love if we overcome our fears and choose to serve the purposes of Love and Light in our lives.

Time flows like river, each of us pulled along, passing one another in the currents of Life. Every day we have the choice to reach out to one another, to extend a hand in love, or to keep our fist to our hearts in guarded suspicion. To choose Love in this world is a dangerous business; it requires courage, sacrifice, and occasionally hurts like hell itself, but I assure you it is worth it. For the more you choose to Love, the more you will find you have to give.

Amen and Namaste.

Sunday Message – June 24th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Good morning, and greetings this day in the Light. You will have to forgive my absence last week, as I was away on family matters. I find myself returned this week, reflecting on our mission, on the Love which drives us, and the Light that pulls us together. I assume if you are listening today, you have felt the pull of something beyond yourself, like the rest of us here, and though you may not have a name for it, or understand its scope, it is this power and Light to which we pay homage and declare our allegiance; for it is within the Light that we are made better, more beautiful and more powerful than we could be on our own.

In the Light, there is room enough for all. Heaven, if indeed it is “Heaven”, contains love and space enough for the greatest and smallest, and all inbetween. The Light loves each of us indiscriminately, regardless of where we have come from, or how much we have to offer– it is not about your stature, your talents, or where you have been; it is about you, yourself, the unique contribution that only you can provide to this world, the lives only you can touch, and the love only you can give. You have within you a force and will to rival the tides in the ocean. You have power, peace, and goodwill that can only come from the Light. To know the Light is to know love, and I hope this morning, you can feel the presence and comfort of that love.

Wherever you are, I hope the Light shines on you this day. Whatever pain you carry, may you find comfort. Whatever fear lurks in your heart, may you drive it out with courage. And whatever you do not know, may you be brave and humble enough to seek out the answers. It is only through the pursuits of knowledge, reason, science, and a mutual compassion for humanity, that we will draw ourselves closer to God.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – June 4th, 2017

Hail and good morning, this day in the Light. I want first to extend a warm welcome to all the new followers who have joined us recently. I assume if you’re here, you are– like all of us– searching for answers in a world far bigger than ourselves, and hearing the call of a force beyond the understanding of any one religion or theory. We who founded UCFW call ourselves Alastrians, We welcome all creeds and backgrounds, respect science, and believe that we are all part of the same web of Being in the Light’s creation. We are the ones who don’t fit anywhere, yet feel connected to everything.

I feel called this morning to speak of the connection between all of us. You each join us from a different corner of the world, many countries and languages, and yet we find ourselves today standing together in celebration and mutual inquisition of the force we all feel in ourselves, yet find ourselves struck silent, and unable to name. This is the Light: the voice that call us across mountains, seas, and country borders, the note that inspires us to be good and better, the hope that keeps us rising every morning in a world that challenges us with its headwinds of mockery and discouragement. We are stronger than this world, because at our core, we are beings beyond it, beyond the bonds of flesh and what we can see. We must never be afraid to ask questions, to learn about ourselves and our universe, and to reach always toward the Light in the face of all resistance.

We call on the Light today to make us brave, to soothe the wounds we have collected on our passage through this place. May we take comfort in the fellowship of each other, and the warmth of the Light between us. May we each honor the spark of the divine in others, and seek always to learn, and not to fear. If there is one theme in all of religion, myth, and literature is: “Fear not,” for as Frank Herbert so aptly told us, “Fear is the mind-killer.” We must strive always to face the world around us without fear, for fear is the enemy of knowledge, exploration, and peace. Fear is the gateway to Darkness.

May you find the strength to do what needs done, share what Light you can with others, be boldly yourself, and create fruitfully from your talents. We are all on the same journey toward understanding, betterment, and connection with the Light. We each have the opportunity to know ourselves, each other, and our universe. I am glad each of you has joined us here on this path, and look forward to walking it with you.

Amen, and namaste.

Sunday Message – May 14th, 2017

Led by Professor Alastair.

Great Light, we greet you with praise and thanksgiving this morning– this morning of Mother’s Day. We give thanks for the mothers who birthed us, for the mothers who raised us, for the mothers who fed us and comforted us– whether those people were mothers by blood or circumstance.

We remember today the divine feminine; the full bounty of creation, the warmth and love of life. We give thanks to our mother the Earth, and remember our honor and duties as stewards of this planet. May we remember kindness and compassion, and strive to nurture our world and our neighbors in it. May we be humble and honor the divine in the beauty we see around us, in the faces we meet, in the graceful kindness of strangers.

Let us strive always to be a place of solace in a world of pain. Let us remember to be patient and generous in spirit, and give freely from our tables and ourselves to whomever is in need. It is not for us to decide who is deserving of love– ALL are deserving of Love and Light– it is only for us to walk with grace through a world of fire, and show love to those who need it.

May we each find peace this day, and the will to keep our hearts soft, the courage to be kind, in a world that would turn us to stone.

Amen and namaste.

Sunday Message – May 7th, 2017

Great Light, we greet you with praise this morning, wherever we are. We give thanks for the day you have made, for the life you have placed in us, for the time we are given to walk this world. Help us remember always that you work through us; we are your vessels. Open our eyes to the world and the people around us. Fill us with compassion for our neighbor. Help us resist doubt, suspicion, and selfish motivations.

Open our hearts to the thread of Love connecting us all, and keep our eyes turned toward the wonders you have made. Let us not be made weary by the world around us, but keep our spirits fixed on the Light which shines on all things, leads us through the times of shadow and fear, and makes us strong in spirit, and courageous of heart. Let us seek not understanding from the world, but let us seek to understand the world as it is, in all of its imperfection and ugliness, and teach us how we fit into this grand design, what our contribution will be to the sum of Light, so that we might soothe what hurt we can, feed who we can, and leave this place better than when we arrived.

Let us not despair in the face of hatred and greed, but rather take courage, for our we draw our strength from the Light and Love itself. We must be gently kind in world that is cruel. We must extend the hands of peace in a world that arms itself for war. We must question everything we see and hear, and seek always the deeper truth that underlies the fleeting and empty things we see in the works of men. Bless our paths as we move through the world, guard our way, and keep us always in the warmth of your light.

Amen and namaste.