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“The quality of mercy is not strain’d.
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth (the one) that gives and (the one) that takes.”
~Shakespeare

Unity Blog

 
But What About Hitler?

February 15, 2018

When talking about the 1st Unity Principle (God is all good and is present everywhere), many of us ask, “But what about Hitler?”

 

I have many thoughts about that question, one being that “Hitler” did not happen in a vacuum. I think about how much easier it is to look at “evil” through the actions of someone else, making it possible for me not to look more closely at my own actions.

 

Furthermore, how much do we look at the hundreds and thousands of people who do amazingly good and amazingly brave actions in the midst of terror and darkness?

 

Richard Rohr says that we have spent centuries of philosophy “trying to solve the problem of evil,” yet he believes the much more confounding and astounding issue is “the problem of good.”

 

Sunday I am going to explore these questions and more. I am especially inspired by one of our Unity children, Harper, who was standing next to me in our closing circle a couple of weeks ago, and during the Peace Song, she sang, “Yes, there is good on earth, and yes it begins with me.”

 

In Love,

Peggy

 

Quote to think on:  “Evil can prosper only when hearts are willing to remain hard and unresponsive. Every act of kindness, courageously offered, however small, is a small flower sown in a field of peace. In the face of evil, our life becomes our prayer.”

Wayne Muller in Learning to Pray

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

Love Notes From God.

February 8, 2018

 

We had a great discussion at noon last Sunday about Unity’s 1st principle (God is good and everywhere present). What does it mean to believe that good is present even in the most horrendous of tragedies?

 

 

As we ended our discussion, it became clear to me that one of the most important ways we can know the good is in our connection with each other. People expressed a longing for real community.

 

 

Being PRESENT.

Deeply honest and authentic.

 

 

Loving each other through it – that’s one of the most powerful ways we find the good. And I heard people yearning for in-person connection. (We decided to continue these Sunday noon discussions monthly, and maybe work our way towards meeting more frequently!)

 

 

This Sunday I am going to reflect on the sometimes “hidden” ways that good shows up in our lives. I invite you to remember examples in your own life of how this has happened.

 

 

In Love,

Peggy

 

 

Quote to ponder:  “For the knowledge of God (Good), as we have seen, is not an intellectual exercise but a soul exercise. It is an intimate knowing by experience, and it is love that leads us to such an experience. For this reason the knowledge of God is as available to the simplest and most humble among us as it is to the great and intellectually gifted….”     ~John Sanford

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

Meeting Kindness in the Depths of Sorrow.

January 25, 2018

Our Unity’s La Bendición project has challenged me to reflect on the ways that my life has been changed and transformed by experiences I have had with Guatemala. It started with getting to know Mayan refugees from there. Hearing their stories.  Heartbreaking, devastating stories.

 

Some said that my government was complicit in what was going on. Some said that my church was trying to help; people were working underground, risking prison.

 

I wanted to know more. This led me to take a 3-month journey into the heart of Guatemala in 1987. It was one of the defining experiences of my life.

 

There are themes that come up in our lives. Sometimes they seem to disappear for a while—only to return in some unexpected way and time. Synchronicity reminds us that we are on a pilgrimage. Sometimes I feel like we have pilgrimages within The Pilgrimage.

 

One of the most powerful poems I know is “Kindness,” by Naomi Shihab Nye. It speaks deeply to my soul. It resonates with every cell of my being.

 

Nye’s poem speaks to me of a pilgrimage to Kindness. Guatemalan Mayans have been a big part of my own Kindness journey. On Sunday I want to share some of that story.

 

In deep gratitude,

Peggy

 

Excerpts from Naomi Nye’s poem:

“Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth….

 

“Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you…

 

“Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing…

 

“Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.”

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

¡Presente!

January 18, 2018

 

As I write, the sun is shining through my window touching my face with warmth and light. Outside it is a frigid 12 degrees.

 

 

But right now I am not outside. I am here, cozy, and warm. Reflecting, writing, being. Quiet and at peace. It is lovely.

 

In a while, I will be somewhere else. I will be involved in a different kind of activity in a different environment. Perhaps I will feel cold. Perhaps the sky will become gray again. Perhaps I will be surrounded by noise. I will be there.

 

In The Book of Awakening, Mark Nepo shares a story about a monkey and a river:

It is said a great Zen teacher asked an initiate to sit by a stream until he heard all    the water had to teach. After days of bending his mind around the scene, a small monkey happened by, and, in one seeming bound of joy, splashed about in the stream. The initiate wept and returned to his teacher, who scolded him lovingly,  “The monkey heard. You just listened.”

 

The theme on Sunday is about being present. Perhaps we can dive into that stream together…

 

Love,
Peggy

 

A quote to ponder:  “These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones. They are what they are; they exist with God today. There is no time to them. There is simply the rose.”  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.

Plot Twist.

January 11, 2018

 

Paradigm shift.

 

The first time I heard those words was in one of my seminary courses. We met a lot of intimidating words in seminary, like “eschatology” and “hermeneutics.” At the time I thought it all very snooty—surely there had to be more plainspoken ways to name a concept! I’ve learned since then, however, that sometimes it takes a ridiculous-sounding word to sum up a big idea.

 

Sunday we will be looking at the story of a journey that is full of plot twists. After all, that’s what makes a good story! It’s interesting to me that I love a good story, but I don’t necessarily welcome the plot twists in my own life!

 

This story is about a pilgrimage. A group of wise travelers, who know how to read the stars, have determined that a new age is being ushered into the world. They set out to find a new king who will bring this all about. One of the plot twists along the way is the discovery that this new beginning has happened                                                 not in a castle,                                                                                                                              not in a temple,                                                                                                                                 not with trumpets and fanfare,

but in a simple home in a wayside village where an ordinary child is found with his peasant mother.

 

And lo, a paradigm shift has been born!!

 

If you want to know more… see you Sunday!

 

Love and Happy New Year!

Peggy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths. Listen to podcasts of her Sunday talks.