unity_fc Blog

Trust the Process.

 

Have you ever woken up from a dream with a phrase in your mind?

 

It was many years ago that I had one of those experiences, and the words I heard upon waking were, “Trust the Process.”

 

How many times since then those words have echoed in my mind! Months when I wasn’t sure where my life was leading me… Weeks when I wondered if my efforts mattered… Days when I didn’t think I could find my way through a particular challenge…

 

“Trust the Process!”

 

The day I woke up with those words ringing in my ears, I wasn’t sure what that meant or why I was getting that particular message. Trust? And what Process?

 

I’ve learned a lot since then. The Process is life. And what is life but constant change?

 

The Trust is spiritual. “Trust the Process,” is another way of saying what all the spiritual traditions teach: “Be not afraid!”

 

Whatever we face, whatever we walk through, we can trust that it is all in divine order.

 

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death” (Psalm 23),  I shall fear nothing, for God is with me!!

 

With us.

In us.

Around us.

Always and forever!

 

 

With Love,

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.

What is Calling You?

Do you ever feel like something is calling you? Perhaps calling you to do a particular something or to make a change or to explore a part of yourself you have never really explored? Perhaps the still, small voice inside of you is calling you to be more wholly YOU.

 

One of my favorite hymns is one called “Spirit of Gentleness,” written by a UCC minister named James Manley. The words to the chorus are:

 

“Spirit, Spirit of gentleness, Blow through the wilderness, calling and free.

Spirit, Spirit of restlessness, Stir me from placidness, wind, wind on the sea.”

 

The first and last verses are:

You moved on the waters

You called to the deep.

Then you coaxed up the mountains 

from the valley of sleep.

And over the eons, You called to each thing,

‘Wake from your slumbers, and rise on your wings.’

 

You call from tomorrow.

You break ancient schemes.

From the bondage of sorrow, the captives dream dreams.

Our women see visions.

Our men clear their eyes.

With bold new decisions,

Your people arise.”

 

I love the power and the vision in those words. I love the invitation to listen more deeply and to live more bravely. And I love the declaration that Spirit is ever-present, always uncontainable and wild, breathing us forward into fresh experiences on this human journey of life!

 

What might Spirit be calling forth in you at this time in your life? Let’s explore that on Sunday!

 

In Love and Gratitude,

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.

Changing the World From Your Quiet Corner.

 

 

This Sunday our own Denise Fedelleck will be guest speaking for us. Demise is a Certified Clinical and Transpersonal Hypnotherapist, as well as a Certified Transformational Life Coach. She has been a part of our Unity family here in Ft. Collins for the past 5 years.

 

She has a diverse professional background and has worked in television, was a writer and book editor for many years, and has been a professional speaker and workshop leader for over 30 years. She also recently hosted an international radio series called Your Inner Connection for Denver radio station KUHS.

From Denise:
Some say that the world is becoming more violent, less respectful, more greedy, less loving and compassionate, etc.

 

Others might argue that these types of behaviors have always existed, but we’re hearing about it more frequently now because of heightened communication by way of modern technology such as the Internet, for example.

 

Either way, we’re missing the point if that’s where we place our attention. And it’s very easy to focus on so many horrible things happening in the world, wanting to react defensively because it can feel unfair, overwhelming, depressing . . . and quite frankly, heartbreaking at times.

 

However, it’s important that we come back to the Truth; that no matter what happens in the world around us and with all of us who inhabit it, our answers and how to turn it all around to move forward positively lie within us. Plain and simple.

 

I’m looking forward to seeing you on Sunday when we will explore how one person can change the world.

 

Blessings,

Denise

Restoring the Image.

 

Generations of exposure to the elements of nature, severity, and neglect leave an opaque film over the original image of the painting. Restoration is the delicate and tedious process of removing the effects of that pollution, revealing the image as it was first created, and as the artist intended it to be seen.

The person doing the restoring not only has to understand the chemical processes and techniques used for restoration, they also have to be aware of the artist’s work so that the original aesthetic remains when the restoration is complete.

How then can the residue of our own exposure to the world be removed, and the image of the divine within us be restored?

If we compare the intent of many, if not all, of the spiritual traditions of the world, we have our answer. Each one of them, in its own way, is pointing us to the truth of our nature – we are the very image of the divine, awaiting the time when our awareness and ownership of that truth is fully realized.

Then we’ll begin to see ourselves and each other with all the color and brilliance of our original light.

See you Sunday for one service at 10am,
Franklin

In Today’s News: Infinite Joy to You and to All!

 

JOY is the topic for Sunday.  ‘Tis the season for “tidings of great joy!” There are so many lovely verses that speak of this, that proclaim it with whole and emphatic trust. The Hope and Peace and Love which we have explored the past 3 weeks lead us unswervingly into Joy.

 

Charles Fillmore said that joy is the happiness of God, expressed through humankind. And the Psalms speak of ALL creatures, all creation, expressing God’s joy.

 

What is this joy that all sacred traditions proclaim?

 

A friend told me recently about a conversation on “what brings you joy.” As we talked about it, we began to realize that the things being described sounded more like, “What brings you pleasure?”

 

Once again I was reminded that Joy is a deep state that emanates from inside of us. It is part of our being. I love the song from the Sound of Music about “My Favorite Things.” It’s a great celebration of things – like kittens and mittens and such – that make the singer feel happy.

 

Happy as those are, however, they do not define the Joy about which the spiritual traditions speak. As Desmond Tutu says in The Book of Joy by the Dalai Lama and the archbishop:

“Joy is much bigger than happiness. While happiness is often seen as being dependent on external circumstances, joy is not.”

 

I hope you can join us Sunday for our Advent celebration of Joy, which will include special music by our wonderful Unitics band.

 

In Joy,

Peggy

 

I invite you to say this affirmation continuously, letting its meaning radiate into your entire being:

 

I am God’s joy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Carriers of Love.

This Sunday is the traditional Advent celebration of Love. Love is my favorite topic and yet in some ways it’s the hardest to talk about…

It is Everything.

It is Who We Are.

It is All That Matters.

 

Bette Midler’s performance of “The Rose” goes deep into my heart and soul every time I hear it. I also find the lyrics profound… especially the words, “I say Love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed.”

 

Upon looking up the origins of the song, I learned that the songwriter, Amanda McBroom, had a spiritual experience in which the song basically wrote itself! In her description of writing it, she ends with expressing her eternal gratitude, “…to the Universe for speaking to me in the first place and for showing me what I truly believe.”

 

I love thinking about being a seed of the flower that is Love. It’s another way of saying that I am a child of God, for God IS Love.

 

Another image that came to me this week is that of being a carrier oil. In aromatherapy, certain strong essential oils are diluted by a “carrier oil,” so that the potent oil does not burn or irritate. Maybe we are like a carrier oil for the essence of Love!

 

As part of our reflections on Light and Love, Shannell Sedgwick will share a personal miracle story of a longed-for, unexpected birth.

 

Blessings and Love,

Peggy

PS – Don’t forget to take time to go into your own Inner Stillness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

Tending the Peace Light.

 

This Sunday, as we continue the theme of bringing light to darkness, we will focus on the light of Peace. I am always deeply moved and challenged by stories of people who are able to be deeply peaceful in the midst of truly challenging circumstances. Gandhi, of course, comes to mind. He taught that practicing peace called for being truthful, gentle, and fearless.

 

But there are many people who practice peace day after day in ways that inspire me. Perhaps you know people like that. Perhaps you ARE people like that!! It is certainly one of Unity’s primary teachings. I invite you to share your stories with us on Sunday. The more we hear these examples, the more we recognize that it’s not just famous people who can inspire and encourage us. We are surrounded by examples every day.

 

I have long been touched by the poem below that reminds me that peace is not passive. It calls for active courage!

 

Much love,

Peggy

 

Waging Peace by Sarah Klassan

(How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace. Isaiah 52: 7)

“…You might as well

wage peace as war. You’d have to stand

exposed at the crossroads of unguarded anger,

a presence, not an absence,

not gritting your teeth. Forcing your clenched hands

open. Your heart’s hard core

and everything the stubborn mind conceals

revealed. Disarmed

you may become disarming,

the terror in your unmasked face

radiant, your unshod, wounded feet beautiful

beyond words.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

“I’m It!”

Happy holidays, 2018!  Can you believe it??

 

I love this season and its invitation to explore the celebration of Light in the shortest of days and longest of dark nights. Most traditional holidays at this time of the year honor the coming of Light.

 

The Advent season—the four Sundays before Christmas plus the intervening weeks—anticipates and prepares for the birth of the Christ child, who symbolizes the ultimate Light that the darkness cannot overcome. Christmas is the quintessential archetype of light, and it takes place during the darkest time of the year for half the world.

 

In Judaism, the redemptive power of light is most poignantly present in the celebration of Hanukkah, a winter festival of lights that lasts eight days. This year it starts on Dec 3. The Hanukkah candles honor the miracle that even a small light can overcome vast darkness.

 

Solstice ceremonies celebrate the return of hope to our land in the midst of the short days, longer nights, cold weather, bare trees…  as our planet experiences the first slow turn toward more daylight.

 

These next 4 weeks our Sunday services will focus on uplifting stories and practical ideas about bringing our Light into any “dark” circumstances we may encounter for ourselves or for others. Each Sunday will have a different focus: Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy – the traditional Advent themes.

 

If you have a story to share that illustrate bringing or receiving light during a metaphorical dark night, please let me know. Another word we sometimes use for these kinds of experiences is “miracle.”  Have you had any lately that you’d like to share with us?

 

With gratitude and love,

Peggy

 

PS – One of the most wonderful stories about spreading light is of the magical “Hong Duc.”  Leane Gabel will be doing her annual reading of it on Sunday!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

Where’s Your Power Source?

I’ve been thinking a lot about power… what is true power and where does it come from? Why are so many people blinded by the illusion that power is force or domination?

 

True power is not about having your way or “winning” a war. It’s not about making others do things against their will or proving them wrong. It’s not about lording it over people or being worshiped as a star.

 

Thich Nhat Hanh, in another of his beautiful works, The Art of Power, says, “Our society is founded on a very limited definition of power, namely wealth, professional success, fame, physical strength, military might, and political control. My dear friends, I suggest that there is another kind of power, a greater power: the power to be happy right in the present moment, free from addiction, fear, despair, discrimination, anger, and ignorance. This power is the birthright of every human being, whether celebrated or unknown, rich or poor, strong or weak.”

 

I think true power comes from within. It also comes from outside of us, but only in terms of connecting to the larger energy that powers the universe. The true power Source is so vibrant, so strong, so intensely radiant, that it sometimes seems we can only manage connecting with it in small doses!

 

But it is always available, always present, no matter what our life circumstances may be.

 

Sunday’s talk will focus on ways to claim, strengthen and nurture our connection to the true power that lives in the essence of our being.

 

May your Thanksgiving be one of great thanks-giving! And may you know you are loved, exactly where and when and how you are!

 

With gratitude for all of you,

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.

 

Deserving.

I have discovered that the word “deserve” is actually kind of loaded.

 

A while back someone told me that I should go ahead and do a certain thing for myself, because I deserved it. It was a remark made in pure kindness, and I appreciated the affirmation, but it started a train of thought that has been speaking to me ever since.

 

Yesterday a coupon came in an advertising packet directed to “affluent neighborhoods.”

 

“You deserve service this good!” said the coupon.

 

“So does everyone else!” said I.

 

Sometimes the underlying message is that if we deserve something extra good, we must be extra special—more special than some other people. Furthermore, sometimes the “deserving” messages perpetuate an attitude of entitlement.

 

On the other hand, I sometimes hear people say that something good happened to them, and they don’t feel like they deserve it. Why not? They deserve good just as much as anyone and everyone else.

 

Good comes to us in many different ways. So does hardship. Mostly it has nothing to do with what people “deserve.” It has to do with an infinite variety of factors that make up the complexities of all of our lives.

 

Rather than trying to decide what we or someone else deserves, we would do better spending our energy practicing gratitude and grace!

 

Let’s talk about that Sunday!

 

In Abundant Gratitude,

Peggy

 

 

Quotes to ponder: “The joy beyond despair comes when we abandon the exhausting illusion of self-sufficiency and become the grateful recipients of the gifts that life provides.”  ~Parker Palmer

 

“You don’t have to earn grace. It is not something that comes only to the good. It comes to all alike, because all alike are expressions of God.”  ~Eric Butterworth

 

“Love protects us from nothing, even as it unexplainably sustains us in all things.” ~James Finley

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.