We are being chisled,
polished...and sculpted


Chisled. Polished. Sculpted. Those words have been floating in my mind since Rev. Sherry Foor's beautiful homily at last Sunday's service. She invited us to think of the chaos in our world in terms of it being a powerful time of pivotal change that yields something even more beautiful than we had imagined. As a sculptor chisels, shapes and polishes her clay or stone to reveal its magnificence, so is the Divine sculpting, shaping and molding us to reveal our greatest selves and deepest Truths. Wow. 

And while I cannot compare the events in the world to the recent upheavals and displacements we've been experiencing in our Spiritual Home during our renovations (which are part of ANY renovation project), I certainly can view them as our very own "shaping, sculpting and polishing" -- revealing to us something more significant than we ever imagined.

Have you had the opportunity to just "be" in our new Sanctuary? If not, I invite you do come for our Evening Meditation this Wednesday evening, or before our Service starts on Sunday morning. Find a seat. Look around. Breathe. Close your eyes. Listen. 

Can you feel it? Something powerful has happened. What might have been simply cosmetic changes, like new flooring and new pews, has become much more than that. A transformation. A shift. A revelation. All seems comfortably familiar, yet all seems more vivid than ever. 

We've poured stunning, fresh energy into this radiantly-revealed space in the two months since its unveiling. In addition to our uplifting Young People's Service, reflective Winter Solstice Service, and joyful Christmas Eve Service in December, we've blessed our space in January with our New Year's Message Service. We hosted our first Evening Meditation, Psychic Fair, annual convention and Wellness Expo in the new space. We unveiled our new Message Lottery and the "ISDivas" Metaphysical Conversation Circle. We even had a wedding! 
Magic and transformation is most definitely at hand.

So I ask you as we hold on through the remaining days of the renovations in our Fellowship Hall, to remember that something greater than just remodeling is taking place. And we ALL will be a part of its infusion of new, wonderful energy. As we have been promoting for the last several weeks, we have revised the after-service Fellowship gathering to be a "Pot-Luck" experience, and all members and attendees are invited to bring whatever they would like to contribute to the experience each week. The experience is now up to EVERYONE, EVERY WEEK, and not just the burden of one person all of the time. What better way to take ownership and add magic to our renovated and "transformed" space? 

Don't worry -- the events keep on coming, and we sure hope to see you there to add your unique and special presence to them. 

Our Evening Meditation takes place this Wednesday, February 1. What better way to start the month than some quiet time in candle-lit stillness? 

Also this week, on Thursday, I am absolutely TICKLED to be offering the launch of our "Spiritual Screen& Share" program, in which we will screen spiritually-focused television programs and movies, then hold a sharing session afterwards. Thursday evenings in February we will view episodes of, then discuss our response to, Oprah Winfrey's glorious "Belief" docu-series, which takes an intimate look at the unique spiritual journeys of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, ethnicities and geographies around the world. Do join us for this Fabulous February experience. 

ISD-DC folks in for a treat mid-February when Rev. Kathy Kerston from ISD-Sparta returns for a week residency! She'll hold a unique and energized "Treasure Mapping" workshop that will feature the "vision-boarding" process based on your customized astrological chart, and charged with fung shui and Emotional Freedom Technique "tapping."  The deadline to reserve a spot for this workshop is February 10 and you must forward your birth information to Rev. Kathy as soon as possible. 

There is even more on the schedule, and more being added, so be sure to check out the ISD website for the most recent updates and additions to the calendar of events. 

If you know someone in need of special prayer, you can fill out our online prayer request. Our weekly Prayer Circle convenes every Sunday evening remotely to pray silently for those on the weekly list of requests. 

Needing some inspiration or a recorded guided meditation to help you attune to Spirit? Check out ISD's Soundcloud page for a comprehensive list of past Sunday Service homilies, Sunday service meditations and evening meditations.

We are indeed chiseled and polished sculptures whose beauty is revealed when we are together!  

Rev. Rob Banaszak
Pastor, Institute for Spiritual Development, Washington, D.C. 
How to Beat the Winter Blues
With Hilary Loewenstein
Tuesdays, January 31, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Cost: $25 members/$30 non-members

Sure the winter months can present challenges to our daily mood. The days are shorter, it's cold outside, and the sun doesn't seem to shine as brightly. For the last two Tuesdays in January, join Life Coach Hilary Loewenstein and learn some proven techniques to help raise your mood and chase away those winter blues!

Evening Meditation:
A Wednesday Wonders Event
With Rev. Rob Banaszak
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Love Offering Suggested

We started our monthly Evening Meditation a year ago, but this year it becomes one of our new "Wednesday Wonders" events at ISD. Evening Meditation will fall on the first Wednesday of each month, and our new Message Lottery event will take place on the last Wednesday of each month. Mark those calendars now!
At our Evening Meditation, join us as we unwind and unplug from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. We'll take a mini-journey into the stillness together, where we can relax and "just be."

Spiritual Screen & Share Series:
Oprah Winfrey's "Belief"

With Rev Rob Banaszak
Thursday, February 2, 2017
7:30 p.m.
Cost $25 members / $30 non-members

Join us on Thursday evenings this February as we screen several episodes of Oprah Winfrey's groundbreaking documentary series that explores humankind's ongoing search to connect with something greater than ourselves. Following the screening, we'll share our responses to the episodes in a group discussion, taking a deeper and closer look at our own spiritual journeys, in the context of those in the series.

Treasure Mapping:
Getting Ready for the Personally Empowering 1 Universal Year 2017

With Rev Kathy Kerston
Saturday, February 18, 2017
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Cost $80 members / $85 non-members

Using your Astrology chart and your personalized Human Design chart, and laying them out using Feng Shui, Rev. Kathy Kerston will help you create a highly-customized treasure map/vision board that you'll empower with Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT), also known as "tapping." This highly-charged map is not one you will put away when you get home - you will use it and "charge it" every New Moon all year long. Click the "Learn More" link below read more about the workshop and to access the PayPal form to register (the most efficient, expedient way to ensure your workshop slot), then send your birth information to Rev. Kathy Kerston asap. 

Institute for Spiritual Development