December 5, 2018
Grieving during the holidays




As we prepare to lay to rest a former president in the month of December, it is a national reminder that loss continues to happen during the holidays.  Life unfolds without regard to what we put on the calendar and life in this human experience may bring times of sadness.  In our spiritual nature we know life is eternally present, even if not in physical form.  Our humanity longs for the physical form when the loss is fresh and forever more.  So during a season in which we are perpetually encouraged to make "Everything Merry and Bright", what happens to our grief and sadness?  Do we stuff it down, pretending to be merry?  Do we hide away?  Do we project our pain onto those around us?  Here are some things that help me when my thoughts and feelings long for someone no longer here.  

1.  Acknowledge the feelings and be present to what comes up.  It is often less work to just sit down and feel the feelings rather than wrestle with hiding or resenting the feelings.  Numbing the feelings with busy-ness, shopping, drinking and eating is easy this season but does little to dissipate them.  If we cannot be present to sorrow, we are also not present to joy.  Once I allow myself to be present to sadness, I find it easier to notice the joy.  

2.  Let go of expectations of how life and the holidays SHOULD be!  So much of our energy and emotion is tied to wanting things to be different than they are.  No matter how mad or sad we are about past events, here we are.  If I stop wishing things were different, I have a lot more energy to actually change and shape the present moment. 

3.  Celebrate the lives and maybe circumstances no longer present that you are missing.  Find ways to honor and carry on a legacy of the love you've known.  Gather others and tell stories; make a donation to an organization doing work your loved one cared about; and volunteer at a place with meaning to the life you celebrate. 

4.  Finally, when I feel a sense of loss I turn my thoughts to gratitude.  I have been blessed by the loving presence of so many no longer here.  I have been shaped by experiences no longer a part of how I live each day and I am grateful for the changes.  I am thankful each time a song or sunset or meal reminds me of the love still showing up in my life.  

The holy days of our winter celebrations are times to be the light in the darkness. These are times to gather in community knowing we are part of a greater whole, knowing the great love we have to share, and generously giving the gift of peace to ourselves and to the world.  Even in times of sadness we are held in the embrace of divine love.  Let us celebrate the many expressions of love made  manifest in each of us.    
  
Reverend Joy


Calendar for this week
TODAY:  Wednesday 12/5/2018

Thursday 12/6
7pm: Choir Practice

Friday 12/7
Office Closed

Sat 12/8

Sun 12/9
10am:  Rev Joy, "That's a Plan?"
7pm:  CoDA*

Mon 12/10
Office Closed 

Tuesday 12/11
7pm: ULV Board Meeting


* indicates non-Unity event


To listen to Rev Joy's sermon from 12/2/2018,  What Your Gifts Say, please click on the link.  
Visit our website:  
 


The Giving Tree

Our partnership with 7 Generations Charter School 
 

Thank you for your generous giving!

All gifts should be returned to the church office by Sunday, DEC 16th.  Please leave gifts UNWRAPPED with the gift tag attached!  



 
  High Tea and
Book Social

Saturday Dec 15th
3-5pm
 

 
 
 Hosted by Sandy and Rick Stober, join us for Tea, delicious snacks and a book exchange.  Our book theme this time is Humor!  Books that make you laugh will help us lighten up for the holiday.  

Bring a new or gently used book to exchange as we share what tickles us about the book we brought.  And as always, there will be a variety of teas and snacks! 

This fun social event is a love offering FUNdraiser for ULV. PLEASE RSVP on the sign-up sheet downstairs or to unitylv@rcn.com 
 
 



 
ULV Sweatshirts!  

The perfect gift for the holiday season!
 

Marisa Lenci and Joyce Buchman have teamed up to produce sweatshirts with the ULV logo.  You can now proudly show your love of Unity in the community.  

We have gray, crew neck and zipped hoodie sweatshirts in sizes from youth to 3XL.  You can get just the logo on the front or you can get the logo on the front and our PeaceHeart design with the words "May peace prevail in all hearts" printed on the back.  Prices depend on sizes and design and begin at $24. Order forms will be available at church and on the website and payment is due at the time of order.  

Order your sweatshirt NOW and get a couple for gifts!  






christmas_candles.jpg

 
  Advent of Prosperity
Our holiday series







Beginning Sunday, December 2nd we will explore a new understanding of Prosperity.  Using Edwene Gaines' book, The Four Spiritual Laws of Prosperity and elements of the Nativity Story, we will open to a sense of well-being this holiday season.  

Affirmation and Denial statements help condition our minds to let go of old beliefs and embrace new Truth statements.  As part of the series, you are invited to participate in writing and speaking aloud a set of statements written by Rev Gaines.  If you purchased a journal, begin writing the statements in your journal.  If you didn't purchase a journal, we will have sheets printed with the statements and instructions each Sunday.  Begin any time in the series.  

The birth of the Christ within our being is an ever-renewing and awakening process that unfolds throughout the year.  Let us prepare for a new birth in consciousness this holiday season. 




 
 Remembrance Service
Sunday, Dec 16th at Noon

 
Join us Sunday, December 16th at noon in the sanctuary of ULV for a time of remembrance.  Please bring a remembrance token of loved ones such as a photo or small memento to place on the altar.  

With music, readings and sharing of memories, we bring the love we carry in our hearts into this holiday time of love and light.  

This event is open to the public so please feel free to invite family and friends. 
 


 
 Prepare for 2019
Our Burning Bowl Service is Dec 30th
Our White Stone Service is Jan 6th
 


 


  Congratulations to Wilma Alvarez and Rick Stober, the new co-facilitators of our Prayer Chaplain Team.  





Have you ever thought about being one of our chaplains?  Has Spirit been nudging your heart in the direction of spiritual growth and deepening practice?  

Our 2019 Prayer Chaplain Training will be Saturday, January 5th from 10am to 3pm at Unity of Lehigh Valley.  If you would like more information about becoming a part of our Prayer Chaplain team, please talk to Wilma, Rick or Reverend Joy.  
  



 
Membership renewals are due by the end of December.  Renewals can be left in the white box at the back of the sanctuary.   If you did not receive a renewal form, there are additional forms also at the back of the Sanctuary.  

Be sure to put your correct address information on the renewal to make sure we have updated information.  



 
 
 
What are you 
grateful for?
 







Thank you to Edward Buchman for filling in for hospitality on Sunday.  

Thank you to Kari Wyler for filling in as a greeter on Sunday. 

Thank you to Rev. Joy for donating our new banner in the sanctuary.  


If you are grateful for something at ULV, send a message to the office: unitylv@rcn.com   








During your holiday shopping and all through the year, please consider designating Unity of Lehigh Valley as your AmazonSmile charity!  We appreciate you!!


 

Click on this link for  ULV AmazonSmile






Saturday, December 8th Jo "Bomba" Sieger at 
Cafe The Lodge in Bethlehem.


Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute has a new series of classes called "Spiritual Explorers" .  Online and brief, these are opportunities to expand, explore and grow.  Topics like "Good Grief", "Prosperity 4U" and "Introduction to the Enneagram" allow you find new perspectives.  For more information and registration, CLICK HERE  


Just north of us, Kirkridge offers great opportunities for renewal and spiritual exploration.   Check out upcoming programs at their website by  CLICKING HERE




Bradbury-Sullivan Center Classes, Workshops and Support
Check out the many activities.  Go to their website by CLICKING HERE   The Center is located at 522 W Maple Street in downtown Allentown.  


Contact:
Unity of Lehigh Valley
26 N 3rd, Emmaus, PA 18049
610-965-3036
Office Hours: Tue-Thur 8:30am--3pm
Closed Mondays and Fridays

Administrator: unitylv@rcn.com
Reverend Joy: revjoy@rcn.com