Bad noise is everywhere, mostly masquerading as good noise. After all, we ‘need’ to keep in touch with the news don’t we? We ‘have’ to listen to that ghastly music on the phone as we hold for the customer service we are seeking. And it’s only polite to listen to that person moaning about the state of the world after church or at the coffee morning (worse if it’s a relative who whinges at you regularly and has no interest in solutions!).
The trouble is, we learn very early to drown out both Spirit and our own needs and desires in that noise. We will involve ourselves in ‘busy work,’ which is an alternative version of bad noise; we will binge-watch a TV show we or spend half the day on social media.
Bad noise is very clever; it is an archetypical form of resistance. Resistance to what? To that still, small Voice inside that speaks only for our own good and happiness and which will suggest our taking the road less travelled; our road, not anyone else’s.
Did you know that the algorithms in websites like YouTube are set so that if you follow on from one video to the next, the system will show you steadily more and more negative stuff? That’s because the creators of the algorithm know that human brains are wired like Velcro for fear and Teflon for happiness. We still think there’s a sabre-tooth tiger out there waiting to eat us and we naturally seek out any cause of fear that we can find so we can protect ourselves.
Is this healthy? Not really! What’s the solution? Ah, that’s the difficulty, because the solution requires discipline and bad noise is just the opposite of that.
Grace flows to every being in the Universe, naturally. It cannot be deserved; it goes to everyone. But you can tell the people who have blocked it off and those who are open to drinking this Divine benediction. The latter are the happy ones. Yes, they have their issues too but their base station is peace of mind.
Today, allow yourself the discipline of taking just two minutes of saying, ‘I am open to Grace. I am willing to receive’ and see what happens…. You may well be amazed.
Rev. Maggy Whitehouse
Yet as a minister, I also witness how much stress and concern people are experiencing right now. Many feel overwhelmed, fearful even, as much as others feel the newness of which we spoke.
So what is ours to know and do in this moment? How do we respond to both experiences? As I check in with myself, again I am reminded about the importance of giving to ourselves – giving ourselves time to rest, relax, have fun, be in nature, sing, dance, be ourselves, meditate and pray.
This helps us refocus our attention, instead of responding to external pressures, which push us to constantly take and get more: more stuff, more money, more work. For me now, life is not about getting, it is about giving. This pushing and striving often brings more stress – it is not natural to live this way for very long. I know, because I have pushed and pushed myself. Now I recognise it is time to simply be and receive, to be able to give more fully.
Therefore, this month, again, I invite us to recognise the importance of giving time, space and energy to ourselves. As we make space for God, for our divine selves to shine, we experience the fullness of Spirit. Divine grace manifests, bringing forth our good without pressure or force – it is a natural result.
To help us with this, our Lent focus (which begins 14th February) is all about releasing and letting go of states of consciousness that block our good. As we do, we are able us to receive God’s grace as infinite love, wisdom and potential.
Every evening through Lent, we will hold a meditation, free and open to everyone, focusing on the particular quality the Lent booklet invites us to release, like resentment, blame or the need to be right (that is a big one). It truly is a freeing experience. You are warmly invited to take part with us – it is a gift you give to yourself.
To enable us receiving this gift of grace, so vitally important to our mental, emotional and spiritual health, we are delighted to welcome Rev. Maggy Whitehouse, who is leading a Saturday workshop, “Drinking in the Divine” February 17th on Zoom.
Maggy’s focus is all about releasing the blocks to our good so that we may receive divine grace as our birth-right. She has some fabulous meditations and exercises to share with us, all for just £35 (concessions offered).
As you can see, we are beginning this year in a very positive way. Join us, release the blocks to receive the flow of divine grace as infinite love, wisdom and potential. Now we are able to give the world, and all its inhabitants, that which we all truly need – we find now that we are all blessed. We directly experience – as we give, we receive.
So why did that rainbow stop me in my steps? Transporting me magically into a little girl filled with awe and wonder. Perhaps the rainbow still has magic to teach us.
After the rain, if you are lucky, you will see a rainbow. A reminder of God’s presence in stormy times.
Throughout history the rainbow has been recorded as a sign of the magical. A good omen. A symbol of positive things to come. In Norse mythology, the rainbow is the Bi-frost, a magical bridge that links the realms of man and gods. In ancient Greece, rainbows were the personification of the Goddess Isis, a messenger between Heaven and Earth, her presence was also seen as a sign of hope. In Judaism and Christianity the rainbow is a sign of the covenant between man and God, and a reminder of Divine manifestation in the physical world. Interestingly in Hebrew the word for rainbow is the same a bow, this is commonly interpreted as the bow without the arrow, seen as a symbol of mercy, an arrowless bow is not a threat.
“I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” Genesis 9:13
The Kabbalah tree of life and the eastern chakra system align colours with specific areas. A spectrum of shades, where all are equal as well as having individual spiritual gifts and meanings. The term spectrum and the symbol of the rainbow has been adopted in modernity to show support and celebration for the LGBTQ community, reminding us that every individual is a perfectly unique conduit of love. So as I go about our world today, I will remember the rainbow, its magical band of colours, and its ability to show up just when we need a reminder that God works in mysterious ways.
“For every storm, a rainbow; for every tear, a smile; for every care, a promise; and a blessing in each trial.”
Unity office administrator
Licensed Unity Minister, Rev. Ildiko Kudlik, introduces her new Youth and Family Ministry in Europe.
When I was a child, I did not have much say in my upbringing and my education. Adults around me decided everything for me. The kind of individual I was did not matter, it was all about being moulded to become part of the grey mess of invisible people. My family’s and educators’ main job was to make sure that I would fit in.
Throughout my career, I have worked with children from different cultures as an educator. I have also worked with their parents. As a result, I have created and run different types of educational programs around the world discussing with parents and educators how to raise children and young people in a way that respects their unique individuality and involves them fully.
When I started training at Unity to become a Minister, I knew that I would want to work in Youth and Family Ministry. As a minister in training, I soon learned that in mainstream education, there is one very important element missing: we do not seem to consider the ‘God element’. We train kids to be clever and how to be successful in the world, but we often forget to invite them to realise who or what lives in the core of their being. There is not true happiness without being able to connect with the source of All that we call the Divine Presence in Unity.
It soon became my mission to engage as many children and parents as possible in realising and embracing our Divinity, as the source of our genuine sense of satisfaction in Life. The never ceasing Divine Presence that embraces us just as we are at any given moment in time, is the highest form of Love. Every child should know that s/he is Loved no matter what.
Rev Ildiko Kudlik, Licensed Minister, Europe
Does this sound exciting to you? Would you like to help build and grow this new Youth and Family Ministry? If so, continue reading below.
The main purpose of the UNITY Youth and Family Ministry is to foster Divine Creativity in youth – so they can create a life that is in alignment with their deepest selves and the Divine. This enables collaboration with the Divine in parenting, giving parents the tools to support their youngsters. The online UNITY Youth and Family Ministry will be available to any child, teen, or youth and their parents across the UK and European time zones.
The main activities of the UNITY Youth and Family Ministry are:
· to support both parties to gain deeper awareness of themselves and the Unique Divine Presence in them by using creative and artistic tools
· to educate parents to use creative Divine ideas in raising and supporting their children
So, why am I writing this post apart from introducing you to our great plans?
It is because I would like to ask for your support.
I am endeavouring to create a spiritual centre that will host the UNITY Youth and Family Ministry. I need a Board of Directors who will serve the Ministry to ensure that our work is aligned with UNITY’s principles.
Are you interested in joining me on the Board and journeying with me on this project? Please get in touch with me at the contact details below.
Finally, I seek financial support so we can put down the foundations and run the Ministry until it becomes self-sufficient. If you are open to help financially support this ministry, please get in touch with me at the contact details below.
My hope and dream is that I can make a difference in people’s lives by offering meaningful and Spirit-led teachings and guidance to the members of our Centre.
Abundant Blessings to you all,
Rev Ildiko Kudlik
European Youth and Family Lead Co-ordinator
Is Unity providing a space for you to know God more fully in your life, as a personal experience of health, abundance, connection, loving relationships?
If so, would you like to dive more deeply into learning and applying more of Unity’s practices that can bless us and enrich us?
An important part of Unity is education. As we take on something new, something helpful and inspiring, every part of our life is changed.
This was my experience when I came to Unity. I did feel like I was coming home – that I had found a place where I fitted in and felt very comfortable with the teachings. Yet I have also been encouraged to take on a deeper journey of freedom and fulfilment. I have changed and grown in understanding, and, I pray, in the way I live and respond to those around me. Being in Unity has been a life-changing experience, for which I will be eternally grateful.
Would you like to experience this? We have an abundance of free resources on our website for you to explore.
Another way is to take part in our education programme. We are about to re-run the foundation class within our SEE (Spiritual Education and Enrichment) programme. It covers two of Unity’s fundamental books, Lessons in Truth, by H Emilie Cady, and Discover the Power Within You, by Eric Butterworth.
These two books have the ability to change our lives. If you are interested, you can find out more details here.
Be assured that, whatever the year ahead is calling for you to be and do, all of us at Silent Unity prayer ministry and Daily Word UK headquarters, are here for you. Never hesitate to reach out – for it is in this act that we find the support, help and companionship we seek
. Together, we learn and grow; serve and are served.
At the start of the year there is often a sense of new energy arising – leaving the past behind and moving forward with anticipation to the year ahead.
Yet it can be easy to rush into making New Year resolutions. Yes, something inside is pushing us to make a change, yet often the way we do it is unrealistic and unachievable. We give up, feel bad, and end up sometimes worse off than before we started!
This year, I invite you to take a pause before making some changes to your life. Take a moment to be still, to reflect, perhaps journal on the year that has ended; make conscious space to become aware of experiences we can learn from. Either because they were wonderful and we would like more, please! Or, because they were not what we wanted, yet happened in our lives. What was the particular message for us in that experience? What can I take from this experience that will become a blessing in 2024?
Before moving forward and taking part in our Burning Bowl service, Sunday 21st January, held on Zoom and at our Prayer meeting Room at our Taplow offices, pause; reflect. You may like to use the fabulous quote from Psalm 46:10, “Be Still and know that I am God.”
From this faith-filled stillness, know only good is coming from this quiet time. Good that blesses you and our world.
Then join us for our Burning Bowl service, when we will fully let go of that which we recognise we no longer need, to claim with faith and wisdom, the new good we wish to witness in our lives.
As we enter the New Year, let us make a commitment to do so putting God first in our minds and hearts. The turn of the year is the perfect time to make a change, find a new direction if one is calling, or take on beliefs and practices that truly serve us. There is a sense of newness in the air, a shift in energy as the days begin to get longer and brighter.
Perhaps you desire better health or prosperity; deeper loving relationships; a closer walk with God.
However the desire for greater happiness, fulfilment or spiritual awakening is calling you, together we at Silent Unity join you in prayer and affirmation, seeing with gratitude your path in this New Year unfolding with ease and grace.
In quietness and faith, we see you renewing your inner vision and experiencing God made manifest in your life in a way that profoundly blesses you, those around you and our world.
We invite you to join us in prayer and meditation through Daily Word and our online Zoom meetings; connecting directly with our prayer ministry; taking part in our January 'Burning Bowl' service. This, our first one of the year, gives us the opportunity to experience releasing old beliefs or habits and make space to claim our new good – knowing we do all through God as the One Presence and Power active in us and our world.
We are honoured and privileged to connect with you in all the ways we do, for it is together that we learn and grow. Thank you for all the ways you connect with us.
May your New Year be a delight and a blessing with new, uplifting and life-affirming experiences!
Rev. Kimerie Mapletoft
Director of Daily Word and Silent Unity UK
Unity in the UK