Archive for March, 2011

Class: The Search for the Historical Jesus, Wednesdays, 04/27-05/25

March 15, 2011

The search for the historical Jesus and what it means in your life today

Wednesdays, April 24 – May 25, 7:00-9:00 p.m.

 

This exciting, interactive, research-based class begins with the question: “what do we really know about this historic figure called Jesus?” We will then move on to modern scholarly alternative interpretations about the message of Jesus, and relate these understandings to Unity beliefs. The class will be facilitated by Jim Cox, who is currently a Board of Trustees member, sings with Synchronicity, and serves as a YOU leader.
Here’s a rough idea of the course outline:
Week I: Who was Jesus?
  1. First principles: what facts are more or less indisputable?
  2. Original sources and biases:
  1. Perspectives of the three different Christian sects in the early church: Nazareans, Paulians, and Gnostics
  2. Canonical and noncanonical early sources: including Canonical letters, Canonical Gospels, Q, Gospel of Thomas, Hebrew Gospel.
  3. Earliest historical perspectives: Josephus, Clement, Origin, Eusebius, etc.
  1. Techniques used by modern biblical scholars to attempt to extract truth from these disparate sources.
  2. Pass out Jesus Seminar chart detailing their estimates of probability of truth for every saying and event in Jesus life, to whet appetite for week II.

Week II: Separating wheat from chaff about Jesus’ life: What has modern scholarship deduced?

  1. Regarding what Jesus actually said.
  2. Regarding politics of Jesus.
  3. Regarding virgin birth.
  4. Regarding childhood.
  5. Important people in Jesus’ life: and why some of these end up being disguised.
  6. Regarding miracles.
  7. And the big one: regarding resurrection.

Week III: Different Modern Perspectives on meaning of Jesus’ life and teachings.

  1. Jesus as son of God (e.g. William Craig, standard Catholic/Protestant belief).
  2. Jesus as savior of Man through sin atonement (particularly Protestant belief)
  3. Jesus as apocalyptic prophet (e.g. Bart Ehrman, E.P. Sanders, John P. Meier)
  4. Jesus as Revolutionary messiah (e.g. Robert Eisenman, Gerd Theissen)
  5. Jesus as Myth (e.g. Earl Doherty, G.A. Wells)
  6. Jesus as Wisdom Sage (e.g. John Crossan, Robert Funk, Stephen J. Patterson)
  7. Jesus as Man of Spirit  — at very end, whet appetite for week IV.

Week IV: Jesus as Man of Spirit and relating that to Unity beliefs

  1. Process theology
  2. Panentheism
  3. Various viewpoints of scholars who adopt this type of position
  1. Geza Vermes
  2. Stevan Davies
  3. Marcus Borg
  1. Irony: Why two major religions were created after the death of two anti-religious but spiritual men (Jesus and Buddha).
  2. How this relates to New Thought and Unity.

 

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Spiritual Enrichment: How to Walk a Labyrinth

March 15, 2011

What is a Labyrinth?

A labyrinth is a single path tool for personal, psychological and spiritual transformation. The true labyrinth has no false pathways or dead ends to confuse those who follow its winding course. The mouth is where you enter. You walk on the paths or circuits. The walls keep you on the path. The goal is in the middle of the labyrinth. When you reach it, you have gone half the way. You need to turn around and walk out.

Walking the labyrinth is more about the journey than the destination (we know we are going to get to the center),

it is about being rather than doing, integrating body, mind and spirit into Oneness.

How to Walk a Labyrinth

There are as many different ways to walk the labyrinth as there are individuals. When we walk the labyrinth, we discover our sacred inner space. We are attracted to healing tools such as labyrinth because they deepen our self-knowledge and empower our creativity. Walking the labyrinth clears the mind and gives insight into the life journey.

 It calms those in the throes of transition, and helps us to see life in the context of a path. We realize we are not humans on a spiritual path, but rather spiritual beings on a human path. It urges actions and stirs creative fires. To those who are in sorrow, it gives solace and peace. The journey is different for everyone , as is life, for we each bring different raw material to the labyrinth. We bring our uniqueness, and often depart with a greater sense of oneness and unity. So, walk as you are , with the understanding that you can access the truth in your soul.

Maintain a relaxed pace and allow adequate time for meditation / relaxation while at the center. Each movement entering and departing should be controlled, focused, and done in silence. Allow your other senses (sight, hearing, smell, touch) to be heightened throughout each stage of the exercise. At the conclusion of the walk of the labyrinth, you should experience a sense of being centered, having a strong ki flow, and conscious of a clear and relaxed mental state.

People have different experiences walking the labyrinth. As with all practices of prayer or meditation, your experience will grow and deepen the more you do it. There is no “right” experience. Some people feel a sense of peace. Others find old memories rising up as they walk. Others find themselves thinking about an immediate situation or person. Others walk at varying speeds as different thoughts and emotions come and go. Some people experience physical sensations, perhaps become light-headed, or have a feeling of floating above, a feeling of weight, or of great warmth. Some people have profound insights. Others have very small experiences or none at all. The experience of walking the labyrinth is different for each person, each time. Whatever you experience, it is your experience. Relax and see what happens.

A BASIC WALKING EXERCISE

Think of a question or concern, clear your mind of conscious thought, and just walk mindfully through the labyrinth. Feel the inherent power in the sacred design and notice how you feel when you reach the center. Pause in the center, and listen to your inner Spirit for answers and insights. When you feel ready, begin your mindful walk out of the labyrinth. Pay attention to your emotions and feelings as you walk, and especially as you  emerge from the labyrinth.

The Labyrinth as a Method of Problem Solving

The three basic parts of the labyrinth are the entrance, the circuits, and the center. 

 Pause at the entrance and think of a problem or concern. It is important that you stay open to receiving a solution. The labyrinth is entered on circuit number 3. When you have your issue clearly identified, begin your silent walk into the labyrinth. Walk at a slow pace, not stopping until you reach the center.

Each path is associated with a feeling or attitude about the problem or concern.

As you walk, focus your attention on the following:

Circuit 3 – Explore what “you “think” about the problem.

Circuit 2 – Explore what you “feel” about the problem.

Circuit 1 – Explore how this problem affects you in your physical world. (i.e. money, possessions, health).

Circuit 4 – How does this affect your spiritual life? Does it aid in spiritual growth? Does it inhibit spiritual growth.

Circuit 7 – Ask your Higher Self/God to walk with you. Place the problem in the hands of your Higher Self/God and be thankful.

Circuit 6 – Ask for vision — a solution to your problem. When it comes, accept it without judgment. Accept the idea of a solution that you have been given.

Circuit 5 – Ask yourself, “What is the first step?” Let it come.

Goal (Center) – This is the place for just pausing and letting the solution you have been given settle in. Just be with it. This is the first half of your walk.

Circuit 5 – Look at the first step you were given with non-judgment.

Circuit 6 – Keep looking at answer you were given in a non-judgmental way.

Circuit 7 – Thank your Higher Self/God for giving you this awareness.

Circuit 4 – How will this solution affect your spiritual life? Will it help you grow or inhibit you?

Circuit 1 – How will this solution affect your physical life —your body, your health?

Circuit 2 – How does this solution make you feel?

Circuit 3 – What do you think about the solution? If it still just doesn’t seem like the right solution, try walking again later! You might try asking the question in a little different way.

 At the entrance to the labyrinth, turn and give thanks for the guidance you received. Notice how you feel as you emerge from the labyrinth. Use the labyrinth as a helpful tool for growth!

SEE-in-the-Field: Spiritual Enrichment Classes – June 20-24 + Bonus Class 6/26

March 8, 2011

SEE = Spiritual Education & Enrichment! June 20-24 ~ SEE-Raleigh, 2011

Please join us for a SEE-in-the-Field Week in Raleigh, NC, co-sponsored by our three Unity churches in the area: Unity Church of the Triangle; Unity Spiritual Life Center, Durham; and Unity Church of Raleigh. This is a wonderful opportunity to participate in one, or up to four different classes, each offered for 2-hours a day, for the week-long class! An amazing array of spiritual education and enrichment opportunities.

Here’s the link for more detailed information: http://www.unityspirituallifecenter.org/SEE.html

When you go to the link, you can download posters and tri-folds describing the event, along with registration forms.

This is our third SEE-in-the-Field, and we are very excited about continuing this great spiritual education tradition! This year we have added three opportunities for evening classes, to allow more working people to be able to attend!

Please tell everyone you know about SEE-Raleigh, and encourage them to attend! The week is scheduled for June 20-24with classes held at Unity Church of the Triangle in Raleigh, and a bonus class on Sunday, June 26 at Unity Spiritual Life Center, Durham.

Rev. Paul Hasselbeck, Dean of Spiritual Education & Enrichment at Unity Institute, will be joining us, offering:

  • Metaphysics 2, Part 1 and
  • Discover the Power Within You.

In addition, the following courses will be offered:

  • Bible Overview, Hebrew Scriptures (Ogun Holder);
  • Myrtle & Charles on Healing & Wholeness (Rev. Jennifer Holder);
  • Metaphysics 1, Part 1 (Revs. Bil & Cher Holton);
  • Prosperity (Ogun Holder);
  • Wisdom of the Heart (Rev. Neusom Holmes); and
  • Five Love Languages (Revs. Bil & Cher Holton).

Rev. Paul Hasselbeck will also be offering a BONUS class for 4 hours of SEE credit (or audit) on Sunday, June 26 at USLC, Durham, entitled PowerUP with Metaphysics: Another Metaphysical Romp with Paul Hasselbeck.

Feel free to direct your questions to Rev. Cher Holton at 919-767-9620cher@unityspirituallifecenter.org/

Please join us in spreading the word about this incredible opportunity to earn SEE credits and meet up with like-minded folks right here in our sub-region! And we hope to “SEE” you there YOU too!

Activities for February!

March 8, 2011

Adult Spiritual Education ~ Monthly Activity Report, February 2011

Weds., Feb. 2, 16, 23 —Discover the Power Within You (avg. 15 attendees)

Sat., Feb. 12 AND Feb. 26 — Prayer Partner Training (6 participants)

===== Other Items of Interest =========

SEE meeting and work on SEE-Raleigh 2011.

Postings to Adult Spiritual Education Blog.

Planning for upcoming months!

 

Cher participated in a Webinar for self-development in using Prezi as a tool.

 

Bil & Cher attended National Speakers Association Conference, focusing on Thought Leadership and social Networking.

 

 

Blessings,

Cher & Bil

Drs. Bil & Cher Holton
Spiritual Leaders—Unity Spiritual Life Center
2604-H Carver Street, Durham, NC 27705-2796
Church Office Phone: 919.471.3504
Home Office Phone: 919.767.9620

 

Class: Keep a True Lent, March 16-April 20, 7:00-9:00 pm

March 1, 2011

Based on the book, Keep a True Lent, by Charles Fillmore, this class guides you through an experiential observation of the Lenten season, from a Unity perspective. Unity believes we can keep Lent best by denying ourselves of negative thoughts and feelings instead of “things.” Through prayer, meditation, and study, we can enhance and strengthen our awareness of our Oneness, and be the best Christ we can be! Facilitated by Shawna Donaldson.

The text, Keep a True Lent, can be read online at: http://uniticsonline.tripod.com/uni-texts.html

It is also available by ordering through our bookstore, or at Amazon.com.

Ash Wednesday Soup/Chili Supper and Service – March 9, 6:30 pm

March 1, 2011

Join your USLC Spiritual Family as we kick off the Lenten Season by celebrating together with a soup/chili pot luck meal. You are invited to bring your favorite soup or chili, or some accompanying bread, crackers, salad, or light dessert to share.

Following our shared meal, we will have a special Ash Wednesday service — which will share the meaning of Ash Wednesday from a Unity perspective! Our choir, Synchronicity, will be performing; Aaron Evans will share his musical gifts; we will participate in a special service of anointing. This is a beautiful evening that will boost your spiritual energy and connect you with your spiritual family in a very special way!


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