It was autumn 1992, and the NAMES Project AIDS quilt was on public display on the National Mall for the last time. Sadly, it had grown so large that displaying it again in its wholeness would be untenable. Each panel of the quilt represented an individual who died as a result of complications from HIV/AIDS. Currently more the 48,000 panels have been created.
When a loved one dies I'm often asked, "why did this have to happen?" One answer is fairly obvious: from the day we're born, our death is inevitable; but that's hardly a consolation. Why is it that some people live to be past 100 years old, and others only survive a few hours. Why is it that kind and generous people sometimes die while they're raising families or making meaningful contributions? Why is it that sometimes people die from bizarre accidents or senseless acts of violence?
I'm away at the 2015 Annual Unity People's Convention in Albuqurque, NM and have been inspired by the the time for many reasons; yesterday took the cake.
On Sunday, May 31 I shared a few words from my Unity past that have contuined to inspire and sustain me for over 25 years. These words were the "Opening Statement" we used at Unity Christ Church of Wimington, NC that opened the Sunday services at that ministry for many years. There are as follows:
God is All
Both Visible and Invisible
At last night's "Background of New Thought" class, we spent some time examining an idea put forth by the ancient Greek philopsopher Plato called "forms." According to Plato, everything that exists in the material world has a correspending perfect ideal - "form" - that exists in the immaterial world.
Last night at Unity of Fairfax we started a 5-week adventure called "Background of New Thought," a spiritual education and enrichment class that explores the origins of not only Unity but other related spiritual movements. These movements include, but are not limited to, Christian Science, Divine Science, Science of Mind, Centers for Spiritual Living, Theosophy, and Unitarian-Universalism.
I love Silent Unity! For 24 hours a day since 1890, Silent Unity has been in continual prayer for any concern or gratitude that anyone might have. Initially the work was done in person, then through paper letters, then via telephone, then via email and through its website, and now, yes, there's Silent Unity app for smart phones called "uPray." It's true!
So what happens the week after Holy Week?
The logical explanation is that the preparations begin for the liturgical holiday "Ascension," the ascention of Jesus into Heaven which Luke, in the book of Acts, describes as occurring 40 days after Easter. There's that number again - 40!
Lent was a 40 day period of preparation (well, 46 days if you include the Sundays - which the Lenten period does not), then 40 days later comes the Ascension.
Beginning with Palm Sunday on March 29, we entered the week known as Holy Week or Passion Week. It is the week that leads up to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus.
On Palm Sunday, I shared two different lenses with which to view Holy Week: