October 23, 2020
For your prayer and reflection this week:
Stress is known in our culture as the “silent killer.”
Scores of illnesses are known to have stress
as a significant contributing factor.
If stress is that which depletes our energy-
from the outside or inside-
then retreat is that which fills our cup.
In our current world of a perfect storm of stressors,
if you do not have any means of retreat
you will soon become jaded,
or burned out.
You will know you are nearing these states
when you manifest impatience with loved ones
or irrational anger in your life,
among other symptoms.
Ask yourself what avenues you can create for retreat
What are your rhythms of retreat?
Examine the rhythms of your life.
If you notice they are primarily stress-driven
then talk to a coach, therapist, spiritual director, or pastor.
Find support in shifting your habitual ways of being
from a stressful pace
to a savoring pace.
In sacred space and in community,
engage in the work of transformation
from the inside out,
so that you might offer the best version of you
to the world.
Friends, I am very excited for our guests at Agape over the next month, and in particular this Sunday October 25th. We are welcoming Asha Nayaswami, who will share with us about how retreats can be powerful and life-changing. Asha is a lifelong disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda, and studied and worked closely with his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda for 45 years. On a personal level, I've benefitted greatly from the wisdom of Asha and from the power of the retreats at the Ananda community that Asha is part of. I look forward to Sunday's sharing and question and answer conversation afterwards with Asha. We will try something new, streaming Asha's talk live on my Facebook page, and posting her talk on Youtube afterwards. You can access the order of service here. This Sunday we'll also have a Children's Moment, and if kids want to share any object that is important to them at the beginning during our welcome, that is welcome too!
Saturday, November 7th is our virtual Agape retreat! I'm quite excited for two amazing people to join us. My favorite seminary professor Rev. Dr. Kirk Jones will be speaking with us at 1:30pmabout his book "Addicted to Hurry." If you haven't already gotten a copy of Kirk's book "Addicted to Hurry", let me know and I can send you one. Rev. Dr. Leon Campbell from the Agape International Spiritual Center (in Los Angeles) will share with us at 4:30pm. Details about these events and our retreat are below. You can register for Dr. Campbell's talk here.
Lastly, Thursday night myself and other Agape persons joined over 100 people for a virtual action to ask Mayor McCarthy to support people without homes during this pandemic. We heard powerful stories from housed and unhoused leaders about the importance of this work and the challenges of life without bathrooms or indoor space. Thankfully, Mayor McCarthy recently put two portable toilets in front of the library. This is a great start, but it's not enough. At times this winter, people without homes in Waltham are in danger of having no indoor space to take refuge from the cold. Might you consider taking an action by calling or emailing the Mayor to advocate for safe, clean spaces for our unhoused friends this winter? A sample script and the Mayor's contact information can be found here. There was an article about the action in the Waltham Patch here.
I give thanks today for the love that inspires us to serve the Divine in all,
Agape Virtual Events and Actions, open to ALL:
Agape Service: Why Are Retreats Powerful and Life-Changing?
With guest Ananda Minister Asha Nayaswami
Sunday, October 25th at 4:30pm
Asha is a lifelong disciple of Paramhansa Yogananda. She studied and worked closely with his direct disciple, Swami Kriyananda for 45 years. Asha means “hope” in Sanskrit. Her teachings are non-sectarian — sharing the truths that underlie the great religions. She draws freely from both the Bible and the Bhagavad Gita in her teaching. Asha’s video talks on YouTube and audio recordings are a spiritual lifeline for people of all faiths around the world. Thousands of students have been immeasurably helped by her unusual insight and clarity.
Action to Provide Support for Unhoused Persons in Waltham this Winter
Thursday night, October 22nd, many of us gathered for an online action to ask Mayor McCarthy to work with us to support people without homes during this pandemic. Might you consider taking an action by calling or emailing the Mayor to advocate for safe, clean spaces for our unhoused friends this winter? A sample script and the Mayor's contact information can be found here.
Thursday Night Meditations
Our Thursday night half-hour Meditations will continue through December 2020. Come, fill your spiritual cup in supportive, spiritual community! Our next Agape Meditation is:
Thursday, October 29th 7:15-7:45pm
Led by Carolyn Caissie
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 204 337 7541
Agape Virtual Retreat with special guests Rev. Dr. Kirk Jones and Rev. Dr. Leon Campbell!
Saturday, November 7th
10:30am-12pm- Singing, Prayer, Community Check-ins
Rev. Dr. Kirk Jones presentation: "Addicted to Hurry"- 1:30-3pm, Saturday November 7th
Rev. Dr. Leon Campbell presentation 4:30pm-5:30pm November 7th
Virtually via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/2043377541
Join Rev Leon Campbell Jr. as he presents a virtual workshop to
the Agape Spiritual Community in Waltham
Saturday, November 7th at 4:30pm-5:30pm (EST), 1:30pm PST
Register here for Zoom link: https://tinyurl.com/yyr4lcfo
Or streaming from Matt Carriker’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/mcarriker1
Rev Leon’s topic is “A Family Reunion”. This virtual workshop will examine what happens when we awaken and explore our God given Uniqueness. He will talk about some of things that happen when we tap into our YOUnique fingerprint, a resounding assembly takes place and we become aware of our True potential and power. Join us on this virtual retreat and bring the entire family.
Dr. Campbell has been the Director of the Agape Youth and Family Ministry at Agape International Spiritual Center since November 2004. Agape has one the largest spiritual youth communities in the country. The ministry services over 1,000 children per month. He has developed a comprehensive youth curriculum featuring original programming encompassing self-expression, creativity, spiritual practice, sacred rituals and service projects for youth of all ages. You can read more about Dr. Cambpbell with his bio here. A flyer for this event is here.
New Agape upcoming events posted here: http://www.agapewaltham.org/getinvolved/upcoming
To make a love donation to support the unfoldment of Agape's vision in the world of living and spreading unconditional love, you can donate at the link below, or checks can be made out to "MACUCC" with "Agape" in the memo line (and mailed to 106 Stearns Hill Rd., Waltham, MA 02451).