Newsletter

April 23, 2021

 

 

 

For your prayer and reflection this Mother's Day:

Mother’s Day can bring up a myriad of emotions in us.
On the one hand, we celebrate those mothers in our life 
who have nurtured, shaped, and guided us 
with their love and wisdom.
Some of us, whose mothers fell short of the love we hoped for as a child, 
might find this weekend a time of grief and sorrow.
At their best, 
mothers simply reflect the unconditional love of the Divine.
As many mothers tell me, something “switches on” 
with motherhood, 
and they access a depth of love 
never known before.
It is not us doing the loving.
To the extent that we love unconditionally, 
it is God loving through us.
We are but instruments of that beautiful, nurturing, comforting love and light 
that flows through us.
Mothers embody that love so fully 
because they get out of their own way- 
it is no longer an ego-bound love, 
for me alone!
When you give birth to a child, 
you give your entire life to that child.
What other than self-giving, self-emptying love 
could constantly change diapers, 
give feedings, 
and get up at all hours of the night 
to offer comfort and support?
God is the doer.
In all of our mothers, whether living or dead, 
may we not endlessly grieve their faults, 
or their death (for those who have passed).
As Paramhansa Yogananda wrote in a poem 
as he grieved his mother’s death (in Whispers From Eternity):    

“Often I discovered safety 
In the harbor of those two eyes.
Now death- a life-disrupting earthquake-
Has removed from me forever
Those dream-sheltering eyes…
Storm-driven, the boat of my life,
Now motherless, is without a rudder.
Therefore, now, my boat sails on through unknown regions,
Rudderless, directionless,
Searching through sea and sky
For those two lost, dark eyes…
Seeking those two eyes
In memories of past births and deaths
In countless lives and in countless broken dreams
In lands both known and unknown,
At last I found my mother’s eyes
In the all-penetrating eyes of my Divine Mother.

Divine Mother’s countless black eyes
Pervaded all space and gazed at me from all hearts,
They lurked at the cores of all planets,
And shone with supportive love from all stars.
Within and outside of everything,
Those two dark eyes gazed at me tenderly-
Everywhere!
Seeking, ever-seeking my departed mother,
I found the Deathless Mother of the universe.
What I had lost in my earthly mother’s death
I found again, forever, in my Cosmic Mother.
My human mother’s dear, lost black eyes
I found smiling at me tenderly
From the heart of all space,
And at the soundless center of all atoms.

“I asked my Mother Divine-
‘Oh, How cruelly, carelessly, without warning
Didst Thou strip away the diamond
Of my mother’s love from the ring of my heart!
Why, Mother?  How couldst Thou have hurt me so?’
The cloud-voice
Of my Divine Mother then spoke,
Thrilling my inner firmament:
Many times have I fed thee with milk
From the breasts of many mothers.
This time, the loving black eyes of your mother,
Though lost for a little while,
Were no one else but I, My very Self.”

On May 16th, we are having a "Self-Care Retreat Service."  Through conversations with a number of speakers in 2020, we reflected on the question, "How can we integrate the wisdom of retreats into our services and community life?"  If there is something you've experienced during retreats or that you learned about how Agape can be "retreat-like" that you'd like to incorporate May 16th or in our June service, let me (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) know!  I look forward to J.T. Turner offering some Qi Gong during our May 16 service, and Tara Whitehurst leading a meditation focused on light.    

Our Agape Core Visioning team has decided, based on the conditions we outlined in late 2020, that we are ready to begin gathering for outdoor services and events in June (with the proper precautions, which we will share in future emails).  Yay!  Stay tuned for more details in future weeks as we finalize details for June and this summer.
 
With joy in giving thanks for the love of all those who have mothered us,

Matt
 

Save the Date!  Self-Care Retreat Service

Sunday, May 16 at 4:30p.m.
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2043377541
Fill your cup and relax from daily stressors at our retreat service focused on your self-care!  On May 16th, we are having a "Self-Care Retreat Service."  Through conversations with a number of speakers in 2020, we reflected on the question, "How can we integrate the wisdom of retreats into our services and community life?"  Is there something you've experienced during retreats or that you learned about how Agape can be "retreat-like" that you'd like to incorporate May 16th?  Email to let Matt (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) know.  Depending on the number of contributions we have, we may incorporate these offerings in both our May and June services.

Initiating Inspiration Book Group  
We are reading The Here And Now Habit by Hugh G. Byrne.  All are welcome, whether you have read the book or not.  This book group is a partnership with Agape and the Waltham Public Library.
May 24, 2021 07:00 PM Eastern Time
https://zoom.us/j/99036849451?pwd=V05JdDZVQkw5WTdzNHR6NkNGaTBKZz09
Meeting ID: 990 3684 9451
Passcode: dk2j4H
Let's Meditate Together!
2nd and 4th Thursday nights each month through June 2021.
This Thursday May 13th- Peace and Relaxation with Nancy Pratt 
Thursday May 27th- with Joe Aoude
Thursday June 10th  
Thursday June 24th- with Rachel Downs
7:15-7:45pm: Virtually via Zoom (login info below)
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2043377541
Join us to fill your cup with various meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative practices.  
All are welcome.  
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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 "SNEUCC" with "Agape" in the memo line (and mailed to 5 Farrant Rd., Natick, MA 01760).   
https://macucc-reg.brtapp.com/Agape

Agape Upcoming Events: 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 "SNEUCC" with "Agape" in the memo line (and mailed to 5 Farrant Rd., Natick, MA 01760).  In this season of giving, we invite you also to consider making a pledge to Agape in 2021.  

https://macucc-reg.brtapp.com/Agape

Agape Upcoming Events: http://www.agapewaltham.org/getinvolved/upcoming