Arise from the dead.
And the Anointed One will enlighten you
and shine through you.
You are invited….
to a path of transformation,
to deepen your connection with God,
to companion with others on the contemplative journey,
to work to become a conscious epiphany
- a manifestation of God -
As we begin this new year, the following is becoming my prayer. I encourage you to make this your prayer as well, especially as we begin our new Aim for 2021: Epiphany Today.
Your Temple Body.
I wish to be
An “aim” is a deep intention, a goal or target for which one directs one’s attention. You can think of it as a compass for a person. If you don’t know which way to go, you can consult your compass. But to be aim-less is to lack purpose or direction, wandering without a goal. With our 2021 Aim of Epiphany Today, we are making our intention or goal to follow the Path presented in Ephesians 5:14 - awakening to the ways we “sleep” through life, aligning ourselves with Wisdom from Above while dying to the things that keep us “asleep,” so that we might allow Christ, the Anointed One, to enlighten us and shine through us.
So how is the Anointed One inviting you
to engage in this aim of
Over the course of this new year, our intention at The Center is to provide you with four primary ways to work with our 2021 Aim: Contemplative Practice, Contemplative Wisdom, Contemplative Community, and Contemplative Service. You can think of these four ways as a spiral that begins at the center with Contemplative Practice. Our most basic and foundational practice we do together as a community is Contemplative Worship. From there we might take a class and open ourselves to Contemplative Wisdom. This will inevitably lead to some form of Contemplative Community through finding a soul friend and/or a small group. And finally, being on the contemplative journey organically leads to some kind of Contemplative Service, whether that is through The Center or in your own places of labor and leisure. Each of these four areas of ministry have many ways in which you can deepen your connection with God in such a way that it makes a difference in who you are with God, self, others and the created world.
We at The Center are stewards of these four dimensions of the Contemplative Journey. Through your generous giving of your time, talents, and treasures, we are co-creating a beautiful community of love, wisdom, service and transformation.
At this time of the year, the worship communities that make up Chapelwood typically have our annual stewardship emphasis. But instead of thinking of stewardship as a way to raise a budget, please consider how stewardship is a way of helping you to consciously become an epiphany, someone who manifests God’s Light and Love, each and every day of your life. At various places around Chapelwood you may see “The Giving Path,” which is a helpful way of seeing what might be a next step for you in your own journey of giving generously. As you look at the steps below, where are you on this Giving Journey? How are you unfolding in this area of spiritual formation? Wherever you find yourself, please prayerfully consider taking a next step on this path.
- Will you be a First-Time Giver? This is a great start!
- Or will you become an Intentional Giver, giving a specific percentage of your income? Even starting with an intention of giving 1% is a great beginning.
- If you have been an Intentional Giver, will you become a Growing Giver by increasing the percentage of your income, say from 1% to 2%, or from 4% to 6%?
- If you have been on this journey awhile, will you for the first time become a Tither, beginning to give 10% of your income?
- Or might you become what could be called an Extravagant Giver, someone who is able to go beyond the tithe and give more than 10% of their income?
This will look differently for all of us as we prayerfully consider how we might increase our monetary giving to The Center. Some of us will only be able to do what we did last year. Others might need to decrease their commitment because of all that has happened in the world. You must do what you sense the Divine wants for you. But some of us may simply mechanically give whatever we gave the previous year. Please take this as an opportunity to truly consider intentionally taking a next step on the Giving Path.
Last year as a community we pledged more to The Center than any previous year! And while 2020 was a very difficult year because of the pandemic, we still raised more than our expenses, even though we did not bring in our full pledged amount.
By February 7 please click on the link below that will take you to a Google Form where you can indicate the various ways you intend to engage in our 2021 Aim of Epiphany Today. You will have an opportunity to indicate specific ways you intend to engage in our four dimensions of contemplative ministry: Practice, Wisdom, Community, and Service. At the end of the Google Form, we ask that you click on the Estimate of Giving link in it to indicate the step you are taking and your estimate of giving for 2021. This will greatly help us as we pay attention to our budget and expenses for 2021.
There is not doubt that we find ourselves in difficult times on many levels. But through it all, we can help each other navigate this rapidly changing and uncertain time of world upheaval as an invitation and initiation into a more beautiful world. Yet to get there we will need people who are yearning to be epiphanies, those who are seeking to stay centered and awake, engaging with others in soul work, striving to live in the Larger Story of Love, and meeting the world from the level of the heart.
Please join us on January 31, after Contemplative Worship, on Zoom (the.center) - to hear more about our aim for 2021 and some of the ways we will help each other this year through our upcoming offerings. Michael will also give a final update on our 2020 giving.
Thanks again for being a companion on the journey with us at The Center as we seek to help each other be epiphanies today.
Light & Life,
Rev. Michael D. Sciretti, Jr., Ph.D.