Minister's Post, Fri Feb 10

Dear Ones:

We hold in our horrified hearts this week all the people affected by the earthquake in Turkey and Syria. Its magnitude was 7.8, with aftershocks that reached as high as 7.5. Early reports cited 4,300 dead and thousands of buildings destroyed. The death toll has climbed as more and more bodies are found in the rubble. This morning’s news put the deaths from the earthquake at over 20,000.

Many of those who have survived so far face bitter cold temperatures and a dearth of safe shelter, food, and clothing amidst the rubble of collapsing buildings and roadways.

Here’s the message from our Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) following news of the disaster:
UUSC and our community are in solidarity with the people of Turkey and Syria and the first responders and community activists mobilizing support for communities impacted by the devastating earthquake on 2023 Feb 6. We know that this is a time that global solidarity can strengthen mutual aid on the ground and support long-term movement-building for human rights. Currently, UUSC does not have capacity to support the immediate rebuilding as we focus our work with our current partners and their movement for self-determination, migration, justice and cultivating community in the face of criminalization.

At this time, we encourage you to consider donating to
the Global Fund for Human Rights earthquake response where 100% of donations will be distributed to local civil society groups on the ground and
the White Helmets supporting the earthquake response in Syria.

You may also consider donating to
Violet Syria and
Nuday Syria.
This suffering is our very own, so how can we not be compassionate?

Yours in the faith we share,

Join a Journey Group: http://cucwp.org/journey-groups

I.C.Y.M.I. (In Case You Missed It)

The Feb 5 service, "Cultivating Ourselves"

"Cultivating Ourselves" sermon text at The Liberal Pulpit.

The Jan 29 service, "Mistakes and Miracles"

"Mistakes & Miracles" sermon text at The Liberal Pulpit. PRACTICE POINTER

Today’s Practice Pointer is in the “Occasional” category: exercises that probably aren’t for every day for the rest of your life, but can be really helpful for a few days every once in a while. So this week, try this for a few days:

The Mirror Exercise, from Jonathan Robinson’s Find Happiness Now.

There is no substitute for really liking yourself – yet many of us don't feel good about ourselves. Simply go to a mirror.
Look yourself in the eyes. Notice what thoughts or feelings come up for you.
Then, begin talking to yourself out loud, as if you were talking to a really good friend. Tell the person in the mirror how much you care for and appreciate them. Acknowledge what you're proud of.
Imagine that you're talking to a young, vulnerable child who needs to be encouraged.

It's common for negative thoughts to arise when you are complimenting yourself, but keep at it, and self-criticisms will fade more into the background, and self-appreciations will be taken in at a deeper level.

After a while, you'll begin to feel a deep love and compassion for the person in the mirror. If all you say is: "I am committed to loving you and taking care of you" this is enough to have powerful effects.

You may feel squeamish, silly, or stupid at first. Your resistance is an indicator you could greatly benefit from this exercise. You are, in fact, an absolutely perfect rendition of you. Don’t take my word for it. Take your word for it.

For more helpful guidance on how to do the mirror exercise, including variations you may want to try, see the full post: "The Mirror Exercise."

Here it is, your...
#145: The Train

Be in touch with your essential nature (as if that were possible!), or be out of touch with your essential nature (as if that were possible!) -- but what's the point of saying so? Saying it is just words. Show us how you live it (if possible), or don't (if possible). Show us your (and you're) humus.

Wolverine spoke up during the question period one evening and said, "I am finally in touch with my essential nature. It has been hidden all this time."
Raven said, "Is that so? Well, well."
Wolverine said, "It's my basic nature, the source of my inspiration."
Raven said, "My, my."
Wolverine said, "It's beyond all ideas of life and death."
Porcupine said, "More like the train beyond Cedarford."
Mole asked, "What do you mean?"
Porcupine said, "It never seems to break down."
Wolverine put her head on her paws.
Next day, Woodpecker spoke to Owl about this. "I thought Porcupine was bristly toward Wolverine last night," she said.
"Yes," said Owl, "Porcupine was being Porcupine. But you know, Wolverine did break down at last."
Two trains, Ego and Egoless,
Never slow down,
and never break down.

Ego: unstoppable.
Even when it's derailed, it hardly notices,
it reconstructs the rails under itself so well.

Egoless: unstoppable.
Wherever you look, its rails have long since
Already been placed.

Two trains, one train
Ego and Egoless the same
Numberless trains
Merge ahead.
Case adapted from Robert Aitken; introduction and verse by Meredith Garmon

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