On Being Wholly
– Rev. Jim VanderWeele, Interim Minister
Striking the right balance between our physical and spiritual aspects is one of the most challenging aspects of existence. We are dual beings by nature, spiritual entities bound to earth by physical bodies. In our lifetimes, we are charged with the duty of nurturing and tending both with equal devotion and love. Yet while both aspects of the self are deserving of honor and respect, there is a tendency for people who are more spiritually focused to ignore, avoid, or dismiss their bodies. Similarly, many individuals are entirely ensconced in the carnal realm and pay no attention to the needs of the soul. In both cases, an adjustment is in order. We are whole only to the degree that we embrace both sides of our beings. ~Madisyn Taylor
Spring has sprung. Vegetative life has returned with a springtime exuberance. In sync with all the daffodils, azaleas, rhododendrons, I was shocked to find that two fish in our backyard water feature made it through the winter! I will never know how those fish managed to maintain their wholeness through the cold and the ice of this past winter!
Just like an unexpected outcropping of ice, our lives are filled with factors that trouble us. There are huge demands on our time these days. Twenty-first century life has a rigorous pace. We hear views and opinions we wish were never spoken. Someone we love needs help. Someone we help needs love. In the midst of this we focus our search for truth and meaning, often without considering whether we are whole enough to do the things we hope to do.
The first message of this month (the personal message) features a recent book by Joe Dispenza, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself: How to Lose Your Mind and Create a New One. An Olympia, WA, resident, trained in biochemistry and chiropractic, Joe has also studied neurology, neuroscience, brain function and chemistry, cellular biology, memory formation, aging, and longevity. In his view, old habits pull people back to old ways of doing things. In addition, the old brain many people have often gets scattered (a chart in the book shows such a scattered focus) as it tries to keep up with everything it is trying to do. His solution is to rid yourself of the old ways and then to start anew. This message will share several insights from the journey he describes for losing the old mind and creating a new one.
I return to the pulpit on Easter Sunday with a message entitled Broken People End Up Bigger People. As people around the world consider resurrection, our look is at the pierced hands, the crown filled with thorns, and the sword stuck in the side, all of which led to a transformation to (in the terms of the text) a whole and healthy Jesus who returned to share good news. This service will feature special music provided by the Portage Bay Big Band.
– Rev. Jim VanderWeele, Interim Minister
It has been a true joy to observe the hard work of the Northlake Search team over the course of the last few months. Their task has been most difficult: meetings each week, reading, writing, planning, interviewing, and selecting the person they find best suited for ministry at Northlake. Although I do not know their choice as I write this article, I am delighted with their huge task and trust that they have served you well. If you get a moment, please thank the members of this team (Stacy D, Minette L, Pam D, Mary D, Mariana A-T, Dave T and Laurence F) for their attention and focus through the entire search process.
I suspect that one of the joys they shared with the candidates was that Northlake has many members who willingly support the life of this church. This was brought home to me during a week when I have been away from the area. Email after email has been filled with people who discuss roles in upcoming events, coordinate leadership in meetings, agree to provide food, sign up to be a greeter, and publicize upcoming events. Even in my absence, people showed up for the last session of discussion on Transcendentalism. Although this sentence might make no sense at all: the life of the church depends on the life of the church, and many of you have done a terrific job of making Northlake a truly wonderful religious community.
Thanks to all of you for all that you are doing. The simple act of continuing to do what you are already doing will make Northlake a wonderful religious community through many years to come.
Membership Team Update
– Cyndy J.
The Membership Team is getting ready to roll out a new program, designed to help new people feel comfortable in the Northlake community. Please consider being a Northlake Mentor. Job description: contact assigned new person(s) several times over several months, answer questions (or find someone who can), assist in connecting them with people having similar interests, assist in finding a group/team/committee that fits their needs and talents.
Recruiting will be starting soon!
Contact Cyndy J. for more info.
What We Didn’t Learn in History Class
– France G.
Was slavery abolished so long ago?
In 1995 the Mississippi legislature voted to ratify the Thirteenth Amendment, abolishing slavery, after having rejected it in 1865.