January 12, 2021
“Give and it shall be given to you …
pressed down and running over …
shall be poured out into your lap.”
Winston Churchill said, “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” One of the things I most admire about Churchill is that while he had a difficult childhood, he was able to give wonderful fatherly love to his children.
We will soon celebrate Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. While he is known for many great sayings, the one that often comes to my mind is the following: “Life’s persistent and most urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
Yes, the vaccines should be coming our way in 2021; unfortunately we will probably have to face some very challenging and difficult times. Hardly a day goes by where I am not directly reminded that the need for food, warm clothing, and other necessities is still growing in Roanoke Valley. Fortunately, there are many people of good will in our community. It is difficult to express the wonderful feeling I experienced with the transfer the food, clothing, and toys from Unity of Roanoke Valley’s Giving Room to people and organizations that could use our contributions.
As noted, the needs are still growing in our community; therefore we are going to keep the Giving Room open 24/7 during January. Please continue to bring your contributions of food and clothing to the Giving Room. We are adding something else to the Giving Room. We are borrowing a tradition from Eastern European Jewish communities. In the synagogues you would find a “tzedakah” box. Tzedakah is the Hebrew word for “righteousness.” (Remember that Jesus said, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness.”) If you had money you would put some into the “tzadakah” box, and if you needed money you could take it out of the box. This system worked remarkably well in the Jewish community.
In January, come to the Giving Room and put into the boxes if you can. If you need food and clothing, there will be a place in the Giving Room where you, or anybody you know who is in need, can take. I have faith that our “tzadakah” box will work as well for us as it did in Eastern Europe. We will also give food and clothing to fantastic groups like Feeding Southwestern Virginia and the Rescue Mission.
Please consider this other important form of giving:
Our 2021 Committed Donor Campaign.
This is giving to Unity of Roanoke Valley. We have started our 2021 Committed Donor campaign. In 2020, it was our Committed Donors that allowed us to remain financially sound and provide so many traditional and new services in the pandemic. Through these pledges, we can budget and spend responsibly.
I would ask you to please take this matter to Spirit. Ironically, we have several wonderful opportunities to spread Unity’s positive spiritual message to many people who might have not been open to Unity prior to the pandemic.
Our YouTube and parking lot services are reaching an impressive number of people. Our online classes and groups are being joined by many people. Many churches have closed down their youth and family programs. We continue to have an active and vital youth and family program despite COVID-19. I have been doing a great deal of pastoral counseling in recent months, and our 26 acres remain a beautiful spiritual oasis. Thank you in advance—for without you we could not continue.
Information and forms about being a Committed Donor have been mailed out to URV members and friends. If you have any questions about either the Giving Room or being a Committed Donor, contact me: (571) 215-9481.
Another thing happening at URV about giving is the new Sunday series: Prosperity in 2021. This three-week series focuses on Unity principles related to prosperity. The series began with the January 10 service. If you missed this service, you can watch this message by clicking here or by going to this address: https://youtu.be/oodQJ0P3UnA.
Unity principles about prosperity apply to much more than financial resources. Real prosperity is a state of consciousness. A key part of this process is related to… guess what? That’s right. It is related to giving! That great Unity teacher, Eric Butterworth, used the image of a person trying to water his lawn with no water coming out of the hose. Eric suggested that looking down we would see that the person’s foot was on the hose, blocking the flow of water. Eric said that when the foot is taken off the hose, the water will flow. How do we do take our foot off the hose of our prosperity? Eric’s answer is by giving.
Another great Unity teacher about prosperity, Edwene Gaines, says that abundance becomes a reality when we give where we have been spiritually fed. I have told the true story at URV of how I started to tithe (give 10%) and six weeks later my salary was increased by 22%. This convinced me that you cannot ‘out give’ God.
Jesus said it the best: “Give and it will be given to you … pressed down, running over, and shaken together, will be poured out into your lap.” As Winston Churchill, noted, we don’t give to get. The irony is that when we truly are in the spirt of giving, good things start flowing to us beyond our wildest dreams. I have seen this happen time and time again!