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Newletter – Summer 2020

“LET’S WALK THIS SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TOGETHER”

From the Pastor’s Desk…

The Covid 19 Virus and an Interruption to Our Way of Life

These are truly unprecedented times we are in. Our society is faced with a virus that travels via silent carriers, actively ill carriers, on surfaces we touch..on and on. People are tired of staying home. They are afraid for their businesses and their jobs. We saw armed individuals angrily storming the Capitol in Lansing, waving flags that invoke hatred and separation between people in our history. Scary times! Everyone you talk to looks back longingly at pre-Covid times.

Where is the pearl in the oyster? Where is the hidden wisdom in this awful human theater playing out in our daily lives? If we can identify it and integrate it into our life experience, we will have found the “God” in this planetary pandemic.

One of the lessons to come out of this virus is patience. We are a society that wants everything now. Microwave dinners in 5 minutes, 3 Minute Miracle Hair Conditioner. We have lost interest in hearing about this disease at every turn. We don’t want to stay home. The pressure is building to get back out there and do something, even if it’s wrong! Meanwhile, science is struggling to catch up with what we know about the spread and “cure” for this virus. The medical community needs time to develop vaccines, treatments and different tests for it. Nothing can happen fast enough, but safety protocols ask that we be patient. The number of cases and deaths has to have time to stabilize via our protective actions or scientists tell us it may come back with a vengeance.

Another lesson to offer itself to us is the difference between “we” and “me”. What do we sacrifice in immediate gratification for the sake of someone else’s safety? What is healthy self care? Can we be sensible about protecting ourselves and others as we try to rejoin the workforce?

Remember the biggest key to mastery on this Earth plane is the lesson of balance. Stories told about balance go back to the Old Testament of the Bible: There is a place for balance in all things if we look at the two sides of the Covid story getting all the headlines. Each side, political or philosophical, believes they are right. The extremes of either are counterproductive. This is a time like no other for meditation. Find your own sacred space in the center of your being, resting in that silence. Let the inspiration from your guides and teachers come before your mind’s eye. Find a sensible middle ground. Ask for direction to be shown to you. Send out planetary healing. Invest your creative energy in positive solutions to your family’s needs. Refrain from feeding energy to loss, failure or hopelessness.

With that in mind, we can see we are being offered a choice. Do we feed the energies of peace or chaos? Do we turn on each other when someone doesn’t agree with us 100%? Do we call

out backward behavior? Can we find the balance in the midst of a pandemic? The universe asks us to come together as one to find a sensible middle ground and go forward with a single eye on conquering the challenges of our planetary upheaval.

Tens of thousands of our fellow Americans have lost their lives to this virus. Whenever we see a massive demonstration of loss of life, as we have seen all through our history, we know that each of those spirits volunteered to be a part of bringing these lessons to life for the other incarnate beings on this Earth as they added this potential exit point to their charts. Honor their sacrifice by doing your homework! Lightworkers are found in all walks of life! They use their knowledge of God energy to spread love, healing and understanding throughout planet earth. They ask “How can I help?” The answer can be as simple as, “Send love energy to all the hot spots.” Invoke peace. We don’t all have to be first responders or doctors or nurses to make a difference. We can sit in meditation and call in the wisdom and guidance needed by our leaders. We can decree Divine Order is always at work, whether we can see it or not. Even repeating the phrase “There is peace on this planet, now, under grace, in perfect ways,” will anchor more positive energies on this material plane. Feed good energy to the good people who are trying to do good things for all humankind. Be as good a listener for someone else as you are an advice provider.

Not everything that interrupts our daily life is meant to be here and gone in the wink of an eye. But I urge you not to miss the chance to use your metaphysical tools to create the changes you wish to see. The lesson of the Old Testament Parting of the Red Sea was faith in the energies we work with. By invoking the Healing energy of God to surround a swirling sea of emotional, mental and physical chaos, we see a path before us emerge that is solid ground.

Namaste.

UPDATE ON SERVICES AT CHURCH The Board is actively looking at ways to create safe spaces for people to one day come back into our little building and resume worship together. We are also waiting to be guided by the governmental guidelines for crowd size in worship service settings. When we can determine how and when to resume weekly indoor services and adhere to the safe guidelines, we will notify everyone on our mailing list. As of this writing we are still under a Stay at Home directive for the state. You can keep up with our progress on our Facebook page. We are also exploring a special trial outdoor service in the summer months with social distancing in place. It will be held behind the church building in our back yard. If we schedule it and it rains, it would have to be postponed. We don’t have anything sizeable enough to sit under, nor would it be practical to set up a tent of some kind and leave it up when we are not present to keep an eye on it. Stay tuned to the Facebook page and notices we will send out. IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE INTERNET this would be a time to ask someone else from church who does to keep you up to speed. Our Facebook page and the web site are the most instant venues for up to the minute information. You can also always call or email Rev. Laura.

There are no calendar pages in this quarterly mailing. If we do resume in person services, they would be held during summer service times, 6:30 PM Healing and 7:00 PM Worship. Nothing else is scheduled at this time until we know we can gather safely and according to government guidance for social distancing.

SPECIAL SUMMER QUARTER SPEAKERS CONTRIBUTE WRITTEN SERMONS Because it may still be some time before it’s safe to hold services in our small space, Rev. Laura has invited “Guest Contributors” to submit sermons during June, July and the beginning of August. These are individuals who were are standouts from UMC Seminary faculty, graduates, and out of town Ministers who in some cases have visited our church in the past. They were chosen to be invited because of their outstanding work. Don’t miss their inspired work! Each will come with an introduction on the web site or Facebook page the week we feature their sermon. Some names you will recognize!

WEEKLY RESPONSIVE READINGS AND SERMONS/WEB SITE CONSTRUCTION ZONE Responsive Readings have been posted on the Facebook page with links to the web site for the corresponding sermon every week since we went on hiatus. We will be undergoing a web site overhaul in the coming weeks. If we are unable to post sermons on the web site during construction, sermons and responsive readings will both be available on our Facebook page.

PSYCHIC SATURDAYS/WAYS TO GET A READING– Psychic Saturdays have concluded until it is once again safe to sit with others in a reading situation in these times of social distancing. If anyone would like a telephone or video chat reading, contact the Minister/Medium of your choice and see if they are able to assist you. If you need help contacting someone, email Rev. Laura at percheronhitch6@yahoo.com. Every Medium has a different idea of what venue they are comfortable with, how much time they have for doing readings and reading costs, so be sure to find out when you schedule a reading with them.

NEW!!! VIDEO MEET UP ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS– Coming soon!!!! Revs. Joy F. Thompson and Carey Barker have been working on getting a video conferencing platform for a series of group chats about metaphysics in the time of the virus restrictions. All are welcome. When they are ready to begin, we will let as many people know as we have emails for or who visit our web site and Facebook page.

REGULARLY SCHEDULED CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS – Are on hold at this time. If a Teacher is able to offer class on a video group basis, we will contact class members with the necessary information.

BOARD/MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS: At this point in time, Board meetings have been scheduled as needed via round robin emails or phone conferencing. Membership meetings will not be scheduled until we can find a suitable video platform or be together with appropriate social distancing on the church property. Stay tuned. Any meeting of the membership or Board will always come with a written notice of time and place.

HEALING REQUESTS– Our healing channels are available for adding names to their personal healing lists. Leave a request on our Facebook page or via private messaging on Facebook.

WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER? After you have attended services for a time, if you desire to become a member, you can fill out a card located on the information counter and give it to a Board Member. It will be voted upon at the next Board meeting. You will receive a philosophy packet as well as a New Member Handbook to look over, and can ask Rev. Laura any questions you might have. Your Membership is formalized after Board approval with the Right Hand of Fellowship ceremony during a Sunday worship Service. If you wish to become a member during our hiatus, email Rev. Laura at the email address in this newsletter. We welcome new member Rev. Joy F. Thompson, a long time speaker and teacher at our church!

OUR MINISTERS OFFER COUNSELING, SPECIAL SERVICES

Our Ministers are available for personal counseling. In our church, that can mean two things. Pastoral Counseling is available for your life challenges and relationships like at any other church. Additionally, we offer Spiritual Counseling when you feel you need a private half hour reading. Pastoral Counseling is a part of our ministry and is a free service. Private readings are paid to the Minister you choose to ask and cost $60-$75 depending on the person you wish to sit with. Both types of assistance require appointments that can be made with that person. Our Ministers are also available for weddings and other special services. Ask about our flier outlining these services.

Announcement – April 17, 2020

CORONA VIRUS CONTAINMENT UPDATE

Bay County is under a State of Emergency until May 12th. We are now closed until the board can revisit the situation after May 12th at which point we will  see if that status changes and it might be safe to open.  Stay safe and healthy!

Announcement – March 23, 2020

CORONA VIRUS CONTAINMENT UPDATE

With today’s directive from the MI. Governor, we are to shelter in place for 3 weeks.  This means, unfortunately, that the hoped for re-opening for Easter Sunday can’t take place.  The Easter sermon by Rev. Joy Fletcher Thompson will be on the website that week instead.  The Board will reassess as this virus management continues to evolve.  So, stay tuned… keep safe and send healing out into the world every chance you get!

Announcement – March 18, 2020

CORONA VIRUS CONTAINMENT MESSAGE

To all of our members and friends of the First Spiritual Church of Bay City

At the March 15th meeting of the Board of Trustees, it was decided that, out of concern for the spread of the Corona Virus which has come to Bay City and Michigan very rapidly, that we close until at least April 12th, Easter Sunday.

Before that Sunday, we will re-evaluate the situation. We will consider the “curve” of cases in Bay City and surrounding communities.  We will check with the State of Michigan and its mandates for limitations on gatherings.  Then we will reassess.  We have a congregation which included vulnerable adults or those who care for vulnerable adults.  Every factor will be considered before we reopen.  If we do reopen for Easter Sunday, the service will be at 10:30 AM. with no separate Healing Service.

This means there will be no Guides and Teachers Meditation Class on 3/19.  There is no Rev. Donna Fitzgerald Weekend on 3/27 and 3/28.  The Memorial Service for Rev. Joan Anderson has been postponed by her family.  Psychic Saturday on 4/4 is cancelled, as is the Development class on 4/5.

We will be posting weekly sermons on our web site at bcfirstspiritualchurch.com written by the scheduled speakers for each week.  Our web site and our Facebook page (the one with the blue origami bird logo) will be our fast “message boards”.  You can also contact Rev. Laura by calling the church number 989-686-6300 and following the instructions.

This move is unprecedented in our 73 year history.  Never have we been confronted with the need to close our doors.  However, it is the prudent thing to do at this time. All around us, people are practicing “social distancing”- sheltering at home, schools and many businesses are closed.  Safety for everyone we love is Job 1.

As Divine Spiritual Metaphysicians, it is a call for all hands on deck!  Meditation is key- not only for your own family and friends, but for our planet and all our fellow Children of God.  As sparks of the same Divine Source, we resonate with the White Light of Christ Consciousness.  We can become one with that consciousness and direct it out throughout planet Earth for healing and transmutation. We consider the nature of “scientific prayer” as taught by the New Thought Movement.  We do not beg for healing, which only calls in to us the lack of it.  We express gratitude for the healing that is already taking place within that light which permeates our planet and everyone/everything on it.  We give thanks for the highest and best outcomes for everyone touched by this disease.  We visualize this light filling and surrounding the scientists and the doctors, filling them with wisdom and inspiration as they work on patient care and the discovery of vaccines and treatments for all people.  We see it delivering love and support to those in nursing homes, hospitals, homeless shelters- all those who fear they are alone or unloved.  We see Divine Order being at work whether we can see it or not.

So, until we can be together again, I bid you “so long for now.”  Be safe.  Be well.  Keep us updated on Facebook or messaging if you need to be added to our healing lists.  Prayer work and daily meditation continues.

Yours in Spiritual Service,

Rev. Laura MacLachlan

Pastor/President

Newsletter – Spring 2020

“LET’S WALK THIS SPIRITUAL JOURNEY TOGETHER”

From the Pastor’s Desk…

Spring quarter is around the corner! Our Easter Service falls on April 12th this year. On Easter, we hold one service at 10:30 AM only. There is no afternoon service.

Great news: The UMC Board voted to allow us to leave the United Metaphysical Churches. Full speed ahead in this, our 73rd year, which reduces to a 1 year for the church—New Beginnings!

In March we get a visit from Rev. Donna Fitzgerald from Alpharetta, GA. She will hold a Trance Circle with a group of Universal Masters on Fri. March 27th at 7 PM. Cost: $20. On Saturday @ 10 AM, a fun class on Spirit Art..Different from any you’ve had in the past! Rev. Donna writes, “Spirit speaks to us in so many different ways!” including channeled art! Cost: $20. She will also be our Sunday speaker that weekend.

Work continues on our new Seminary, The Great Lakes Seminary for Divine Studies. We are beginning classes in the fall. Stay tuned! We intend to offer programs for Ministers, Celebrant Ministers, Teachers, Energy Workers and Retreatants who just wish to take classes for their own enjoyment.

On Thursday, April 30th at 6:30 PM we will hold a Healing Service and piano recital presented by our own Sharon Costello. As those attending have time in healing stools, going into healing meditations, Sharon will share her gift of music including the special pieces she doesn’t usually play during our worship services. Cost: Love offering.

Keep in mind our summer hours begin in May. The Healing service will be at 6:30 PM and the Worship service will be at 7 PM.

We do not have a strict dress code at our church. Our hope is that everyone is made to feel welcome and comfortable. However, at the request of some of our congregants, I have to ask that if anyone likes to remove their shoes during the service, they continue to wear socks. We appreciate everyone’s sensitivity for others surrounding this issue.

Namaste.

 

PSYCHIC SATURDAYS– Psychic Saturdays continue on the first Saturday of every month through April. They go on hiatus from May to September. We start at 11 AM and take our last appointments at 1:15 PM. It is a first come, first serve basis. Donation: $15.00. This annual monthly fund raiser helps to defer heating costs in the winter months at the church.

THERE WILL BE A CLEANING DAY after Psychic Sat, on March 7TH. Many hands make light work, so let’s get as many as possible to come and help! We have cleaning supplies; we just need your participation.

BOARD/MEMBERSHIP MEETINGS: A Board Meeting will be held Sunday, Mar. 15th at 4:15 PM and Sunday, May 3rd at 5 PM. A Membership Meeting will be Sun. May. 17th at 5 PM.

CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS – Rev. Sandra’s Guides and Teachers Meditation classes will meet on the third Thursday of every month or as they agree on times and days. We will announce them at church or on Facebook. Re. Laura’s Development Class for your spiritual gifts will continue on the first Sunday of each month at 4:15 PM until May when we move to summer hours.

WE ARE ON FACEBOOK– For last minute announcements, church closings due to weather conditions, class offerings, see our First Spiritual Church of Bay City page or group page. Our web site is also up and running!

WANT TO BECOME A MEMBER? After you have attended services for a time, if you desire to become a member, you can fill out a card located on the information counter and give it to a Board Member. It will be voted upon at the next Board meeting. You will receive a philosophy packet as well as a New Member Handbook to look over, and can ask Rev. Laura any questions you might have. Your Membership is formalized after Board approval with the Right Hand of Fellowship ceremony during a Sunday worship Service.

OUR MINISTERS OFFER COUNSELING, SPECIAL SERVICES

Our Ministers are available for personal counseling. In our church, that can mean two things. Pastoral Counseling is available for your life challenges and relationships like at any other church. Additionally, we offer Spiritual Counseling when you feel you need a private half hour reading. Pastoral Counseling is a part of our ministry and is a free service. Private readings are paid to the Minister you choose to ask and cost $60-$75 depending on the person you wish to sit with. Both types of assistance require appointments that can be made with that person. Our Ministers are also available for weddings and other special services. Ask about our flier outlining these services.

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