Universal Brotherhood President’s Message
January 1, 2019
Just a moment ago I was wishing everyone a happy and healthy New Year for 2018, and now the gateway to another year of life is presenting itself to us. My wish is always that the hope, peace, love and joy of the Christmas season remains with us throughout the year, but I am also a realist, and know that we might benefit from a guideline of sorts to help us on our journey. My suggestion is that we take some time for honest self-reflection before jumping into the hectic activities of another 365 day journey through life.
A worthy point of reflection is the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Galatians, where he identifies the nine virtues that he calls the fruit of the spirit. These nine virtues are what he refers to as true signs of spiritual depth and maturity, they include: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Being a “Minister to mankind” is so much more than attending to the rituals of weddings, christenings and funerals, it’s about self-development and an ever deepening sense of personal awareness. With this in mind, I would appreciate all of us taking a moment to ponder the following:
LOVE: Did I love well this year? Was love for my family and associates evident in my words and actions? Did I demonstrate love in the way I loved and respected myself?
JOY: Was I able to live in the present, and experience moments of sheer joy that exceeded simple happiness?
PEACE: Was I able to put an end to tensions and move beyond old resentments to experience true peace? Did I work at creating peace in all of my relationships? Was I able to move beyond the past? Was I able to be peaceful within myself?
PATIENCE: Was I able to remain patient in even the most frustrating situations? Was I able to be patient with myself, or did anger and frustration take over?
KINDNESS: Was I a genuinely kind person this year? Were my words and actions kind, and did I only speak kindly of other people? If others were unkind to me, how did I respond?
GENEROSITY: How generous was I this year to support causes that nurture my life? Did I share my bounty generously with others and where did I volunteer my time and talents?
FAITHFULNESS: Was I a faithful servant in my spiritual life? Did I nurture my soul by cultivating spiritual disciplines? Was my spiritual practice a daily ritual?
GENTLENESS: Was I a gentle witness in sensitive situations? Was I able to show compassion to those who were hurting or afraid? Was I gentle with myself?
SELF-CONTROL: Was I able to manage myself well this year? Was I disciplined with my routine, maintaining good practices? Did I eat or drink too much? Did I get enough sleep and make time to exercise regularly? Did I choose my words carefully, remaining mindful of their power? Was self-care a top priority throughout the year?
Being a fully functional human being, while also cultivating an authentic spiritual life, is no small task. Everyone has flaws or shortcomings, it’s just being human. Our attitudes are affected by stress, and the world around us can seem to be out of control at times. All the more reason to cultivate a richer spiritual life centered around inner work and self reflection that develops our character and creates a healthier state mind~body~spiritual connection. Please be gentle with yourself going into the New Year, and try using Paul’s nine virtues as a guideline to help you navigate 2019.
As a Universal Brotherhood Minister, you are embraced and cherished for the part you’ve chosen to play on the world stage. You are never alone and are always considered “family” by our Founders, Rick and Jeni Prigmore, our Executive Director, Robin Morini, to our Corporate Board and to me. May your LIGHT continue to shine brightly throughout all of 2019, and may you know genuine peace, love, clarity and ease.
Blessings to you and to all those you hold dear,
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