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As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I am once again drawn to one of the cores of Spiritualism, the religion I follow in my church as its Lay Minister.  This core concept is Natural Law, a collection of many natural laws.  Spiritualists believe in natural laws that have been created by God/Source.  When we follow these natural laws, life runs along smoothly, directing us to develop fully on our spiritual paths.  When we do not follow these natural laws, problems arise that will thwart our spiritual progression.

     Natural laws can be found easily in nature itself: the change of seasons, the cycle of day and night, the erosion of mountains and the courses run by rivers.  Disturbances in the health of our planet may be attributed to the consequences of ill-advised human activity.

     There are many natural laws involving human relationships.  The “Golden Rule” tells us to treat others as we would like to be treated.  The greatest of the natural laws is the natural law of love.  To give love to others is to encourage others to love you in return.  Many people understand this as the law of attraction.

     The law of love may be difficult for some people to follow when they sit down to a Thanksgiving Day meal with family.  Our most close family members may not have the same philosophical and political points of view as we do.  A simple, unoffered and unintentional (or intentional) opinion can turn an enjoyable, sumptuous meal into a battleground of heated discussion.  I recently heard the term “Friendsgiving” from one of my colleagues of the Association, a term I was not familiar with.  Apparently, it is a meal with friends on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving Day or the Friday afterward. Kind of like making up for the potential chaos of a Thanksgiving Day meal with family.

     Natural Law does not promise that there will be no conflicts in your life.  It rather means that you will be better able to navigate your life successfully with fewer problems and greater rewards. Disagreements should be handled in a way that encourages an understanding between the two parties. 

     I do not know the true history of the first Thanksgiving.  At this time, perhaps we can all reflect on our blessings and be grateful for all we have, especially those things that are immaterial.  Let us look into the eyes of each person near us in this season of light and truly see a divine child of God, a being as worthy as us and deserving of respect in our human community.


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Next steps?

At last night's community forum, Belief and Truth from a Multifaith Perspective: Finding Unity in Diversity, many expressed a desire to continue these kinds of conversations and to take action together for building bridges in our community. These are some of the ideas that were shared for next steps:

Find something concrete that we can work on together in our communityCome out with a statement to the community about this gatheringHave clergy visit other houses of worship for teaching and conversation Invite people of other faiths or no faith traditions into our houses of worshipBring younger people into our interfaith programsAsk elected officials to talk about this kind of workIdentify root causes of hatred and address themEncourage media coverage of our programs What other ideas do you have for next steps? Please share them in the comments.

First I thought I would write about love

First I thought I would write about love,  given that Valentine’s Day is tomorrow.

Then I thought, write about …

violence in our schools, streets, and homes, given that tomorrow is a terrible anniversary and last year was the worst in forty years for number of gun deaths …

climate change, given the rate at which the glaciers are melting, the seas are rising, and extreme weather events are increasing in frequency …

food insecurity, given that some 795 million people in the world do not have enough food to lead a healthy active life …

everyday dangers for people of color in our country, given the effects of prejudice and
structural racism …

greed and injustice threatening peace everywhere in the world, given … well, given everything above, except Valentine’s Day.

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Will love end violence, save the planet, cure poverty, guarantee justice and equality for all, and create a fair distribution of world resources?


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