Faith & Spirituality

Unity to host workshop on coping with grief

Loss and grief are inevitable parts of our lives. How do we grieve the many forms of loss that life brings to us? Is there a right or a wrong way to grieve?

Tears are a common form of expression understood across cultures, particularly when a death occurs. For men, it is still somewhat unacceptable; a quick tear or two seems okay, but not outright sobbing.

Is there a correct length of time to express your grief? Wearing "widow's weeds" is a term for a mourning custom where the woman donned heavy, concealing, black clothing, and veils. Even today, in some countries such as Italy, Greece and Portugal, widows will wear black for the rest of their lives.

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Volume 8, Issue 14, Posted 9:45 AM, 07.19.2016

Bay congregation finds new home Avon Lake

Christ Church Westshore, an Anglican church most recently worshipping at Bay Middle School, has moved to Avon Lake, sharing the building with Calvary Baptist Church at 32607 Electric Boulevard. The first service sharing the building was on June 12.

For now, the two congregations of two different denominations will share the building, with Calvary Baptist services remaining at 9 and 10:45 a.m. in the Worship Center on Sundays and Christ Church Westshore services being held in the Fellowship Room at 8, 9:30 and 11 a.m. Eventually, Calvary Baptist hopes to build a new church on land purchased several years ago by the congregation and located at Lear and Krebs roads in Avon Lake. Christ Church Westshore would then purchase the Electric Boulevard property.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:31 AM, 06.21.2016

Plenty to do at Unity Westlake

Unity of Westlake always has something new to learn, a familiar concept to get a deeper understanding of, a night of family fun, or a way to help yourself or others. From senior lunches to yoga to anger management groups, the offerings are a veritable smorgasbord of education, spirituality and fun.

The cost - sometimes free, sometimes a heartfelt love offering, but always reasonable. Ongoing classes and workshops below are open to all.

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Volume 8, Issue 12, Posted 9:33 AM, 06.21.2016

Amma Sri Karunamayi at Unity

Amma Sri Karunamayi has been described by many as the embodiment of love. She describes herself as our soul-mother who loves her Cleveland babies. She is here to uplift everyone, of all faiths, or no faith. Her purpose for being here is to give love. Her guidance for all is "love and serve."

Amma was born in India, but travels the world giving discourses on the fundamental truths that support all faiths. Her charity, SMVA Trust, has built two schools, whose students otherwise would be child laborers, and 32 water treatment plants, with more villages waiting for them. Her 21st annual tour of America began in March. She'll be in the U.S. for five months, giving individual blessings and group meditations, traveling from Los Angeles, to Dallas, to Cleveland.

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Volume 8, Issue 11, Posted 9:49 AM, 06.07.2016

Children and spirituality

Prayer is the cornerstone of the Unity philosophy, and a way of life. Children our are future. How do we teach children that they are spiritual, not just physical beings, living in a very physical world? How do we explain that the Divine Source is within, and follow up with how to go within? How do we reinforce that faith, hope, love and compassion are important, and can be practiced in everyday life? Not only is "how" a consideration, but what age is appropriate to instill these critical concepts? 

Unity believes that their teachings can make a positive difference in the lives of children and families. Unity minister Rev. Jim Fisher created three guiding principles for the Youth Ministry that supports the healthy development of the spiritual and emotional lives of individuals. He gives insight into the particulars of how to accomplish these. Children who have participated in the Youth Education Program regularly will understand these principles; the first has to do with love.

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Volume 8, Issue 9, Posted 9:48 AM, 05.03.2016

Transform your life with retreat weekend

Unlike the butterfly, who transforms itself from a caterpillar through a series of orderly and distinct steps, we humans have many choices for transformation. For spiritual transformation there is prayer, meditation and chanting. Alone or collectively they can prove to be powerful. For healing wounds of the past, psychotherapy can bring about transformation through introspection. For physical transformation one can implement change by eating lots of veggies, and participating in exercises such as lifting free-weights or yoga.

Simply transforming a gloomy mood can be a project of self-love. Enter a more blissful state by listening to your favorite brand of music, talking to supportive friends, or watching comical YouTube videos like "Baby Panda Sneezes."

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Volume 8, Issue 8, Posted 9:44 AM, 04.19.2016

The meaning of 'Christianity Evolved'

The sign on the front lawn of Unity Spiritual Center displayed just two words: Christianity Evolved. Those two words sparked a lot of curiosity, started new conversations, and in general stretched people's cerebellum into new pathways. What exactly did the sign mean?

These two words lead us to the works of Ken Wilber. If you've never heard of Ken Wilber, author of the "Sex, Ecology, Spirituality: The Spirit of Evolution" and "Integral Psychology," he's worth knowing. He uses a quadrant to suggest the breadth of all human knowledge and experiences. His quadrant explains a comprehensive metatheory proposing that all forms of knowledge and disciplines are coherent. It's heady stuff that requires more research if you choose, but within the quadrant the interior and the exterior of the individual and the collective are the focus.

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Volume 8, Issue 7, Posted 10:08 AM, 04.05.2016

You are invited to a free, interactive Stations of the Cross and labyrinth walk

Please join St. Barnabas Episcopal Church on Saturday, March 19, from 1-3 p.m. for reflection, prayer and an interactive experience.

Come prepare for Palm Sunday and Holy Week by reflecting with us on Jesus’ journey to the cross. All are welcome, no exceptions. The interactive stations will engage all five senses. The pilgrimage will start in the Sanctuary, and is designed for you (and your family) to go at your own pace. Please dress comfortably for the weather as the final Stations will be outside in the prayer garden and in the labyrinth.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:05 AM, 03.15.2016

What does the cross mean to you?

I find it fascinating that the cross is the symbol of the Christian faith. Crosses are everywhere in our culture. When you pause and think about it, a cross is an odd symbol. An execution tool would come to embody a movement of hope. Would you wear a tiny electric chair around your neck, or on a business card? I don’t think so, yet we do so with the cross.

Why is the cross the symbol of the Christian faith? The cross is where God forgave the world without lowering His standards. How could He do this? In a sentence: God put our sin on His Son and punished it there.

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Volume 8, Issue 6, Posted 10:03 AM, 03.15.2016

Dover UCC leads interfaith study of Abraham

At a moment when the world is asking, “Can the religions get along?” one figure stands out as the shared ancestor of Jews, Christians and Muslims. One man holds the key to our deepest fears – and our possible reconciliation. Abraham.

Beginning on Feb. 21, three faith traditions will convene to discuss Abraham, the man at the heart of the world’s three monotheistic religions. Members of Beth Israel – The West Temple, Dover Congregational United Church of Christ, and The Islamic Center of Cleveland will meet on four consecutive Sunday evenings to learn what each sacred text says about Abraham and his role in their faith understanding.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:32 AM, 02.16.2016

Young Life to host 75th birthday fundraising banquet

Young Life, an international outreach to middle, high school and college-age students, is celebrating 75 years of impacting kids’ lives. Begun in 1941 in Gainesville, Texas, Young Life arrived in Cleveland’s Westshore communities in 1970 at the invitation of area churches and adults who loved kids and wanted each one to have a chance to consider the Christian faith in terms they could understand.

Young Life Cleveland invites area adults to join in the celebration of this milestone birthday at our annual fundraising banquet on Sunday, March 13, 5-8 p.m., at the newly opened Emerald Event Center in Avon.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:55 AM, 02.16.2016

Enter the Stillness

Scores of books have been written on the subject, but coming up with a clear, concise definition is quite another matter all together. Some call it prayer's partner. In the quiet, in the stillness, the moment presents itself. When the outside world fades into nothingness, and the inside heart space becomes the reigning kingdom, thoughts like tiny boats on a glistening sunlit river drift by.

This is meditation, at least one description of it. Meditate alone wrapped in a blanket, meditate in a group sitting in a comfortable chair, meditate with a guide or a guru, read a book on it, take a class on it, load an app on it, listen to meditative music during it, use a mantra, light a candle, find your own meditation path.

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Volume 8, Issue 4, Posted 9:34 AM, 02.16.2016

How to walk like Jesus

It seems like we just put away the Christmas decor, got into the swing of our New Year's Resolutions, then, as they say, Easter comes early this year. Along with Easter comes Lent, and even though it sounds mighty early, Lent will begin on Feb. 10. Lent is 40 days before Easter, or one-tenth of the year, like a tithe of time, spanning from Feb. 10 to March 27, Easter Sunday.

In many faiths, Lent begins with Ash Wednesday and ends with Holy Saturday. Sundays are not included in the six weeks of Lent as they represent mini-Easters. The word Lent is derived from the Anglo-Saxon word "lencten," meaning Spring. Mardi Gras translated from French means Fat Tuesday and is the day before Lent. It is the feasting and partying just prior to the fasting and preparation of Lent.

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Volume 8, Issue 3, Posted 9:51 AM, 02.02.2016

Prayer hotline offers strength in Silent Unity

Are you finding the New Year not quite so new, because the "same old, same old" followed you right in with it? Are New Year's Resolutions harder to keep than you thought, while old habits seem to cling like sticky store price tags, or spidery cob webs?

Some troubles just seem to continue year after year. It might be health problems, or a car that constantly needs fixing, or an adult child that can't seem to find his or her way. It might be your finances: bad investments, high credit card interest rates, or college loans due. Perhaps a dream has stalled, hasn't come true, and now it seems like it never will.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:55 AM, 01.19.2016

'Catholics Coming Home' program at St. Raphael Church

For the 11th year, St. Raphael Church in Bay Village, will conduct a series called Catholics Coming Home on seven Wednesday evenings, Jan. 27 through March 9, from 7-8:30 p.m. These sessions are for non-practicing Catholics interested in returning to the Catholic Church.

There will be informal sharing and an update of the Catholic faith in a support-group format. Join us and reconnect with our Catholic community.

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Volume 8, Issue 2, Posted 9:58 AM, 01.19.2016

Local rabbi chosen for groundbreaking national program

Rabbi Melinda Mersack, Director of jHUB, a joint initiative of the Jewish Federation of Cleveland and the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland that connects interfaith families to Jewish life in Greater Cleveland, was chosen to participate in the prestigious Rabbis Without Borders (RWB) program. This is the sixth class selected for RWB, Clal’s landmark initiative that helps rabbis make Jewish thought and practice more available for improving people’s lives.

Rabbi Mersack has led jHUB since its inception in May 2014. The need for this new initiative came out of the strategic planning process of the Federation and the work of its Engagement Task Force, chaired by Kevin Margolis.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.19.2016

'Good tidings of great joy'

A nearly life-size crèche representing the first Christmas in Bethlehem is displayed in the outpatient lobby at St. John Medical Center in Westlake. The traditional scene contains Mary, Joseph and the Three Wise Men – Melchior, a Persian scholar; Caspar, an Indian scholar; and Balthazar, a Babylonian scholar – bringing their gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. A shepherd boy, with a lamb around his shoulders, and an angel who visited the shepherds bringing them “good tidings of great joy,” announcing the birth of Jesus, complete the nativity scene.

The newborn baby Jesus will be placed in the manger on Christmas Eve.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 11:15 AM, 12.15.2015

Resolutions: So easy to make, so hard to keep

They're a great idea, and a holiday tradition – just like decorating Christmas trees, sipping eggnog, baking Christmas cookies with sprinkles on top, or singing carols. It is easy to create them, yet so hard to follow through with ... those New Year's resolutions.

It's a brand new year and starting fresh, shaking off the dust of the old, hoping for a better year, a better you, and embracing transformation is right up there with transforming the house with Christmas lights and decorated stockings. Funny how things sound good in theory, yet prove difficult when attempting to put them into practice. Most resolutions are set with sincerity, enthusiasm and interest, and fall by the wayside due to the passage of time, the difficulty of the resolution, or even forgetting what those resolutions were, as life becomes busy and complicated.

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Volume 8, Issue 1, Posted 9:57 AM, 01.05.2016

Care trip to Africa leaves lasting impact

Imagine losing your job and being disowned by your spouse, family, and friends because of an HIV/AIDS diagnosis. This is the reality in Africa.  

But CARE for AIDS (CFA) holistically and lovingly addresses the emotional, social, financial, physical and spiritual needs of such a person. With help from CFA, people with HIV are living an additional 20-25 years. And because these people, many of them parents, are living longer, there will be approximately 18,529 orphan-less children raised by one or both parents!

In September, along with my husband and three other couples, I left Bay Village and traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, on a CFA “Impact Trip” to learn more.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:44 AM, 12.15.2015

Finding joy in the Christmas story

Christmas 2015 has arrived and I hope for you and your family, you will have the opportunity to take a deep breath and relax amid the frenetic pace of the season. Like every year, this Christmas season will be filled with joy and much activity. Cookies are baked, cards sent, school concerts are performed, and presents of all shapes and sizes will be exchanged. We all have been on the lookout since Thanksgiving for the perfect gift, the one that will bring great delight to our loved ones.

And as always, you know the story of what Christmas is all about. You know the characters, you know the plot and you know the climax. I know that you know all of that, but I would ask you to stop for a moment and reflect with me. It’s the Christmas story – Christ’s mass story. You’ve made this journey, what – 15, 25, 45, maybe 90 times! Is this story nothing more than a Christmas Day yawn for you? Or, are you amazed all over again?

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:43 AM, 12.15.2015

Sunday TV or Sunday service

There is no denying it, we live in an age of convenience; we value things that give us the gift of no fuss. Take food for example, many meals are prepared in the microwave because it's quick and convenient. Almost gone are meals cooked from scratch on a daily basis. Have we sacrificed quality for convenience? Many of us would agree there is nothing like a home cooked meal, but on the other hand many wouldn't be without a microwave. 

Television can do a world of good, and churches and centers across the country have boarded the technology bandwagon as well. So why not just get up on Sunday morning, grab a cup of coffee or orange juice, stay in your PJ's, turn on the TV and see what one of the popular TV ministers has on their minds? It gets back to quality over convenience! It's not to say that some of the popular TV ministers are without a good message, many deliver fine, uplifting sermons, but there is a vitality, an essence of humanity that is missing.

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Volume 7, Issue 24, Posted 9:42 AM, 12.15.2015

Dec. 13 candle lighting connects grieving families

Buddha says life is suffering. Some can only imagine the agony of losing a child, while others experience this extreme loss each and every day, some ... every moment. When the pain becomes unbearable, where do you turn, who can help, what can be done? The unbearable can become bearable when your pain evolves into trust, realizing you are not alone, and an entire new family of friends is here for you. Connected by loss, they understand your pain. Tears can fall, but they need not fall in the illusion of solitude. If you are open, they can unfold, and be gently scooped up by caring, earth angels.

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Volume 7, Issue 23, Posted 9:49 AM, 12.01.2015

Workshop teaches spiritual laws of prosperity

What is it that keeps us all from being wealthy? Do we have to win the lottery to have a million-dollar bank account? Do we need a rich, old uncle who likes us best? Or, do we just have to work hard and save our pennies, keeping our noses to the grindstone?

What is the real definition of prosperity? Is it a large bank account? Is it the health of our family? The love of our friends? Is "more" better? Puzzling questions on a topic that concerns all of us, a topic that tumbles marriages apart, causes governments to be corrupt and crumble, and crimes to be committed.

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Volume 7, Issue 22, Posted 9:17 AM, 11.17.2015

Unity to present 'wholehearted' concert

Bring your body, soul and heart (and don't forget your sweet tooth) to a wholehearted concert that is sure to please all ages. Inspired by Brene Brown's book "Daring Greatly," our fabulous four divas will connect their hearts to yours through music that uplifts, enchants and frees you to be greater for it.

The songs' words will inspire you to be brave, open to new possibilities, and release the past with love. No shouting or preaching; sit back, relax and enjoy the songbirds as they sing for you in the "Wholehearted Divas" concert on Saturday, Nov. 7, 7:30 p.m. at Unity Spiritual Center.

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Volume 7, Issue 21, Posted 10:09 AM, 11.03.2015

Westlake United Methodist Church introduces new senior pastor

Bishop John L. Hopkins, Resident Bishop of the East Ohio Conference of The United Methodist Church, has appointed Reverend Mollie Gordon Brown to Westlake United Methodist Church as its new senior pastor. 

Rev. Brown previously served at Sharon Center United Methodist Church near Medina, and was an executive in the corporate world prior to being called into ministry. Her transition came about through a strong calling from God. She sensed that her gifts of leadership, strategic visioning and administration, which she was using as an active layperson, could be used for something more. Prayer and reflection then put her on the path to ministry. As a second-career pastor, Rev. Brown knows what it is like to sit in a pew and her worship style and faith development are inspired by that perspective.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:10 AM, 10.20.2015

Spiritual movie night an alternative to horror flicks

A trip to the movie theater is a great way to spend a Friday evening, but to many of us, there just aren't enough good spiritual movies to watch. Hollywood has its crime, violence and a plethora of movies reeking profanity. Movies that uplift, teach and honor life get the short shrift. Most people opt for the action, the $12 tickets, and the $7 popcorn. With Halloween looming there will be the addition of gory, creepy and violent slasher flicks.

Unity Spiritual Center has a whole different take on your Friday nights, where you munch your popcorn, and what type of movie you let into your life. Join us for the premiere showing of James Twyman's "A Chorus in Miracles" on Friday Oct. 23, 7 p.m. Take this musical movie journey through the spiritual classic and celebrate the 50-year anniversary of the book, "A Course in Miracles." Tickets are $10 (but no one will be turned away), popcorn is $1, parking is free.

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Volume 7, Issue 20, Posted 10:08 AM, 10.20.2015

Bethesda’s long-time pastor retires after 38 years

Bethesda-on-the-Bay Lutheran Church bid a fond farewell to its pastor of 38 years, the Rev. Dennis Stylski, who retired on Oct. 1. His final service on Sept. 27 was attended by more than 360 past and present parishioners and friends, including the Rev. Karl Bierman, Assistant to the Bishop of the Northeast Ohio Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

One week earlier, Pastor Stylski and Bishop Abraham Allende, Bishop of the Northeast Ohio Synod of the ELCA, celebrated the confirmation of four youth members. Also attending the service was a surprise visitor – the Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding Bishop of the ELCA and its 10,000 churches in North America, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:53 AM, 10.06.2015

Donate this month to cheer others during holidays

To increase the cheer in your own heart, be a cheerful giver. The need is all around you, but, the opportunity to give generously, and lift yourself and others up, is right here in Westlake at Unity Spiritual Center. An upcoming giving opportunity allows you to not only give to one, two or even three local shelters, but nine of them, and just in time for the most wonderful time of the year ... Christmas.

This cheerful, caring, organization that lifts up so many is in its 31st year, and is appropriately named "The Tour of Good Cheer." It was started by Dick Clough – a guy with a soft heart, a lover of Cleveland, lots of friends, a warm heart for Cleveland's women, men and children – who blended all these ingredients together and debunks the idea that Christmas is about getting.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:57 AM, 10.06.2015

St. Barnabas offers meditative prayer walk Oct. 14

Christian life is a pilgrimage or journey with God. It is a journey in which we grow closer in relationship with God, and with others. Walking the labyrinth is a way to pray with the body and invite the divine in conversation with the heart and soul. By walking the labyrinth we are fully engaging our minds, bodies and spirits simultaneously in contemplative prayer upon the movement along a defined path toward the center, and back again. We don’t know where the path will take us. We cannot see the twists and turns the future holds for us but the path always brings us to the center, God.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 10:15 AM, 10.06.2015

Christian illusionist coming to Bay Village

Westside Christian Academy will present Christian illusionist Brett A. Myers and his wife, Labrina, as part of the Westlake school's annual Family Strong Series. The event is free and the public is invited for a night of comedy, audience participation and sleight of hand for all ages.

This year’s event, themed ""Illusion & Truth," will be held on Saturday, Oct. 17, at 7 p.m. at Bay Presbyterian Church, 25415 Lake Road. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. Attendees are asked to consider bringing a non-perishable food or toiletry item to donate to the Bay Food Ministry.

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Volume 7, Issue 19, Posted 8:48 AM, 10.06.2015

Celebrate fall at Unity equinox ceremony

It may be tough to admit, but winter preparations are underway. Have you already noticed some sure signs all around you? Daylight hours are getting shorter, nights longer and chillier. Flip-flops have been relinquished to the back of the closet, knowing your toes will be in boots soon. Mums are being planted, while other flowers have come and gone, once flashing pretty colors, now browned out. With all of this activity going on around us, it is hard to ignore that significant change is happening!

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Volume 7, Issue 18, Posted 9:07 AM, 09.15.2015

Unity observes World Day of Prayer with 24 hours of activities

When one bows their head, kneels, folds their hands, taking the universally known prayer position, we understand a prayer is about to be said. Some people take this pose only when they are steeped in desperation, in deep, dark trouble. Others, like the Franciscan Poor Clares or Tibetan Monks, strike the prayer pose continually, praying hours on end. Other people pray only on Sunday. Still others are somewhere in between, not praying as often as the Monks, but praying more than only in troubled times. Others simply close their eyes and listen. 

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Volume 7, Issue 17, Posted 8:48 AM, 09.01.2015

St. Raphael's unveils transformed church

The new church for St Raphael Parish will be dedicated as part of a special Mass on Saturday, Aug. 22, at 4:30 p.m. The Most Reverend Richard G. Lennon, Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, will preside and consecrate the church. Reverend Timothy W. Gareau, pastor, will concelebrate. 

The new building is fan-shaped with a capacity of 1,100 and continues to front on Dover Center Road. The ceremonial entrance will be on the north side of the building. The stained glass windows, crucifix, tabernacle and main altar are from the old church and all of the remaining marble from the old church has been repurposed and incorporated into the new church. A chapel will hold about 75 people. A community room that accommodates functions for up to 200 people was also built.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:38 AM, 08.18.2015

Life in tune with the church bells

A parishioner reflects on faith and family as St. Raphael's begins a new chapter

When I was 2 years old, my parents made the great migration from the east side of Cleveland to the west side of Cleveland. They bought a home across the street from the church. My father’s explanation for his choice: “So ‘you people’ won’t be late for church.” All his life, he called my mom, my brothers and me “you people.” Were we some distant nomadic tribe that he just happened to stumble on his youth? I never knew.

Life began in our new residence, centered around our church. My dad became an usher; my mom became the director of all the church’s Sunday evening potluck theatre productions, and coach of the football cheerleading squad. Our summer vacations centered around the annual weeklong carnival, where each one of us volunteered.

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:45 AM, 08.18.2015

Unity programs help children 'unfold'

Our children are the future. The other half of the equation is the grown-up part, as adults, as parents and guardians, WE are the future as we guide, educate, vote, and make choices that will create what's ahead for our children with every word we utter, with every decision we make, with every law we consider and vote for or against. 

Myrtle Fillmore (1845-1931), co-founder of the Unity Movement wrote, “Our mission is not to entertain children, but to call them out. To be always entertained is to be dwarfed and dependent. To be 'called out' is to follow the harmonious law of the soul's unfoldment."

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Volume 7, Issue 16, Posted 9:39 AM, 08.18.2015

Students transform church pew into work of art

Once upon a time there was a pew bench in a back room at Westlake's CrossPointe Community not being used. Lo and behold, one day an idea surfaced in the mind of Stephen Glover who spoke with Mary Ann Corrigan-Davis, president of St. Joseph Academy. Their conversation sparked a thought – what if the art department at St. Joseph made this a semester project?

Mrs. Corrigan-Davis took the idea to St. Joseph’s art department director Beth Pieban and art teacher Tammy Sparks. These ladies saw this as a unique opportunity for the Art Club to use their skills to serve the greater Christian community.

The initial phase of the "Bible on a Bench" project included a preliminary sketch submitted to the CrossPointe Leadership Team. We thought the artistic rendition was amazing.

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Volume 7, Issue 15, Posted 9:47 AM, 08.04.2015

Unity to screen film on power of focusing inward

We all live our lives one day at a time, each day folding into the next, like a train of cascading dominoes. No one lives their days in reverse, with their time moving backward instead of forward. As this is a given, the great question becomes how do we live our best lives. Some stumble through it, some complain their way through it, others sleepwalk through it, and still others choose to live their life making conscientious choices.

What is the secret to living well, to being more fully alive each moment with happiness, peace and success? Spiritual teachers guide us that practicing yoga and meditating will give us days that flower open with expanded awareness, leading us gently into our truest joy.

Once in a great while a movie comes along that is a must see. "Awake: The Life of Yogananda" is one such movie. It will be shown exclusively on Friday, Aug. 21, 7 p.m. at Unity Spiritual Center, located at 23855 Detroit Road in Westlake. Tickets are $8 if prepaid online before Aug. 18 at unityspiritualcenter.com, or $10 at the door.

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Volume 7, Issue 15, Posted 9:47 AM, 08.04.2015

Five Westlake churches join for power of prayer

Ever experience someone shaking their head in dismay and lamenting, "What is this world coming to?" Ever experience feelings of deep sadness, and helplessness after watching the news and hearing about the chaos in the world? It's hard to understand how man can be so cruel to his fellow man, sometimes it is unbearable. The chaos and the conflicts in this world may indeed feel overwhelming with no clear solutions in sight. From floods, to fires, to earthquakes, to tornadoes, to terrorism, to unemployment, to disease, the world presents us with situations that seem beyond our ability to control or even comprehend. 

Be encouraged for there is something you can do. Join Westlake Prays, and be part of a community that comes together in the belief that prayer has the power to heal, to help, to mend. Every Thursday at 5:45 p.m., at one of five different churches in Westlake, people join together, lift their hearts and pray together. Service lasts 15 to 30 minutes, and includes prayer, scripture, songs and silence. The 5:45 start time was intentionally chosen so people could stop in on their way home from work, and still get home for supper.

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Volume 7, Issue 14, Posted 9:21 AM, 07.21.2015

Unity's labyrinth free and open to all

What could be better than on a day when the rain drops are few, you decide to pack up your worries, leave your work until tomorrow, and resolve to take a walk in the park to enjoy nature? What's better is that you can do that close to home, not in a park, but at Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake, by walking their grand labyrinth located on four acres in a park-like natural setting. Say hello to deer, butterflies and a variety of trees and plants before you take that first step into the mouth of the labyrinth.

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Volume 7, Issue 13, Posted 9:55 AM, 07.07.2015

'Toning' the language of love

NOTE: The date of the "Aramaic Toning" workshop at Unity Spiritual Center was incorrectly listed in the print edition. The correct date, as reflected in the updated article below, is Sunday, June 21.

If the question was posed, what is the language of love, the answers may be widely diverse. Some may cite Cyrano de Bergerac's love letters on behalf of his friend, to the beautiful Roxanne in Rostand's play. Others may say love does not need a language at all, it's a feeling, a first sighting, inspired by Cupid's bow. The French believe perfume conveys states of being without language.

Some say the love language is Aramaic, the language Jesus spoke when he guided us, "Love one another." Others may add that Jesus grew up in a multilingual region, likely speaking Hebrew and Greek. Can we make a point, get an idea across, reach a higher state of consciousness without using language? Babies do it, our pets are practiced at it, great art does it, chanting "om" with Tibetan Monks does it.

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Volume 7, Issue 12, Posted 9:31 AM, 06.16.2015