Faith & Spirituality

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

Former Browns coach inspires at golf outing

Golfers and lunch attendees laughed and were inspired by insights derived from the legendary career of former Cleveland Browns head coach Sam Rutigliano during Westside Christian Academy’s annual benefit golf outing and luncheon on Monday, May 18, at Lakewood Country Club in Westlake.

Prior to Rutigliano’s introduction by WCA Headmaster Jim Whiteman, students made short presentations to help emphasize some features of a classical Christian education. The seventh- and eighth-grade girls choir sang followed by a group of three boys who recited from memory the entire twelfth chapter of the book of Romans in the Bible.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 10:12 AM, 06.02.2015

Labyrinth at St. Barnabas Church in Bay Village an answer to prayer

Christians have been walking labyrinths as a spiritual practice for hundreds of years. The use of labyrinths has waned at times, but has been growing in the United States over the last 50 years.

For the past three years the people at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Bay Village have had the dream that they would be able to build a labyrinth some day. In the summer of 2014, the church developed a Prayer Walk around the building, a white stone path for prayer and meditation. As that path was being completed, a stranger stopped by the church and asked if there was going to be a labyrinth and was told that there was a dream of a labyrinth, but that it would likely be several years before dream became a reality. A few days later the stranger returned with a generous donation and said, “Maybe ‘some day’ can come sooner than you thought.”

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:33 AM, 06.02.2015

'Nehemiah days' planned to rebuild Unity grounds

All are invited to join us at Unity of Westlake's first annual Nehemiah retreat/rebuild days.

One of the lesser-known Biblical figures, Nehemiah was a cupbearer to Persian King Artaxerxes I in the fifth century. Hearing about the damage to the entire city of Jerusalem, he wanted to do something about it. After getting permission from the King, knowing that people were his greatest resource, he enlisted and united the people and started to rebuild the walls of the Holy City.

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:30 AM, 06.02.2015

Building a community of light

We love to be a part of community. Whether we gather online through social media like Facebook, in clubs with similar interests, or in spiritual spaces, we all like to know we belong. Sometimes, though, the need to belong is so strong that we join communities that are not positive and healthy. Often a young adult will join a gang, for example, in order to belong somewhere. There is a desire to feel as though we are a part of something, and that something is not always the best community of which to be a part.

At Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake, we have been looking more deeply at what it means to build a community of light. A community of light would have a positive impact in our world. A community of light would generate creativity, compassion and generosity. A community of light would engage each one to share their unique gifts and talents to support the creation of a world that works for all!

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Volume 7, Issue 11, Posted 9:34 AM, 06.02.2015

The gift of peace

What greater gift could an individual receive than the gift of inner peace, the quieting of the many voices of the inner critic? The thinking mind thinks, it is designed to do so. Why would it be important to calm the voices of the thinking mind? Our thinking, conscious mind is limited, and not where we will find the greatest brilliance we already possess.

To express our greatest brilliance we need to calm the inner critic's voices and connect with that radiant, brilliant, beautiful being that needs a peaceful mind to surface. So how do we calm our critic? Where did this critic come from anyway?

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Volume 7, Issue 9, Posted 9:21 AM, 05.05.2015

Experience Charles Holt at Unity

Actor, author and singer Charles Holt comes to Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake as our guest speaker on Sunday, May 3, for our 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. services.

In true theatrical style, his Sunday service is entitled, "On with the Show ... THIS is IT." Later that same afternoon, from 1-3:30 p.m., "Beyond Forgiveness" is a compelling workshop facilitated by Charles, with book signing. This workshop utilizes the idea of seven powers, such as the power of compassion, the power of release, and the power of you. It takes great courage to forgive, and to stop playing the blame/shame game, but this workshop will show you it's possible.

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Volume 7, Issue 8, Posted 9:41 AM, 04.21.2015

Blessings from Mother Meera

Mother Meera returns to Cleveland on Monday, April 20. She will be in Westlake, at Unity Spiritual Center giving Blessings/Darshans at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Darshan is the bestowal of love, light and grace, given in complete silence. No long lectures or wordy sermons here. This sacred, silent program is free, but reservations are required.

It is not every day one is offered the opportunity to meet an Avatar. Mother Meera explains that as an Avatar, people of all faiths can receive help from her. Her power and her purpose are Divine, "to help humans, and to make them happy, peaceful, harmonious, contented and loving." She believes that "happiness and spiritual growth are connected." Who among us would say no to more happiness or contentment?

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Volume 7, Issue 7, Posted 9:56 AM, 04.07.2015

The act of giving – not giving up – for Lent

Lent is a time of preparation. For many, a time devoted to abstinence and fasting. To keep a good Lent, people give things up, like eating meat or candy, or going to the movies. Giving up something pleasurable is a form of fasting, which has a deep spiritual significance. I asked a friend why he fasted during Ramadan; he replied that the hunger pains are a reminder that others don't have a meal every day.  

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Volume 7, Issue 6, Posted 9:53 AM, 03.17.2015

Visioning your life

For a moment, imagine your world without vision. But first, define vision, is it your sight, objects you see with your eyes? Or is it your imagination, or your consciousness? Or a combination of all three?

Ever heard the expression, "Seeing the world through rose-colored glasses?" How about, "Seeing the glass half empty or half full?" Heard someone describe another as a "Pollyanna?" These expressions really refer to an attitude or an approach towards life, as opposed to things we see with our eyes. They refer to how we live our lives daily. How we live our lives is one of the most important decisions we will ever make, as it affects our families, our community and our planet.

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Volume 7, Issue 4, Posted 9:10 AM, 02.17.2015

Enjoying the moment of a wedding ceremony

A wedding, any way you slice it, is a BIG deal! Not just for the bride and groom, but also the parents, children in the case of a second or third marriage, siblings, friends, cousins, and exes. Even pets feel the difference when a new person is feeding them, or snuggled into that cozy spot that used to be theirs. 

It's life changing, no doubt. So much to consider and prepare, where to have it, and when, who to invite, how to not invite certain people without offending, what to serve, how traditional the ceremony should be, where to honeymoon, how many bridesmaids, and the dress, oh my, yes, the dress!

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Volume 7, Issue 3, Posted 10:06 AM, 02.03.2015

Learn how to live abundantly

If 2014 was rough, do you cringe and wonder if 2015 will be better or worse? Perhaps wishing the prosperity fairy would fly overhead, see that you have been really nice, and sprinkle you with lots of prosperity dust? Or, just hoping to see higher numbers in your bank account, or setting your sights on winning the lottery?

How is it that some people have so much, and others so little? If thoughts are things, does abundance have anything to do with your thinking? Is it true that you can think and grow rich, as Napoleon Hill wrote in 1937? Can you change your thinking to have more in your life?

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 9:52 AM, 01.06.2015

Reconnect with your faith at St. Raphael

Do you have family members or friends who have drifted away from the Catholic Church? Why not invite them to attend Catholics Coming Home at St. Raphael in Bay Village?

The seven-week series is for non-practicing Catholics seeking information about returning to the Church in a welcoming, non-judgmental atmosphere. Mark your calendars now for the Wednesdays from Feb. 11 to March 25, 2015, from 7-8:30 p.m. Pray about who might be waiting for your invitation! Feel free to accompany someone to the program if it would make them feel more comfortable.

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Volume 7, Issue 1, Posted 9:56 AM, 01.06.2015

Christmas without a price tag

Christmas is an invitation for closed hearts to open, for darkness to merge with radiant light, for given gifts to last a lifetime and beyond, for the heart to become the superstar, for the child within to become the triumphant King.

Unity Spiritual Center of Westlake will celebrate this Christmas in a threefold way: preparing for Christ's sacred birth with four Sundays of Advent, celebrating the sacred birth on Christmas Eve with a 7 p.m. Candlelighting Service, and releasing the old while maintaining the spirit of the sacred birth with a Burning Bowl/White Stone Service on Sunday, Dec. 28.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:43 AM, 12.09.2014

Christian leader gives best practices of revolutionary parenting

For parents at Westside Christian Academy's recent Family Strong Series event, Dr. George Barna gave them the bottom line within the first few minutes of his presentation.

He first laid out the crises faced by youth today in terms of morality, relationships, physical health and spirituality. He then stated the research which formed the basis of his book, "Revolutionary Parenting: Raising Your Kids to Become Spiritual Champions," indicated that “who you become depends on what happens in your heart and mind by age 13.”

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:36 AM, 12.09.2014

Feeling blue this Christmas?

"Blue Christmas" is the theme for the month of December at CrossPointe Community in Westlake. When the theme is shared, people look puzzled because that’s not the typical theme for the Christmas season. But the theme is one that many people experience including myself, the pastor at CrossPointe. How can it be?

I experienced the loss of my dad at age 8. My sister and I were raised by my mom. There was a lot of pain in my life as well as my sister's; too much to share in this article. Suffice to say life was full of lemons. Whether the loss of a parent, the challenge of divorce, lost friend, bullying, a parent who was there but wasn’t there ... there are numerous reasons for not really celebrating the season but feeling some measure of a Blue Christmas.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:44 AM, 12.09.2014

Westlake church hosts best-selling faith author

New York Times best-selling author Kevin Malarkey will be the guest speaker at CrossPointe Community, 1800 Columbia Road, at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 30. Malarkey’s message will draw from his recently-released book, "A Beautiful Defeat: Find True Freedom and Purpose in Total Surrender to God."

There is a gnawing inside all of us that tells us we can be better, that the fulfilling life we desire is within our reach if we just work a little harder. But the message of the cross is different. Jesus died to reconcile us to God so we can die to ourselves and live in total surrender.

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Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 10:07 AM, 11.25.2014

Thoughts on gratefulness

Feeling grateful is like other feelings in many ways, but different in that it is one of those feelings, like happiness, that we can choose. With that in mind, I wondered what my friends were feeling grateful for this holiday season. I was surprised to find what creates this uplifting feeling in the hearts of many.

My friend Terri shared that she is grateful her son is growing and thriving in his first semester at college. My friend Ted said he is grateful for an economic resurgence, fueled by a new confidence in NE Ohio. Working in the medical profession, he added his gratefulness that there has been no "major" disease outbreak here in the U.S. My pal Bruce is happy and grateful to be a dad, and that his children and grandchildren, far and near, can celebrate the holidays in the same location.

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Volume 6, Issue 24, Posted 9:55 AM, 11.25.2014

Wellness fair brings earth energy to you

Before the frenzy of holiday shopping gets the best of you, give the best to yourself – the gift of wellness. Centered Wellness invites you to a Wellness Fair that has many gifts in store for you, from a 17-foot meditative pyramid to a blonde songbird who sings to your heart. Mark your calendar for Saturday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., at Unity Spiritual Center, 23855 Detroit Road, Westlake. The admission fee of $5 allows you to stay the whole day; or take the 9 a.m. Kundalini yoga/meditation class and get into the fair free! For $1 off admission, bring a canned good for donation to the Westlake Food Bank.

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Volume 6, Issue 23, Posted 9:53 AM, 11.11.2014