Faith & Spirituality

Westlake UMC offers dinner, discussion about salvation

Religion scholar Dr. David Aune will visit Westlake United Methodist Church on Saturday, April 28, for an evening of conversation about reconciling real-world thoughts on salvation with the teachings of Scripture.

"There are a number of Biblical passages which claim that salvation is only possible through the name of Jesus,” Dr. Aune states, “and yet many Christians understand God's grace to expand beyond the boundaries of our particular religious tradition. How can we affirm the possibility of God's expansive love while remaining faithful to the clear teaching of Scripture on this issue?”

This free event begins with a potluck dinner at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Please bring a side dish, salad, or dessert to share! Registration is required by calling the church at 440-871-3088 or online at westlakeumc.org. Go to "More Articles" and click on Dr. David Aune Event. Free professional childcare is offered for kids up to age 11. You must register for childcare.

Read Full Story
Volume 4, Issue 8, Posted 11:23 AM, 04.17.2012

Master Stephen Co to present healing workshop at Unity April 17

Master Stephen Co, who has been covered by CBS News and endorsed by health experts Deepak Chopra and Carolyn Myss, will present a workshop on healing at Unity Spiritual Center, Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. Admission is $10. Master Co is very well known in the western U.S. and is now bringing his techniques to the Midwest. Unity is very pleased to be one of the first in this region to welcome him. 

Unity is located at 23855 Detroit Rd. in Westlake. To register in advance for the event and for details, visit www.unityspiritualcenter.com. You can also view the CBS news coverage of Master Co on the site. Although tickets will be available at the door, pre-registration is suggested to ensure seating is available.

Read Full Story
Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 10:42 AM, 04.03.2012

Easter a time of transformation

We are once again entering Holy Week. This is a ritual we reenact every year in spring. It is no coincidence this holy time is in spring. It is truly a resurrection for our planet as it comes out of the womb of winter.

Of course, if we live in the southern hemisphere, that analogy goes out the window, So it must be something deeper; something that touches the very core of our being. Jesus was an iconoclast. He went against all the codes of conduct of the time.

He challenged the Pharisees for their pride in following the letter of the law. Imagine their confusion when they thought they were doing the “right” things and then were criticized by a country rabbi who could perform miracles. That didn’t go over well.

Read Full Story
Volume 4, Issue 7, Posted 10:46 AM, 04.03.2012

Release your inner splendor with Unity's Lenten meditation and book study

Unity Spiritual Center offers a two-part program for Lenten preparation based on the theme of releasing your inner splendor by affirming divine wholeness and erasing thoughts and patterns that no longer serve us. On Tuesday evenings from Feb. 21 through April 10, Unity will offer a guided meditation from 7:00 to 7:30 p.m. 

Following the meditation, a book study will be held from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m based on Unity co-founder Charles Fillmore's book "Keep A True Lent." It contains thought-provoking essays and affirmations on self reflection and prayer that guide the reader toward a spiritual awakening. You may attend either of the events or both.

Read Full Story
Volume 4, Issue 3, Posted 11:02 AM, 02.07.2012

Faith-based book group for moms starting at Westlake UMC

Moms of preschoolers and younger children looking for a faith-filled group of women to share the parenting journey are invited to join us for inspiration, laughter and some creative time while your little ones are safely cared for in an age-appropriate setting. We will meet every other Tuesday, beginning Jan. 24, from 9:30-11 a.m. at Westlake United Methodist Church.

The group is reading "A Mom after God's Own Heart" by Elizabeth George. Free professional childcare is offered for infants up to age 3 and story time with our librarians Miss Judy & Miss Nanci for the older children. Infants are welcome to stay with their moms for the book group.

Read Full Story
Volume 4, Issue 2, Posted 1:59 PM, 01.24.2012

Unity presents a rockin' Christmas program Dec. 18

Returning by popular demand, Twin Engine retakes the Unity Spiritual Center stage for their annual “The Night in Bethlehem” performance. If you witnessed the performance last year, no doubt you'll want to see it again. This year's performance will be held Sunday, Dec. 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults; $10 for children; and $10 each for four or more tickets.

“The Night in Bethlehem,” a delightful tale for the young and young at heart, takes place after the birth of Jesus, as a young boy named Samuel anxiously awaits his time to talk with Joseph. He’s waited all day for Joseph to explain how this came to be, from the Angels to the Kings and how they all arrived in Bethlehem. But Samuel, a seven-year-old boy, is also excited to play his drum for the new baby Jesus.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:41 PM, 12.13.2011

To shepherds and to us

“In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then the angel of the Lord stood before them...” When we hear these familiar words from the Christmas narrative, the sentimental lens through which we read gives us the image of gentle and devout men prepared for a visitation from God. In contrast, first-century Rabbinic texts describe shepherds as a rough, thieving bunch who stole from their employers and surrounding land owners. 

Which view is correct? Were the shepherds gentle, devout herders, or disreputable thieves? They were probably neither, instead ordinary people doing a job that was necessary for their communities, but nonetheless held in contempt by many of those who benefitted from their labor. What we know from the narrative is that they were so highly valued by God that He sent Jesus for their salvation.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:48 PM, 12.13.2011

Candle glow brings light to darkness

"What has come into being with him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it." –John 1:3b-5 (NRSV)

Candlelight has an especially dear place in our worship at Christmas. The glow casts a warmth in the now, a longing and hope for what is to come. When we light a candle prior to a meal or a prayer, it is said that we invite and instill a sense of the sacred in each of us gathered there. 

Darkness comes in many forms. It can be physical or emotional; even spiritual. Upon what manner of darkness would we hope for our candle, our prayer, to cast light? Do we pray for peace? Joy? An experience of the holy? What needs and opportunities in the world around us would our candles expose and illuminate?

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:48 PM, 12.13.2011

We choose to move toward peace or away from it

I have found that we are either going toward peace or going away from peace. It is sometimes difficult to consistently go toward peace. So, I started looking at the things that take me away from peace and there are many. What is robbing you of your peace this holiday season? Let’s take a look at the traditional Christmas story to find some clues.

The main antagonist in the story is Herod. The literal meaning of Herod is that he is a historical person who was king sometime around the time Jesus was born. On the moral/ psychological level, any king is a symbol for the ego. The ego is our personalized sense of our own identity. Because Herod had a long reign, he symbolizes a firmly established ego. A well-established sense of identity, for us as individuals, is necessary for our higher self to come into expression.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 25, Posted 2:46 PM, 12.13.2011

Musical events highlight Advent season at Unity Spiritual Center

Begin your holiday season with a gloriously festive evening on Saturday, Dec. 3, by attending “Deck the Hall,” Unity’s fourth annual Christmas Concert. The evening will be filled with music as more than twenty musicians perform holiday favorites.

Coordinated by music director Bonnie Chase, the program promises something for everyone. Soloists, vocal ensembles, instrumentalists and the unparalleled “Choir on Fire” will perform in a variety of musical styles to help you get in the spirit of the season.

The festivities begin at 7 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 3, at Unity Spiritual Center, 23855 Detroit Rd. in Westlake. Pizza and refreshments will be on sale before the concert, as well as during the intermission. Tickets are $15 each (children under 14 free) and can be purchased online at unityspiritualcenter.com, by phone at 440-835-0400 or at the door.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 24, Posted 3:28 PM, 11.29.2011

St. Barnabas congregation announces new name, location

Beginning Sunday, Nov. 20, the congregation of Bay Village’s St. Barnabas Anglican Church will hold its 10:00 a.m. Sunday services in the auditorium at Bay High School until a permanent facility is built or purchased. In addition, the Anglican congregation – made up of more than 250 individuals – plans to change its name to Christ Church Westshore. 

The congregation is moving because its former building at Bradley and Wolf Roads – where many parishioners have worshiped for decades – was awarded to the Episcopal Diocese after a lengthy property dispute.  

“All will be welcome at Christ Church Westshore,” said Reverend Gene Sherman. “We are a community of believers who seek to know God, love one another, and serve the community around us.”

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 23, Posted 4:11 PM, 11.16.2011

New tips for trying the ancient practice of meditation

Everyone knows meditation is good for you. In fact, everyone from Buddha to Dr. Oz recommends it for better physical, mental and spiritual health!

This is the most common thought concerning meditation: “I can’t meditate because my mind won’t be still.” Perhaps the truth is that your mind won’t be still because you won’t meditate. However, like nightly flossing or keeping your personal papers organized, meditation is something many people feel they should do, and know would be helpful, but day by day manage to postpone it. Often, just sitting down to try it seems to stir up the active mind even more!

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 5:14 PM, 10.18.2011

Young Life celebrates 70 years

Young Life, a worldwide youth outreach organization, is celebrating 70 years of impacting kids’ lives. The local area Young Life here in our Westshore communities invites you to join in the celebration by getting involved with the local ministry. Young Life has been reaching out to teenagers from Bay Village and Westlake for more than 41 years and we need more caring adults in the community to come alongside us to help us reach more middle-school and high-school students in the community.

Maybe you were involved with Young Life as a middle school or high school student and experienced the feeling that Young Life was made just for you. It still is. If you’re interested in helping kids in the area discover fun, adventure, purpose and hope in the context of authentic friendships with caring adults, we have a place for you.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 21, Posted 4:58 PM, 10.18.2011

Pet blessing at Lutheran Home Oct. 9

The Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve will hold a drop-in Blessing of the Animals in the Chapel area of the campus “Main Street” on October 9 from 2:45-3:15 p.m.

Concord Reserve is the proud home of several “Main Street Ducks,” and five aviaries housing over 20 different species of small birds, including finches, canaries, and doves which inspire our residents and bring them joy each day. Several well-loved cats reside in our resident neighborhoods. The campus is also features an 1,100-gallon fresh water aquarium filled with fish from South America and South Africa.

Lutheran Home at Concord Reserve Chaplain, the Reverend Jim Kulma, will preside at the Pet Blessing. The brief ceremony will honor Saint Francis, patron Saint for the protection of animals, lover of all creation, and a champion of justice. Chaplain Kulma will also bless our campus “creature companions” that day.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 20, Posted 1:32 PM, 10.06.2011

World-renowned visionary coming to Unity Hall

This December, Clevelanders will have the rare chance to experience the presence of Gregg Braden. A New York Times-bestselling author, Braden is internationally renowned as a pioneer in bridging science and spirituality. Dr. Deepak Chopra called him “a rare blend of scientist, visionary and scholar with the ability to speak to our minds, while touching the wisdom of our hearts.”

In a weekend program presented by Unity and The Spirituality Conference Group, Gregg Braden will speak on “The Secrets of 2012 and Humankind’s Deepest Truths” at Unity Hall at Unity Spiritual Center, 23855 Detroit Rd., Westlake on Friday, Dec. 9, from 6:30-9 p.m.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 20, Posted 3:51 PM, 10.04.2011

St. Raphael offers annual pet blessing

Lions, tigers and bears are not welcome, but household animals and their families are invited to the seventh annual Blessing of the Pets on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, Tuesday, October 4, at 6:30 p.m. on the front lawn of St. Raphael Church in Bay Village.
 
Individual blessings will be given to each animal. Dog treats will be distributed and a garden statue of St. Francis will be given away. The event is free and all are welcome!

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 19, Posted 3:01 PM, 09.20.2011

Unity's fall lineup offers fun and enlightenment

A full spectrum of educational and enlightening events will be open to the public at Unity Spiritual Center and Unity Hall this fall. Unity is located at 23855 Detroit Rd., a block west of Clague Road.

Thursday, Sept. 22 (7 p.m.) – "Forks Over Knives," the acclaimed movie, traces the personal journeys of a pair of pioneering researchers, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn of Cleveland Clinic and Dr. T. Colin Campbell of Cornell University. They examine the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed by rejecting our present menu of animal-based foods.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 18, Posted 4:13 PM, 09.07.2011

Networking a process of Self - transformation

Networking is the process of doing, while self-transformation is the process of being. In other words, networking focuses on execution and external factors whereas self-transformation focuses on intrinsic motivation and internal factors play an active role in the process. The being focuses on pure, positive, powerful as well as peace of mind including love, bliss, knowledge and truth. Only when the being feels good we are able to network with satisfying outcome.

Networking is about connecting with others, developing relationships and establishing long term contacts. It is not just a mere exchange of business cards and attending networking events periodically. Self-transformation is transmitting positive energy as well as positive vibrations to our being. This process enables us to transform our being.

 

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 17, Posted 2:57 PM, 08.23.2011

Vacation Bible School in Bay draws hundreds from Westshore community

They came by the hundreds: little children ages four through Grade 5 and teenagers who will be entering grades 6-12.  They were from Bay Village, Avon Lake, Avon, Westlake, North Ridgeville, Rocky River and Lakewood. Even former Bay Village residents, who had moved to China and were back in the States visiting for the summer, sent their children. The last week of July is Vacation Bible School time at Saint Raphael Parish – and this year it was PANDAMANIA!   

As you drive through area neighborhoods and travel around the country each summer, there is something common to all of America: Vacation Bible School. Churches of all sizes advertise VBS with cartoon characters, catchy slogans and the promise of holy fun for five days.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 16, Posted 2:58 PM, 08.09.2011

Summer experiences bring a range of emotions

My parents and I went on a trip to Hawaii, from Westlake, just before the 4th of July. This was my first trip to Hawaii and I had a great time. I snorkeled and enjoyed seeing how other boys like me were running away from the fish. I also went to Waikiki Beach and went to the Polynesian Center and really enjoyed myself.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 16, Posted 2:54 PM, 08.09.2011

Unity to host 'The Gathering' program of group prayer

Unity Spiritual Center invites anyone interested in exploring their inner life supported by the power of group prayer to participate in "The Gathering." From July 10 to August 18, Unity will host a 40-day program of daily and evening sessions of group prayer, based on the book "The Gathering" by Jim Rosemergy. 

People of all faiths or no faith are are welcome to attend and to experience improvement in their personal lives through the power of centered group prayer using the guidelines of "The Gathering." There is no charge for participation. The program is somewhat like a book study but amplified with group prayer using the book's nine steps.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 14, Posted 2:07 PM, 07.12.2011

Poems and meditations blend in a divine inspiration

A delightful little volume of poems and meditations, "Mystical Musings" is the collaborative effort of two talented ladies, Mona Ryser and Deborah Core.

Mona, a painter and writer for many years, explains how their book came to be during a Sunday morning service at Unity Spiritual Center.

“I had quite an experience during prayer time," Mona recalled. "I was praying vehemently for a dear cousin who had been sent home from the hospital, essentially with no hope for his heart condition. All of a sudden, I heard the ‘thump-thump, thump-thump’ of a heartbeat sound. It went on for a bit, and I felt elated! Leaving the sanctuary that Sunday morning, I felt absolutely euphoric – truly like walking on air.”

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 14, Posted 3:25 PM, 07.26.2011

Eat, pray, love, dance and celebrate life at Unity

From dancing to eating to walking the outdoor labyrinth, Unity Hall and Unity Spiritual Center will be full of activities in April and May. Unity is a place where people of all faiths and belief systems can celebrate the joy of living. 

Learn to Contra Dance on Friday, April 29. Contra dancing is old-fashioned fun for everyone. As the precursor to the Virginia Reel, it’s group dancing that’s both good exercise and great fun. 

Live music by “Mud in Yer Eye,” a wonderful band featuring hammered dulcimers, violins, guitar, banjos and much more, will make for a lively evening. Tickets are $8 and kids under 12 are free. Even if you don’t want to dance, just come to watch the crowd!

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 8, Posted 6:24 PM, 04.19.2011

Promoting values together in the community

Values bring families, communities and countries together and connect them for a cause bigger than themselves. Values like trust, integrity, commitment, respect and responsibility improve the quality of interaction with diverse relationships and enhance compassion for fellow beings. Positive energy is generated in the relationship with human beings coming from different ethical backgrounds.

Awareness of experiencing values in life is the process of discovering one’s own inner self and knowing one’s consciousness. The inner guide helps us identify and consolidate our strengths and shows the pathway to rectify mistakes.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 5, Posted 10:00 AM, 03.08.2011

Unity's outdoor labyrinth free and open to public

At 90 feet in diameter, Unity Spiritual Center’s outdoor labyrinth is believed to be one of the largest in Ohio.

The labyrinth is located behind Unity Hall on the Unity Spiritual Center campus at 23855 Detroit Rd., one block west of Clague Rd. Unity welcomes people of all faiths who want to do a walking meditation at their convenience.

The labyrinth is not a maze. There are no tricks to it and no dead ends. It has a single circuitous path that winds into the center. The person walking it uses the same path to return and the entrance then becomes the exit. The path is in full view, which allows a person to be quiet and focus internally. Dr. Lauren Artress describes it as "a path of prayer, a walking meditation, a crucible of change, a watering hole for the spirit and a mirror for the soul" in her book, “Walking a Sacred Path.”

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 4, Posted 10:00 AM, 02.22.2011

SpiritFest at Unity Hall to feature singing group Prayer Warriors

Unity Hall Presents, a new venue at Unity Spiritual Center, will host the renowned musical group Prayer Warriors, a blend of gospel, pop, rock and R&B, at its first annual SpiritFest, Saturday, Feb. 5, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Unity Hall is on the campus of Unity Spiritual Center, 23855 Detroit Rd. in Westlake. Tickets are $15 and cover the entire event. They can be purchased online at www.unityhallpresents.com, in the USC business office, or at the door.

SpiritFest will begin with a drumming circle hosted by The Cleveland Drum Circle. Bring your own drums, or rent one at the event. While the drumming circle is underway, a variety of holistic healing professionals will offer their services including reiki, massage, reflexology and other modalities at no additional charge. At 8:00 p.m., the Prayer Warriors will rock Unity Hall with their “inspirational groove,” crossing musical boundaries to deliver the message of peace, understanding and brotherhood.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 3:54 PM, 01.07.2011

Broadcaster Larry Morrow to discuss faith, radio at Bay UMC

Larry Morrow, multiple award-winning broadcaster and author, will speak Jan. 27 at Bay United Methodist Church. Morrow, who won numerous awards during his broadcast career of nearly 40 years, will appear in the church's "Living the Faith" series. A member of the Radio and Television Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Broadcasters Hall of Fame, he is the only Ohio broadcaster nominated to the National Radio Hall of Fame.

A late 1950s U. S. Marine Corps veteran, Morrow went to Vietnam to interview troops on their war experiences and brought home their recorded messages for their families. Some were aired by Cleveland and Pennsylvania stations during the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons.

Morrow moved to Cleveland to work at WIXY 1260 in 1966, arriving in the midst of the Hough riots. He and his wife, Rosary, live in Chagrin Falls.

Read Full Story
Volume 3, Issue 1, Posted 6:22 PM, 01.06.2011