Church Within Sunday Services

for October 1997

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#54
10-5-97
#55
10-12-97
#56
10-19-97
#57
10-26-97

10-5-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #54
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Welcome
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Good morning, everybody! Welcome once again to Church Within.

Its wonderful to "feel" your smiling faces, your loving thoughts, your desire to experience inner joy and peace this morning with us. How was your week? "What week?!!" you exclaim. "I can't even remember what I ate for dinner last night!" Familiar thoughts? I know they are for me. Life can appear to be so hectic that we can't slow down enough to enjoy it, much less reflect upon the myriad of joyful moments that have been provided amidst the chaotic, nerve-wracking pressures most of us endure during the course of our day. So... let us all begin by "going within" to our very private and personal "Church Within."


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Going Within
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In a moment, let us take time to close our eyes. You will not need them where you are going. You will not need to read someone else's perceptions. It will be YOUR moment, YOUR time, YOUR place, YOUR sanctuary to discover His peace and His love for you; to experience Him as you know Him, not as someone else knows Him. Perhaps He will give you a glimpse of each and every joyous moment that occurred in your life in this past week... all those moments that escaped you. Let us take five minutes now and allow His Will to be done.


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Quotes
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(The Bible - Acts 10:34)
"Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons."

(The Urantia Papers - Paper-137 Section-8)
"I have come to proclaim the establishment of the Father's kingdom. And this kingdom shall include the worshiping souls of Jew and gentile, rich and poor, free and bond, for my Father is no respecter of persons; his love and his mercy are over all."

(The Urantia Papers - Paper-166 Section-4)
"When it comes to the bestowal of spiritual gifts, the Father is limited by man's capacity for receiving these divine endowments. Although the Father is no respecter of persons, in the bestowal of spiritual gifts he is limited by man's faith and by his willingness always to abide by the Father's will."

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The Sermon
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I have a new friend, Cynthia. She lives half way around the world from me, in Zaire, Africa, I believe. Isn't technology wonderful! She in turn has friends who share with her via the Internet, and she shares their wisdom, inspiration and humor with me. And I love it! I want to begin today's sermon by sharing something she recently shared with me from her friend, Gina. Thank you!

MOTHERS BRAGGING ABOUT THEIR SONS

Four Catholic mothers are sitting around bragging about their
sons, each of whom is a priest. First mother says, "My son
is a monsignor, and when he walks in the room, people
greet him, 'Good morning, monsignor.'"

Second mother says, "Well, my son is a Bishop, and people
greet him, 'Good morning, your Grace.'"

Third mother says, "Well, my son is a Cardinal, and people
greet him, 'Good morning, your Eminence.'"

The fourth mother pauses, and finally says, "My son is six
feet, ten inches tall and is 300 pounds of pure muscle.
When he walks in the room, people greet him 'Oh, My God!'"
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Hmmm. Aren't we strange, how we place such importance on position in life! Our Father is no respecter of persons. How long will it take us to learn this and live it?

This past month we all experienced the loss of two very significant persons in our world. Truly both were beloved, world-renowned individuals: Mother Theresa and Princess Diana. How is it that we could hold both in such high esteem when one represented a "position in life" of deprivation and material destitution, and the other a "position in life" of wealth and material abundance? What did they have in common that we could ignore their "position" and love and cherish them equally? How was it that we transcended our learned social values and embraced them both?

I would suggest to you that it was "who" they were (their essence) and how they manifested it in "what" they did for the world---without regard for their social position in life, except to the extent that it could serve humankind---that were the prevailing qualities of similarity. These two women---representing the extremes of our material world---showing us that no matter our position in life, we can serve our brothers and sisters. That, to me, was their gift, their ultimate inspiration for us all.

They gave our Father's love to all they came in contact with, regardless of the recipients' social positions in life. They utilized their material world environment for the good of all, instead of seeing their environment as a hindrance. They sought to see and thus were divinely shown how their "social position" could support their spiritual wisdom and their desire to comfort the sick and dying, to give unconditional love to those who had experienced rejection. They were no respecter of persons based upon human values, only upon spiritual values. They used their positions to influence the world; to increase awareness of the devastating results of our "human" value system toward each other and our earth.

Through their faith they allowed themselves TO BE HIS WILL to the best of their understanding. And the world is a better place.


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The Prayer
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Treasured Universal Father and friend to us all, enlighten our minds and our hearts that we may know You, and through that knowing truly have the Faith to be Your Will in each moment. Teach us personally of your compassionate ways that we may express them unconditionally to all who cross our path, without respect for human social importance. Inspire each of us to discover our uniqueness that you have bestowed upon us---our God Self personality---that we might serve our brothers and sisters to the greatest of our ability in our given living situation, just as your children Mother Theresa and Princess Diana showed us was possible. Thank you, Father, for the gift of their spiritual essence in our world that we might all grow in our own spiritual expression from their human example.
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May we all be inspired to be about our Father's business this next week.

Father's nurturing love through me to each and every one of you personally on this beautiful day. Thank you for being with us.

Jill Megow
Minister, Church Within

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10-12-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #55

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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

Last Sunday's Service (#54) was given by Minister Jill M. Megow MSW. Jill is the Corporate Secretary of the Church Within, Member of the Board of Directors and our "Director of Education and Counseling". [she also became my wife in July of this year. :-)]

This Week's Service is presented by our newest Ordained Minister, Tom Newbill, who is also our "Director of Youth Ministry". His Sermon today actually started with the words: "Dear Danny," who is my [almost 8 year old] son. Danny and many other of the children in this area and elsewhere absolutely adore Tom.

In the weeks to come, we will all be sharing the honor of presenting the weekly Sunday Services as will our "Director of Outreach Service Programs", Minister Sheila Jean Burgher. We don't yet have our Bio's ready to present as yet, but they are in the works. There are pictures of each of us on the "Pastor's Page" of our WebSite at: http://www.cet.com/~ seewithin/Pastor.html

CORRECTION: Last Week we printed that our Dear Friend Cynthia lived in Zaire... actually she lives in South Africa which is quite a distance from Zaire.

And Now... Sunday Service #55 from Minister Tom Newbill...

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The Sermon
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        Once upon a time, long ago there came to a lost, cold, & darkened planet a son of the Great Flame. He appeared as a spark among the people but as he grew to manhood he became a bright Torch to all who heard him.

        He gathered his followers as he passed through the provinces; he lit a fire in the hearts of all that would hear his message "That all people were sparks of the Great Flame and that they were to keep each other warm." But the cold forces were made aware and covered the Torch with deep snow. The Light was temporarily lost and his followers went into disarray. They greatly feared all was lost, but presently the coals melted the snow and the Torch returned.

        He assured them that the message had not changed, bid them farewell, and returned to side of the Great Flame. His followers were so overjoyed that they unwittingly ran out and proclaimed a new message "that the Torch was the rekindled son of the Great Flame. that the Great Flame was angry with their shortcomings, that the Torch has been extinguished, and his ashes the ransom required in order for their own candles to be lit".
        It was written that the Torch would someday return when his message had been demonstrated to all the world. To this very day, holding their candles high, they search the cold night sky, looking for a sign while the embers of the Torch yet smolder at their very feet.

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Quotes
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(Old Testament)

(Deuteronomy 6:5)
        And thou shall love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

(Leviticus 19:18)
...But you shall love your neighbor as yourself, for I am the Lord.

(New Testament)

(Mark 12:28-31)
        One of the teachers of the religion who was standing there listening to the discussion realized that Jesus had answered well. So he asked "of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
        And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with thy strength; this is the first commandment. And the second is like, namely this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.

(JUDAISM: -Talmud, Shabbat, 31 a)
        What is hateful to you, do not to your fellowmen. That is the entire Law; all the rest is commentary.

(BRAHMANISM: -Mahabharata, 5, 1517)
        This is the sum of duty; do naught unto others which would cause you pain if done to you.

(BUDDHISM: -Udana-Varga, 5, 18)
Hurt not other in ways that you yourself would find hurtful.

(CONFUCIANISM: Analects, 15, 23)
        Surely it is the maxim of loving-kindness: Do not unto other that you would not have them do unto you.

(TAOISM: -T'ai Shang Kan Yink P'ien)
        Regard your neighbor's gain as your own gain, and your neighbor's loss as your own.

(ZOROASTRIANISM: -Dadistan-i-dinik, 94, 5)
        That nature alone is good which refrains from doing unto another whatsoever is not good for itself.

(ISLAM: -Sunnah)
        No one of you is a believer until he desires for his brother that which he desires for himself.

(The URANTIA PAPERS: Paper-174 Section-4)
        Then came forward one of the groups of the Pharisees to ask harassing questions, and the spokesman, signaling to Jesus, said: "Master, I am a lawyer, and I would like to ask you which, in your opinion, is the greatest commandment?" Jesus answered: "There is but one commandment, and that one is the greatest of all, and that commandment is: 'Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second commandment is like this first; indeed, it springs directly therefrom, and it is: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these; on these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets."

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The Prayer
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O' Great Flame, you have torched our hearts. You have built for us a fire and we are warm for a day. Teach us to build our own fire that we may be eternally warmed. My friend Charlie says, "I can give you a light but you gotta start a fire on your own."

You have provided fuel and the tools, grace us with the desire to share these gifts to all in need.

Thank you for the Spark of yourself that you share deep within us and makes all of this possible.

May our lights shine so that all may see. I ask this in the Torch's name.

Amen

Your friend,
Tom Newbill [Minister of Church Within]

"Help Wanted --- Inquire Within."
        (T. Newbill '97)

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10-19-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #56
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Welcome
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Good morning, everybody! Welcome once again to Church Within.

Pastor Daniel here...
        This Weeks Service is presented by Minister Sheila Burgher. She is the Corporate Secretary, "Director of Outreach Service Programs" and member of the Board of Directors for Church Within. This month you have gotten to meet all of the ordained ministers of the Church Within. Next week I will again be the one doing the Service for Sunday. I hope you have enjoyed meeting all of us. It won't be the last time.

And now... without further ado... our very own... "SHE Woman"!!!!!!!

        Hello EVERYBODY!!!!! I'm Sheila Burgher, better known as She. I am delighted to have this opportunity to share with you that which I hold so dear to me, my life experiences as a child of God. It is my hopes that in sharing my experiences, I will encourage those who wish to surrender their lives to be about the Father's business, to see the benefits of doing so.

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The Sermon
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        For the past three and a-half years I have had the great privilege of living in down town Spokane. Having convinced myself that I was a country girl and the city being described as my worst nightmare, Father decided it was time to change my mind about that. By my willingness to change, by my ability to receive, and by the courage it took to step into the void, I moved from the country to an apartment located right down town. It was now time to TRUST that Father would lead me to do His will.

         This is where I began to live my truest of essence. This is where I got to put to practice that which I believed in the most, SERVICE to one another. This is where I became the best of who I really am, A CHILD OF GOD. This is where I was able to put into practice, NON-JUDGEMENT AND UNCONDITIONAL LOVE. This is where I was taught COMPASSION. This is where I learned to SURRENDER. This was where there became not a whole lot of difference between street kids and the tourist. The homeless and the rich, the disabled and the care givers all walked the same streets. The old, the young, it didn't really matter how different we were on the outside, the one great thing I really did figure out was, how ALIKE we all are on the inside. This is where I choose to recognize everyone as the innocent, lovable spirit beings that our Father sees in all of us. This is where our Father decided to teach me who I AM amongst them all. This is where I learned to believed in LOVE. This is where I witnessed the most MIRACLES This is where I received the most gifts. This is where I was thanked most often. This is where I've been the most helpful. This is when I've been trusted the most. This is where I have been the healthiest. This is where and when I have achieved the most success in everything I do. This is where I have been the most LOVED. This is how I became a tool for our Father so that His Will be done. This is where His word has been heard. This is where I learned to set an example of Father's Love... . . Hum, I guess the city hasn't been so bad after all..


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The Prayer
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Dear Loving Father,
        Now that the fog in my mind has lifted, that which I judged as "that ickey old city" has become an extremely beautiful gift to me. Your city and your children in it, have taught me the meaning of your Love. It is from the depths of my heart that I give Thanks for this opportunity to see this part of Your creation as You do. I pray that all your children will have the opportunity to learn this degree of Love, and to know one another as the loving spirit beings You have created. I pray that every day I consciously put myself in a state of surrender to You, that I be used as a tool to do Your Will. May Your light shine through me, as a reminder to those who cross my path, of who they are. Please help us to remember who we are and most of all, Where You are.

Amen from Your little girl, She.

Minister Sheila Burgher of Church Within


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10-26-97 - Sunday Service of Church Within #57
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Welcome
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Greetings my Dearest Siblings, and welcome to Church Within.

Well, I'm back. I enjoyed the "Services" of Jill, Tom and Sheila and I hope you did too. Each of them inspired me in new, different and beautiful ways.

What you and I and All of us can learn about our Infinite Parent from one another is a treasure that is priceless! None of us has the Whole answer, but each and every one of us has a part of it. As each of God's children begin fitting their own piece into the Supreme puzzle, our ability to discern the larger picture is enhanced.

I guess it's my turn, so here goes...

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Quotes
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(A Modern Parable)
President Calvin Coolidge once invited friends from his hometown to dine at the White House. Worried about their table manners, the guests decided to do everything that Coolidge did. This strategy succeeded, until coffee was served. The president poured his coffee into the saucer. The guests did the same. Coolidge added sugar and cream. His guests did, too. Then Coolidge bent over and put his saucer on the floor for the cat.

(Albert Einstein)
Small is the number of them that see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

(The Urantia Papers Paper-155 Section-5)
Until the human race progresses to the level of a higher and more general recognition of the realities of spiritual experience, large numbers of men and women will continue to show a personal preference for those religions of authority which require only intellectual assent, in contrast to the religion of the spirit, which entails active participation of mind and soul in the faith adventure of grappling with the rigorous realities of progressive human experience.

(Gayan/Gayatri No 1209-Complete Sayings of Hazrat Inayat Khan)
        "The Image of Christ is in the Church, the book of Christ is with the clergy, the love of Christ in the heart of his worshipper, but the light of Christ shines through the illuminated souls. "

(Sufi Master Rumi)
Footprints but come to the ocean's shore Therein, no trace remains.

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The Sermon
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What is it that most attracts you toward the One whom you recognize as your Creator ?

        What is Your religion? Do you see it as: a place to go or as something to be... as an idea or as an ideal... as a responsibility or as a wholehearted desire... as insurance against eternal suffering or as a means of attaining everlasting happiness... as an obligation or as a Supreme privilege? Is your life motivated more by: the fear of punishment or by the lure of reward, the resistance of evil or by an inner yearning for Good, an escape from a devil or by an insatiable quest for God?

        As a young child, I had a lot of ideas about religion. I thought that I had to go to church to get it and that it was my responsibility, my obligation to do so. I was afraid that if I didn't go to church... or say all the right words and say them the "right" way, that I was destined for hell... an eternity of demonic torture and suffering. I believed that God was just waiting "up there" with a score sheet ready to catch me doing something wrong so He could punish me. And the Devil... why, he was just looking and waiting for every single opportunity he could find to "make" me do bad things against my will.
        All of these things were sufficient to keep me as a slave to theology and doctrine until I grew up, and they kept me feeding the collection basket each week. In retrospect, I can now realize that they DID keep me on a religious path of sorts, so I can't really deny that they had a certain measure of value for that time in my life. I tried to be good... I wanted to be... but I felt destined for failure. It all seemed so unjust to me, but who was I to question the "religious" teachers? Why... they talked to God personally and I was but an evil sinner.

        One day as a young adult I got extremely angry at God and yelled at Him. "Here I want to be good, and You are making it a next to impossible task for me." I was furious at the injustice of it all. "What do You want from me God? I demand an answer!" I sat there impudently and waited. "I'm not going anywhere 'till You tell me, so You might as well get started!" I said. After a few moments which seemed like an eternity, my rage began to subside and I calmed down. Then something happened. I "felt" God smile at me. It wasn't a vengeful smile at all but a Loving one like my parents gave me. I felt like I was being held and embraced in loving arms. I began to cry and then laugh for joy. I began at that moment to recognize God as a Parent rather than a scorekeeper... as a guide rather than a jailer... I began to Love rather than fear God. I began growing up that day.

        I started to realize that the most important thing wasn't so much what I felt God wanted me to do, as what God wanted me to BE. Doing is the Result of Being... not the other way around. I realized that I wasn't being tested to see how badly I had failed, but to see how much I had learned. Being good was no longer the obligation of a slave but the supreme privilege of a child of God. I stopped looking over my shoulder while running frantically from the devil, all the time tripping and falling over the stones in my path... and began running gleefully towards the Loving open arms of my Divine Parent, skipping and jumping over the rocks... going around the obstacles rather than blindly crashing into them. And when I do stumble and fall down, my Parent is always there to help me up and to brush off the dirt and to soothe my ow-ies.

        Whatever ideas or beliefs bring you closer to God, follow them. If it is Fundamental Christianity, Catholicism, Buddhism, Hinduism Wicca, the Tao... if it's Islam, or Bahai, or Confucius or Mysticism... The Urantia Papers, the Bible, the Koran, the Torah, the Baghavad Gita, the Book of Mormon or whatever calls to your Soul... LIVE THE TRUTH THAT YOU HAVE LEARNED, and God will show you more. Be willing to grow in your understanding of the Creator, and you will. "Seek, and you shall find."

        Faith is Active, Dynamic and Purposeful. It is Walking the Walk. It is your passport to Eternity. It is the Trust of the child in the Love of it's Parent.

"Have you Faith?"

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The Prayer
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Dearest [fill in your own favorite name for the Universal Source],
        Fuel my desire for Your Perfection. Guide me along whatever path I may choose to find You. When I look for fulfillment in the wrong places, turn me again so that I may face towards You. Teach me to laugh at my immaturity rather than hate it. And when I begin to think that I have found the whole truth, show me more of it.
        When I ask You for what I want, give me what I need. When I close my eyes in Fear, re-open them for me in Love. When I foolishly choose to hate, remind me to choose Compassion instead. When I forget to serve my fellows, help me to remember that in serving Your children I serve You.
        Truly do I feel your Love for me. Help me to allow it to flow through me to others.
Amen.


You ALL are Within the Infinitely Loving Embrace of our Universal Parent,

The Creator's Infinite Love, through me, to all of You,
Pastor Daniel

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