Back from China Trip

Well, here it is…the heart of autumn. I typically like to send a happy birthday greeting on the first of the month, but this time I was in China during the first part of November. So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY November folks, and happy belated birthday if I missed yours this month.
IMG_5617I waited and saved up a whole year for this vacation. It has been about three years since I had a real vacation (in 2013). I finally did something outside of my comfort zone. More later on my travels. Fear can sometimes stop us from seeing the world, but I was determined to go and I’m so glad I did. Special thanks to our tour leader, Rev. Mary Anne Harris of Tulsa, Oklahoma. I’ve been with her on trip to Italy, Spain, and Portugal so far and they are always well organized by the company she engages to do all the booking and planning. Her website is Harris House Studios if you would like to see more photos. I’ll post more later. If you are not already on my mailing list, join to see the updates that are coming.

The Thanksgiving season is upon us! It’s a tradition that should last the whole year, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I am grateful for another season for expressing even more gratitude. I am particularly grateful for all the good that is going on in the world, even when it feels like it isn’t. I say let’s look for all the blessings in our lives and be extra, extra grateful.  Even if you are grateful, see if you can top that. If you are into making gratitude lists, see if you can DOUBLE or TRIPLE it. Then watch and see what blessings get multiplied in your life. Staying in the zone of gratitude turns the tide, every time.

Wishing you all the soul-enriching warmth, fulfillment, and abundant blessings that the transformative power of God’s love can bring!

JOY and Love aways,
Rev. Dinah

My Summer Sabbatical

Greetings!
Well, in April I decided to put myself on a “summer sabbatical” to reflect, to be still, and to listen to my heart. Yes…I gave myself permission to not take any speaking or singing engagements this summer 🙂 However, I’m still working my day job. So, the weekends are filled with opening myself up to whatever I’m inspired to do that feeds my soul.
Easter Sunday, April 21, was my final service as the minister of Unity of Tri-Valley, after serving for 14 months in a labor of love with a lovely spiritual community. It was bittersweet but necessary for me to do some truth-telling to myself and step aside. Prior to that, I served as associate minister at Unity of San Leandro in Northern California for two years. And prior to that, I worked to earn my Masters of Divinity at Unity Institute and Seminary from 2013 to 2016 and was ordained in 2016. I am grateful for the privilege of serving and learning so much in church ministry! Now, it’s time to shift my focus a bit.
Reflections
Over the past few weeks and after several long walks, I’ve come to realize I’ve been going full speed in various ministry endeavors for quite some time. I made a decision in 2005 that I would live the next decades of my life a lot differently than the first few decades of my life. #1- I would live intentionally in alignment with a vision for my life and in alignment with my values. So, I had to do the work of asking myself those hard questions and writing down what I wanted in life and then begin to think/act/behave in alignment with those things. The most important things for me were spiritual growth and to being in integrity with myself.
One thing that was out of whack was my finances. I found myself in over $100,000 worth of debt in 2004. By putting Truth first in my life and gaining a greater awareness of abundance, I began to manifest an abundance consciousness and things began to turnaround. From 2008 to 2012, I studied to become a Licensed Unity Teacher, diving deeper into the spiritual teachings that had helped save me from spiraling into depression. They helped shift me into greater fulfillment, abundance, emotional healing, and a sense of purpose.
This particular spiritual path was working for me; I could see and feel the change; I felt more peace, more satisfaction, and more love and compassion for myself and others. By 2009, I was completely out of debt! It took a commitment to my spiritual practice, discipline, forgiveness work, and greater self-awareness to leave behind the judgmental, critical, self-defeating mental habits that were leaving me feeling empty. 
I’ve come to realize that our thoughts lead to our emotions and our actions.  One of the key principles I discovered says, “thoughts held in mind produce after their kind.” I took it to heart and focused on Spirit. Somehow, a renewed sense of resiliency began to surface. I watched myself like a hawk. I focused on loving life, loving God, and every day being a clear transparency for God’s love to flow through me. I had to face myself and “do my work,” which is still my continual work, to release and let go of that which no longer serves me in a positive, constructive way and make room for new, expanded ways of expressing. I think we all want to grow, get better, and expand. When we do, we give others permission and encouragement to do the same.
So, I just wanted to check in, catch you up, and give you a few highlights of my summer. In a nutshell, I’ve been walking, getting out into nature more, keeping up my regular contemplative prayer practice and meditation work, reflecting, reading, re-connecting with friends, enjoying podcasts (like the Home-brewed Christianity’s Radical Theology summer series with Jack Caputo and Tripp Fuller), spending time with family, and working on improving my sleeping and eating habits.
Slowly, as I roll out of sabbatical mode this fall…I will ramp up my on-line presence for Unity JOY Abundantly Expressing Ministries, and sharing JOY in our world wherever I can. Since its inception in January 2018, I’ve had other priorities that needed my attention:) But this desire to share my JOY has never left me! I plan to continue to my singing and speaking talents as I am led by Spirit. More to come!
For now, I will enjoy the rest of this summer cozying up with one of my favorite books, Sabbath, Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight in our Busy Lives by Wayne Muller. I love this quote from it:
“Sabbath is more than the absence of work; it is not just a day off, when we catch up on television or errands. It is the presence of something that arises when we consecrate a period of time to listen to what is most deeply beautiful, nourishing, or true. It is a time consecrated with our attention, our mindfulness, honoring those quiet forces of grace or spirit that sustain and heal us.”
I am so grateful for all my life lessons and how important it is to be authentic and to be true to myself.  If we don’t do this, we will never be happy (at least that is my experience). I encourage you to do the same; hang around those who will support you in being your highest, best self. BE JOY, BE LOVE, BE PEACE…and BE the force of good that you want to see in the world. We need YOU. We need the unique light and the JOY you bring! Please know that I am so very grateful for YOU and the love you bring. Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Love & joy,
Rev. Dinah

This Month – Final Call for China

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 9.58.58 PMTravel with us Oct. 29 – Nov. 13! This time we’re heading west…to China! Dust off that passport. Download the brochure.

See the brochure for details and order form. Sign up and send in deposits today. This is the final call this month. It is the trip of a lifetime.

We will be joining my friend and mentor Rev. Mary Anne Harris, an experienced tour coordinator. The trips I’ve taken with her to Italy, Spain, and Portugal were high quality and well planned (through NAWAS- -she deals with only the best companies). Join us! And check out her photo gallery of the other trips she’s led at the Harris House website.

Reclaiming Your Joy

7 Tips for Reclaiming Your Joy

Sometimes we can get bogged down in life. We drift, we can get stagnant, and we can sometimes feel no sense of direction or purpose. I have come up with these reminders to help me reclaim my joy.  I’ve used them over and over. This is not an exhaustive list, but it’s a great start! In the book, The Revealing Word, it says that joy is “the happiness of God expressed through its perfect idea in [humankind]…and that joy and gladness are strength-giving.” Wow, did you know that joy and gladness can give you strength? (Nehemiah 8:10)

Joy is more than a fleeting moment of happiness.  For me, it is more like an underground reservoir that shoots up warm springs of living waters in my soul whenever I need them.  True joy arises from within as we focus on all the good that is in our lives and the Source of our good.

When you claim and reclaim your joy, it does not mean you are not compassionate with others or that you don’t notice the challenges of life that are going on around us or in our world. We are not side-stepping anything. But with joy, you will have the strength and energy to be up for the tasks that lie before you.

So here are some of the tips I use for reclaiming my joy all the time and help me keep it stirred up!

  1. Stir up love, and you’ll stir up joy. Joy stems from divine love, unconditional love, the God-kind of love (agape love). I call it loving “just because.” Boost up your love with kind thoughts, words, and deeds, and walk in the wisdom of divine love and you will find your joy meter rising. When you feel your joy is at a low point, consider how are you doing in the area of expressing and manifesting unconditional, inclusive, non-judgmental love…to everyone! Stir up love, and let joy rise! “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” – John 13:35 NRSV
  2. Praise is the language of joy.  Whatever we praise, bless, or magnify grows! Gratitude and thanksgiving multiplies, germinates, and fertilizes everything in our lives and affairs. We can express our appreciation and gratitude to those around us each day. In prayer, we can give thanks. With a heart full of thanks, joy automatically rises. “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.” – Psalm 34:1
  3. Prayer, Meditation, and Contemplation fills up our reservoir of joy.  When we consciously commune with the Divine and tap into the Presence, we are continually filling ourselves up with joy. Allow yourself to get still and go into the Silence…and be filled with the spirit of joy.  “You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore” – Psalm 16:11 NRSV
  4. Set your mind on God’s good. Think on all the good that God is unveiling and expressing in your life and all around you and joy will rise in your heart.  “Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. – Philippians 4:8 NRSV
  5. Go and do good for others. Find a way to serve joyfully in community, in your spiritual community, at your school, in your neighborhood, or globally. Selfless service without thinking about reward and benefit can open up your heart to more love and joy. Your giving becomes the gift, and the joy of giving is its own reward. “So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” -Galatians 6:10 NRSV
  6. Play, engage in creative fun. Go dancing, …yes, dance! wave your arms in the air, like you just don’t care! Play music. Go to an art festival, a museum, or do some art! Go sailing, go to a play or a concert, and find a way to get in a good belly laugh (not at others, of course, but with others). Proverbs tells us “A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance.” (15:13); “but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast.” (15:15); and “A merry heart does good like a medicine.” (17:13).
  7. Find your tribe.  Find and share your joy in a community that is inclusive, accepting, loving, non-judgmental, uplifting of one another, and supportive of you finding your spiritual highest good. It may not be a traditional brick and mortar church. It can also be some collective group that enhances the individuals involved with it. “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” – Hebrews 10:24-26 NRSV

Add a SPLASH of JOY to everything you do this week! Share more JOY tips with us online at: Facebook Page and Discussion Group and like our Page.

Blessings & love,

Rev. Dinah

Dinah Chapman 120310_046

We have Logo Lift-off!

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I am please to now have an official logo! This ministry is part of Unity Worldwide Ministries.

Unity Joy Abundantly Expressing Ministries’ Vision

Unity – Joy Abundantly Expressing Ministries’ vision is to be a global beacon of light on the internet radiantly expressing and sharing positive, inspiring, life-affirming messages of joy – – joy based on the love and peace inspired by the transformative teachings of Jesus, the Christ, and many other wisdom teachings.

Unity Joy Abundantly Expressing Ministries’ Mission

Unity – Joy Abundantly Expressing Ministries inspires, uplifts, and edifies listeners and followers with music, affirmations, and messages through its website, videos, and social media and provides a space online for others to connect around the theme of joy.

I hope you will join me on this journey of uplifting our world. Through every challenge, every circumstance, I believe true joy can pierce the veil and allow us to live triumphantly and successfully!

Have an amazing day!

You are invited to join my discussion group and like my FaceBook at: UnityJoy

Peace and blessings,

~ Rev. Dinah ~

Joyful Travels – China in 2019

Screen Shot 2019-03-17 at 9.58.58 PMCome go with us Oct. 29 – Nov. 13! This time we’re heading west. Download the brochure.

See the brochure for details and order form. Sign up and send in deposits right away. I am looking for at least 7 more people to go with us. It is the trip of a lifetime.

We will be joining my friend and mentor Rev. Mary Anne Harris, an experienced tour coordinator. The trips I’ve taken with her to Italy, Spain, and Portugal were high quality and well planned (through NAWAS- -she deals with the best companies). Join us! And check out her photo gallery of the other trips she’s led at the Harris House website.

Join the “JOY” Train! Woohoo!

Greetings!

Ok… so it’s February! I can still say “Happy New Year,” right? It might be a little late, but it’s not too late to send you wishes of PEACE, HEALTH, ABUNDANCE, and JOY for the upcoming year and beyond. As a matter of fact, I am wishing you a LIFE of joy!

I can think of no better way to start the year than in the spirit and energy of divine joy. My goal this IMG_3457year is to reach as many people as I can and splash their day with some joy.  You might have heard in January 2018 that I launched an on-line ministry of joy – – UNITY JOY ABUNDANTLY EXPRESSING MINISTRIES. However, I admit I was slow getting it out the gate due to taking on a full-time day job and becoming the senior minister of Unity of Tri-Valley Spiritual Center in Dublin, CA in early 2018. But the call to this work of joy never left my heart.

So, it’s re-charge time! I am inviting you to join me in lifting the world in the spirit of true joy. Joy is not just for Christmastime. Though our challenges and experiences may be tough, the ever-abiding truth is that the reign of God’s joy never ends. No matter how dark the night, joy comes in the morning. It is always present to those who choose it and expect it.

If you would like to join me in this re-commitment to joy and gather into this circle of rich, heart-warming, spiritually nourishing connection, I’m asking you do three things to help me have a successful launch by February 28th:

  1. Go to unityjoy.org and join my mailing list.
  2. Like my Facebook page – @UnityJoy
  3. Join my FB discussion group – and tell me what brings you joy!

I look forward to connecting with you on-line.  Until then, I envision you blessed this year with all your heart’s desires and joy abundantly expressing!

Joyfully and lovingly,

Rev. Dinah

Singing for Love! Singing in Joy!

I will be singing this Saturday, Feb. 9 at 6 p.m., along with Rev. David Deerfeeder, Nancy Iskander, and Clay Foor at Unity of Tri-Valley in Dublin, CA. The theme of the evening is “Love is the Answer.” In the midst of a world filled with…well, you know…human drama, let us not turn our backs on love. Let us face it all divinely connected and knowing we are stronger and better as we boldly face each day grounded in love and wisdom. Come fill your heart and fill the room with the energy of love. Bring friends and family members along! Family-friendly. All are welcome.flyer_color

Come Travel with Us…

Screen Shot 2018-11-06 at 10.10.03 PMAh, the joys of traveling….In 2012 and 2016, I had a chance to travel with my friend and mentor Rev. Mary Anne Harris to Italy and Spain. Last November, they went to Budapest, Prague, and Munich (I missed that trip). Right now they are in England and Scotland (I missed this trip, too). I don’t want to miss the next one!
Next year, Rev. Mary Anne is leading the 2019 travel group to Venice, Florence, Sorrento, Pompeii, and Rome! SO, WHO WANTS TO GO? March 18-28, 2019.
I am looking for a minimum of 6 NEW people to travel to Italy with us so that I can become a tour-leader-in-training. Do you want to go? Complete the form in the brochure below, or contact me.
To see the full itinerary, download Italy.19.Brochure. Don’t wait!

A Day of Prayer…

Copy of joy cup

Our hearts are heavy with grief, as we witness yet another slaughtering of people of faith in their house of worship. This time people of Jewish faith…in Pittsburg. I invite us all into prayers of peace and divine love – – let compassion arise in us. Light a candle, hold a silent vigil, go and be with others to hold each other up in authentic caring….and sharing. Take time, take time to breathe…breathe in the precious Breath of Life we all share, and remember it was swept away from others.

We are all affected. We are all “inextricably linked.”  Can we put our political ideologies and “otherizing” down for a just a little while to reflect on how sacred life is? Each moment and each breath you take today is precious. Let us use our lives differently than in the past. Where we’ve been asleep, arise and awaken; where we’ve been complacent, shake ourselves and get on assignment with wisdom from on high; where we’ve been silent, open our mouths and speak truth to power….omg, we’ve overslept.

Today – let us pray….until we are infused with and allow a greater light in our minds and hearts as never before.

Peace unto you this day, my friend.

~ Rev. Dinah Chapman, M.Div