Come 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.
Great News to Share!
I am delighted to announce that Unity-Joy Abundantly Expressing Ministries has been approved as an alternative Unity ministry by the Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) Board of Trustees! Stay tuned for more news as I embark upon exciting ways of sharing and connecting with others as we all awaken to our spiritual essence of JOY and discover our own joyful expressions of this magnificent quality of being. A host of opportunities for you to join in are coming soon! I am inviting you to be a part of keeping the JOY going….so stay tuned… If you haven’t already done so, I would love for you to join my mailing list at dinahchapman.com to start receiving updates and the latest news on the launch of this NEW ministry! Let’s share more JOY and let JOY rise in our world!
Rev. Dinah Chapman, M.Div.
Within the first few months of seminary in 2013, I had the pleasure of taking an elective, and I was not quite sure what I was getting myself into. It was simply called the Peace Seminar and the description sounded interesting enough, about how we can create a world that works for everyone. Well, there were enough things happening in the world, that made me go hmmmm…. So how do we, who claim to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, engage in our world in a way that will allow us to shift to a higher way of being, doing, and having that alleviates suffering and the agonizing pangs of not enough-ness? It was a tough, challenging class taught by Dr. Shariff Abdullah, (center of photo) who has made his life’s work and spiritual practice all about inclusivity. Shariff Abdullah says in his book, Creating A World that Works for All,
“My work is my spiritual practice, and Commonway Institue is my principal vehicle for that practice. The institute’s focus is inclusivity – – teaching the theory, philosophy, and practice of the inextricable linkage between our individual lives and The Other. The links already exist; we just help people become conscious of them…We humans have much more that unites us than separates us. Commonly helps people see that.” (Chapter 3 Inclusivity–Spirit and Practice, page 63)
Little did I know that this class and this work would dig down into the core of me and resonate so strongly, so that years later I am still passionate about what Shariff Abdullah and Commonway Institute are doing. Through much of 2013, 2014, 2015, however, I could not understand the disconnect of seeing symptoms in our society of great dis-ease, fragmentation, and exclusivity driving the actions and reactions in our nation, and on the other hand seeing basically no higher ground operatives ready to meet the challenge of this atmosphere head on.
So here we are in 2017, and I asked myself “what’s changed?” We are all praying, asking what is ours to do, and finding our vehicles for taking action in some form of spiritual social activism in our own way. The headlines continue to be hurled at us ceaselessly and endlessly. I often hear within my own heart, ” do what’s in front of you.” Wherever we are working along the spectrum of healing the world, it is ALL needed.
Maybe this work of inclusivity is not sexy or glitzy enough for everyone to jump on the bandwagon in droves. However, I believe when enough people get sick and tired of being sick and tired…they’ll wake up and realize that instead of hacking away at the symptoms that are manifesting on the surface, we’ll begin to also work the deeper work of shifting our collective consciousness and awareness to the underlying spiritual aspects and qualities of our humanity and our divinity. Then we can find that pearl of great price — our linkage, our spiritual heritage that allows us to live in unified, divine harmony in the beloved community and be as One.
I’ve prayed, I’ve asked what is mine to do, and one thing is to bring people together who believe it’s possible to live, collaborate, dialog and make changes that come from a place of inclusivity and not exclusivity. Are you passionate about taking some action and don’t know where to start? A good place to start would be to engage in Dr. Shariff Abdullah’s Shadow-to-Light workshops. Working on a personal/individualistic level is fine if that is all you can do, however, working on the collective, greater system and institutional level is very much needed as well.
My action and activity over the next 12 weeks is to facilitate Dr. Shariff Abdullah’s powerfully transforming workshops called the Shadow-to-Light (S2L) Program, starting Sept. 5 at Unity of San Leandro in San Leandro, CA. There’s still time to sign up if you want to join in shifting the energy on the planet from the shadows to LIGHT……I will be the local lead facilitator inviting 12 other transformation catalysts to attend who also want to see a world transformed to higher ground. We need people from all walks of life, no matter your race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, or political affiliation. For more information and to sign up, go to: unitysanleandro.org/special-events. We would love to have the synergy of face-to-face dialog, but if you are not near this workshop in the Bay Area or in your area, go to the online version of the workshop: Online Solo S2L Course
Together – Let us embrace and usher in the LIGHT!
Peace & blessings,
I was up and at ’em early last Sunday morning to arrive at Unity of San Francisco early enough to do a sound check before the service. I received a warm welcome and was embraced by this jubilant congregation. Thank you, Cinder Ernst and Uma Maedke for helping to make this singing opportunity happen for me. During her talk, Rev. Sonya Milton reminded us to think on being filled with that hope and expectancy in the coming weeks that something wonderful is happening within us. “Something truly worth waiting for” is the realization of our Oneness with GOD. The dawning of this LIGHT in our minds and hearts is happening all the time. That light within us is the CHRIST light… oftentimes, just awaiting our recognition of it.
My heart was truly overflowing with gratitude to be able to deliver my message in song, which is… we are loved with a HUGE MAGNIFICENT LOVE that is everlasting and connects us all in a beautiful way. “Beloved,” which is track 9 on my CD “Rivers of Living Waters,” is fast becoming a favorite of many. It speaks of the unique, rare quality that we all have.
We all have gifts we have been sent to share with the world. Our LIGHT shines so brilliantly for the entire world to see and to share. I encourage you to LET your LIGHT shine. YOU are the one we all have been waiting for. Your gifts are the blessed heavenly gifts that we all have been waiting for. So SHINE ON, my beloveds! YOU ARE the BELOVED child of GOD. Do you know how special you are? Has anyone told you lately? If not, please find a nice quiet spot and let me sing it to you…. Love and infinite blessings to you this week and throughout this joyous season!
Love, peace, and joy!
On November 5th, I flew into Burbank and hopped on over to Unity of the Oaks in Thousand Oaks, CA, just in time for an all-day retreat/workshop on self-care. It was just what I needed! We learned how to take care of ourselves – – everything from mindful eating, prayer and meditation, to restorative yoga. Americans are busy folks, and we need to learn to slow down and take time out to sooth the soul and body. It was perfect timing. After a lovely dinner at the home of my friends, Marti and Dom, I turned in for some good ol’ sleep so that I could be up and at ’em on Sunday morning to do a sound check at 9 a.m. before the Sunday service. My heart is still overflowing with gratitude, and I am still floating on a cloud of love thanks to all those good vibes from the Unity of the Oaks congregation. Thanks again to Rev. Molly Rockey, Senior Minister, and my musical support team at the Oaks, Zach and Brynn Spencer.
More Exciting News! I have been on two Unity.FM internet radio programs in the past couple of weeks. On November 1, 2011, I joined Rev. Paulette Pipe on “Touching the Stillness,” and on November 10, 2011, I was guest on “Receive your Life” with Janice Campbell. You may check out both programs by going to Unity.FM and downloading the podcast (type Unity.FM in your browser and scroll on the right to locate the programs). Both programs played songs from my new CD, “Rivers of Living Waters.” I am so blessed and so very grateful for these awesome opportunities. Please tell your friends. Spread the word. Thanks, Rev. Paulette! Thanks, Janice!
Blessings to you all – – Peace & Love,
(Photo L to R – Rev. Molly, me, Zach, and Brynn)
This is the story of how the song “Touching the Stillness” came about. It is Track 2 on my new CD:
I met Rev. Paulette Pipe during one of my trips to Unity Village to take S.E.E. (Spiritual Education and Enrichment) classes. She is the founder and host of an internet radio program called “Touching the Stillness” on Unity.FM. I LOVE her pioneering spirit that calls us to come apart from our daily activities to focus on stilling our minds and having quiet time to go within.
One day last summer while I was out for a walk, a little melody popped into my head as I began to turn my walk into a meditative walk. I began to think on how much meditation means to me, and words began to flow out of me that reflected my experience with meditation.
My deepest heart’s desire was just to sing and share a soulful, spirited ballad about my personal experience that would in some way call others into this beautiful, sacred experience of meditation. I knew the title was not original, but I always believed that there was an instant connection when Paulette and I met. And I believe this song came “through” me as an expression of a shared joy and appreciation for meditation.
Personally, the biggest leap in my prayer life came when I learned to meditate. I felt it deepened my prayer life tremendously. It was the mid-80s, and I was coming to a crossroads in my life. Everything was falling apart it seems. But that’s when I knew I was headed for a break-through to another level. Prayer and meditation carried me through it all. Meditation was all new to me back then. I didn’t really know how to get quiet and still the incessant mind chatter that was going all the time. The grieving of a divorce, having to start all over, finding new employment and a new place to live was all given over to the living, indwelling Presence within. Somehow my darkest days turned bright as I just let go and sat in the Silence, and just listened for the still small voice guiding me, loving me, and strengthening me. Old patterns started to break up, and I started to see the reality of Truth living in, as, and through me, instead of me trying to pray and make things happen. I started to love myself more and started to see the radiant, brilliant light of God’s Love even more by meditating. By spending quiet time, my sense of worthiness grew. I could see the pattern of “looking for love in all the wrong places” was starting to wane.
Each and every moment is so precious in meditation. Contemplating God’s infinite love was how I began, if only for 5 or 10 minutes….and then I moved into sitting quietly acknowledging my Oneness just as Jesus did (I and the Father are one), not asking for anything (15, 20, 30 minutes….or whatever; it’s not about quantity but quality)….just being there, being fully present made all the difference. What was significant was to just DO it; it felt weird at first, just sitting and doing nothing??? But after a while, things started to shift and unfold. I knew something greater than my little ‘self’ was working and creating my NEW life, renewing me, re-shaping, re-inventing, etc., and it’s STILL going strong!
So, this song is not about some fad or passing fancy, but it’s about something I have lived for over 20 years now. And it has made all the difference in my life. No matter where you are and what you are experiencing, there is a place you can go….within yourself… and find peace, love, and the true joy that’s always been there waiting for you to tap into it. I pray that this song, “Touching the Stillness,” will be a blessing to you and a blessing to the world! May your life blossom and spring forward as never before!
Love & infinite joy,