- Rev. Charles Perry
Creating What's Next
One of the excellent fringe benefits of our current trip to Orlando for Laura’s participation in the Celebration Marathon (in addition to seeing my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter, as well as Laura’s sister and brand new nephew) was for me to be able to attend and participate in church services yesterday at my old home church, Christ Church Unity - Orlando. It was wonderful to see old friends, spend time with my mentor (and friend) Rev. Cynthia Alice, and to be able to be spiritually fed as I always have been when Alice is on the platform.
Yesterday, she was wrapping up a four week series on spiritual goal-setting. And I was struck by the Divine timing in my being there to hear that message the week prior to us beginning a brand new church. As she talked about visualization I was forced to ask myself, “What do I see our new spiritual community becoming?” In all honesty, I have had several responses to that question.
My first response was, “Well, it’s not all up to me,” because it isn’t. What the Magic City Spiritual Community becomes will largely depend on what we ALL make of it. Too often, in church as in other organizations, people fall into a “cult of personality” which is both driven by and dependent on a charismatic leader. There are many problems with this organizational model, not the least of which is the truncating of opportunities for growth and success because the vast wealth of knowledge, skill, talent and intuition present in the organization goes untapped, because everyone is focused on fulfilling the dreams, goals, and ambitions of the leader. And while I do believe that part of the job of the leader is to cast the vision and lead the organization in pursuit of its fulfillment, a GOOD leader is collaborative, and leverages the gifts of everyone in the organization.
So, on the one hand, I am not only open to seeing what it is we choose to do collectively as a spiritual community, I am curious and excited to see how the journey unfolds. And, on the other hand, there are some things that I am envisioning, and I find that vision clear and compelling.
I see us healthy, happy, and living transformed lives. I see our community becoming both a powerful voice and a powerful force in the transformation of our city, state, nation, and world. I see us not merely content with our own spiritual awakening, but through our active participation, being agents of the awakening of humanity. I see us as not merely being “accepting “ or “inclusive” of the disenfranchised, but advocating for and championing the rights of all of God’s children. I see us not merely as cheerleaders for divine love, but as team in the field winning divine justice for all. In short, I see us not a spiritual community that is focused on “feel-good”, but one that is focused on “do-good”, and enjoys feeling good as that natural byproduct of having done good.
This coming Sunday, we begin a new journey together as the Magic City Spiritual Community. I am thrilled, humbled, curious, and deeply grateful. One final thought from the Magic Kingdom to the Magic City: Walt Disney once said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” Let’s begin living love. Let's begin seeking truth. Let's begin demanding justice. Let's begin the Magic City Spiritual Community, and see what lies ahead.