"Time to Choose" by Rev. Ray Nelson, V.P. GLR

Recently the Great Lakes Region completed its annual conference. Due to the continued issues related to the Covid-19, the conference was held virtually. The conference focused on re-imaging the spiritual community. We listened to speakers talk of the issues they have faced during this difficult time, how they responded, and how they were planning moving forward. We heard issues related to the Covid-19 lockdowns and the challenges of moving to a virtual environment. We heard issues related to the racial tensions and our efforts to confront individually and collectively to systematic racism and white privilege. We talked about these and many other issues facing our churches/centers, congregations, and movement and what were the next steps we needed to take. We heard from representatives from UWM, Unity Headquarters, The Urban School, and UWSI. We listened and we talked, questioned, and shared.

          Most importantly we listened to each other. We listened to our fears, anxieties, and doubts. We listened and shared our triumphs and our failures. We listened to our struggles as our communities had to adapt not only to the technological challenges but to our own struggles as we confront the hidden shadows of our past and present that now demand our attention and creative spirit-driven actions. We listened, we shared, and we heard from each other how we individually and collectively plan to move forward with this paradigm-shifting new reality.

          There is an old adage that when life gives you lemons make lemonade. The problem with this is we merely try to put sugar on existing reality. What I heard, now is not the time to sugarcoat anything. We, as a movement and as spiritual leaders are being presented with an opportunity. An opportunity to grow, expand, and take the lead in shifting our consciousness. It is time to embrace our shadows in a way that brings us clarity and healing and then step forward and lead a new spiritual renaissance and revival. This is a point in time where we, individually and collectively, can retreat into the comfort and safety of the past and how things have always been done, or step forward and lead in a new awakening of oneness, connection, and healing. It is time to choose.