‘To Bless All Mankind’ Progress toward peace

 

“Thou [God] art my hiding place; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance”.

(Psalms 32:7)

 

Published on Dec 5, 2016

We wanted to lift people up and remind them that ordinary people can make a difference. Our message focuses on the spirit of the holidays, people coming together and celebrating what is good and right with the world—what unites us, instead of what divides us.

 

‘To Bless All Mankind’

Progress toward peace

From the November 20, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

Adapted from an article published in The Christian Science Monitor, September 21, 2017.

 

For nations to move forward and find peace and stability after war, an awakening to the need to unify rather than divide is important. Often that comes through a realism born of necessity, but lasting peace is spawned by a realism based on something more than human willpower and desire, no matter how well intentioned our efforts.

In my own experience I’ve found that real and reliable progress toward resolution comes with a growing understanding of the reality that God, the universal divine Mind, is the source of true intelligence. This kind of spiritual realism, acknowledging God as infinite and all-knowing good, has inspired me to listen for divine wisdom. This approach fosters unity.

In particular, I’ve come to deeply appreciate what two directives from the Bible bring in order to accomplish unity of purpose to do good, and not evil: the First Commandment—“Thou shalt have no other gods before me” (Exodus 20:3)—and the Golden Rule. These are not just traditional doctrines, but foundational laws that bring lasting, healing results. When we strive to obey them, we are affirming—and will see—the practical effects of God’s infinite goodness.

As welcome as human pragmatism is, divine Mind offers more. The spiritual truth is that we all truly coexist under the universal banner of divinely maintained peace. Acknowledging this purifies our thoughts and inspires selfless actions. Our earnest efforts to stop clinging to power struggles and instead to humbly seek the guidance of divine Mind ready us to listen for the inspiration of the Almighty, which gives us a unifying understanding that fosters peace on earth.

These are our superheroes. These are the people who make our community special.

Another revolution in Lexington

A Daily conversation about the ties that bind us

Editor, The Christian Science Monitor

November 28, 2017

 

This note is about the photograph above. So I’ll twiddle my thumbs for a moment while you look at it.

It appears in the entrance hall of Diamond Middle School in Lexington, Mass., where my children attend some weekend classes.

The bulletin board is, in many ways, unremarkable. Yet hidden in its seemingly inoffensive positivism is something altogether more radical.

On the wall next to it are attached handwritten testimonials of how someone in the school exemplified these qualities. One girl “was mindful of several other people and let them speak before her,” one student wrote. Another girl “helped translate and comfort one of the exchange students from China who was upset/homesick while visiting our school,” a different student wrote. A boy “sat with me at lunch when I was sad and alone,” a third student wrote.

To a random parent walking the halls of Diamond Middle School, the message is clear: These are our superheroes. These are the people who make our community special.

And then you wonder: Is this a lesson just for middle-schoolers? Is there a place where demonstrating these qualities no longer makes sense? Are there people who do not deserve to be treated this way? In other words, is this practical for the “real world”?

Much of the news of today would persuade us to answer “no” to that last question. At a recent Monitor event, a professor at a liberal arts college here in New England told me, essentially, that what we might call the “Diamond Middle School” approach was naive to the point of moral dereliction. He was a liberal. But I’ve heard conservatives say the same thing. The times seemingly demand strong stands and hard lines.

But bullying and bad behavior happen at all stages of life, and the way to defeat them never changes.

We defeat them by ​recognizing the greater power of our common humanity​ – a unity that goes deeper than our differences and is expressed in universal virtues such as honesty, humility, kindness, responsibility, and ​bravery​ to name a few.

What sets the Monitor apart is that it seeks to ground its strong stands on those values and ideals not for person, party, or policy, but for all mankind. The Monitor stands for the notion that the values we are all taught in middle school are not bromides simply to get us to stop fidgeting at our desks, but the glue of any society and the fuel of any progress.

The first shots of the American revolution were fired in Lexington in 1775. Today, perhaps, the revolution continues on a middle school bulletin board just down the street.

If you believe what we believe, that the expression of these eternal ideals are not the province of any person or political party, we invite you to join us in a daily conversation about the ties that bind us.

We are so thrilled to have you.

Mark Sappenfield
Editor, The Christian Science Monitor

 

Hope must be taught before there is a chance of learning subject matter. When students feel self-defeated, are hopeless, learning can’t occur. Anything written by Erin Gruwell and her Freedom Writers is must reading for students, parents, all teachers, and anyone who works with or knows kids. Gruwell is easy reading but her messages can bring American education from the current thirty-seventh to the upper quarter of education in the developed countries.Side helpings of The Freedom Writers Diary and the video, The Freedom Writers, will serve complete meal of improved American education. I, actually, sleep with The Freedom Writers Diary and Teaching Hope next to my bed.

Dr. Sally Ann Michlin – Review

Freedom Writers

Welcome Home. Cyndi Lauper – Making a Difference By Leaving A Light On For Our LGBT Youth.

 

Mrs. Eddy , author of “Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures,” says on page 58 , “Home is the dearest spot on earth, and it should be the centre, though not the boundary, of the affections.”

 

While great strides have been made in recent years, when people can still be fired in over half the states because they are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender… when young people are so bullied and tormented that they feel their only way out of that hell is to end their lives… it’s clear we still have a long, long way to go before we achieve full equality and acceptance in this country.

In particular, we need to help young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. Kids who are coming to terms with their sexual orientation or gender identity are often told by their families, peers, and other influential people in their lives that who they are is somehow shameful or unacceptable. They are often rejected and thrown out of their own homes.

We all hear statistics that are shocking, but when I learned that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth make up to 40% of all homeless youth, yet only 7% of the general youth population in this country, I was furious.

As a parent, I cannot understand those who would kick out their kid simply because they are gay or transgender. Your child is a part of you, throwing them out on the street is like ripping out a part of your own soul. That is why the True Colors Fund continues to work to raise awareness about this issue and develop solutions to ending this epidemic. We will not rest until that percentage goes from 40 to none.

Everyone—whether straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender—should be allowed to show their true colors, and be accepted and loved for who they are. Every American should be guaranteed equal treatment, at school, at work, in their relationships, in service of their country…and in every part of their lives.

It’s time for us all to join together and say enough is enough. I hope you will stand with us as we continue to move our work forward.

All my best,

cyndi

Cyndi Lauper
Co-founder & Board Member

 

We are working with our corporate partners to create a national program that provides at-risk and homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth with a chance to learn about the career opportunities that exist in the corporate world. Young people will be provided with a holistic day of shadowing professionals in all areas of a company, culminating with a panel discussion with LGBTQ employees from various departments and backgrounds. Corporations will be selected based on professional relationships and/or partnerships with The True Colors Fund; a demonstrated commitment to non-discrimination of LGBTQ-identified professionals is imperative.Our Raise You Up Community Youth Program provides LGBTQ youth who are at risk of or are experiencing homelessness an opportunity to learn about career opportunities in the theatre industry. In partnership with Tony Award® winning Broadway show Kinky Boots, we have brought Raise You Up to LGBTQ youth in New York City, Nashville, Detroit, Houston, and more!

https://truecolorsfund.org/portfolio/true-opportunities/

Saturday, December 9 | 8pm ET | Beacon Theatre, NYC

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Happy Holidays 2017 from Your Holiday Mom + NBC News

 

“Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.” 
“We take the inspired word of the Bible.”
Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures
Mary Baker Eddy

 

“We have quite a few comments where [readers] said ‘I was going to take my life tonight and I found this and I’m not going to,’” Rice told NBC News. “It’s really powerful.”
“What a parent has the opportunity for is unconditional love and that’s the opportunity that I wish every mom would have for their child regardless, but it’s not the case,” she acknowledged.

Julie Compton / / NBC News

https://www.nbcnews.com/feature/nbc-out/outfront-parents-group-sends-thousands-holiday-cards-lgbtq-youth-n823451

Thank you Rob, we are so grateful for your sharing here with us. We were so honored to be a part of Julie’s article. It means all the more we can love through our letters. Big hugs to you! Shamama –
Shamama 
(aka Robin Rice, founder) 

 

You might say this website is just a fantasy – but you’d be wrong, there, holiday child. The love is real. The care is palpable. The moms FEEL for you, with you, and about you!

Love, Shamama

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Happy Holidays 2017 from Your Holiday Mom Shamama!

Dear Holiday Child,

 

Here we are in another holiday season. With all that is going on in the world (so hard!), you might be tempted to forget how much good there is! In specific, how many moms have been writing, polishing and getting ready to send on their very best holiday wishes and love to you here at YourHolidayMom.com. Yes, a whole new season is lined up from Thanksgiving (US) to New Years Day. We even hear the Chicago Tribune is going to share us this year!

Some of you are new, and some of you have been with us for five years now – we welcome you no matter your age – there is a child needing a mom’s love in all of us!

I want you to imagine this with me – so many moms lined up to write you a letter here on this blog. They are ready to give you a virtual hug, warm your cold winter hands, and welcome you into all the sights, smells and sounds of a loving holiday family.

At my house, things are a little different this year. You see, I’ve moved half-time to a tiny, postage stamp sized apartment in the Silicon Valley, so Brian is coming to me for Thanksgiving! We’ll celebrate with friends – but I will make SURE there is a virtual place for you at the table!

Then I’ll be coming home for Christmas to hopefully see the snows of Maryland – that will be such a treat! I love-love-love a winter wonderland of snow!

Your holiday-siblings Taylor (now in his third year of graduate school) and Richard (he just bought his first home this year, at age 29!) will come over, and hopefully Becca, Tristan and the grandkids will stop by as well. My mom- and dad-in-love will be there – both are in their 90’s as of this year! We’ll have a tree, but other than that, we don’t get too fancy. I’ll be sure to take a walk down my half-mile driveway one crisp morning and think of you and your life as if we were talking, just you and me.

What will we talk about? Everything! Your life, your loves (or wish for someone), your troubles and your joys. I’ll probably comment on how much you’ve grown (inside, even if you’re no longer getting taller), and how proud of you I am. I’ll be sure to focus on what is GOOD in your life, and I’ll tell you all the good stuff that’s happened to me, too.

You might say this website is just a fantasy – but you’d be wrong, there, holiday child. The love is real. The care is palpable. The moms FEEL for you, with you, and about you! We have Mom Marni holding down the fort at Tumblr again this year, and Mom Yvonne has been busy at work making sure everything runs smoothly, from the letters to the website. We’re all here because YOU matter to us. Really.

So off we go – come back for letters each day and you’re sure to find something to laugh about, cry (in a good way) about, and generally feel good about. We welcome you with open arms!

Love, Shamama (aka Robin Rice, founder)

http://www.yourholidaymom.com/

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In Grateful Awe of God

 

Giving thanks for you!

by Tony Lobl

Dear Friends,

Although I haven’t been sending out new website newsletters for quite a while, I am really grateful for all of you that have supported my blogging and photo-quotes over the years. Thank you!  Additionally, I just love the cover of this week’s Christian Science Sentinel—what a terrific verbal and visual message for Thanksgiving Day!—so I wanted to share that with you, in case you haven’t seen it.

I hope you have an awe-filled Thanksgiving Day!

With much love,

Tony L.

(P.S. To listen to the cover article as a podcast, click here.)

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It Gets Better on Thanksgiving with Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

 

When I was single and alone one year, before I had my family, I came across the Bible quote, “God places the solitary in families”. I really like that idea. And I really love a holiday based on being thankful. Thanksgiving has such a warm feeling … and it certainly is about a lot of delicious food!! I love the stuffing and the pumpkin pie!!!

Danielle Steel

November 17, 2017

***

I wish the “It Gets Better Project” would have been around when I was growing up. I am grateful something like this exists for our LGBT youth today.

Former Employee of The Mother Church/The Christian Science Monitor/ Chestnut Hill, Benevolent Association

***

Perhaps our LGBT youth today won’t be ostracized by their families and churches like the past.  Perhaps they will realize there are other options besides suicide and that they are “NOT ALONE” and “BORN PERFECT”.

Published on Nov 8, 2017

This year, It Gets Better worked to positively impact the lives of LGBTQ+ young people in new and exciting ways. Inspiring stories, uplifting events, international affiliates and brand partnerships helped the project leave a rainbow colored stamp on the world for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth. Thank you to everyone who helped make this year possible. We can’t wait to see what 2018 holds! To learn more about It Gets Better, visit our links:

 

The It Gets Better Project exists to uplift, empower, and connect LGBTQ+ youth around the globe.

 

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Give thanks, you are sustained forever!

by Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

 

The Thanksgiving season is a glorious, arms-open-wide gathering of all the blessings one is grateful for during the year. Everyone can – and should! – cherish something that confirms, “I was cared for this year.”

But what if you are in the middle of a struggle, a challenge so daunting that there doesn’t appear to be an end or a way out? Does it feel just too hard to acknowledge gratitude?

Take comfort, because right now in what appears to be a dark hour (or many dark hours!), divine Love is sustaining you.

Think on that for a moment. Even though it feels like your little boat, the USS You, is tossed about in stormy seas, there is a constant, unchanging, and un-opposable Presence that is supporting, nourishing, and fortifying you until the sunlight of victory breaks through the clouds. That is the moment you know and accept in your consciousness that nothing can separate you, or has ever separated you, from the abundant, forever goodness of Love.

Until that moment comes to you – and it will – know this: you are being sustained and cared for by the all and only God.

Now isn’t that a glorious reason to open wide your arms and welcome the bounty of gratitude?

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

We Are Family!

 

A Bible promise says, “God setteth the solitary in families” (Psalms 68:6). So in cases where families haven’t been the havens we would wish, we can pray to know, as Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures says, “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need” (Mary Baker Eddy, p. 494). This applies wherever we are on our journey of understanding and proving the purely spiritual identity that ultimately defines us all. As loved sons and daughters of the Divine, we each have a forever fixed place within our divine family whose bonds have never been broken, and cannot be broken. These forever family bonds include each and every one of us equally, in unbroken unity with the Love that Mrs. Eddy describes as “man’s only real relative on earth and in heaven” (Miscellaneous Writings 1883–1896, p. 151), our Father-Mother God.

From the July 10, 2017 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

 

The New York Times

Migrant, Refugee, Gay: You’re All Welcome at This Table

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I really would have liked to of had you as my family

 

GH: That sounds like you’re talking about faith. Does it play a big role in your life?

ED: Faith is part of who I am, yes. I was raised Christian Scientist. The most important thing I saw every single week on the wall at Sunday school was the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s what I got out of church and, to me, it’s still the way to live. My dad is still Christian Scientist. My mom’s not, and I’m not. But I believe in God, and that there’s a higher power and an intelligence that’s bigger than us and that we can rely on. It’s not just us, thinking we are the ones in control of everything. That idea gives me support.

Ellen DeGeneres

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/life/inspirational-stories/interviews/a18893/ellen-degeneres-interview/

 

 

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No More Family Drama

 

“Let us serve instead of rule,

Knock instead of push

at the door of human hearts,

and allow to each and every one

the same rights and privileges

that we claim for ourselves.”

Mary Baker Eddy

 

 

Photo Below: Madonna Celebrates Thanksgiving With Homeless LGBT Youth: ‘Everyone Deserves to Be Loved – 2016’

Had so much fun sharing Thanksgiving at the Ali Forney Center in Brooklyn! This center protects LGBT Youth from the harms of homelessness and empowers them to reclaim their lives. Each year the Ali Forney Center provides care for over 1,200 youth who are rejected by their family due to their LGBT identity. AFC provides these youth with tools they need to become independent and more importantly, AFC provides these youth with the love and support they are denied by their families. Because everyone deserves to be loved and everyone deserves a home. 💘🙏🏻💙!!!

November 25, 2016 – Madonna

https://www.advocate.com/youth/2016/11/26/lgbt-youth-nycs-ali-forney-center-get-thanksgiving-visit-madonna

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Church is driving gay people to suicide, warns Christian charity

 

Although multiple studies point to elevated rates of depression, anxiety and substance abuse among sexual minority people, the panel found that these problems, by themselves, do not account for the higher rates of suicide attempts that have been reported by LGBT people. THUS, the consensus report identified Stigma and Discrimination as playing a key role, especially acts such as Rejection or Abuse by Family Members or Peers, Bullying and Harassment, Denunciation from Religious Communities and Individual Discrimination.

Journal of Homosexuality

2011

 

Church is driving gay people to suicide, warns Christian charity

The Church is driving homosexual people to suicide because of its negative and discriminatory attitude towards same-sex relationships, a major Christian charity has concluded.

A report by Oasis warned that churches must take a ‘disproportionate share of the blame’ for the mental health issues of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

The charity found that every major denomination of the Christian church in Britain, except for the United Reformed Church, held positions which actively discriminate against people with same-sex partners.

We will take a long hard looking the mirror and see the consequences of what we have said and done staring back at us.Rev Steve Chalke, Oasis

Rev Steve Chalke MBE , Founder of Oasis, said, “It is no secret that the negative stance taken by the Church, and so many individual local churches, has a hugely distressing impact on large numbers of lesbian, gay and bisexual people and leaves countless numbers of them living lives of forced secrecy and dishonesty.

“Tragically, it is also common knowledge that the resultant anguish and distress often leads to spiritual, mental and physical harm, and in the worst of cases to people making the desperate decision to take their own life.

“We will take a long hard looking the mirror and see the consequences of what we have said and done staring back at us.”

The report concluded that local churches are ‘one of the biggest organises discriminators’ of gay people.

The research was released in part to respond to the report from the House of Bishops which restated the Church of England’s opposition to same-sex marriage and will be discussed at the General Synod meeting next week.

The charity called for the Church of England to fund more research into the issue and also give more money to mental health charities.

It also said that liberal members of congregations must do more to ‘make their position heard.’

The report said: “Churches that are inclusive to lesbian, gay and bisexual people, need to find effective ways of presenting this to local communities. We would encourage people in every church group and denomination to be as courageous as possible in championing the position that they believe in.”

Rev Chalke added: “Any doctrine, any policy, that causes destructive hurt and alienation cannot be born of a theology that reflects the God of the Bible.”

Inclusive churches were urged to sign up to the Open Church charter which commits to welcoming gay people into their congregations.

 

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