​​Focus on Joy

  Focus on joy,
   when it seems impossible to breathe.
   Focus on joy, 
   as sorrow seizes your heart.
   Focus on joy,
   while God calls your loved one Home.
   Focus on joy,
   when the darkness encompasses the Light.
   Focus on joy,
   while you whisper a tiny prayer.
   Focus on joy,
   as the illuminated cracks begin to appear.
   Focus on joy,
   until your vision clears.
   Focus on joy,
   as your heart expands.
   Focus on joy,
   until that is all that exists.
   Focus on joy,
   for JOY is all there is   🕊


Submitted by Rev Debra Vegh


Welcome to The Church of the Angels Creative Corner


 The time has come for you to
        claim your mission,
                know your truth and
                        find the way.
 
  Others have been waiting for the
        love and strength you will supply
                when you remember your truth.

  It’s time to find your mission and
        live your passion.
 
  You ask, “How do I find the way?”
  You ask, “What is my truth?”
 
  The truth is this –
        it remains unchanged through
                all there is:
                        When you decide to live your passion
                                you will find and reclaim
                                        your mission.​​


Submitted by Rev Jenni Vinecourt


A place to share the creative talent of our members working with Spirit through writings, artwork, photography, etc.  Please see the Submission Guidelines to see how your Creative Works can communicate with our congregation, our communities and our world.


  Marching to the new world

   We came here to help you

   To see a new way of doing things

   Marching to a new world

   To give up the old ways

   Ways that have held us back

   Marching to a new world

   We have faced pain

   Deep pain as we have

   Been crying in silence

   Marching to a new world

   No more will we be quiet

   No more will we be called crazy

   No more No more No more

   As we are all

   Marching to a new world.


Submitted by Rev Vicki R Jones


Scroll down to Enjoy the Talented Works of our Membership!

The Church of the Angels

of Cleveland Ohio          (440) 384-8968



Spirtuality vs. Religion


One of the questions on OK Cupid that I encountered recently read: “Are spirituality and religion the same thing?” It is kind of funny that a dating app question really got me thinking about not so much how I would answer this question (no), but how I would explain my answer. While I don’t consider religion and spirituality the same thing, I never was able to quite articulate what the difference was, so I would continually skip answering that question.  Fast forward a few weeks to me enjoying a quite weekend curled up on the couch with my coffee and a book. I was reading The Wisdom of Sundays: Life-Changing Insights from Super Soul Conversationsby Oprah Winfrey and came across the answer that had eluded me. Thank you Elizabeth Lesser for finding the words so I didn’t have to…

“Spirituality is this kind of fearless seeking nature. Like, it’s the part of us that says, Whoa. What made a tree? Who am I? What did I come from ? What made something out of nothing? Where do I go when I die? How do I live?  How am I supposed to life? That’s spirituality. The seeking of truth. And it takes fearlessness to seek after truth. Religions are our attempt to answer the questions. And some of those answers are great and beautiful. And some of them are just dogma and rules that get us into trouble. ‘My rules are better than your rules.’ And then we fight about them. So spirituality is the questioning, and religions are our attempts at answers.”

I have had several uncomfortable discussions with people lately over religion, and what I choose to believe, and what influences those choices have on my young daughter. While I went to a Catholic grade school and a Jesuit college, got married in a church, and had my daughter baptized I no longer follow any type of organized religion, BUT I do consider myself spiritual, and open to the mysticism and teachings of many religions simultaneously. I feel lucky to have found a spiritualist church that I now attend which gives me back the sense of community I had been missing, but without all the prescriptions and sanctions.

Religious rituals and traditions can be beautiful moving experiences; there is something visceral about being in a darkened room, light filtering through stained glass windows, candles lit with purest prayer, the smell of burned away incense, and voices joined together in hymns of praise. I even can appreciate some of the pageantry – the pomp and circumstance, but when religion closes you off to other people and experiences, to other ways of being and moving in the world that are equally well-intentioned (not only did I just make that word up, but it is totally relative), then religion becomes a turn-off for me. Sarah Ban Breathnach explains it like this: “Religion says, ‘there ‘s only one way to heaven.’ Spirituality says, ‘Choose the one that brings you joy.” So many things that give me joy also make me feel closer to “God” – practicing yoga, watching waves crash endlessly on a shore, witnessing my daughter try something new, laughing over a shared joke, enjoying a perfectly prepared meal. Those are all “prayers” to me. All reminders of how interdependent we are. How vast the universe it. That miracles exist in those moments.

So as many of us gear up to spend time with friends and family over the holiday season, with its hyper-focus on religion, I thought it would be helpful to share Lesser’s words because they help me see us all as confused students fumbling to find the ‘correct’ answer. Viewed this way, I can find compassion where there used to be frustration, a shared sense of purpose as opposed to ideologies which divide us, and a reminder that sometimes the epiphanies happen in the search, whether or not we ever reach consensus on the conclusion.


Submitted by Kristina Ambrosia

​The Day Misery Walked


​​ Misery went for a walk in the park. She took a chance and left out into the dark. Her goal was very simple indeed. All she needed was a little company. So began her disheartening tryst. What she sought was neither hard to find, nor difficult for egos to resist.
 
It seemed everywhere she went people made time to share tales of woe and lives gone wild. Sad stories did abound. On each street corner and in every neighborhood, there was at least one or more willing to share how his or her precious life energy was misspent.

 A broken heart that never seemed to mend. A spirit broken again, and again, a nameless face lost in the rat race. So many souls seeking a place to claim as their intimate and sacred space. Even the most decadently rich ones stayed on the spy, trying to claim that which they knew their money could not buy.

 Before Misery could blink her eyes, she gained a captive audience in the multitudes who passed her by. So many unique guests gathered in her name. The crowd grew quite large. It soon became an unsightly party. No Doubt about it, Misery was in charge. I paused and I thought, “Oh what a shame. Oh my, what a pity!”

 Although at first they could not see, ushered in among the throngs, three strong sisters names appeared on Misery’s guest list. She paused and haughtily tossed her head and made a shameless hissing, sound. Misery sharply, and indignantly asked, “Who invited you to this party ground? And Faith, happily proclaimed, “Who me? Why are you so surprised? Don’t you know, I show up everywhere?”

 “You can count on me. I am always standing near. Even when you can’t see me, all it takes is for you to believe. Call out my name and I’ll be there. Even when you can’t see the net at all, take the leap, I am there to catch you, whether you stumble, trip, or fall.”

 Misery paused and turned her back. She was growing tired of listening to all this inspirational flack. Suddenly from behind the chaotic scene she heard a whisper. “Oh, don’t be mad,” said Faith, “It’s only the voice of my tender sister. Her name is Grace.”

 “Some folks say Grace is kind of strange. You see, she moves in all directions. And yet, she flows with intention. She moves along at just the right pace, and often leaves without a trace”. Misery heavily sighed and crossly whined, “Life is not fair! My favor comes really cheap. So shall I sow! So shall I reap! I adore the company that I keep.”

 “Excuse me; I beg your pardon”, exclaimed a mighty voice. “I am Hope, Do you not know, you always have a choice? Oh my sweet, I know, sometimes my arrival is a little slow. But always trust in me; I float in out and out…to and fro. I am here. I am there. I exist anywhere.”

 “Hold fast to your dreams. Together with my sisters in our hands we hold the greatest gift of all. It doesn't matter who you are, big or small.” Misery looked around, and to her surprise, the size of her traveling company was dwindling down. Even she, who started off like a superstar, noticed her company slipping away. She was losing her crown. Misery could not hold her limiting space. She knew very soon, the truth was about to turn things upside down.

 Within the blink of an eye, a great light burst through and pushed out the gloom. The three sisters formed a circle, and without a sound fell to their knees, and offered praise to the heavens above. From their raised hands and light filled palms appeared a rising dove. “Be not afraid, it’s not a trick. It’s our offering of peace. It’s our present. Accept it freely. Within its beautiful promise you will find that no longer will your hearts be broken or sick.”

 Faith looked at me straight away and winked her eye that first night. Softly she spoke, “The next time you step out with Misery, the way you sometimes do. Remember she loves company, it's true. But in every crowd you must stand tall. Take the leap, feel our presence, we guarantee even when you cannot see, continue to believe, my sisters and I will be there to catch you when you fall.” One day you will know you belong to us.

 “We understand that there is no easy way down. The way back is a crooked mile. We share a simple truth, if you walk with Misery, and all her troubles, you will surely go down. She travels through life with a kick and a scream. In her company the ego leads, and souls lose sight of dreams.”

 “Be mindful of the company your keep. And remember inside the audience of Misery… Faith, Hope, and  Grace sustain. Their mother stands with them as a blessing from above. Her name is Mother Love. When your journey pulls at your heart, and threatens to take your breath away, do not let the audacity of Misery, and her myriad of temporary distractions, lead you astray. Take a breath. Call out our names. Misery will have no choice. We promise she cannot stay! You have the power to demand Misery walk a different way.


Submitted by A Angeline Hough 


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