Sunday Services: 9:30 am  &  11:15 am |  714-754-7399
At the University Synagogue 3400 Michelson Drive Irvine, CA

Watch us Live: Sundays 11:15 am

Weekly Services Sundays 9:30 & 11:15 am

University Synagogue 3400 Michelson Drive Irvine, CA

Watch us Live on Sundays at 11:15 am

Nov 15, 2016 at 11:21 PM

Four Ceremonial Steps to the New Year

By Dr. Jim Turrell

We are now officially heading toward Thanksgiving, Solstice, Christmas, and New Year’s. Each occasion presents us with an opportunity to practice the Principles we teach and the Philosophy we live. Each occasion helps to focus our attention on traditions that prioritize what is important and how we can re-mind ourselves how to behave and how to share.

The first occasion is Thanksgiving. For many in my family this is their favorite Holiday because it centers their attention upon feeling grateful with a powerful sense of proactive gratitude which shows up in our behavior and how we chose to share our gifts. Elizabeth Gilbert says, “In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it’s wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” I think it is a terrific idea to keep saying thank you forever and sincerely see the blessing in every relationship, partnership, and friendship we experience.

Then we come to Solstice. That ancient tradition that celebrates the diminishing amount of light and how on a very special date called Solstice we celebrate Light’s return. This year we are celebrating this on Thursday, December 22, 7 p.m. at the University Synagogue. To tell the story of how this return of light has influenced so many, I have invited a famous actor called Father Time to tell the story and share how humanity has celebrated this occasion throughout time. Of course, there will be a Candle Lighting Ceremony and a sharing of food, faith and friendship.

The third occasion to celebrate will be Sunday, December 25th, at our Single-Service-Sunday, at 11:15 a.m. There will be an opportunity to sing sacred and secular holiday favorites and listen the to the metaphysical meaning of Hanukkah and Christmas as told by Dr. Jim. As Oren Arnold says, “Christmas gift suggestions: to your enemy, forgiveness. To an opponent, tolerance. To a friend, your heart. To a customer, service. To all, charity. To every child, a good example. To yourself, respect.”

Finally, the fourth celebration will be Sunday, January 1, at our Single-Service-Sunday, at 11:15 a.m. This service is unique and very different. It is a January Jam Session featuring a service in the round. We will be holding this service in the Social Hall and it will feature Gia Ciambotti and the Center Band. Dr. Jim will have a special message for the New Year in between our special musical presentations. This will be inspiring, fun and extremely original. Join us and spiritually complete 2016 and joyously start 2017.

Posted in Personal Growth.