Order of Service
In this issue, you'll find service ideas contributed by local TS groups and TOS members around the country. Service among theosophists is alive and well indeed!
All the service ideas presented here have two things in common--they're all simple, and they all make a difference. The magnitude of the difference they make was summed up nicely by Charles Kuralt: "The everyday kindness of the back roads more than makes up for the acts of greed in the headlines."
TOS Healing Intention: I invite you to join me in a healing intention directed toward Syrian children living in the Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan (pictured below, center). In 2011, civil war broke out in Syria, resulting in massive numbers of citizens fleeing to Jordan. The Za'atari camp opened in July 2012 to host Syrian families. The current population of Za'atari is estimated to be around 95,000, half of which are children. Yet only 20,000 children are enrolled in school, and of those, only about 11,000 regularly attend classes. It's difficult to fathom the traumas the kids have endured, many of whom have been separated from their families. As 10-year old Ra'ouf (pictured below, left) quietly explains, "Everyone here has lost someone."
Healing intention: "Om . . . We ask for and invoke healing power, love and light for all children living in the Za'atari Refugee Camp in Jordan. May they be comforted, protected and strengthened. May they be filled with inner light and unshakeable optimism for their family's and their nation's future. May compassion and tolerance fill their hearts. May they know safety in their schools, family and community. We give thanks. Om."
Thanks in advance for your efforts to send healing, comforting energies to the kids at Za'atari!
TOS Liaison Coordinator
|Why participate in healing intentions?
|In 1946, Geoffrey Hodson was the Director of Thought Projection Groups for The Theosophical Society in New Zealand. He wrote of the opportunity available to all humans to consciously and intentionally work with angelic beings to tap spiritual power and radiate potent influences for good into the world.
|Geoffrey Hodson's message: "The mind and brain of man are powerful mental "radio-stations". Thought moulds not only the character of the thinker but also that of all recipients of his mental broadcasts. The mental impress produced by man upon fellow man helps to form national characteristics, and influences both human destiny and the progress of civilization. . . . The power of individuals mentally to influence the thought, character and conduct of others increases by geometrical progression, we are taught, when they think together in groups."
|An angel's message (through Geoffrey): "Power, life, light; these are the gifts which companionship with the angels shall place in human hands. Power that is limitless; life that is inexhaustible; light before which all darkness melts away. . . . Fear not the result; banish from your minds all doubt of our existence, and of our power to help. . . . Meet in your groups with strong intent to send a mighty flood of power, of blessing, of love towards those people and those places whom you seek to heal, to purify and to illumine. . . . Such in part is the work of the Brotherhood of Angels and of men."
|Simple Service: every gentle act
"Someone reminded me the other day that when dealing with animals on the energetic plane, every gentle act helps not just that one animal, but also helps heal the damage we humans have ignorantly inflicted on the Group Soul that that animal belongs to. That's the beauty of working to aid our Animal Brethren."
--Rozi Ulics, Founder/Director, TOS Animal Healing Network
|Colorado Christmas of Sharing
When members and friends of the Denver Theosophical Society enjoyed their annual holiday party in December, each member brought a dish to share with the other party guests. The potluck feast was lavish, including chocolate fondue! Not wanting to forget their animal kin, members also brought pet food, cash and other items from a local shelter's wish list.
The cat food, cash and wish-list items such as kitty litter and paper towels were donated to the Cat Care Society, a no-kill shelter in Lakewood, Colorado. At the Cat Care Society, kitties have entire rooms in which to lounge and play. On Sundays, the cats are turned loose to socialize with each other, staff and visitors in the main hallway, which is strewn with comfy beds, scratching posts and toys.
The dog food was donated to Animal Haus, a pet food pantry working to prevent families from having to surrender their beloved pet to a shelter due to temporary financial difficulties.
Animal Haus relieves the pressure by providing food on a temporary basis to low-income households going through a particularly rough patch, thus keeping pets in their homes and out of shelters.
As Animal Haus says, "Sometimes a pet is the only family that one may have and we want to support that bond."
5 Things a Homeless Person Could Use
Courtesy of the Portland Rescue Mission
Many thanks to Nancy Secrest, President of TOS-USA and International Secretary of TOS, for passing this along.
If you've ever been approached by a homeless man or woman, you may have felt uncomfortable about how to respond when asked for money. Make Care Kits as an alternative, since giving money isn't the best option.
The following items can be placed in gallon-size Zip-Lock bags.
Homeless men and women spend a lot of time on their feet trying to get to resources and appointments. A fresh pair of clean, dry socks can feel like heaven on tired, soggy feet. Throw in some band-aids to help ease the pain of blisters.
2. Snacks and water
Throw in some packets of nuts, crackers, dried fruit, trail mix, granola bars, breakfast bars, instant noodles or other light-weight, quick snacks. Water brings relief, especially in hot weather.
3. Hygeine items
Add anti-bacterial lotion for when soap and water aren't available. Include small soaps and shampoo from your hotel stays. Consider lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrush, washcloth, comb, brush, razor, shaving cream and deodorant. Avoid items such as mouthwash or hand sanitizer that contain alcohol.
4. Resource Guide
Your city probably has a wide variety of services available to homeless men and women that they may not know about. You can get information on the internet by searching for your city name, along with the words resource guide for homeless. Here's a sample search:
Sacramento resource guide for homeless
If you find something useful, print copies to hand out with your Care Kits.
All the items above are helpful, but the most meaningful part of a Care Kit is the opportunity for a conversation and friendship. Your smile and offer of help could be the encouragement a homeless man or woman needs to make it through another day. Take time to learn their name and listen to their story.
Have a Care Kit party! Gather family, friends, and TS members to purchase supplies and assemble Care Kits together. Include seasonal items. In summer, include sunblock or frozen bottles of water. In winter, include gloves, hats or heatpacks.
Offer resources. Ask if the person knows about resources in your community. Be sure they know about meals, shelter, restrooms and other emergency services available.
Inspire others. Share your story of handing out Care Kits by emailing Kathy at: info@DenverTS.org.
Drops in the bucket--starting a Service Fund
Thanks to Rozi Ulics for this inspiration!
Here's an easy, painless way for your group to fund a service project. Easy and painless? Whoever said "no pain no gain" had better reconsider.
How about starting a "spare change" bucket to be set out in plain view at each TS meeting, with a big label on it proclaiming what you're saving for. Members can throw in a little spare change or even a dollar or two as you watch the fund slowly build. Below are a few ideas to inspire a fund and get started. Or be creative--if you can dream it, you can start a fund for it.
1. TSA Membership for a prisoner - $24.00 TSA's Prison Program includes some genuinely earnest students who are grateful for a chance to study uplifting material with a kind TSA member. Most prisoners, however, cannot afford a TSA membership. Extend a hand and say "Welcome" to a soul working hard to turn things around.
TSA National Secretary David Bruce carefully screens recipients, saying, " A prisoner has to have shown a serious interest in Theosophy over at least one year's time. But for those who are fortunate enough to receive a gift membership, it can be life changing." You can pay by check (be sure to note "Prison Membership Donation" on your check) or electronically by clicking here and selecting "Prison Program" from the drop-down box.
2. Turkey Adoption - $30.00 Your group can adopt a turkey at Farm Sanctuary and give new meaning to "Turkey Day" this Fall. Adoptions are available from October to Thanksgiving.
When you're ready to adopt, visit AdoptaTurkey.org
|3. Preschool Scholarship at Golden Link, Philippines - $120.00 Make a little go a long way toward lasting change. Simply collect $120 and donate it to the TOS-USA; choose "Golden Link" from the drop-down menu. It will be matched by the Kern Foundation, so your donation morphs into $240, the amount needed to sponsor a preschool child for a year at Golden Link College. Your spare change creates lasting change in a child's life. Includes tuition, snacks, camp, and textbooks.
"A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers."