June 2015



Order of
Spirit of Service

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A newsletter for TOS liaisons and TS groups--because theosophy in action changes the world for good!

June, 2015
Warm greetings,
In this issue you'll read about inspired projects from our groups in Oklahoma City and Salt Lake City.  Our members have not only been inspired . . . they are also inspiring, swinging into action to help make a difference.
For our healing intention, let's focus our collective mental power on the oceans and their wildlife.  To understand why this is so critical, see the article below about the Salt Lake City TOS members' efforts to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the oceans.  "Om . . . we ask for and invoke healing energy, love, and light for the earth's oceans and the creatures who live in them.  May humanity find and implement ways to clean up and heal the damage.  May highest Will be served.  May the earth's oceans and the creatures who live in them be filled with brilliant white healing light.  We give thanks.  Om . . . "
Feel free to forward this newsletter to the members of your group or anyone who might enjoy it.
In service,
Kathy Gann
TOS Liaison Coordinator

Oklahoma City TOS plans to provide emergency relief

Living in the heart of our nation's "tornado alley," TOS workers in Oklahoma City have committed to work at the local level to provide emergency relief on a "right now" basis when weather disasters strike their area.  

The group is scouring garage sales, thrift stores, and retail sales to create a "bank" of supplies such as shovels, rakes, work gloves, plastic bags and face masks.  Next time a disaster such as a tornado strikes their area, they plan to immediately deliver the supplies to the emergency site, arriving ahead of organizations such as FEMA and Red Cross.

Oklahoma City TOS Liaison Nancy Blott says, "Folks have a lot of debris to sift through" to salvage household items after their home has been damaged or destroyed by a tornado.

Making Camp:  Oklahoma City TOS members have also been busy donating their time and resources to restoration of the Ozark Theosophical Camp and Educational Center Many members head over to the camp on weekends, working to build and restore the buildings, clean and maintain the property and generally keep the 22-acre camp running.  The Oklahoma City TS recently gave a large donation to supply building materials, wood, stain and paint to complete the small library in the woods.  The group's donation is an especially lovely gift to the camp as it celebrates its 45th anniversary this summer!

Salt Lake City TOS:  raising environmental awareness

Thanks to Claradene Wycoff for her contribution

On June 5th, 2015, members of the Salt Lake City TOS teamed up with the Environmental Ministry of the First Unitarian Church to raise environmental awareness in their community.  The topic was "Plastics in the Ocean." 

You may be aware of the problem--floating "seas" of plastic trash polluting our oceans, sickening and killing wildlife, and rendering toxic the fish that humans eat.

Seventeen members of the community gathered to share a potluck supper, learn about the problem and, more importantly, help create solutions.  The group watched a video of a TEDx talk by Beth Terry, author of "My Plastic Free Life," a blog about reducing our dependence on plastic.  An inspiring discussion ensued, and all were in agreement that we must find practical and affordable ways to stop trashing our rivers, seas and oceans with plastic garbage.  As TOS member Claradene Wycoff said, "First we start with ourselves, then the community" to increase awareness of the damage we humans are doing, however unwittingly, to Mother Earth and her wildlife. 
Claradene said the two groups are in complete harmony in their desire to increase public awareness of environmental issues, and they hope to co-host additional gatherings in the future.  Hats off to the TOS and Unitarian members who made this happen.  In addition to Claradene's work on the project, new TS/TOS member Danielle Brown put in a lot of hard work as well.  Welcome Danielle!

To learn more about plastic pollution in our oceans, visit http://www.5gyres.org/the-plastic-problemFollowing is a brief excerpt from the site:

"Our ocean is a network of currents that circulate water around the world--called gyres.

These five massive, slow rotating whirlpools accumulate plastic, and because petroleum plastics are designed to last, the plastic trash will remain in the ocean for decades or longer.

In the ocean, sunlight and waves cause floating plastics to break into increasingly smaller particles, but they never completely disappear or biodegrade. Plastic particles act as sponges for waterborne contaminants such as pesticides. 

A single plastic microbead can be 1 million times more toxic than the water around it.

Fish, turtles and even whales eat plastic objects, which can sicken or kill them. Ocean animals are also killed by dangerous plastic waste that entangles or traps them, often suffocating them underwater.

Small ocean animals, like fish, ingest tiny plastic particles. These toxic particles pass on to us when we eat seafood.

Hundreds of ocean species are threatened by plastic pollution, as well as the survival of the ocean itself. Humans depend on the ocean for food and as a healthy ecosystem that maintains the balance of the greenhouse gas CO2.... Scientists agree:  If the oceans die, we die."


the 5 gyres

And now, a word from our founder . . .

TOS founder Annie Besant was once asked, "How can I best serve the world?" If you've ever pondered the same question, take a moment to really digest Annie's answer below, because it's as fresh and relevant now as it was then.

"You want not simply to perform a great service now and then – for great service comes but seldom in the lives of most of us – we want to build that habit of service which can only be achieved by daily continual practice until the spontaneous impulse to think and act in a particular way becomes the most useful and the most noble that we can compass in our mortal lives. There is always a danger for us that we wait until a great opportunity offers. I am entitled to say great opportunity will never come to you unless you practise every little opportunity that comes in your everyday life..."

--Excerpted from "Service to All Living Things"

Simple Service: it's the little things . . .

Great opportunities to help others seldom come, but small ones surround us every day.
--Sally Koch

"A union of those who love in the service of all that suffers."




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