Unity Church of Ames

Burning Bowl and Letter to God

January 8, 2014

Rev. Deb Hill-Davis

Today we will engage in a ceremony unique to Unity; the releasing ceremony of the Burning Bowl and the Letter to God.  It has been somewhat modified for our online community, but I would invite you to participate and create this ritual for yourself.  Last week we looked at the “getting ready” part of this process….letting go of holding on!  On Saturday, there was an editorial in the Des Moines Register about a pastor in inner city Detroit who was stabbed 37 times.  As he crawled to the neighbor to get help, he heard voice saying to him, ‘You are not yet finished, they still need you.”  He survived and forgave his attacker, which is a mighty testament to letting go.  He is just an ordinary man, doing an extraordinary thing, a powerful lesson to us all.  His attacker is in prison, but they correspond regularly and both have been transformed.

 Today, we are intentionally releasing that which no longer serves us and opening up to the power of Spirit acting in, through and as us.  I share with  you the text of the ceremony to create it for yourself or reflect on your experience this past Sunday.

MINISTER:  Living, loving Creator.  This day we come into the Presence, hearts open, minds receptive to the gifts of this New Year. We still our thoughts that we may hear Your thoughts speaking to us and through us now.

Open us to the vision of Your Divine Will at work in all we do. Let us perceive the potential of this day and every day to create for us the goodness of Your purposes.

Still the noise of our cluttered minds, as we rest into the depths of meditation and prayer, responsive to new understandings of Truth.”

We now let go … and allow these words to guide the meditation of our hearts.

Yes, God …I know this a year of transformation…I believe in the beauty, the possibilities, the transformations and the promises of this New Year. Within me is the assurance that seeds sleeping in the earth’s cradle will awaken, break through into their divine fulfillment and become radiant expressions of Your Divine plan for beauty.

When we open ourselves to the infilling of Spirit, we need to create a space in which Spirit may work. And so it is that I invite you to consider what is now within your consciousness that you would like to release, to place in the burning bowl and see transformed by the flame of Spirit.”  I invite you to write that one word or phrase that represents what you are ready to release from your life.                                                                                                      


God promises that a new thing will be done through us, when we create an opening for Spirit to work with us, in us and through us.  And so now we open the way for Spirit to work, releasing the old ideas and limitations of 2013  so that 2014 may gift us with its heaven!”

One by one we will come forward.  Bring your slip of paper and hold it in the candle’s flame and watch it as the Holy Spirit of Love consumes it in its purifying fire and drop it into the burning bowl.”

In a moment we will write our letter to God to state our heart’s desires for this New Year.  But first, let us prepare an opening to the activity of Spirit in prayer and then meditation.

Let Us Pray:  Right now, dear God, I greet this New Year, aware that I am your Divine Seed.  I am the wick in your candle. And I am filled with all the potentials for growth, perfection and transformation that your Light reveals.”

“Your Truth is now living within every cell and fiber of my being.  Your Love now activates my every thought and word.  The joy of Your Life moving through me now quickens my actions.  The Presence of the living Christ assures me that all is well.  Ideas that are as yet dormant will awaken to the promise of this New Year.  Poems that are as yet unwritten will flow through me to touch the hearts of others.  Books that are still embryos in my mind will mature into the inspiring revelation of Your Light in the months ahead. Friendships will strengthen in this year of transforming power. The synergy of caring enfolds me in the willingness to reach out and touch my fellow travelers along life’s pathway. The flow of Divine Good, of the prosperity of giving and receiving continues to unfold and grow even more vibrant as we release all thoughts of lack.

“In this New Year, dear Lord, I know that You are with me, empowering me to transform difficulties into steppingstones to mastery.  Challenges are overcome in the victorious light of Your Truth.  Truly this is the best year of my life, for it is an expression of the eternal now.  I move forward into each day of this New Year.  Alert to its gifts, ready for its transformations, grateful for its lessons.”

This is the year that the Lord hath made.  I will be glad and rejoice in it.”Thank you God, that I am free and unlimited in this New Year – for so it is.”

(Meditation)  “Rest into the stillness for a time … connect with that power of God moving in and through you now.  Realize that before you now is the fabric of a New Year … ready for you to design in whatever way you choose.”


“How will you create this New Year?  What are your goals, your dreams, your plans?   Take some time now to create your letter to God.”

Re-read your letter now.  Reflect on Spirit’s Truth revealed to you, and be at peace with it.  Fold your letter to God now and put it in the envelope provided to take with you.  It is your private commitment to Spirit. Pull it out whenever you want to reflect on it or feel a new commitment to your Self and God growing in this New Year.

Know that as you have asked, so it will be given to you. All the strength, power, love and wholeness you affirm is right now gathering within you to enable you to know the strength of your convictions.  And so it is, and so we let it be. Amen.


“In so many ways we have been gifted by this experience, and so now prepare to return to God a portion of the Good we have received, expressing our faith in the unlimited circulation of God Substance in all we do. We take our gifts in our hands, imbuing them with the quality of our spiritual commitment to Life in this New Year.  And we affirm the Truth:  I give as I receive: joyously, lovingly, aware of God as the Source of all my Good.”

Blessings on your journey in 2014.  May it bring you more peace, prosperity, love and joy than you could have ever imagined!

Love and light,

Rev. Deb