Greetings, Beloveds!
This Sunday we’ll be doing the popular New Year Service, “White Stone Ceremony”, at Unity of
the Sierra. It is a meaningful experience to open to Spirit to receive Divine Guidance and
direction for this New Year. Here’s a story to get us started…

There was once a thief who used to hang around the diamond district to see who was
purchasing gems so that he could pickpocket them. One day, a well-known diamond merchant
bought the largest, most beautiful stone, and the thief followed him onto a train. During their
3-day journey, the thief tried to pick the merchant’s pocket to obtain the diamond; yet, at the
end of their journey, he hadn’t been able to find this rare, precious jewel.
Frustrated, he finally confronted the merchant and confessed, “I’ve used all the skills of my
art. How did you hide it from me?”
“Well,” said the merchant, “I saw you watching and suspected your intention, so I hid the
diamond in a place you’d be least likely to look … your own pocket!”
The treasure you seek is closer than you imagine; it is in the heart, in the core of your being, in
the awareness that is right here. This, of course, is our second Unity principle, that Spark of
Divinity within each one of us! As we begin this New Year, what treasure are you seeking?
A new year, for a lot of us is a time to reflect on our lives and to make commitments to change
things that aren’t working and to aspire to do things that we know will benefit us. But the
truth is that the New Year is a great time of new possibilities, new beginnings, new dreams,
but sometimes we go looking for things that won’t ever fulfill us. We look for things – things
satisfy us momentarily, things that aren’t for our soul’s fulfillment.
At the start of a new year, we have the opportunity to be open to being wholehearted in our
lives, to recommit to who we truly are.
It is essential that we look within. Whenever I catch myself looking outside myself for
validation or for proof of my own worthiness or for someone else’s treasure, I have to remind
myself to look within! Find my own worth right here, in the diamond in my own nature, my
divine identity.

[The excerpted material above was adapted from Rev. Jude Denning Campbell by Rev. Deb
Hill-Davis]

The Sufi Mystic Rumi said, “Blessed is anyone who knows who he or she really is and builds a
place to live there.”
This is what we will do this coming Sunday: dive into our divine identity and excavate a
guiding word or name that we can write on a stone so we can live more as who we truly are.
We are continuing a beloved Unity ritual called the White Stone ceremony. We’re going to
turn our attention to having a change of heart, to creating a space to hear Spirit speak to us
and listen to what Spirit is calling us to express in order to give us a new sense of who we truly
are and what we are meant to birth in the new year.
“Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches. To everyone
who conquers, who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give a white
stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that no one knows except the one who
receives it.” (Rev. 2:17, NRSV)
When we listen to a higher Truth and are willing to overcome life’s challenges, we are not only
given all the resources we need, our manna, we receive an even greater gift, spiritual freedom:
our freedom to know that we are made to be Love, to be Peace, to be One. And the writer of
the scripture goes on to say we will receive a new name, which will be written on the white
stone. Our name reflects the essence of who we are.
What we are actually doing in the White Stone ceremony is allowing Spirit to give us a new
name, a new thought, a new idea, a symbol, a theme, for this coming year. We can
dramatically change and reshape our lives by what we call ourselves. By going within, listening
for the still small voice for that new sense of direction, that quality, that nature Spirit is calling
us to step up into.
When a biblical figure’s name was changed, e.g., Saul to Paul, they showed up in life in a new
way because something was calling them deeper to express more fully who they were.
Likewise, Spirit is calling us to rise up out of whatever is holding us back to fully commit to
expressing all that we are. The white stone represents freedom, setting us personally and

emotionally and spiritually free. The White Stone and the new name that we receive are our
diamonds, our Treasures that we now choose to reflect to the world.
Won’t you please join this Sunday at Unity of the Sierra to receive your new name, Beloved?

In Love and Peace,
Toni King, Spiritual Advisor