Called to Be Our Best

We used to run around all over the place, busy, scheduled, appointments up the ying yang.

Go here, go there.  Things to do.  People to see. 

Articles about how to do our make-up and conduct meetings, on airplanes.  Pack for a week in one suitcase.  See the Taj Mahal in an hour.  Travel the entire world in ten days.

Let’s admit it: A lot of us were exhausted and we didn’t even know it.  We just kept winding ourselves up, and going, going, going.

We were exhausting ourselves and our resources: emotional, mental, physical, natural.

Some us had no spiritual exhaustion because spirituality was for sissies.  Or we had our silos, the church, mosque, synagogue, temple that was our club, where we went to be seen.

And some of us thought God was only in the building on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Or we tried to steer the Universe by ourselves.

We were running after elusive fountains of youth and measures of success which strained all our reserves.  Some of us strained others, too, sucking life from them like vampires, so we could have more.  Some of us were human bulldozers, plowing our way through fertile fields; we didn’t notice what we ran over.  Until it was too late.

We were so wound up, we didn’t know how to unwind.

A couple of weeks ago, while livestreaming from the pulpit in an empty sanctuary, I shared a message I heard in Washington, D.C., during the Yuppie 1990s: “The one who dies with the most toys wins.”  And how I remember whispering to myself: “OK, but they still die.”

And some people might say: “You can’t say that Rev. Jenn.  That’s not motivating.  That isn’t inspiring.”

Really?

When current events remind us how precious life is?  That disease is the great equalizer?

Check out sacred scripture.  Read any of the Gospels.  Jesus says repeatedly: “I’m only with you for a while.  Listen to me now.  Here’s how to live.”

Check out God’s conversations with Moses.  How many times God says: “I am the Lord your God.  And you are Moses.  This is your job.  And this is how much time you have.”

So, if someone is upset with me for mentioning death, I invite them to consider how well they’re living.  What they’re doing with their precious time, this awesome gift of life they have.

Because, in my experience, with those I’ve been honored to share this journey, no one ever said, “I wish I’d spent more time at the office.  I wish I’d bought more stuff.”  But all of them said, each in their own words, “I hope I was the best person I could be.”

We are called to be our best selves.  The stuff we have is garnish.

Embrace your best self, right here, right now, and live it out loud.

That’s our call, and God knows, our world truly needs it.

© 2020 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved.

What’s Happening Now

During a difficult life transition, I fretted about outcomes, sometimes feeling as if I’d spin out of control.   Fortunately, I attended a weekly sangha, and our group meditations anchored my faith.  One day, I admitted my fears to our teacher, Maggie.  She acknowledged them, then reminded me to stay present to my new life unfolding.  “It’ll be all right,” she assured me.  “This is just what’s happening now.”

More than 20 years later, Maggie’s wisdom still resonates because it’s a hallmark of spiritual maturity: When we accept what’s happening now, we remember that we control little more than ourselves in life, so we can choose how we’ll flow with what is.

To find comfort in what’s happening now, we can:

  • Remain anchored in our contemplation, meditation, prayer, and reflection practices.  Breathe deep, belly breaths, in through the nose, out through the mouth.  Concentrating on our breath relaxes our minds and calms our racing heartbeats, anytime, anywhere.
  • Do daily chores mindfully.  Everything from peeling an orange and inhaling the scent to humming a favorite tune as we wash our hands is a grounding, mindfulness practice.
  • Limit long-range planning, pushing for long-term commitments, or rushing to make decisions.  Focus on present needs such as completing today’s projects and buying this week’s groceries.
  • Dive into a creative activity: carving, coloring, gardening, knitting, painting, sculpting, etc.  Work it step by step, noting accomplishments daily.
  • Avoid instant gratification which may lead to later regrets.  Ask: “How will I feel about this next week, next month, next year?  Am I willing to wait?  What other choices might I have?”  Then list all the choices we discern are best now.
  • Halt dramas and conversations about how awful or difficult life is, how hard we are/aren’t working, or what someone else is/isn’t doing.
  • Beware offering or accepting unsolicited advice.  As soon as we say or hear, “You should,” we likely need to pause and re-examine our intentions.  This applies to our inner voice, too.  No “shoulding” on ourselves; we’re doing the best we can.
  • Get out of bed, no tossing and turning, if we awaken early, anywhere from 3:00 to 6:00 AM.  During these “God Hours,” we’re most attuned to Spirit and our inner creativity, so they’re sacred times for extra meditation, study, or crafting.
  • Acknowledge grief and loss.  Those moments which seem like we’re walking through pools of molasses or crying for no reason are ways we mourn.  Even if we feel silly, we can find comfort in hugging a pillow or stuffed animal, digging in the dirt, singing at the top of our lungs, pounding bread dough, or skipping around the neighborhood.
  • Be physically distant for safety and well-being, but stay socially connected by phone, text, email, social media, Zoom, FaceTime, etc.  Plan virtual visits to share meals, play music, dance, or continue book group discussions.

Remember, especially, that life sorts itself out.  As we remain faithful, present to what’s happening now without attaching to it, we discover simple joys in things as they are.  And as a new season unfolds, we can let the journey carry us to what’s next, trusting that this too shall pass.

© 2020 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved. – Image by Angeles Balaguer from Pixabay

Faith and Sensibility

One winter, the entire high school where I taught shared an ailment.  It started with laryngitis, though no physical discomfort.  Then it became a cough and a chest cold, which led to bronchitis for me.  When I saw the doctor, he said it was viral, not bacterial.  An antibiotic would do nothing; I needed to boost my immune system, rest my body, and ride it out.  Which I did, slowly, faithfully, day by day, long into spring.

Our faith helps us ride things out and assures us that “this too shall pass,” just as other things have.  Yet, our sensibility, the power to gauge and monitor our reactions and behaviors, determines how we ensure our safety and well-being so we can function and thrive, even during trying times.

Amid tremendous anxiety about coronavirus, bear markets, and dysfunctional political systems, we can behave sensibly by:

  • Refraining from hoarding.  Hoarding is fear-based belief centered in lack.  If we’re concerned about our supplies, we can take a gratitude inventory of food, medicine, personal care items, and/or bank balances, specifically noting how much we have to sustain us.
  • Being gentle with ourselves.  No matter our current health, this isn’t a time to rail against the healthcare system or worry that we didn’t wash our hands long enough.  Instead, we can focus all our attention on renewing our life energy, building our strength, giving ourselves time to heal, blessing our bodies, and savoring peaceful sleep.
  • Beginning and ending our days with prayer and meditation.  Breathe deeply, chant mantras, count blessings, give thanks.  When we pray, let’s include our world leaders, the media, and all those working to mitigate and eradicate disease.
  • Connecting with loved ones.  If needed, create a buddy system, agreeing to check-in daily to say, “Hi,” “I love you,” “I feel better today,” or share other good news.  No fear-mongering or pity-parties allowed.
  • Avoiding all “ain’t-it-awful,” “the sky is falling” dramas.  Remain focused on the present and what can be done today.
  • Choosing a few specific times — never at mealtime or bedtime — to check news, financial markets, and social media.  Set a 15-minute limit; then log off.
  • Checking facts and figures before sharing information, so we don’t inadvertently spread rumors.  Check at least 3 reliable, vetted sources that conduct their own research.
  • Getting outside into sunshine and fresh air.  Commune with nature by digging in the garden or raking leaves.  Sky gaze and track moon phases.  All these extend our view beyond ourselves and give us a broader perspective of life.
  • Scheduling time for exercise, fun and laughter.  Play games, cook a favorite meal, binge-watch some comedy, read a new novel, color, draw, paint, dance, and sing.

Overall, remember that even though we desire certainty, much of life is uncertain and change is inevitable.  As we remain patient and flexible, we’re less flustered and more adaptable as schools close, events cancel, or circumstances alter.  With faith, we remain sensible about our choices, and day by day we discover that gentle, consistent pacing guides our way.

© 2020 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved. – Image by Florence D. from Pixabay

Feel the Hope

Sometime after the New Year 2015, I experienced divine discontent, that feeling which is part God-nudge, longing, and dissatisfaction.  All seemed well enough in my life, and yet something else called. 

In late February, while planning a church class, I wrote in my journal, “Start a blog.”  I hoped to create one, because my dearest friend already was writing her own. 

That spring, I saved snippets of my Sunday messages for rewrites.  That summer, I began publishing, hoping that I could reach others around the world who want to embrace their faith, grow in spiritual maturity, and navigate their life journeys with ease, grace, courage, and joy.

Hope keeps me going, driving my faith in myself, my knowledge, and my ability to keep learning and growing.  Even when my direction has seemed foggy, I trust that I’ll arrive where I need to be, when I need to be there.

Along the way, I’ve discovered that we block hope when we:

  • Attempt to order the Universe or employ the same old strategies, especially because that’s what’s always been done.
  • Say that something “should” work, though it hasn’t and still isn’t.
  • Lie or make excuses to hide the truth, whether from ourselves or others.
  • Believe the myths that we can be, do, and have it all, or that life is futile and will never get better.
  • Strive relentlessly to succeed, especially believing that we can’t rest until we complete a never-ending to do list.
  • Expect someone or something to change, especially when they show us repeatedly that they won’t.
  • Compete with and compare ourselves to others.
  • Try to do it all ourselves, because no one else can meet our standards and expectations. 
  • Live on social media and believe that’s real life.  Social media is like reality TV; much of it is staged.

In comparison, we feel and sustain hope when we:

  • Stop rehashing our problems and posting all our woes.
  • Give ourselves a reality check about what’s occurring so we can decide whether to stay, go, negotiate, adjust, or alter.
  • Trust the time we need to grow our savings, lose the weight, build the muscle, heal the wound, mend the fence, find the job, or meet our beloved. 
  • Take some action toward the goal every day, remembering that life often unfolds in small steps, rather than in grand advances.
  • Journal our progress and reflect on how far we’ve come.
  • Connect with faithful companions who encourage our dreams, celebrate our successes, and remind us of our worth.

Especially, hope is about our relationship with God.  So, we feel hope best when we see God in the midst of our lives, trusting that all things work together for good for those who love God (Romans 8:28), no matter what’s occurring.  Then, we feel renewed faith in ourselves to go forward and we feel the hope of a bright future.

During the next few months, Faith for the Journey will be updated, with additional features besides the blog.  Please stay tuned.  I hope you’ll continue the journey with me.

© 2020 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks – All rights reserved. — Image by invisiblepower from Pixabay.

A Friend Indeed

Years ago, as a young executive, I had a friend who seemed to walk on water.  We hung out a lot, and I held her word as sacred. 

Often, I took her advice, even when the faintest still, small voice whispered that her way wasn’t best for me.  Sometimes, I could feel my body tense, my stomach rumbling and heart pounding.  My intuition attempted to guide me, but my intellect said, “She’s so much smarter.  She must be correct.”  Alas, to my own detriment, she was not.  

One day, I sheepishly approached a senior colleague and confided that the relationship felt “off” to me.  I knew that she understood when she said, “You feel ‘bad’ around her, as if you’ll never be good enough unless you do everything her way.” 

When we’re growing and learning, no matter our calendar age, our differentiation — the ability to remain true to ourselves and stay connected and compassionate, even during conflicts or disagreements — may feel “bad,” “lonely,” “yucky,” and/or “uncomfortable.”  Yet, we must differentiate because it’s paramount to our healthy spiritual growth and maturity.  And part of the process means that some relationships will end, while others will transform.  As we mourn these life passages, honoring them for what they were, we also can celebrate our capacity to make new friends.

To distinguish among bosom buddies, office pals, blessed mentors, inspiring teammates, and casual acquaintances, as well as false friends, we can:

  • Understand that having 1,000 friends or followers on social media doesn’t mean we have a lot of warm, caring friendships. 
  • Trust the gut.  If, for example, we repeatedly tune someone out, clench our jaws, or get headaches when we’re with them, it’s likely a signal that we’re out of sync.  We don’t need to analyze the circumstances, though we usually need to terminate the connection, especially if someone pressures us for money or romantic commitments.
  • Heed criticism lightly and consider all the angles, even if we truly value another’s insights and advice.  We’re all entitled to our opinion.
  • Avoid those who need to be “right” and make us “wrong,” or who gaslight, ghost, discount, diminish, turn away, and/or reach for their smart devices whenever we speak. 
  • Beware those who constantly:
    • offer unsolicited advice;
    • talk about themselves and never ask about us;
    • want to coach, correct, fix, and/or instruct us;
    • push their products or personal causes;
    • disregard our boundaries, privacy, and personal space;
    • need rescuing from another drama;
    • philosophize about how we could be, if we only did this, that, or the other thing;
    • gossip about others;
    • interrupt whenever we assert ourselves; and/or
    • know all the answers. 

Overall, remember that even if we feel lonely for a while, we aren’t alone.  Our inner spirit is strong, faith-filled, courageous, and capable.  As we trust ourselves and our intuition, we can take small steps forward into those places and relationships where true friends await, ready to love, support, encourage, and accept us for the divine people we are.

© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks.  All rights reserved.

Give It a Rest

As the world seems to move faster than ever, many of us are trying to keep pace.  We ratchet items off to-do lists only to find more to get done the next day.  We’ll rest later, we say, when we’ve accomplished everything on that never-ending list.  Only when we reach the brink of exhaustion and overwhelm, or literally make ourselves sick, do we consider stopping.  

While we may falsely believe that we’re more valued for what we achieve, rest reminds us how precious we are because we’re God’s Beloved Creations.  Resting and renewing ourselves is the part of our spiritual practice which assures us that we’re divine human beings, not robotic human doings. 

So, as we work our practice, let’s give all these a rest:

  • Our Bodies: Some of us need the recommended 8 hours of sleep a night.  Others function well with 6 or 7, and an afternoon nap.  Whether we’re early birds or night owls, we can notice when we accomplish the most during the day and schedule our high-energy efforts for those times.
  • Shoulds: Society has all kinds of ideas about what we “should” have and do. These tiring norms can keep us living by perfectionistic standards and following outrageous trends.  As soon as we choose to stop “shoulding” on ourselves, we start recognizing our own true nature, the essence of our spiritual self.  Then we can set our own criteria for effectiveness and contentment, even if they differ from others.
  • Phones and Smart Devices: Blue lights are meant to draw attention.  At least one hour before bedtime, put away all devices, preferably somewhere outside the bedroom.  Then, wait about an hour after waking to return to them again.  Consider scheduling device-free times for prayer and meditation.
  • News, Information, and Feeds: Stop watching or listening to news, checking the latest tweets, or searching for online bargains at bedtime.  Rather than relax us, these rev our hearts and send our minds swirling.  Save news and searches for higher energy times.  Also, consider scheduling specific times mid-day to check social media sites.
  • Worry and Guilt: Worry is trying to foresee every detail of how the future will unfold.  Guilt is trying to rewind and relive the past.  Both prevent us from being fully present and feeling peace of mind now.  Whenever these creep in, especially at bedtime, we can remind ourselves that we did the best we knew how before, and since we know more now, we can act differently to create a better future.

No matter what needs rest in our lives, let’s remember that no one accomplishes or has it all.  And the beauty of developing spiritual maturity is realizing that who we are and what we have is enough.  As we stay faithful to our own journey, we recognize our true desires and top priorities.  Then, we can rest in peace, savoring each day’s success.

© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks.  All rights reserved.

Free in the Feeling

During a recent gathering with friends to share our latest achievements and family tidbits, one person removed their phone.  They flashed an image for us to see, commenting about personal fragmentation, political polarization, and societal demise.  They leaned forward in their chair, arms waving faster, voice escalating, and face reddening with each word.

I viewed the image.  Though I didn’t share its sentiment either, I didn’t feel our friend’s rage.  And as they continued, I observed that their intellectualizing halted our conversation and shattered our connection.  Where we’d been invited to celebrate some joys, now we were bystanders in a discourse about the world’s problems.

When I asked our friend how they felt, they paused.  They stared at me and repeated what they already said.  Then I realized: They couldn’t tell me how they felt (I imagined anger, horror, sadness, shock, among others) because they were disconnected from their feelings. 

Alas, this is true of many people, especially those in certain clinical, political, and spiritual circles who believe that personal feelings are mushy emotions we must eliminate and transcend as quickly as possible.  

However, when we analyze, criticize, and theorize, we keep life at arm’s length, pushing away such feelings as anguish, confusion, disillusion, grief, heartbreak, and sorrow.  Sometimes, to bypass the feelings, we make things about “someone else” or “another.”   Then the pain can root, grow, and fester in our bodies as headaches, backaches, bellyaches, limps, rashes, or ulcers.  Furthermore, our reactions can detach and disconnect us from ourselves and those we love most. 

When we’re willing to acknowledge our feelings as the divine messengers they are, we become free to experience life differently, even when we don’t like some of it. 

If we’re ready for such an adventure, we can contemplate these questions:

  • How do I feel about the particular behavior, circumstance, and/or situation I’ve experienced?
  • How are the behaviors, etc., different from mine?
  • What, if any, similarities do I see?
  • What am I willing to do to mourn the past and accept what I cannot change so I can heal, move on, and invest my time and energy elsewhere?
  • Where are the openings to get more of what I love by changing myself or my own perspective?

These questions aren’t easy to answer.  They require the introspection and sacred conversations which encourage us to grow in spiritual maturity.  They invite us to use the feelings we once believed would hinder us to discern what we need in our lives now, what we love most, and how we want to serve others by contributing our gifts in this world.  Especially, they free us to rediscover life’s simple pleasures as we embrace more of the beauty, joy, and wonder we find on our way.

© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks.  All rights reserved.

Giving Up the Fight

These days arguing and fighting are their own sports.  Whether face to face or tweeting back and forth, some people enjoy cutting one another down to determine who’s right and who’s wrong.  More valuable than the Master’s Cup or a World Series ring, the victory of having the “correct” position is the trophy they wish to own.

Yet, how fleeting those victories are.  Because in fighting only for our way, we forget that we’re all divine human beings, with our own hopes, dreams and desires.  Though we justify our determination and say the fight is for a great cause, those victories are hollow, too, because we close our minds and lock our hearts, labelling a circumstance, organization, or person as being against us. 

Then, we don’t hear the true needs or feelings someone else has.  We can’t seek or even create common ground — together — because we’re already charging through barriers which haven’t yet been erected.  We argue about strategies without examining what underlies all the concerns, fears, or worries.  We narrow all possibilities for achieving solutions that are win-win.  Especially, we limit any divine opportunity to achieve and/or receive more than we imagined.

Instead of fighting, perhaps we could strive for understanding, mutuality, connection, and compassion as most spiritual masters do.  It helps to remember that these masters were activists, though rarely were they reactive.  Perhaps we’d also consider that being peaceful doesn’t mean being passive.  In truth, it requires much more strength, patience, courage and assurance. 

Fighting rarely creates the true change we seek.  The old adage still holds: “The one convinced against their will is of the same opinion still.”  And though they acquiesce for a while, they may find another way to do what they did before, sometimes with greater outrage.

When we’re angry, ready to charge, with pulse racing, head throbbing, heart pounding, our intuition and consciousness actually are reminding us that we love or value something so much that we want to preserve, protect, and support it.

So, to achieve our own spiritual mastery, we can relinquish the fight and contemplate:

  • What we love most, such as our families, friends, and sacred possessions.
  • What we truly value, such as safety and security in our schools, streets, malls, homes, and houses of worship; clean drinking water; and accessible polling places.
  • What we truly desire, such as equality, inclusion, and opportunity for all people.

Maybe we can win a battle by waging another war.  Yet how much more effective would we be if we directed our energy and attention to what we truly wish to achieve?  Though the prize we win may not be renowned, the peace of mind and love we realize along the way will be its own rich reward.

© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks.  All rights reserved.

Like It Like That

Recently, I went to a garden center in search of a new planter.  When I arrived, everyone was rushing around, including the merchandiser who huffed when I asked for help.  Rather than inquire about my likes, home, surroundings, or anything else about my needs, she said, “This is what you want,” pointed to one section, and ran off.  I walked to that section and considered it for a minute.  Then I left.

Determining what we do and don’t like is a wondrous adventure of self-discovery.  It begins from infancy, when we push away smashed peas, and evolves as we grow, through all our hairdos, outfits, and collections.  Sometimes we know absolutely what we like.  Sometimes, we try several styles before we find what’s best.

And no matter how our process works, the key is trust.  On the journey, we need to trust:

  • Ourselves and the still, small voice within us.  We hear this voice best when we give ourselves the daily gift of silence and solitude.
  • Our intuition, our inner, sixth-sense guidance.
  • Our bodies, which are divine messengers.  Nausea, slumps, twinges, twitches, yawns, headaches, and gasps are an alert that something or someone isn’t safe, suitable, and/or supportive for us.
  • Our ability to keep learning.  If we don’t understand something or need clarity, we can be courageous and ask questions, even of “experts.”
  • Our inner wisdom, which helps us discern what’s best for us.  Some things are clear immediately; others are trial and error.
  • Our personal growth and maturity, no matter our calendar age.  We may outgrow things we once liked or needed because they no longer fit who we’ve become. 
  • Our power to say, “No, thank you,” walk away, request a change, terminate a contract, and/or end a relationship, especially when someone isn’t interested, or too busy to listen, converse, or advise (when we request it).
  • Professionals — contractors, designers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, teachers, spiritual leaders, etc. — who take time to listen to us and hear what we need before they offer any advice.  Listen for them asking questions such as: “How can I help you with this?”; “How can I support you?”; “What do you need most right now?”; “Which one do you like best?”
  • Those who honor our choices, even if they don’t like what we like.
  • Time, so we can wait, patiently, and allow our path to unfold, even if we choose to pave it ourselves. 
  • Variety.  Our world is filled with thousands of choices and strategies.  If some things don’t work, others will.

Overall, remember that our greatest trust is in God.  Know that God is in the midst of all, with us, within us, and all around.  And as we discover what we like and how we like it, we can savour all life’s simple, lovely pleasures along the way.

© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks.  All rights reserved.

Release and Claim: A Spiritual Checklist for the New Year

Now that the holiday frenzy is over, we can continue on our way.  Not with the resolve to slog through life, but with the intention to feel more fulfilled and content. 

So, if we’re ready to reach new destinations, we need to release what doesn’t work so we can claim what does.  As you consider this spiritual checklist, remember that some of these will require a tweak, while others may need an overhaul. 

Release Claim
Engaging with people who ignore, disrespect, diminish, or denigrate you and/or who continually violate your boundaries. Connect with people who honor and respect you, your feelings and needs, and your right to your own space.
Needing to do it all, especially if you think you “have to” or “should,” because someone else is creating your to-do list. Review and evaluate all your activities and obligations so you can accomplish what matters most to you.
Holding yourself to ridiculous, unhealthy standards of living, especially if they’re generally recommended, but aren’t personally fitting. Discover deeper self-awareness so you know which foods and exercises strengthen your system and which weaken them.
Needing everyone to like you and your lifestyle, posts, choices, and beliefs. Embrace your own well-being so you know what you truly love and where to expend your energy in the best ways.
Needing to have and use money for instant gratification. Re-discover treats and joys you already have or something fun you cherished as a child.  Open a savings account with automatic deposit so you can pay yourself first.
Following and liking multiple organizations, places, people, and pages, especially if they’re trendy.   Choose the top three (3) to five (5) which most encourage and inspire you.  Then dig in to learn how they have surpassed obstacles and achieved success on their own terms.
Eating, reading, working, driving, and/or traveling the same way you always have. Shift your routine and discover new cuisines, topics, skills, friends, and avenues.
Being continually distracted with conversations, calls, texts, feeds, and activities. Turn off the noise and unplug at least once daily to be silent and still.  An hour before bedtime is ideal.
Believing that life is martyrdom, sacrifice, and struggle before it’s fun. (Yes, pain occurs, but suffering is optional.) Schedule time for simple delights, such as a cup of cocoa, favorite sit-com, morning walk, or lunch with a dear friend.  Choose to laugh and play daily, even when you feel challenged by circumstances.
Seeking quick-fix spirituality, or following the latest guru, especially if you tend to jump ship when pushed to a personal edge. Commit to one (1) spiritual practice which affirms your divinity and which encourages you to stay strong in your faith, even when life is difficult.

Remember, as you work this process, that you already have within you the divine discernment and intuition to choose your next perfect steps.  Continually affirm that the power and presence of God goes before you, beside you, with you, and within you as you release all you no longer need.  And travel faithfully, as you embrace the courage of your convictions and the strength to live anew.

© 2019 – Rev. Jennifer L. Sacks.  All rights reserved.