Divine Timing

I have always felt I have had my feet in two states, California where I was born, and Arizona where my brother Erik lives in Prescott Valley. Traveling back and forth for four decades I was as much at home in PV as I was in California. Now a resident of the great state 48, I often wonder why it took me so long to commit to something I knew in my heart was where I really wanted to be. All in Divine Timing.

One of several advantages I have learned living in the A-Z is not having to concern myself with time. I no longer must spend days, or even weeks adjusting all the digital clocks in my home, because there was always one, I would forget to reset. It all simply stays the same. Unlike our lives.

As the Spring Equinox approaches, I no longer think about “Springing Forward” but simply being still, and let time be. Spring Forward and Fall Back have now taken on more spiritual meanings. More of, “Divine time”, my time, our time with Spirit/God.

Spring has always represented a time where we spend our time cleaning out and sorting through things we no longer require. A time to create a fresh start. So, we simply spring forward in our actions to wipe our slates clean, moving forward into a new experience. Hopefully, not Falling Back into old habits, and collecting things that tend to anchor us.

Springtime is also when Passover and Easter are celebrated. Two holy-days in the metaphysical realm that often go unnoticed. Why? Because many metaphysicians consider themselves not to be Christian. However, there is more to these holy days than the Jewish tradition’s exit from Egypt, and a rabbit that hides colored eggs.

The current time we are in is referred to as Lent. Lent is an old English word meaning to “lengthen.” Our days during the Spring Equinox become longer. Usually with more daylight to enjoy our outdoor lifestyles. It often is associated with Jesus the Christ and his 40-day endurance and preparation for his trial, and crucifixion. We need not endure or prepare for Lent as a time where we are to give something up, as to suffer, as Jesus choose to do for himself.

Instead, let us reflect on the good, our highest good as Metaphysician’s we experience the time of longer days, as an opportunity of spiritual growth, and progressive unfoldment. It is not the experience of giving up. but having our minds firmly planted in the fertile soil of possibility.

It is a time of “rebirth”, to begin again. We roll away the stone on old ideas, and discover we walk into a new life. The garden of life is for us to enjoy through our human experiences. It speaks to us through restoration, rest, and taking our time, that being Divine time.

Ernest Holmes said, “There is something right within you and within me that is awaiting expression, and what we must learn to do is to get out of the way and let it express itself. Withdraw to ourselves, receive, and distribute this, Spirit.” Love and Law, pg. 95.2

When we understand this principle of Spirit working through us, as us, we realize we are one with the creative power. However, the second thing to understand is all things happen in Divine time. Our minds create in an instant, but it takes a little longer for matter to manifest. So, as we move forward, let us embrace all things new, working for us. Accepting love, and Spirit is our source from which all is created and, it’s not our time, but Divine time.

Namaste, Rev. Rhonda

Who, me?

“Self-acceptance is an invitation to stop trying to change yourself into the person you wish to be, long enough to find out who you really are.” Robert Holden

“Become intrigued with what you can be and forget what you were.” Raymond Charles Barker

Enter the “5-Second Rule” having nothing to do with cookies dropped on the floor, and everything to do with how quickly a mind/ego can identify something not “normal” not “habitual” not “known”. Therefore NOT acceptable – so mind switch. NOW!

Mel Robbins is an internationally known life coach and proponent of the “5-second rule”: We are constantly in a flow of good energy and ideas and change but unless we respond within 5-seconds the inertia of autopilot and the distraction of habit will shut down the idea the change and the growth. She labels the two sides of our brain: Inertia and Emergency Stop.

Have to admit I find it absolutely amazing how quickly my mind can drop a topic and flow back into the autopilot of normal. Like much of our teaching – the rule is simple and hard. So grab that idea, that thought, that what if and hang on – in fact do something with it right then.

“The mind is a tool. The question is, do you use the tool or does the tool use you?”              — Zen proverb

And here’s a reminder to myself and to all: every intelligent book I’ve read on working with my mind to do other than the habitual – pretty much insists on meditation in some form as a basic tool. (The less intelligent ones do to, but I try to forget reading them.)

Given the amount of time I’ve thought about it, I should be stellar with it. I’m not.

But reading Pema Chodron gives me hope and encouragement. She describes how she too can have trouble staying centered on breath. Though I am sure she returns to center more quickly than I – it helps to know that every one has to practice a lot.

For me the practice is to practice staying present in this moment and this one and this one. Though I’m not sure I’ve ever made it through three complete moments – I do better when I practice.

As David sings most Sundays – In the Peace I find God – I find myself.

And only by finding my self – spirit embodied and sourced- can I know what next …

–In Peace, Mariann

 

Community Visioning

This past weekend, Reverend Rhonda led us in a community visioning. (In February, the theme for her talks will be Visioning, Visualization and Mental Equivalents.) About 20 people participated both Friday evening and Saturday morning. We gathered to see what would bubble up to be known for the highest vision for our beloved CSLT for this next year.

A wide variety of ideas and images emerged which were analyzed to discover recurring and similar themes. These are my take-aways from this process:

Community – We are a cohesive group. We are a welcoming center. We choose inclusivity and diversity. We are growing.

Fellowship – Many food and coffee references showed up. We want more opportunities to share conversation over meals, potlucks and coffee. We want a place to converge and linger after service. We enjoy each other’s company.

Expansion – We grow as individuals and as a Center. We don’t hide our light but shine it like a beacon for others to see, feel and experience. We want a place to call our own that allows for our increasing congregation.

Joy – There was much laughter in the room. We allow Spirit to express through us in delightful ways. Laughter>Joy>God.

Music – Many song titles were mentioned or alluded to, followed by brief bursts of singing. Music is important to us. We value our musicians. We realized that SOM also stands for Sound of Music.

Open to the Mystery… – The Mystery being the realm of possibilities. We don’t know exactly what the future looks like or how we will achieve it, but we remain open to all opportunities.

This was then all distilled into a theme for the year which is:

Open and expanding into the Mystery…

–Janet Salese

GOT INTENTIONS?

There once was a group of friends who were interested in the Science of Mind and the power of positive thinking. They formed a Mastermind group and were discussing the concept of manifestation and how they could use their thoughts to attract what they wanted in life. They agreed to do an experiment and wrote down what they wanted to see could happen in a month. A month later they gathered to share their results.

The first friend said, “I won the lottery and became a millionaire.”

The second friend said, “I found my soulmate and we’re madly in love.”

The third friend said, “I traveled the world and had incredible experiences.”

The fourth friend said, “I am happy and healthy. That’s it.”

The other three friends looked at him with confusion. They asked him, “Don’t you want anything else? Don’t you have any dreams or ambitions?”

The fourth friend smiled and said, “No, I don’t. I have everything I need. I’m content with what I have and grateful. I don’t compare myself to others.”

The other three friends were speechless. They realized that they had been chasing after illusions and that they had missed the point of the Science of Mind.”

They looked at the fourth friend with admiration and curiosity. They asked him, ” How did you do it? How did you manifest happiness and health so easily?

The fourth friend said, “I didn’t do anything. I just let go and let God. I trusted the Universe and followed my intuition. I didn’t write down what I wanted. I wrote down what I am.

He showed him his paper. It read: “I AM HAPPY AND HEALTHY.” —(Story courtesy of Bing)

Q) What do you call a group of people who use their minds to create their reality?

A) Science of Mind Mastermind group.

Courtesy of CSLT is our very own Mastermind group. We are a group who meet on Zoom and share ideas, insights, goals, challenges, and feedback. Most important, we hold intentions for each other. We help each other grow and achieve success in our personal and professional lives. Let us know if you’d like to join our group, we are welcoming to all!

Q) How many mastermind group members does it take to change a light bulb?

A) None. We just affirm the light is on.

–Madeline Pallanes

Next Year

It’s an odd bit of time, this week between Christmas and New Year’s. Some spend it cleaning house, some planning for next year (resolu1ons to be prepared), some just letting go of what has been a year which disappeared even faster than the one before. And so it goes.

But what if we stopped and took these precious hours to recognize that as the Stoics have it, every morning we wake up is a gift and we once again are playing on the house. Because no new day is promised it is gifted.

That, for me, can be very hard to remember as the events of the day, the headlines and the promises made all push/pull me in their different, demanding ways.

And so the only resolution I am making this year is to travel the path to that place of gratitude and trust that frees me from the self-created fraught and to simply be who I am. And so I leave you with this prayer/blessing to carry us into the New Year.

In Peace, Mariann

FOR EQUILIBRIUM

Like the joy of the sea coming home to shore,
May the relief of laughter rinse through your soul.

As the wind loves to call things to dance,
May your gravity be lightened by grace.

Like the dignity of moonlight restoring the earth,
May your thoughts incline with reverence and respect.

As water takes whatever shape it is in,
So free may you be about who you become.

As silence smiles on the other side of what’s said,
May your sense of irony bring perspective.

As time remains free of all that it frames,
May your mind stay clear of all it names.

May your prayer of listening deepen enough,
To hear in the depths the laughter of God.

John O’Donohue from To Bless the Space Between

 

We Plan and God Laughs….

Welcome 2024 and thank you CSLT for the opportunity to serve as your Spiritual Leader. In the words of Socrates, “The secret of change is to focus all your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Or, a simpler statement might be, “we plan, and God laughs.”

A year ago, I had no idea walking through the doors of the LTW last March would place me on a trajectory path of becoming your new minister. What I knew at the time, is I fell in love with a spiritual community, and I hoped I would be asked back to speak. Over the course of last year while you were creating your covenant of intention, I was playing the role of a teacher in a Montessori school in Tempe. (Having left my pulpit and Center of 12 years in California, because I decided to get married.) I thought being a schoolteacher was my “new ministry” working with kids and I was okay with my new role.

However, my 5-year plan of the Montessori assignment was to be cut short after only a year, as “God was calling” again. I received two “nudges” during this last year from “the universe” to go back into ministry. It’s as if God gives me a few hints of where I should be, and I often have chosen to say, “eh, later” and push it aside.

Not the right answer, you don’t ignore the universal “I have this for you.” In my experience, the third nudge is usually a drastic change when the spiritual 2 x 4 hits me, sending me flying into my purpose.

The positive side of my flying lesson was everything began aligning for my husband Charles and I to be here near Tucson. A home we had admired for months became available for purchase, and we did. As we went through the process, I began looking at the school district to teach within a Montessori school.

However, the next nudge came in a call to action from a dear friend and colleague telling me, “Tucson is waiting for you, you need to apply for their pulpit.” After many heart-leading discussions, Charles, a retired UCC minister encouraged me to apply as the window of opportunity was closing quickly. In September, with a week left, I did.

As I filled out the spiritual leader documents to be sent to the search committee, I discovered the God presence within me was calling me to my highest good. My heart has always been in ministry, and it took a small but mighty spiritual community to be that light of “this is your purpose” leading me out of the dark hallway of “what’s next?”

It is with a grateful heart, I look forward to being your spiritual leader, teaching not just the principles of Science of Mind, but other faith traditions, and how all interact together in the great metaphysical beingness in our daily lives. Religious Science is truly a philosophy of how to live in unconditional love and be unconditional love to all we interact with.

Ernest Holmes our Founder wrote in his book, Can We Talk to God? “Of what value would a religion or philosophy be to the world which simply taught it a few laws of cause and e8ect, or how to heal a pain? This is good and wonderful, but unless it teaches how to live and how to be, unless it gives something which is a divine certainty of life and being, it is useless.” (p.11.2)

I look forward to our relationship of not just Sunday celebrations but classes, holidays, and the unknown unscripted adventures of the heart. Please know my door is always open when I am in my o]ice at Craycroft, and reachable through email if you require support for any life situation. I love you all, and thank you for all that you are, and all that you are becoming. I look forward to getting to know every one of you!

–In love and gratitude, Rev. Rhonda

Names of God

As we head into the busy holiday season, I’ve been leaning into Spirit and all its Divine aspects. Troward says God/Spirit is Life, Light, Joy, Love, Peace, Beauty, and Power. One of my favorite meditations is to repeat the phrase, “There is only one Life, that Life is God’s Life, that Life is perfect, that Life is my Life now.” I then repeat the phrase replacing Life with Light, Joy, Love, Peace, Beauty, and finally, Power. I will also insert Mind, Body, and Source; “There is only one Mind, that Mind is God’s Mind, that Mind is perfect, that Mind is my Mind now.” This chant always brings me calm and is a great reminder that I am one with Source (God is my Peace, my Source, my Power Now!).

In our recent membership class, we were asked to bring five names for God to class. Some people had two or three names; others had a long list of names they use for God. I have often heard it said that Ernest Holmes said we can call God “Potato” if that is what works for us (as God created potatoes, Spirit is there, too!). Below is the combined list of names for God our group came up with:

Every faith tradition has multiple names for God. In Islam, it is a practice to meditate and recite the 99 names of God. Several years ago, Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen compiled 99 names for God out of the Science of Mind text.

This holiday season, and into the new year, I invite you into the practice of meditating on the names of God. Pick one that resonates with you and sit with it for a while; recognizing you are that. Wishing you Happy Holidays and a Blessed New Year.

–Sharon Whealy, RScP

Co-Creation in Action

Back in March we began the co-creation process to call in a new minister after Rev. Janis retired. Dr Kathy Hearn started us off on the exercise with a community meeting from which we agreed “wholeness” was how we wanted Spirit to express Itself through our new minister. Dr Kathy then facilitated the process by which the Selection Committee along with all Board Members created the Sacred Covenant Prayer, every word of which was analyzed and agreed upon. Words become things and we wanted to be precise in what we were asking to be made manifest. On March 26th, this Covenant was presented to the congregation, and we began reciting it aloud together each Sunday since. One congregant told me this was exactly what she had been wanting. We put the intention into Law.

The Selection Committee worked then diligently to create a CSLT video and PowerPoint presentation which was uploaded to Open Pulpit on July 18th. Open Pulpit is a site where ministers can search for various openings and apply to the ones they are interested in.

After speaking as a guest on March 12, 2023, Rev. Rhonda Tretsven knew she wanted to be a part of CSLT in some capacity. She and her husband Charles Barfoot, began exploring Tucson and liked what they found. In January of this year, they decided to look for a house in the area and have recently closed escrow on a property November 20, 2023.

Rev. Rhonda had been the Senior Minister with CSL Hemet, in California, a position she held until December 2021 when she decided to get married and relocate to Tempe with her husband. She soon realized how much she missed having a ministry. Finding our call for a Senior Minister on Open Pulpit, and after getting the third nudge from Spirit, she applied for the position.

Just as we have been exploring her, she has been researching us: reading the newsletters and board meeting minutes, investigating our financial status, watching YouTube videos, etc. She impressed the Selection Committee and Board Members with her knowledgeable responses during extensive interviews. Her Reminders and Prayers as guest speaker here at CSLT over the past several months have been well received. We were excited to announce her as our CSLT Senior Minister Candidate.

There was some surprise expressed that many more did not apply for this position. I realized we didn’t need multiple applicants to choose from, only THE right one to apply. I personally see Rev. Rhonda as the joyful, vibrant community leader we have been declaring. I believe Spirit was guiding Rev. Rhonda to us as we were calling her to us.

The CSL theme for December is “Wholeness” and the talk title for December 10 is “Recognizing Wholeness”. Rev. Rhonda has a workshop prepared that she will be facilitating entitled “Revealing Wholeness”. More signs of Spirit working with and for us, and through Rev. Rhonda.

Now it is your turn to get to know her better. This Sunday, December 10th, there will be several opportunities to do this. (See first article for details.) Please let the office know if you plan on attending the workshop. A vote on Rev. Rhonda’s candidacy will be held on December 17th by Members in attendance in-person at Service and on Zoom.

–Janet Salese

GOT CLUTTER?

Clutterers Anonymous (CLA) is a fellowship of compulsive clutterers who practice a 12-step and 12-tradition program modeled after AA (Alcoholics Anonymous.)

What is clutter? Clutter is anything we don’t need, want, or use that takes our time, energy, or space, and destroys our serenity.

I know I am a clutterer and I know I am not alone. I have created physical, mental/emotional, and paper/email clutter to name a few.

Physical: This is the behavior that results in the stacks piles and objects and unfinished projects that fill my home. Whether organized or thrown about, it is all so overwhelming. I have become owned by my possessions.

Mental/Emotional: This is the mental clutter I carry in my mind-resentments, unfinished thoughts, emotional baggage, worries about the future, regrets about the past. My mind and thoughts often are often filled with clutter. Paper/e-mail: Unprocessed mail, notes written on scraps of paper, endless books and e-mails not yet read all add to the clutter. It’s so overwhelming.

What I really want is to be in surroundings of beauty, order, and serenity; a balanced life; and harmonious relationships.

How do I achieve this?

By following the 12-step program of CLA along with the teachings from our Center for Spiritual Living.

They complement each other beautifully.

–Madeline Pallanes

Learning & Thinking

I learned today that Alexander the Great (yes that world conqueror) in a drunken argument killed a very good friend – killed a very good friend. After three days of bottomless mourning and grief beyond my imagining – he went on to do what he did.

One wonders what he might have learned from that experience.

What a way to learn a lesson.  One hopes we all are quicker studies requiring less violent instruction than he appears to have needed.

One hopes to learn and do in such a way as to create more good for ourselves and for our world.

Blessed is he who plants trees under whose shade he will never sit.”  Indian proverb

And the way of that has been available for a very long time to all who would study, learn, and practice.

“You Control how you respond to things.” – Epictetus

“Our life is what our thoughts make it.”  – Marcus Aurelius

And from our somewhat more contemporary teacher –

“Thought can be creative of my good and it can also be productive of things I do not desire, for all thought is creative.”  Ernest Holmes,  A New Design for Living  page 29

“We always succeed.”     “We need to learn to succeed in the right things.”  Ernest Holmes, A New Design for Living page 149

A major project/goal for me in the coming months, is the whole “what am I thinking –  aka am I actually thinking right now – or have I backslid into letting my unconscious create my life with no direction.  Am I reacting without thinking or responding with care. The post-it in the kitchen reads:  “who’s in charge right now?”  Work in progress always.

And holding the following from The Text close to my heart and head:

 “We may change the trend of causation which has been set in motion at any time we decide to do so.” Ernest Holmes Science of Mind 128.2

Of course, on the preceding page he quoted Jesus saying, “As thou hast believed, so be it done unto you.” Going on to add Jesus did not say: “It  is done unto you as you wish.”

“Such is the power of right thinking that it cancels and erases everything unlike itself.”Science of Mind 128.4.

Do it with Power & Presence.

–In Peace, Mariann

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