Dr Ernest Holmes was very clear (The Science of Mind pp.266-268) “Science of Mind is not a ‘get-rich-quick’ scheme, neither does it promise something for nothing. It does however promise the one who will comply with its teachings that they shall be able to bring greater possibilities and happier conditions into their experience.”

Holmes continues, “It is a great mistake to say; ‘Take what you wish, for you can have anything you like.’ We do not take what we wish, but we do attract to ourselves that which is like our thought. EACH ONE MUST BECOME MORE IF THEY WISH TO DRAW A GREATER GOOD INTO THEIR LIFE. We need not labor under the delusion that all we have to do is say that everything is ours. This is true in Reality, but in fact it is only as true as we make it. We provide the mold for the Creative Law”

Holmes, again, “The Law is a law of liberty, but not a law of license. It is exact and exacting, and unless we are willing to comply with Its Nature and work with it, along the lines of Its inherent being, we shall receive no great benefit. EVERY ONE MUST PAY THE PRICE FOR THAT WHICH THEY RECEIVE AND THAT PRICE IS PAID IN MENTAL AND SPIRITUAL COIN.” (Capitalization in Holmes’ original text.)

For a full 2 years before Agape International opened their doors, Dr Michael Beckwith and his visioning team met every week to envision how ‘God’ wanted the Agape Center to show up in the world. Only after they all clearly shared and understood the guidance, and every single one of them was completely aligned, and in embodied agreement with the vision, did Dr Michael and the team begin to open the doors.

I remember my first community envisioning gathering in 2009, and the ones that happened every year after that. We imagined, dreamed and visioned about having a place of our own. Many of the dreams were grand (a towering stained-glass sanctuary with state-of-the-art everything, an elementary school, a ministerial school, a community garden, a cafe…), without much embodiment, or ownership, of the vision/dream among the congregation. It was like we were seeking something for nothing. Some people got disillusioned and left.

When we had the opportunity to purchase that 5-acre parcel of raw land on 22nd Street in 2016, it looked like a great investment, and it had potential to become the site where we could build our own Center. The Board members supported purchasing the parcel, though many members of our congregation were not necessarily in favor of us building on it. They didn’t like the location. They thought it would be too difficult. (There were stringent restrictions from the Home Owner’s Association that we had agreed to.) When we received an unsolicited offer to purchase the land at a very good price, it had turned into a fruitful investment for us. (We hold the note for the buyers, and they pay us a percentage of the agreed value each year.) That first year’s annual payment on the raw land gave us the down payment we needed to purchase the office.

Along the way, we grew in our understanding and started imagining what it would really feel like to embody and experience ‘the highest vision for CSL Tucson’. We got closer, because we started owning our vision and it would feel like when it materialized. The last several years, pre-pandemic, we had honed in on what embodiment looked like and felt like for us. You can find several of the previous years’ envisioning notes on our website under About Us, and then under Organizational Documents.

Our annual Community Envisioning has been planned for a few hours the evening of Friday January 14th, and up to half a day on Saturday, January 15th. I invite you to consider what you are willing to embody, what you are willing to become, as we move into this next stage of our enlivenment as CSL Tucson. It’s not just about my becoming, or our Board of Trustees’ becoming. It’s about what each, and all, of us are willing to become.

–Rev Janis