In the blissful afterglow of completing 14-week runs of “Exploring the Roots of the Science of Mind” and “Foundations of the Science of Mind”, the question always arises. “What’s next?” The answer, “It depends…”
In one way, we are entering into a transition period — between winter and summer. Each one of us is beginning to look at our summer plans, and consider that we might actually have summer plans this year. Those winter visitors who actually made it down this year have left, or are leaving us soon for the summer, or thinking about when they will head north.
We’ve had a steady push of online classes since the lock-down began, completing 5 of the 6 major certificated classes in the last 15 months. That’s not entirely true, “Essential Ernest” completed the week before lock- down began, and last year’s “Foundations” class only finished online, after starting in person. The 6th of the primary certificated classes, “Visioning” will be offered on zoom beginning in mid-May by a practitioner and ministerial student from CSL Reno, Laura Arneson.
Keith Gorley has had a steady feed of classes and groups throughout this period too — Men’s group, Karen Armstrong’s Twelve Steps to a Compassionate Life (twice), Ernest Holmes’ Art of Life & Emerson’s Essays.
We have plans for some small book study groups starting later this month, one on zoom with Pat Masters hosting, & one in-person with Elaine Rockhill hosting for fully vaccinated (+2 weeks) individuals. The book is Julia Cameron’s The Prosperous Heart. It’s not too late to join, yet.
We’ve not skipped a beat with our Sunday Services and have enjoyed our own CSLT Orchestra, as they have figured out how to do great music, regardless of the constraints of zoom. We’ve enjoyed many guest speakers and musicians, almost one a month, that we would not have been able to celebrate with, had we been meeting in-person. Our next one is Faith Rivera on April 25th, joining us *live* from her home studio in Hawai’i. The week after that, Jan Garrett & JD Martin will be with us *live* from their Colorado home studio. We look forward to these talented guests.
Daily practice has continued daily without exception since mid-March of last year. Attendance continues to drop off slowly, after hitting a high of 14 persons/day on average back in December & January. On those days when I can’t facilitate because I have another commitment, practitioner/friend, Bev Holland from CSL Tacoma, has stepped up to lead. Maria Schuchardt runs the zoom platform for her. As things begin to open up more, there may be less need for this kind of connection. I dunno.
So what’s next? We have begun thinking about how we can live-stream, and video-record when we do return to in-person services, which could be as early as September.
We’ve begun thinking about new places we might advertise, so that people who don’t know about us can find us. In our last two community surveys, we asked individuals how they found us. In both the 2018 survey and the 2020 survey, the majority of the respondents told us they found us in one of three ways: word-of-mouth, online searches, or because they had attended another CSL and were looking for something similar in Tucson. The results were similar in earlier surveys. Two or three people find us through advertising. A few more find us ‘accidentally’ like I did back in early 2009, when I happened to see our sandwich board sign while driving on River Road. Or they happen to walk in to see what we are doing on a Sunday morning and decide they like what they see and hear, or stop by the office when they suddenly notice the sign that has been in front of our office on S Craycroft Rd since 2019.
What happens next for you? You get to decide. Isn’t that simply fabulous?
–Rev Janis Farmer