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

Happy New Year!

After powering through the holidays. Celebrating with all sorts of foods. Then starting a new year, it feels like it is time to change something or other.

What is a reasonable change? Part of me wants to continue with uncontrolled eating and resting. But this is in direct conflict with wanting to feel healthy.

Part of me feels like wow it is time to really change things up and initiate some sort of paradigm shift change. Really shake things up and rise to the dreams that inspire fear and awe because things would be very different.

What are reasonable limitations? And what are my real authentic beliefs?

I know my life is reflecting my beliefs because that is what shows up. Change needs to align with who I am. Fortunately Science of Mind has given me unlimited resources to cope with and advance my future. Even if I experience fear, loss of focus, change my belief, lose steam, or experience cycles of old recurring ideas. I have an exceptional tool called Spiritual Mind Treatment.

With this tool alone my life can change in a way that aligns with those authentic beliefs. One understanding of the Mulitiverse that I adhere to is that Everything Everywhere is in constant eternal vibration. The Multiverse cannot ever be static.

So even when or if I feel off course. I can apply five simple steps and start a realignment.

Life is good and so it is.

–Chris Wheeler

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

Additional Thoughts on a New Minister

I’ll be honest. When our previous minister announced to the Board of Trustees that she was retiring, I was shocked and disappointed. Reverend Janis was the first person I encountered when I showed up over 10 years ago at the Gregory School looking for the meditation meeting. She was a practitioner then and obviously a leader in the congregation.

My negative reaction came from fear of what would happen to CSL Tucson and the pain of losing a caring, intelligent minister, whom I liked. Of course, I didn’t stay in fear and sense of lack. I calmed down, remembered I am at choice and accessed my faith. Ernest Holmes states, “We know that thought is constantly changing, forever taking on new ways of expression. It cannot possibly remain permanent. It has to change. Can we not, accordingly, change it to a better state instead of to a worse?” (Science Of Mind 216.3)

I have enjoyed and benefited from our visiting speakers in the last few months. Yet something has been missing. Last December I was attending a Christmas chorale with a friend and ran into Reverend Janis. It was a comfortable feeling to introduce Reverend Janis to my friend as “my minister.”

I lived part-time in Lake Havasu City for 5 years from 2014 -2018. I had become ‘Grammy’ and was blessed to experience the joy of spending time with my grandson. I attended CSL there regularly. There was no permanent minister and available classes were rare. The population of Lake Havasu City swells substantially in the winter months and declines in the hot summer. Visiting ministers from Las Vegas and the Phoenix area were Sunday speakers much of the time. One Sunday, Reverend Janis was the visiting minister, and I was thrilled to see her. From time to time, especially in the summer months, a local lay member would talk. This had mixed results. One Sunday a local was speaking and, in my judgment, his talk was self-centered rambling and offensive in a couple of comments. I spoke to two Board members to express my concern. A handful of people who attended regularly walked out early in the talk. Unfortunately, one of them wrote to the local newspaper’s Orchids and Onions column, complaining about the speaker and by connection the Center. Awkward.

A Position Description for CSL Tucson states, “The Senior Minister is the spiritual leader, ecclesiastical head, and administrative executive officer of the church. S/he is responsible for expressing the vision of the church through its ministry and through teaching and embodying the principles of Science of Mind as expressed by Ernest Holmes…” Specific responsibilities are described.

Your Board of Trustees and Minister Selection Committee strongly recommend that members vote on Sunday, December 17, to affirm Reverend Rhonda Tretsven as our new minister/spiritual leader. She has experience and qualifications too numerous to mention here. In interviews we found her to be sensitive to the needs of our community, capable of wise leadership of a congregation, authentic in presence, strong, yet charismatic. She is also a musician who sings, plays the guitar and other instruments.

I envision Reverend Rhonda as both coach and cheerleader for our community. I look forward to getting to know her and her getting to know us. There is potential for intimate connection, trust, and respect in our interactions. We all experience challenging life events and would benefit from the compassion Reverend Rhonda demonstrates. Her previous talks are available to watch online through links in our newsletter. I believe that Spirit delivered the perfect candidate for our new Minister. I encourage all members to vote in favor of this next adventure for our Center.

–Linda Bullock

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

Got A Reverend?

Ahh, now that caught your attention.

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a pastor and a reverend? I have.

Many years ago, I attended a church and “Pastor Tom” went on vacation. While he was gone “Reverend John” filled in for Pastor Tom giving the Sunday talk. When Pastor Tom returned, I asked him, “what’s the difference between a pastor and a reverend?” Pastor Tom paused, thought for a moment, and said, “a pastor has his own church, a reverend doesn’t.” I think that was the short answer to what could be a complex answer that varies based on the religion. That settled my curiosity at the time.

Bing says “The key difference between a pastor and a reverend is the roles & scope. A pastor specifically leads a congregation and provides spiritual guidance, while a reverend is a broader title used for ordained ministers across different roles and denominations.”

Google defines reverend as, “used as a title or form of address to members of the clergy.”

As we call in our new minister, we see our new minister revealed before us as our joyful vibrant community leader. We know that they will be revealed in a way that will express Spirit and serve the highest and greatest good of all who are touched by their Presence.

You can strengthen our calling by reading the Covenant Prayer frequently.

There is only One Life! That Life is God’s Life! That Life is Perfect. That Life is my Life Now!

In knowing that I am ‘one’ with this Life that is God…I therefore know that I am ‘one’ with all of its blessed expressions, which includes the Presence of a New Minister for My beloved Spiritual Community.

Because I know that the highest Purpose of my New Minister is to express Spirit, I therefore know that my New Minister is a Revelation of Spirit as: Wholeness. I further know that my New Minister is the fulfillment of that which has been promised by God, for it is written:

Happiness and Wholeness fill my entire being with the realization of Love and Perfection.

As I stand in agreement with my beloved Community, I see my New Minister revealed before me as my joyful, vibrant community leader.

I now intend to experience my New Minister in full cooperation and agreement with my Community, knowing this Truth about myself, for …

I am inspiring and motivating the experience of wholeness and love

I am revealing the divinity and wisdom within me

I am leading in the realization of truth and love I am facilitating, supporting and expanding a diverse selection of classes

I am providing a nurturing, vibrant community welcoming all

As I now accept the highest expression of a New Minister into my life, I know that they will be revealed in a way that will express Spirit and serve the highest and greatest good of all who are touched by their Presence.

I am grateful God is gracious.

And so It is.

–Madeline Pallanes

Places

There are places I remember
All my life though some have changed
Some forever, not for better
Some have gone and some remain
All these places have their moments….
                   In My Life by John Lennon

I first visited Lahaina, Maui in 1977. It was part of a one-week 3-island trip, a real bargain with flights out of LAX. I fell in love with Hawaii, eventually purchased a timeshare and visited one or more of the 4 major islands at least 30 times. On my first visit to Lahaina the town was small with no high-end lodging in town. The recommended restaurant, The Whale’s Tail, was tiny and upstairs on Front Street, across from the Banyan tree. This historically significant town was the filming location of several movies. It was destroyed by wildfire the week of August 7. We are friends with 2 couples who live on Maui full-time. The losses are immeasurable. In such situations my feelings of sadness eventually mature to acceptance.

I seem to form emotional attachments to places. Sometimes the connections are due to the beauty and atmosphere of the place itself; often places become special because of the activity and people involved. I know that change is inevitable and change over a long period of time can be major. I would prefer that my special places remain the same so that by revisiting I can recapture some of the magic I first felt. I have been shocked, angry, and sad at some geographical changes. One of The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz is to “take nothing personally.” Just like with any kind of loss, I can choose gratitude for the experience and love how it enhanced my life. So I will do that. My special times in Hawaii were numerous. None of my experiences were unique but they were personally intimate.

I once told someone that after cremation I wanted half my ashes to be sprinkled off the end of the pier in Hanalei, Kauai, and the other half around the base of Bell Rock in Sedona. I was sort of kidding. I first visited Sedona in 1984. Tlaquepaque was relatively new, and the population was a fraction of what it has become. In visiting in 2008, I took offense at the traffic circles and the new mall where Oaxaca restaurant had been located. The amount of traffic was another inconvenient change. Sedona is still lovely, and I enjoyed its beauty on several trips. Gratitude to the Source for the natural wonders.

In 1991 I spent 6 months on a temporary job assignment in Chicago. I met some amazing people and got to experience the St. Patrick’s Day Parade and the Chicago River being dyed green. Lack of familiarity and experience in city life caused some slight fears at the beginning but I am grateful for every minute I spent in Chicago and for the wonderful interpersonal experiences.

For a few years I traveled to Charleston, SC for the Spoleto Festival and shared a beach house on the Isle of Palms across the river. Details were all arranged and scheduled by a friend who grew up in the Charleston area. The food and music were phenomenal. Activities were fun. Another special place is San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a colonial-era city, declared a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its centuries-old Baroque and Neoclassical style architecture. A life-long friend of my husband is a resident and was full of useful information. We visited once for a week and a couple of years later we stayed for a month. I lack the space and vocabulary to describe this magical city and the joy I experienced on my visits.

In New Thought we know that positive expectation, believing what we are thinking, influences outcomes. In Creative Mind and Success, Ernest Holmes states “Wherever you go, know that the Spirit of Truth goes before and prepares the way, bringing to you every friend and influence that will be necessary to your comfort and wellbeing.” This language richly describes what is possible if we apply the Law to our planned experiences.

I likely will not travel to these places again, yet they are part of me, my tapestry. Thank you, Carole King.

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue An everlasting vision of the ever-changing view…. Tapestry by Carole King

 

–Linda Bullock

Falling into Place

In June I took a meditation retreat in Colorado Springs with Dr. Roger Teel, who led Mile Hi Church for 25 years. I have enjoyed watching his online talks and when he mentioned his mediation retreat, I knew I wanted to go. I looked online and when registra6on for the workshop opened, I immediately signed up.

The workshop was at the Franciscan Retreat Center in the foothills of Rockies. The setting was lovely, with big trees, old buildings, and lots of space to wander. There were deer roaming freely. One morning I went to get my journal out of my car and there was a deer five or six feet away from the driver’s side. I unlocked the doors with the remote and the deer lifted its head then returned to eating. I opened the passenger door and rooted around for my journal. When I looked out through the driver’s side windows there were three deer looking at me as if they were wondering what I was doing. What a treat!

The workshop consisted of lectures, stories and lots of time meditating using a variety of techniques, and free time to walk around the grounds and contemplate. It was liberating to have 3 days where I didn’t have to think about anything, as our days were scheduled, meals prepared.

Going to the retreat jump started my meditation practice. The app Insight Timer has kept track of my meditations and I have reached 60 days in a row. I have given myself the rules that I can’t have coffee or open my Fitbit app to see what my sleep score until I sit. Those boundaries are working for me. After sitting the rest of my day seems to fall into place and I’m more productive since I have been consistent with my practice. Taking the retreat, was a treat, an immersion I highly recommend. Here’s a little taste of the workshop: Affirmation Meditation for JOY – Dr. Roger Teel.

–Maria

WABI-SABI

After graduating college magna cum laude, a woman asked me in a job interview, “How do you handle being a perfectionist?” Was she implying that there was something wrong with that?

It got me thinking about the negatives I experienced by wanting to be perfect: I wouldn’t try something if I thought I might not be good at it; It took me longer to do tasks; I would throw out good projects because they had a minor flaw. While I still strove to be perfect, there were times Icould recognize this was holding me back and take steps to move forward.

Years later I discovered wabi-sabi. As Kiyoshi Matsuomoto describes it, “Wabi-sabi is Japanese acceptance of imperfections as both meaningful and in their own way, beautiful.” The philosophy embraces that nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.

Kintsugi is a process of mending broken bowls with gold epoxy, which highlights the imperfection rather than disguises it. It is the physical demonstration of the wabi-sabi. It became so popular in Japan at one time that potters would intentionally break a piece of pottery they had just made in order to gild it in this manner.

Discovering this concept, and admiring the beautiful pottery, I have been able to incorporate it into my own experience. A fellow cardmaker, blaming her left-handedness, often makes a mistake on her card such as getting ink where it wasn’t intended. Instead of getting upset, she laughs and says, “At least the person I give it to will know it’s handmade by me.” I look at such mistakes I make as opportunities to add an embellishment creating the card into more than I originally intended.

Rev. Dr. Michael Gott wrote in a recent SOM Magazine, “We are human and we are divine. Can we finally…recognize and honor that our humanity is divine?” and, as John Legend sings, “love all your perfect imperfections.”

The student of Truth will maintain that they live in a Perfect Universe and among people potentially perfect. They will regulate their thinking to meet this necessity and will refuse to believe its opposite. At first they may be influenced by conditions, and they may appear to be weak, but as time goes on they will prove to themself that their position is a correct one, for that which appears imperfect will begin to slip from their experience. SOM 185.1

–Janet Salese

1 2 3 9