“What happens now?” Centers for Spiritual Living (CSL) has a process in place to follow when a minister leaves. We’ve activated that process. Because we have a healthy, functional center, and the luxury of a local structure that operates in an orderly fashion, we are working through our transition plans. This means I’m handing off the tasks that I have been doing and the relationships that I’ve held, and we’re making sure there are good records and instructions for everything anybody can think of. We’ve worked on them intentionally for 2-3 weeks already, and have 6 weeks to complete them. My last Sunday will be February 26th, and I will turn in my keys shortly after that.
Actually, we’ve been working on a chunk of our procedures and processes for much longer than that. When I took the month of May off in 2022, the Board and some of the extended leaders took over many of my regular responsibilities. Some responsibilities stayed with the leadership then, and will continue as is, for a while yet.
“And Then?” The Board of Trustees will assume the running of the business of the Center entirely. Sharon has accepted the task of scheduling Sunday speakers, and making sure that everyone has the content, and context, they need for Sunday services to be educational and inspirational. She will also, with the Board, be the point of contact for any new classes that want to be scheduled. Mariann will continue to coordinate the weekly newsletter, and has taken over the posting of our monthly activities in Natural Awakenings magazine. She’ll also continue to work with our webmaster to keep the website current, and accurate.
There are a lot of moving parts, many of which I have handled for more than a decade, and so there will be some balls that get dropped. Do your best to be kind, helpful, involved, engaged and supportive.
In the (slightly) longer term, you all will be asked to participate in a ‘Co-Creation Process’ to figure out what the community’s vision for CSL Tucson actually is. Then, and maybe concurrently, a ‘Selection Committee’ will be formed of community leaders, practitioners and members. This group, with help, will create a video or powerpoint presentation that describes what CSLT desires from their next minister, and what CSLT, and the enchanting environment of Tucson, offers to their next minister. The presentation will go to the designated person at Home Office who will share it with ministers who have an interest in becoming pulpit ministers, or moving to a new pulpit. After a period of time, that point of contact will send resumes of ministers who are interested and qualified back to the ‘Selection Committee’. They will recommend to the Board which candidating ministers should be invited to Tucson to speak and give a workshop. You will have the opportunity to hear what they have to say, engage with them, and express your perceptions and observations.
Since we know everything happens in Mind before it happens in the world of form, a group of individuals have already started doing Spiritual Mind Treatments knowing the ‘right and perfect spiritual leader for CSLT’ already exists, and is open and able to join the community here. Since many of you also know how to do this, you are welcome to join them. If your strength is visualization, you can use that technique as well.
“Why?” Why am I leaving? Because it’s time for me to retire from CSLT and do something different. 13+ years is the longest I have ever stayed in any one place. I’m complete here. In the last year (or so), I have not felt that I was effectively inspiring, supporting or encouraging you all to engage with your own spiritual growth opportunities, and to support connection and the experience of belonging in your spiritual community.
Since that was my ‘why’ for being your spiritual leader, it’s time for me to move on to my next adventure.
That’s the bigger ‘why’. Because it is time for this beloved community to become the shining beacon that it is capable of becoming — to grow, and flourish and to empower yourselves and others to live expansive, joyful lives, in community, that you are all worthy of.
–Rev Janis Farmer