Living Your Dream

Living Your Dream

Living Your Dream 1050 618 Seal Beach Center for Spiritual Living


Living Your Dream

Rev. John DePalma

“Stand Tall and Proud, Go Out on a Limb, Remember Your Roots, Drink Plenty of Water, Be Content with Your Unique Natural Beauty, Enjoy the View.”

– Advice from a Tree by Ilan Shamir

Our theme this month is Living Your Dream. Yet so many are feeling the post-pandemic blues, just exhausted by the tremendous changes we've experienced in the past few
years.

How many of us still dream about the kind of life we want to live? How do we even begin to get there? At the same time, what an exciting time to be living our Science of Mind philosophy. What an excellent opportunity for people to turn things around for themselves, each other, and the entire planet.

This situation allows each community member to open their minds and hearts to a more extraordinary dream for our spiritual community. As Interim, I've been asked to elaborate on our progress toward finding new ministerial leadership. The people involved in this exploration are members of our steering committee, our leadership council, our practitioners, and staff.

Namasté and Vida Center for Spiritual Living participate with similar groups from their Centers.

So, I'd like to share exactly what we're doing, how we're doing it, and why. It might be helpful to start with an overview of the "why." Before the pandemic, traditional denominations across the board had experienced a significant decline in attendance
and membership. There are many reasons for this, but one of the biggest is an increase of 30% since 2011 in people who claimed no affiliation for any denomination, indicating a significant drop in church participation.

Nationally, Centers for Spiritual Living also experienced a considerable decline in the last ten years. We've all witnessed a churn in leadership throughout our centers, not just here in Southern California but throughout the nation. That has been happening for a long time
before the pandemic.

The pandemic created an unprecedented challenge for religious communities across the board to hold their communities together. I know dozens of churches in our movement that are currently in some stage of transition. The pandemic, coupled with an aging ministers,
retirement, or exhaustion of ministers, compounds this situation.

In the Long Beach/Seal Beach area, we have three small communities that are viable to one degree or another in the short run, but it is wise for us to consider if any of us will thrive unless something changes. So clearly, we need to consider if we can keep going on
the same path if we expect a thriving, sustainable spiritual community. As the Bible says, you can't put new wine into old wineskins. Or the definition of insanity; keep doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results. All 3 of our communities deserve the highest level of inspiration, guidance, and support with quality speakers and teachers, a comprehensive and relevant curriculum,
competent and accountable shared leadership, and intelligent, compassionate, and supportive ministerial leadership. These requirements mean developing deeper relationships with spirit and greater fulfillment in the quality of life for an increasingly diverse and inclusive community.

So, our three Centers are collaborating to explore what resources can be shared for the greatest good of all three congregations. This is not just a switch that can be flipped but a dynamic, flexible plan that is open to possibilities. The work before each of us is to let go of rigid thinking and old ideas. Let go of what's "supposed to happen" and open the portals of imagination. To allow spirit to inspire, guide, and support us on the path moving forward to revealing the idea of a community where everyone is healed, blessed, and prospered beyond anything we could imagine.

This work is Love made manifest; it supports and trusts that all those involved in the collaboration are guided by divine right action. As we lift them in faith and watch what unfolds with a sense of wonder, we can truly begin to realize that world that works for all, where no child goes hungry, where no one feels unloved, and where prosperity and peace prevail for all living things!

INTERIM MINISTER

Rev. John DePalma

Rev John’s personal mission is to help our spiritual centers build diverse, inclusive, healthy, sustainable, and thriving spiritual communities. Why? To awaken humanity to its Spiritual Magnificence and create a world that works for all where no child goes hungry, where no one fears persecution, where no one is unloved and where prosperity and peace prevail.

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