Saturday, February 27, 2010

Leadership Conference, Part 2

Well, I'm back home in Chicago. Didn't get a chance to blog during the second half of the week in Denver.

The ICSL Congress on Wednesday did not disappoint. There were some ruffling of feathers as predicted. Drawn-out discussions on parliamentary procedures. Proposals voted for and proposals voted down. Hopefully all is now smoothed out for all concerned.

Thursday's open discussion was not really an open discussion. We broke off into smaller groups based on questions posed by the audience. I ended up in a group that discussed the whole "church" label and organizational structure. It was very interesting. Most of the group felt that "church" might not be the best way to describe this movement. (One of the reasons the organization changed its name to Centers for Spiritual Living). We are more of a teaching, a philosophy of life. We considered more educational names like "institute" "center", etc.

I have to admit, when I tell friends or co-workers that I go to "church" or I am President of the Board of Trustees at my "church", I half-feel obligated to follow that up immediately with "but it's not what you think, or it's not your typical church, or it's not your average church." How do you sum that up in a 5-word slogan?

Science of Mind, New Thought, Religious Science are all hard to describe most people. It is not what people grew up on. I hope that changes soon.

In all, the Leadership Conference was an experience that will continue to have an influence on my thinking and how I approach things as I continue to reflect back on it. It is something where the true ramifications may not be known for some time. It will continue to evolve and grow within me.

Next stop: Summer Conference here in Chicago July 26 - 30. I'll need the time to prepare!


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Here at the Denver Leadership Conference

Well, this is Day 2 of the ICSL (International Centers for Spiritual Living) and UCSL (United Centers for Spiritual Living) combined Leadership Conference. It is sunny out and all I want to do right now is find a nice comfortable chair in the sun. But alas, there isn't one so I thought I would blog instead!

I am attending the Leadership Conference in the capacity of Board of Trustees President of the Oak Park Church of Religious Science. So far I have attended general sessions which are turning out to be workshops on our "stuff" and one break-out session for laity. Not exactly what I came here for. Where is learning how to be a better leader? Getting people involved and enthusiastic about becoming a member of a Center for Spiritual Living? But the main attraction of this Leadership Conference is that it is the first one these two sister organizations have held together.

I did attend the official business meeting of UCSL even though we are an ICSL-member church. It was interesting albeit not very substantive. Mostly budget and operating expenses talk.

Tomorrow and Thursday, we will be getting into the heart of the matter. ICSL has its Annual Congress tomorrow inwhich I am sure there will be heated discussion about the whole subject of integration. (That is: ICSL and UCSL merging into one entity). There are several proposals on the table that will challenge the timing of this merger and other pre-conditions to the merger. I am a delegate at the conference and get one vote on all the motions coming before the group.

Then on to a tour of the UCSL headquarters in Golden and the Wednesday night service at Mile Hi Church (a UCSL mega-church here in Denver).

Thursday will bring an open discussion about integration which is sure to be a lively debate.

We have walked around the surrounding hotel area a little bit. There is not much time between sessions. We hope to do more of that on Friday before we leave.

Stay tuned for updates on the ICSL Congress taking place Wednesday.

Until then,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

February Idea of the Month

This month, we talk about the habit of "thinking less than" of ourselves. We are pretty good at it. Is it because that's what we are used to? Is it because it is the norm of our culture? It is because we've done it all our lives?

Would "thinking greater" of ourselves be such a stretch? Could we give it a try and see what happens? Can we connect with our inner knowing, with our higher self, with God which would lead to thinking greater about ourselves?

This is not an ego thing or a self-centered thing. In fact, it is the opposite. When you connect with the Infinite Greatness of God, you become humble and come to an understanding that "it is the Father within that doeth the work." All goodness, all greatness comes from God.

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Until next time,