Mary Murray Shelton and Karyl Huntley facilitated the Opening Ritual to the convention, inviting us to the consciousness of openness reflected by the question: what
wants to happen next?”
Altars around the room were illuminated to represent different faith traditions as a reminder for us to be open to each other too. Locals from Vancouver, as representatives of different faith traditions, greeted the congregation in the language of the country of their origin. They requested members of the community to stand and receive the greeting in their different groupings and were ceremonially invited to sit as an acceptance of the welcome.
The altars are to stand as symbols of prayer and sacredness throughout the Conference and attendees were asked to keep them clear from clutter so that they could be available for personal contemplation.
The Ceremony was closed with a group call and response lead by Karyl Huntley:
I bless the land of the first nations people, and their kin, the four legged, the feathered ones, the swimmers and the leafy ones. I bless the earth herself, her waters, her mountains and the clouds above her, I bless all the peoples who have immigrated to this land of beauty may they all live in peace and plenty for evermore. And may this land be enveloped in the love that I now spread and the love that I leave behind when I depart. Blessed Be.
Key Note Addresses
(Notes from Rev. Michelle’s message. Forgive inaccuracies.)
Continuing Coherence: what’s next for us?
What would it take for us as an organization to continue to dance together?
Our two organizations are like a married couple who after a long courtship, huge prenuptial agreements, now have experienced the first year together as a married couple. At the first year anniversary there is room to re-enliven passion, connection. Three things that are high on the priority list to consider:
- Passionate dedication to the embodiment of the Divine One within.
- Remembering that each one of us is building this teaching and its influence in the world with every thought and word.
- Letting Love lead the way
It’s important that we not only to be able to talk about our teaching, but to be able to live it and “be it” as individuals and in our organization, so that we participate form the awareness of Spirit within us. Keep in mind the temptation to step off the path. As we come together to make decisions, if we are not grounded in the presence of Spirit within us then the decisions that we make are based upon things like agendas, fears,
history, etc. When we stand in the light of the Divine and walk forward in coherence there is more opportunity to be free and see into the heart of the decisions we are making, accessing a greater revelation of the Light within us. We cannot escape that.
Consider this question: Does the motive feel pure? It is not asked as a heady things, but as an intuitive inquiry that guides the community to decide. Applied personally, ask the question: Is my motive pure, or am I being motivated by my unhealed past? It’s vital to continue to do the inner work.
Building the Movement
Our Centers for Spiritual Living is built by us. It is tempting to think of the leadership as being the builders of the movement. That isn’t accurate because each one of us is fashioning and contributing to that which is, in the end will allow us to be coherent or not. We have to ask ourselves where we are off track and have personal work to do, something to communicate, past to release, so that I can get back to the awareness of how I am building the movement. Let each one of us be accountable for how we create the power and influence of the Centers for Spiritual Living in the world. When we do take accountability it means asking ourselves questions about how we are participating.
Let Love Lead The Way
Being able to love and accept and respect and listen to and forgive and be forgiving toward the people I already like is kindergarten. So what if you can do that. Anyone can do that. Where love is truly tested and made deeper is in the advanced work of love. Can I accept, forgive, respect and honor someone that I don’t like, who I don’t agree with, or with whom I had a conflict. If I can do that, through my own inner connection, then I am practice advanced love and letting Love lead the way. I can ask the question “If I were to show up as Divine Love right now, how would I speak and participate.” In this way we will find coherence more accessible to us and easier to accomplish. How will the world know Centers for Spiritual Living? It would be wonderful if they knew us by our good works and successful Centers, and, I want us to be known by how well we love and how well we embrace God and live in the light and how powerfully we resonate with the truth, and that is in the heart and hands of each one of us.
James Mellon Ceiling.
Opening with Ernest Holmes’ quote “I can conceive in my imagination a beauty so splendid that should I perceive it now it would shatter even my physical being, " Rev. Mellon spoke about how something profound happened for him upon reading it,” He invited us to be open to something profound happening this week at the convention, something larger than even what we intend. (But he spoke too quickly for me to take notes. You’ll have to get the audio of the upbeat and entertaining message about spiritual inclusiveness.)