Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Marines Don't Do That

Recently Michael Wheeler wrote an article entitled “Marines Don’t Do That:  Mastering the Split-Second Decision. In it he quoted Major David Dixon, who recently retired from the US Marine Corps. According to Major Dixon, Marines are taught the concept of “Marines don’t do that” during their training.

It got me to thinking about how I react in life and what I “don’t do.” I’m usually the one who speaks up and makes at least a few people uncomfortable if someone is telling an inappropriate joke or being discriminatory. I simply have no tolerance for it. I used to. I used to be afraid to speak up for fear someone might start attacking me, or making fun of me for not “being one of the boys.”

I suppose becoming comfortable with my sexual orientation as well as my belief in the teachings of the Science of Mind – both of which are still not universally accepted – has positioned me to speak out. It comes from a foundation of confidence and security, not from one of reaction, indignation or anger. Admittedly, I still feel some of those things when I witness gross injustices, but I’m not out to prove anything to anyone.

What guides your life course and your interactions with others on a daily basis? Do you allow discrimination or injustices to go on in front of you? How we deal with what we consider inappropriate behavior here in America is vastly different than in other countries, including our neighbors directly north of us. But regardless of local customs, how will you act (not react) in an unfair situation the next time it happens?

It might not be a situation of sticking up for someone else. It might be having the opportunity to disregard our own personal ethics, for example tossing our cigarette out the window, accepting more change than is due us, or ignoring someone who is differently-abled than we.

If you are truly the religious scientist you say you are, or the Christian, or the Muslim or the Buddhist, or whatever other teachings guide your life, will you stand up for righteous and fair treatment of others? Or, will you remain silent while those less able to speak up are put down, embarrassed, ill-treated or even injured? Will you practice what you preach to preserve our planet, or will you make excuses because you are too busy to go the extra mile?

Those aren’t easy questions to hear or perhaps easy ones to contemplate. I would, however, suggest to you that they are ones we should all entertain. When faced with the hard questions of life no person of integrity turns a blind eye to the situation. We just don’t do that.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Greek Yogurt

One of my favorite people to fly with at my "day job" is an Austrian-born, naturalized U.S. citizen. You'd never think he was anything but American, at least until you get into a conversation with him. As Americanized as he is, his European roots are pretty close to the surface and a lot of his opinions are, well, very European.

Perhaps that's why I enjoy his company. I live with someone who is more American than apple pie and defends even the most outrageous customs and life choices here in this country. I don't. I grew up in an American trailer park - four all together, thank you very much - but my sensibilities definitely lean toward a less independent and more interdependent lifestyle, i.e. European in nature.

That's why I was so taken back with a comment my Austrian-born friend made not long ago that put me in a the class of a "typical American." I'm far from "typical" in my opinion, but that's another topic not to be discussed at his time. I happen to mention to my friend that I had brought along some "Greek yogurt" with me on our trip. He launched into a tirade about how gullible Americans are. "Oh, it's the next big thing and it's no different than any other yogurt, but the advertisers say it's better so you Americans have to run out and buy it. Europeans would never be misled that way."

Wow...and I only bought it because it was on sale! Okay, not completely, I mean I think it IS creamer, but I digress. It got me to thinking. We Americans pride ourselves on our independence and independent thinking, but we ARE lulled (not so subtly) into buying things just because it's the next "thing" to have. Contrast that with the interdependence that Europeans experience with each other, perhaps because of the close proximity of so many different countries, yet they don't seem to be as easily swayed. How can that be?

They might not, actually. I'm sure that you could be reading this thinking just the opposite is true about Europeans and Americans, and have all kinds of evidence to prove your point. It really doesn't matter. What I got out of this discussion - and the subsequent pondering I've been doing on the subject over the past few weeks - is that we aren't going to please everybody no matter what we decide!

Just because a product or way of doing something is supposedly the thing to have or do doesn't make it right for us. Madisyn Taylor recently wrote about "going against what it popular." She goes on to say, "...part of the way that something becomes popular is that many of us don't take the time to determine what's right for us; we simply do what most of the people we know are doing. In this way, our decisions about life are made by default, which means they aren't what we call conscious decisions."

I'd like to suggest a game for you to play this week. Just for the fun of it, question everything you do for a day. I don't mean you have to stop and analyze everything so you don't get anything done. Just take a breath and ask yourself why you are doing what you are doing. Do you really want to do it? Why are you buying a particular product? If you discover that you are at a loss to explain your motivation then perhaps you are being manipulated by societal pressure, someone special in your life, a lack of self-esteem or self-confidence, or just a victim to marketing.

In other words, take back your life, because I can assure you of this: You are doing something in your life, buying something on a regular basis (or lusting after it), or acting in a particular way that just doesn't feel right, yet you continue to do it. Really, you say? Great - you are the person to whom I'm speaking in particular. Take the challenge and then write me to tell me why I'm wrong. Wanna play?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

P.S. Happy New Year! May 2014 bring you all the joy, love, laughter and prosperity you can accept!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Return to the Light

According to the old religion, at 12:11pm, EST, on December 21, the goddess will begin her journey from the underworld back to the light of day, eventually giving birth to spring in just a few short months. Trust me. If you’ve shoveled snow in the past week like we have you don’t care who brings spring, just as long as it comes!

Yule, or the winter solstice, brings the beginning of winter according to our modern-day calendar. But according to the original beliefs that brought us many of the observances during Christmas, the “winter season” actually began November 1. How can that be? The plants and animals know that winter is coming and prepare accordingly. They are not bound by arbitrary dates.

Part of the answer lies in the old fable of the ant and the grasshopper. The ant prepared for the future, but the grasshopper played and played and played, until the cold was upon them and he died due to lack of preparation.

Modern society can be a lot like the grasshopper. We aren’t willing here in the western world to deal with some pretty serious issues until it is either right in our face or hurts our wallets. Take being “green,” for example. I grew up in a part of California where water rationing, recycling and caring for the environment was second nature. That was over four decades ago. Only in the past decade has it been “cool” to be green. Now corporate executive are almost as concerned about the earth as us tree-hugging hippies were back in the 60s.

Our ancestors watched and learned from nature. Signs of winter have been with us for weeks, just as signs of spring come long before the snow melts or the calendar turns. We can benefit from watching our environment and remembering the old stories. The current story upon us is Yule. It indicates a time when light, or the hours of light, take over the darkness. It’s a great time of the year to look at the darkness in our own lives from which we need to be released.

Take a look at the shadows of your life as the winter solstice rolls around this weekend. Is there something under a rock nearby that you’ve been ignoring? Is there a relationship you need to heal or a physical situation that needs your attention? Have you been a wise steward of your finances or perhaps still feeling stuck in your job? Any myriad of things might be going on in your life, hidden in the shadows, skulking in the background.

Be willing this week to look closely at what might be in the dark corners of your life that is holding you back from being the magnificent creature you are. May your life unfold in light, love and joy as our planet begins its journey to the long days of summer.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Celebrating the Past

This past week we’ve had a most interesting example of how to let go of the past through celebration instead of mourning. News reports and videos showing the celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela by the South African people have inspired people around the world. But a few people in our American culture might have found the impromptu songs, dancing and almost party-like atmosphere to be unfamiliar, if not downright disrespectful. President Obama was highly criticized by the media for taking a “selfie” with British Prime Minister David Cameron and Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning Schmidt at the memorial. Why, they were SMILING at a memorial! How simply scandalous! Seriously?

As a rule in the United States funerals and memorials are more about sadness and loss, not celebration. Yes, “celebration of life” is a term that has been increasingly popular since the later part of the twentieth century, but for the most part funerals in our country can be pretty dismal. What makes President Mandela’s memorial and the actions of the South Africans so different?

A big factor is a willingness on the part of his people to let go and move on. Many of us were taught as children to revere the past in ways that are very unhealthy. That is not to say that we should ignore the past. The celebrations all over the world over the past week are evidence of how we can celebrate the amazing accomplishments of someone who is no longer among us. But dwelling on the past, usually with the intention of rehashing past pain and anguish about which we can do nothing is damaging to our spirit and our bodies. It also doesn’t make us the type of person who gets invited out a lot for other parties.

If we are honest about it, most of us still have regrets about the past. I discovered one of my own this week when I heard the United States Air Force band performing a flash mob with the USAF choir. I had a few pangs of regret that I was not able to serve my country as a young man. The Air Force would have been my first choice. I could have been in that band, or the choir, or started a career in the aviation industry as a pilot or flight attendant much sooner than I eventually did at age 45. But there is absolutely nothing I can do to change those events over 40 years ago that didn’t happen the way I’d have liked them to happen.

What are you still grieving about from your past? If you’re 58 and still pining about not being an Olympic ice skater you might want to get a grip. You can still go ice skating, but put down that bottle of Shiraz and stop whining.

What regrets are you willing to get over once and for all? Consider taking a deep breath and letting it go. Then celebrate all your blessings today! I did and I highly recommend it.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Twenty Shopping Days Till Christmas!

Yeah, Dr. T., like we really needed to hear that! Is that what you thought? Did your mind race to the shopping you may have left to do, or decorating that stills needs to be done, or perhaps even last minute travel arrangements to spend time over the holidays with loved ones?

Or, did a totally different scenario arise? You might be one of the people who love the holiday and just can’t wait for Christmas morning. You may be thinking about the joy of spending time surrounded by lights, decorations, festive food and holiday music.

Of course, you might practice a non-Christian tradition or religion that doesn’t include the celebration of Christmas, or an atheist that isn’t about to buy into the commercialism now associated with the supposed birth of a man whose father you don’t believe in.

Sure looks a lot different than a Hallmark commercials these days, doesn’t it? There are two ways to really look at this as far as I can see. One way is to enjoy the spirit of the Christmas season regardless of your personal beliefs about the holiday and endeavor to spread those feelings throughout the coming year. The other is to simply let go of anxiety about the holiday (whether that’s caused by shopping and/or financial concerns, or if you just can’t stomach one more jolly man in a bad Santa costume).

I invite you to decide now to have the rest of the month be the happiest and most magical time you’ve ever experienced. Not because people are saying that’s the way you should feel. But rather because you have the opportunity to do just that 365 days per year. We do not have to be affected by holidays, weather, rude drivers or the actions of politicians. We have the ability to affect change in our lives every day simply by making it our intention to do so.

I think I’m going to go about making this the happiest day in my life, being kind to everyone I meet and know that I am supported by the universe in having an amazing life. What will you make today into, as well as the twenty days left till Christmas?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Déjà Poo

Ever wonder why the same crappy things seem to happen over and over in your life? (Perhaps you’ve grown beyond and, if so, you can stop reading now, but please keep the rest of us in your thoughts and prayers!) Of course in our teaching we know that our experience is a direct result of our thoughts and beliefs, both conscious (objective) and subconscious (subjective). That doesn’t help matters when we’re in the thick of it, does it?

It also doesn’t have any warm fuzzy or empathetic result when some well-meaning friend reminds us that we are in charge of our own lives and asks why we created it. That makes me wonder what answer they come up with for deciding to let me slap them upside the head. I never would – of course! – but the thought has crossed my mind.

We will keep experiencing the same unpleasant situations and challenges until we decide to change our thinking about the situation. This may require examining the situation from a completely different angle, but change is necessary for us to progress in life.

But when does that happen? When do we finally move beyond long-standing issues that may have been plaguing us for years? There is no “one-size-fits-all” answer to those questions. One of my teachers put it this way:  “You will continue to repeat those situations in your life until such time as the pain of letting go is finally less than the pain of holding on.”

Another way to put it might be that we finally get sick and tired of being sick and tired. Something that doesn’t help is beating ourselves up over and over for once again creating debt in our lives or making less than stellar choices in choosing our partners. To move through life with ease and grace we must have humorous compassion for ourselves and others.

The French term déjà vu implies having seen or experienced something in the past that is now being re-created in the present. How about if we change that slightly for those crappy situations in our life to – wait for it! – déjà poo? We can smile and think, Wow, I’m up to my neck in it again!

By taking responsibility for our déjà poo we move from a victim covered in crud to an empowered spiritual being in charge of his or her life. Like everything, it’s a choice. We can keep doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results, and end up with yet another déjà poo experience. Or, we can choose again, deciding once and for all that whatever we are experiencing is something we are going through and beyond.

Be willing to laugh yourself right out of your troubles this week, then rinse and repeat!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Thursday, November 07, 2013

What’s All This About “Personal Empowerment?”

I thought this week I’d expand a bit on the idea of “personal empowerment.” In the past few weeks I’ve discussed how self-care is not selfish. I wrote about how making decisions that are right for us personally doesn’t mean we don’t love our family and friends if they disagree.

But what exactly is “personal empowerment?” In New Thought personal empowerment is God empowerment, since we are that which God is. To the evangelical Christian and Orthodox Muslim that might sound like heresy. Many people are taught not to rely on themselves, but rather only on God as that Supreme Power outside of us. Interestingly enough, as religious scientists we rely on ourselves first because we rely solely on God as our only Source. That may seem like a paradox, but in the unity of all creation it makes perfect sense.

We often hear the saying we are “one with God.” Unfortunately, being one with anything already implies a reunion of two or more entities healing a separation, which in true oneness can’t exist. English is perhaps one of the most difficult languages in which to express unity or the concept of oneness. Arabic poetry is some of the most beautifully intense writing I’ve encountered. I have a Lebanese friend who has opened my eyes to the beauty of expression in Arabic and I asked him if his language was any better than English. Unfortunately, in this case, Arabic is about as helpful as English! Here’s what my friend told me:

There is no expression in Arabic that I can think of at this moment that would not imply some sort of separation between God and his creation. Muslims do believe in the oneness of God, but they haven't used expressions that would show a unity between God and the universe. Sufis on the other hand are more daring, because they understand that oneness of God includes everyone and everything. They understand that they are the seed of God on earth - that they are actually God. They know there is no separation between what we call God and the universe in its entirety.

There is definitely a sense of separation when someone says, “I am one with God.” But this separation can be removed once someone says, “I am God.” Unfortunately though, most people are afraid of saying such a statement and that's mainly because they are unaware of who they are. In Arabic, there is a story of a Sufi mystic who once said, “I am the truth/Ana Al-hak,” and Truth is one of the 99 names of God in Islam. Orthodox Muslims misunderstood what he was saying, so he was condemned to death. Sufis believe in the concept of “Al Fanaa” which is the death of one’s ego and/or self so that nothing remains but God. When the Sufi mystic said, “I am the truth,” he was simply saying, “I as a self don’t exist - Only God does.”

The words we use in our everyday life, our prayers and our meditations have whatever power we decide to give them. Like a talisman, our words become imbued with the power we assign to them. We can decide to use our own words and thoughts to empower ourselves to higher and better expressions of ourselves. In doing so, our power can never be taken from us because it comes from within, not from some outside source.

Take time this week to feel the unity you share with all creation, rather than seeing the separation and differences the media and society in general wants us to embrace. Understand that this unity of life provides the basis to know the power you may seek must come from within. Then, use whatever words work for you to express to others the peace you feel inside to make your world a more loving place to be.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

P.S.  My friend also sent a link to “In Every Tear, He is There,” by British-Iranian singer/songwritier Sami Yusuf, that you might also enjoy as part of this discussion.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Blessed and Highly Favored

I walked into a business not long ago, smiled and asked the clerk how she was. “OH! God! ISN’T it a miserable day!” I thought, Gee, I know there are a few things I’d working on changing in my life, but it just seemed like a normal, brisk, somewhat cloudy, south central Pennsylvania, fall-like....uh...day.

As I left, she said, “Isn't this just awful?!? Everything else is wrong and now it’s raining to boot!” I looked at her and said, “Actually, I'm feeling pretty good. I was thinking about wearing my leather coat out today because it was so chilly, but then had a senior moment and forgot it. If I’d remembered to wear that coat, the rain would have made a mess of it!”

Her response was a blank stare. The Eeyores of the world just hate it when faced with happiness in the midst of their “drama-du-jour.” Okay, so I’m not always Pollyanna, but I’d sure rather be a little over-the-top-too-happy instead of finding a dark cloud in every blue sky. Sheesh!

I have a standard reply when I’m asked how I am:  “Blessed and highly favored.” My dear friend, Cindy, reminded me recently how comments like that just make her want to slap the snot out of people like me. Point well taken…and she would, too! I can’t take credit for that saying. It’s something I picked up in the south when I lived in Georgia. A southern boy I knew said it was something his grandmother always said without fail. She never complained about anything. She just counted her blessings and knew she was favored by God.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t recognize the problems in the world, our country, our community or our own lives. But recognizing them and spending a good deal of time lamenting them while we are unwilling to do anything about changing our situation is counterproductive. It also makes us really unpleasant to be around.

We are blessed to have the good in our lives. We are favored by a Universal Consciousness that knows only how to give. The trick is to open to that abundance and utilize it to the best of our abilities. You know the old saying, “If life gives you lemons, for heaven’s sake slice one up and plop it into a lemon drop martini”…or something like that. You get the idea.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Dr. Terry

Saturday, October 26, 2013

What Really Matters

There is so much going around me in my world. I suppose the blessing is that most of it is going around me and not going through me. It reminds me of how a common phrase in Christianity to “be in the world, but not of it” can have application in our lives. How does that work?

Part of the ability to stay focused and centered in the midst of chaos is dependent upon the foundation by which we live. I have a wide variety of spiritual interests, but the foundation allowing me this peace of mind about which I speak is the Science of Mind philosophy created by Ernest Holmes. That foundation provides the means to anchor me to a higher truth. When world events or family disputes arise it allows me to be centered.

The way I maintain my center is not the way you may maintain yours. Perhaps you are a practicing Roman Catholic, Buddhist, Jew or Muslim. Is that your center, your true foundation? It may be, or it may not be. Often people revert back to the religion or spiritual practice of their youth when faced with opposition or tragedy. But what if we no longer subscribe to that belief system?

Each week in my blog I offer you a question to ponder or a challenge to undertake should you desire to do so. This week is no different. I challenge you this week to define the foundation by which you live that will allow you peace of mind in the turmoil of our current events. Don’t be too quick with your answer. Take some time and really think about the principles by which you live. The final answer may surprise you.

Are you feeling the effect of the government shutdown as evidenced by your worrying about the future? Have you allowed the government, the congress, a political party or particular politicians to decide for you what kind of a day you will have, or if you will get a good night’s rest? If your belief system is built on a firm foundation you will not be so moved.

If not, you will find yourself thrown about like a small boat on the rough sea. But before you can answer those questions you must determine exactly what it is you have based your life upon. What are your guiding principles? What is the source of your strength in times of need?

Find that, believe in that, remember that, and call upon that and you will never again feel at the whim of others.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Self Care is not Selfish

Do you find it difficult to address your own needs? I know a woman who is a wonderful mother and homemaker, but she seldom takes time for herself. An executive I know works long hours during the week yet spends most of the weekend arranging meetings for the following week – evidenced by the deluge of emails received by her subordinates on Monday morning.

I’m not sure if we neglect our own needs from time-to-time because we live in a society that is constantly busy or if perhaps it might have something to do with the ideal of Christian martyrdom being a quality for which we should strive. The reason, in actuality, is irrelevant since constantly doing for others and neglecting ourselves is unhealthy.

As with so many other issues in life this situation requires that we find balance. I’ve recently returned to the practice of tithing my time and talent, in addition to the regular financial tithing that has been a part of life for almost three decades. Tithing of your time is giving back to … wait for it … take deep breath … ready? … YOU!

When we tithe our time it means we slice out a regular amount of time to renew ourselves. It includes taking care of our own needs through study, meditation, prayer treatment work, exercise and play, to name just a few ways. If you’re anything like me you might find yourself so enjoying playing at your work that it somehow gets to be midday or early afternoon when you discover you forgot to eat breakfast. When you are living your bliss that can happen, but it still isn’t in our best interest to forget to eat!

Here’s another example. I’m the only one in my family who enjoys a strong cup of coffee. Half-caf and weak coffee just doesn’t cut it. So instead of bowing to the majority or forcing them to water down the pot I’d like, I’ve started using the French press my friend, Bobbie, gave me years ago. It takes more time, but it’s time for ME that I’m spending doing something special for myself. Get the picture?

We must take care of ourselves. What that means for each if us individually is unique to our lifestyle and needs. Whatever it is we need to do doesn’t translate into selfishness. I can remember working hard all day long – not a tedious thing since I enjoy my work – and deciding about four o’clock in the afternoon to have a cup of tea and watch a program I’d recorded. I’d just sat down when a family member came home, saw me with my feet up and the TV on and exclaimed, “WOW! I wish I could stay home all day, watch TV and eat bon bons!”

My answer, which wasn’t at all appreciated was, “And, my love, when you decide to set your life up to do that you’ll enjoy it just as much as I do!” You can’t let guilt prodders ruin your “me” time. Do yourself a favor this week and carve out at least a half hour every day to practice and enjoy some self care. You return rejuvenated and even more available to care for others.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Taking a Human Holiday

I read a prayer treatment this week in which Rev. George E. Honn, III used an interesting phrase I’d never thought about. He was referring to our lives on this planet and phrased it this way:  “[We are] Spirit taking a human holiday.”

I don’t know about you, but at times my life can feel about as far from a “holiday” as I can imagine. I greatly appreciate the life I have created for myself and find that I am happier today than ever before in my life. Still, there are “days.” Acknowledging our responsibility in setting up events in our lives to play out in response to the choices and decisions we’ve made in the recent or distant past doesn’t mean we have to like the results.

That’s why Rev. George’s statement rung true for me. Life is eternal. There is no past and no future in the universal scheme of things. Past, present and future are linear time concepts we have become accustomed to in our human existence. The eternality of life is not constrained by linear thinking. During those times in our lives that are shall we say “less than stellar,” we can find a certain amount of comfort in knowing that the situation, as well as our time on this planet and in these bodies, is quite temporary…just like a vacation.

In the same way we return home from a physical vacation, so will our consciousness one day return to the awareness of the at-one-ment of our being with all life. However, rather than expect this as some reward for “time served” as a human, we can appreciate the Truth of this eventuality today. We can be confident that our problems, issues, concerns and worries are not the end of the world. They are simply tools to more fully help us understand how powerful we really are.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Tuesday, September 24, 2013


If someone would come up to you right now and ask, “Do you believe you are a person of integrity,” what would you say? I can’t think of anyone I know who wouldn’t answer “yes.” We might pause a bit (“Is this a trick question?”), or wonder what the reason was behind the query (“Do you know something I don’t?”), but I daresay most of us would proudly answer in the affirmative. We might even add a little high-bustled, righteous indignation into the tone of our answer.

And, we’d be lying.

Okay, maybe YOU wouldn’t, but I would be. I’m out of integrity every day in some way. Yes, I sincerely intend to act with integrity in all my dealings with others. When I am told something in confidence I accept that I am honor-bound to keep that information private. But there have been times in my life in which I’ve been guilty of letting something slip that I shouldn’t have.

Like I said, I’m sure you don’t have similar experiences in your life, right? I didn’t think so. Therefore, allow me to further confess my shortcomings to you. I’ve been actively doing my best to live in integrity for many years. What I’ve discovered about keeping my word and my commitments is something I find interesting. It seems I can keep my promises and act in integrity toward others far better than I do in keeping the commitments I make to myself.

Why is that? I believe it goes back to a Judeo-Christian belief of doing for others before me. In fact, as I become more aware of taking better care of myself I find there can be just a twinge, maybe a little more than a twinge at times, of guilt that I’m asserting myself for my own spiritual, mental, emotional or physical health. Also interesting is that the more I act in integrity the less guilt I feel. No, it isn’t just because I’m doing the right thing, though that’s part of it. This feeling occurs when we act from a foundation of truth and love, not from a base of spite, anger or sense of entitlement at the expense of others.

Living life to the fullest is an inside job. Please take care of yourself. There is no person, place, thing or organization that is going to wave a magick wand to “fix” your life. We are each and every one of us experiencing exactly the life we have created. If you are happy with your life then enjoy every second. If what you see in front of you is no longer desirable, consider taking a close look at what part integrity plays in your life. We may not like what we see. But if we accept that we had the power to create our own experience we also have the power to change that same experience.

When we are true to ourselves being true to others is far more natural. Give it a shot this week. Be true to yourself. Be authentic. Be YOU – there’s only one of you. That person is special, unique and precious. The rest of us are waiting with earnest anticipation to experience the wondrous person you have been hiding!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Seeking to Understand

Recently I came into contact with a man who claimed to be an experienced school counselor. The reason I became aware of him was because of an incident where he showed extreme judgment in a situation with students at the high school level. As a licensed social worker, my professional opinion was sought out to address his behavior. Sadly, when he should have been, by professional standards and ethics, a pillar of non-judgment and tolerance, if not acceptance, he chose the path of being adamantly judgmental.

This got me to thinking about the many events in which we are involved every day when we have a blank stare on our face because we truly do not understand the actions of others. On a global level we see this in the actions of governments, political parties, organizations and groups. “I just don’t understand how anyone could…” is something most of us have uttered at some point in our lives.

We all want to be understood. I know I’ve been guilty of putting my mouth into motion before putting my brain into gear. The result has been a “runaway idea” that would have been left in the mental garage, parked safely out of everyone’s sight. What may have come out of my mouth was probably the truth (at least as I saw it at the time), but the delivery was far less than stellar.

“I just don’t understand…” only promotes less understanding. I believe that there is just one consciousness in the universe and that we are all, in our individual ways, included in that oneness. That’s quantum physics, so if you disagree please don’t blame it on religion or spirituality. Take your objections to the physicists and scientists who can debate it with you. Assuming there is a collective, universal and timeless consciousness (what some mystery schools refer to as the “Akashic Records”), then everything is known…somewhere.

From the human level I know have, and will in the future, come into contact with someone whose views are diametrically opposed to mine. I can choose to fight an offensive battle to prove myself right, or I can set aside my beliefs (and even my morals and ethics for the moment) to truly understand the other point of view. My mother taught me that if my beliefs cannot withstand the test of fire then perhaps they aren’t as concrete or reliable as I might think. It’s another amazing principle she taught me and by which I live my life on a daily basis.

Any professional counselor or minister doing his/her job must maintain a neutral and non-judgmental approach to helping others. It’s not a bad way for any of us to work through situations we encounter every day. Perhaps we can each take that method to heart the next time we are faced with beliefs, attitudes or actions for which we can find no explanation. If we seek to understand, rather than seeking to be understood, we just might learn something. At any rate, there should be a little less anxious or angry confusion in our lives. And, hopefully, a lot more peace of mind for all concerned.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Being Recalcitrant

Most of us have resisted change or a request from someone in our life at some point – like last week or maybe yesterday or maybe five minutes ago. The truth is, humans overall tend to resist, rather than embrace, change. Now, a little resistance can be helpful if we need to think things through or wrap our brains around a new idea. But, how long do we need to stay there gathering evidence that we don’t have to change our thinking or actions?

Being recalcitrant in our thinking or actions adds a completely different level altogether to the decision-making process. Recalcitrance is stubborn resistance or just being difficult – usually when there is no other reason than we’re just being stubborn. It’s when our inner brat starts acting out spurred on by our overbearing ego and we do absolutely nothing to stop it. We and our ideas are stuck in mental concrete while at the same time kicking and screaming.

There are times, however, when we may need to be recalcitrant. For example, what if your 16-year-old daughter wants to take a two-week road trip across country in a van full of senior college boys? Yeah, I’d be a little recalcitrant myself. I’d probably be VERY stubborn, saying “NO!” and meaning it without any further discussion. But that’s a pretty drastic example. How can recalcitrance show up in our daily lives?

A teacher of mine often says, “I am not moved by appearances. Therefore, appearances move for me.” I believe that, but when I wacked my head into a rafter in the attic last week, nearly losing consciousness and having to deal for the next week with a mild concussion, dizziness and nausea, I must admit I became a little skeptical. That rafter was way more than an “appearance” and it had no intention of moving.

I’m actually grateful that. If the rafters in the house moved from time-to-time, keeping the roof from leaking would be rather difficult, so I can see the advantage of being immoveable in this case. But how many ideas, situations and relationships do we have in our lives that require that much rigidity? Probably a lot fewer than we’d like to admit. Yet we still continue banging our heads against issues that can’t be resolved because we’re doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

If there’s a problem or person that has been plaguing you for a long time would you be willing to take a deep breath this week, step back and see if going over, around or under the situation might work better than banging your head against a rafter? Or, perhaps a good dose of acceptance and flexibility might be helpful? Just a thought – give it a try!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

P.S. Yes, there was an amusing (in retrospect) metaphysical meaning to my incident. No, you don’t get to know, but suffice it to say I’m not going to venture back into the attic without a hard hat anytime soon.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Milestones or Millstones?

I’m thinking about milestones today since this week I’m celebrating 20 years of being a minister of Religious Science. Not-so-coincidently, our Center for Spiritual Living here will also re-open this week with its first Sunday Spiritual Community service. I like to give myself presents and thought that would be pretty good one!

The Center here in the Cumberland Valley will be the second one I’ve founded (the first being what is now Center for Spiritual Living Pittsburgh South) and the third organization for which I have been the spiritual leader. People often ask me exactly what is it that makes our Centers different than mainstream churches or other spiritual communities. For that answer I always turn to the source.

When asked to describe our teaching in 25 words, the founder of our movement, Dr. Ernest S. Holmes, wrote this:  “Religious Science is a synthesis of laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelation of religion applied to human needs and the aspirations of [humanity].” (Okay, I know Holmes wrote “man” at the end, but it was the 50s so cut him some slack.)

I think this is still the best definition of the teaching upon which I live my life. However, the one thing about milestones is that, in our reflection of how far we’ve come, we can start criticizing ourselves about why we haven’t come farther along the course we’ve set. When this happens milestones become “millstones.”

Do you know how heavy a millstone is? Depends on the mill, actually – yes, I looked it up – but even the small ones can weigh over one hundred pounds. The “millstone around the neck” analogy comes from one of the gospels (Luke 17:2, if you must know) in which Jesus is recorded as telling his followers that it would be more advantageous for a person who has intentionally caused harm to another to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied to him. Thought I’d do a little background for you since most of us aren’t picking our flour up at the mill these days and haven’t seen a millstone in a while. Some of us aren’t picking it up at all since so many of us have found going gluten-free causes less gas, but that’s a whole other topic.

The analogy is a little harsh, but I think Jesus made his point. We can’t be dragging the millstones of our past into today and expect to have a lighter future – fade in video clip of man sinking to the bottom of the ocean with a rock attached. Sure, if I could have a “do over” of the last 20 years I’d do a few things differently. I’d have not dated that “psycho-boyfriend-from-hell” last decade, that’s for sure. I’ll wager that you would change up a couple things as well. But overall I wouldn’t change most of my life. I believe very strongly that the beliefs by which I live coupled with the most amazingly transformational technique I’ve found, called spiritual mind treatment – a form of affirmative prayer – is the reason I’m quite satisfied with where I am and where I’ve come from.

This stuff works. Everyone deserves to be happy, marry the one we love, have a great career and not worry about health or finances. Our teaching can show you how. Take a look this week at what’s holding you back from having a life truly worth living, one without constant aches and pains, depression, regret, sadness or anger on a daily basis. You’ve suffered long enough. Are you willing to try something else?

See you next Thursday – or perhaps this Sunday?

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Moving Forward

In the past few decades it’s become increasingly important to be politically correct. It seems to be crucial for organizations and those of us in the public eye, but even as individuals it can to be a problem if we use the wrong term in some circles. Just how politically correct should we be?

I’ve talked about my dear friend, Melissa, on other occasions. Her ethnic background is Bahamian and Irish. An older white man once approached her in line at a store and told her she was “very beautiful for a black girl.” Melissa was speechless. I don’t recall that she answered him at all, but by the time she got to the car she was livid. It was a situation that has all sorts of innuendos, as well as some real gems of realizations. Melissa was faced with a backhanded compliment from one point of view, but in thinking about it in another way she was able to open up a whole new concept to this man. The exchange was tragic, impactful, irritating and amazing all at once. Life can be that way.

I chose to share this with you because our prejudice and biases can so easily slip into our lives and daily conversation. I don’t particularly care to be referred to as “that gay guy who wears the bright shirts on Sunday,” but there you have it. I went out to lunch with my friend, Simon, the other day wearing a bright turquoise shirt and black jeans. Simon, who incidentally is straight, had on black slacks and the brightest hot pink shirt I think I’ve ever seen. Either one of us could have been accused of being battery-operated. The only thing our shirts didn’t do was blink on and off. Would he have been described as that “straight guy who wears bright shirts?” I think not, but you get the point. So if he wears color he’s daring and out there? But if I do it is it just because I’m gay? (I guess not since I have plenty of gay male friends who favor earth tones, and that doesn’t make them straight!)

Ernest Holmes taught us to acknowledge the situation without sugar-coating it. He then went on to show us how to see the Truth that the situation, meaning an undesirable situation or attitude, need not continue. If we are constantly calling attention to our differences through politically correct speech that amplifies our dissimilarities then aren’t we still looking at the differences?

So how do we change our perceptions of ourselves and others? One way was suggested by Morgan Freeman. If you follow our Center on Facebook you’ll remember his quote and picture that I posted last week. He said, “How do we stop racism? Stop talking about it. I’m going to stop calling you a white man, and I’m going to ask you to stop calling me a black man.” (http://www.facebook.com/cslcv/)

I think we have to temper this with the understanding that we still need out gay people who aren’t afraid to say they’re gay (even if they may mean being arrested at the Sochi Games in 2014), as well as successful black men providing alternatives to negative stereotypes. And, there are plenty of other groups who want to be perceived more for who they are than what people expect them to be. Again, it comes with balance and really acknowledging the situation. It makes sense to ask ourselves, What will increase our experience of love, of peace, of tolerance and of acceptance? Just how attached are we to our labels that make us special and different while screaming for equality?

Forgive me for throwing an awful lot at you this week. It’s one of those blogs that I hope will make you think about the complexity of the society we’ve created. I’m a minister, counselor and teacher. I suppose if you need to know if I’m having a relationship with a male, a female, both or neither, then I’m sure that will come up. Otherwise, is it really relevant? It may be to some people, but more and more it makes no difference to me one way or the other. I used to say I’m not a gay minister; I’m a minister who’s gay. I needed you to understand how they are two different things. I don’t feel that way anymore.

I think I’ll just start being “just me” more and more and more without adjectives. If you want to know something about me just ask. I’ll probably tell you, or let you know I don’t think it’s any of your business. Be prepared for either and you will be neither offended nor disappointed. Along with my newly found identity, how about if I stop referring to you as my Asian friend, or my younger lover, or my retired minister, or my aging mother, or my what-the-heck-else. How about if I see you as the amazing, unique, dynamic and precious Light that you are? You can do the same for me, if you want!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"It's All Good!"

When we take responsibility for our life, I mean ALL of our life, we can easily slip into judging ourselves or wondering why we caused the current hot mess we’ve once again gotten ourselves stuck in. That’s when one of our well-meaning friends may say, “Don’t worry about it. It’s all good!”

Seriously? It’s all “good?” Tell that to the person who’s just been raped. Tell that to the person whose son has just been killed by a drunk driver. Tell that to the child whose beloved pet has just died. It’s not kind, it’s not loving and beyond that IT IS NOT TRUE! This kind of “everything is just wonderful” is what I call “pink cloud metaphysics.” Basically the person is so damn metaphysically high they are no earthly good to themselves or anyone else.

The co-founder of the Unity movement, Myrtle Fillmore, was told by doctors there was nothing to be done for her and she would die from her illness. But Myrtle heard a lecture on the power of prayer and how changing her thinking could impact her life. She began to study metaphysical principles in earnest, absorbing all she could read. She spent over two years sitting in a chair every day until she was well. She prayed and talked to Jesus, whom she visualized across from her in the empty chair. She lived many, many more years, much to the surprise of her doctors.

Now, if her condition, tuberculosis, was “all good” then why didn’t she just accept it and die like she was expected to? Today why do we treat or pray for anything if “it’s all good?” Why don’t WE just accept the disease, tragedy or problem as the way things are and go on the best we can?

That’s because it really isn’t “all good.” It never has been. Sure, somewhere down the road we often find a blessing in the most awful circumstances, or see how something good came out of loss. But the situation isn’t “good” or “bad” and this is why:  It simply “is.”

We decide what is bad and good in our lives. Situations are simply there and then we label them. Some people seem to think that making everything “good” will make it all better. It doesn’t. It ignores the pain we are going through. It relegates our feelings to being wrong. It does, however, accomplish one thing. It allows the person saying it to ignore the facts and maintain some kind of holier-than-thou attitude because they think this makes them spiritual.

Ernest Holmes never allowed the facts to outweigh the Truth of any situation. When we say “It’s all good” what we are really saying is, “I don’t want to face the facts” or “I don’t know how to fix this.” When painful situations occur our job is to lovingly support the person through the experience, or allow ourselves to be supported. Rather than having a plastered-on Cheshire Cat grin, why not simply ask the person how we can support them? There is nothing for us to fix anyway. We are here to love one another and know the Truth. That Truth states that we can change our experience should we choose to do so.

In Religious Science we do not deny the condition. We acknowledge the situation, deny the necessity of it to continue and move to the Truth and healing. Ignoring the facts doesn’t make them go away, but neither does dwelling on them. In Truth, as Dr. Holmes once said, there is really nothing to be healed, only something to be revealed. Allow Spirit to move through you and reveal the Truth of whatever situation is currently vexing you. Then, in assured expectation, know that you are at peace. If you find you can use some assistance, please contact the Center. Our newly licensed practitioner, Sharri Johnson (Grandma Sharri) and I will be happy to support you through spiritual mind treatment!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Friday, August 09, 2013

Muddy Waters

There seems to be quite a bit of “muddy water” going around. According to some people in our news media all Muslims are terrorists; yet according to a recent report, most acts of terror in America were perpetuated by white, racist organizations who claim to be Christians. The issue of Russia’s recent laws against gays and lesbians has caused enormous controversy with regard to the Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014; while the International Olympic Committee is being criticized for reminding our gay and lesbian athletes that any political statement (e.g., waving a rainbow flag) is prohibited until IOC regulations (the punishment being ousted from the Games), some of the warnings are no different from those given in 2008 for the Beijing Games due to possibly upsetting the Chinese goverment.

People are still arguing both sides of the Zimmerman case…well, at least some people. Many of us have gone on to the next “issue-du-jour” because new upsets are ever so more juicy and intriguing than some problems we been droning over for weeks. Wow…talk about a can of worms! So what’s a religious scientist like myself to do?!?

The answer, of course, is easy. That’s one of the benefits and joys of our teaching – the answer to every question is the same:  Treat. Yep, good, old fashion Science of Mind prayer treatment that does one very, very special thing. No, it’s not a plea to an invisible old man in the sky who might (IF he’s not having a bad hair day) grant our wish. No, it is quite the opposite. Our treatments do NOTHING to God, or the Universe or Spirit, if you prefer.

Treatment changes our consciousness, our perception of the apparent problem, injustice or inequity. Doing that moves us toward understanding in solution. The answers may present choices we don’t want to make. I don’t know about you, but I’m certainly glad I didn’t have to be on the jury for George Zimmerman, given all the facts that were reported by the media in spite of so much other very different information that was never revealed or used in the courtroom. At the same time I empathize with the plight of gay men and women athletes who have trained for years and given up any semblance of a personal or social life and now must decide whether to risk arrest or worse just to compete in the Winter Games.

These events (and so, so many more … I left out all the wars, women’s rights, global warming, gun control…etc, etc, etc) can do one of two things. They can put us in a state of immobility or reaction due to fear, anger, outrage or terror. Or, they can be an opportunity for healing and positive action. For that to happen we must first clean out our own consciousness. Scripture encourages us to take the rafter out of our own eye before attempting to remove the splinter from our brother’s eye. My spiritual grandmother, Helen, says it another way:  “You can’t get clean water out of a polluted pipe.”

We have the power to make a difference, but pointing our fingers at others is not going to do anything except perhaps make us feel justified in our high-bustle and self-righteous indignation. Let’s make Grandma Helen happy and make sure worrying about all the problems in the world isn’t just a good excuse for ignoring what we really need to do:  Give our own pipes a good cleaning out.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Simple, Not Easy?

Simple, Not Easy?

Ernest Holmes taught us that changing our thinking changes our life. Not might. Not could. It does. Why? Because everything we experience begins with a thought. You are reading this blog because you made a consciousness, non-verbal decision to click on a link. Or perhaps you made a choice recently or sometime in the past to follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Either way, you’re not here by accident or some divine providence. You made a decision.

Deciding to change our thinking about anything is the first step to acceptance or at the very least tolerance. It seems very simple. And you know what? It is! Then why don’t more people do it? Why don’t the entire seven billion plus people on our planet simply make the choice to follow their dreams, dance like nobody’s watching and be their authentic selves?

Judgment. We judge ourselves. We judge each other. We fret and sweat about how other people have, do or might judge us. The universal principle of cause and effect is not complicated, but all the anxiety we put ourselves through would certainly make people think so. We, not God or someone else, make it hard. We take something that is simple and create a situation that is not easy.

I just watched Brandon Blinn’s award-winning film, “Thirteen or so Minutes…” It’s about two men who find themselves attracted to each other. I mean really attracted to each other. Nothing remarkable about that today and certainly not in my world, but there’s a slight twist. They’ve both been heterosexual their entire lives. It’s a short, poignant look at how we pigeon-hole ourselves into strict labeling of every part of our lives, including our ability to form intimate relationships.

I strongly believe straight men in our society are sometimes so horrified that they might be perceived as being gay that they often stop themselves of expressing even the slightest bit of emotion or caring for another man. That’s a pretty blanket statement, I realize, and I know plenty of straight men who are confident enough in their masculinity and sexual orientation to know that hugging, holding or kissing another man doesn’t make you gay. At one time I had absolutely NO straight male friends. Now I count many with whom I share my life and you might well be one of them. But as a rule in our country I stand by my statement. Study after study of gay bashing perpetrators has come to prove that the majority of them are repressing their own sexuality. There is obviously a problem that goes unaddressed daily.

I’m using the film and this issue to show just how easily we deny ourselves the very things we desire because it doesn’t fit our pictures. We want to go on a trip, but refuse to let a friend pay our way because we would feel pathetic. We ask for the perfect job, but turn it down because we’d have to move. We want to lose weight and even belong to a gym, but do nothing about it because it’s too far to drive, too hot and humid today, or too much trouble since we’re fat anyway…where DID all those lemon Oreos go to?

I just got home from the grocery store and spent five minutes communing with the most beautiful black butterfly with blue spots. I didn’t even know we had those in our part of the country. S/He apparently needed a rest on the fountain outside our front door and was quite content to have me watch the action of folding and unfold its wings. Beautiful. If I have exactly four more days to finish a very long “To Do” list before I leave on a ten-day trip to the Center for Spiritual Living Asilomar Conference just south of Monterey, California, in addition to managing the house this Friday for Voice United 8, the choral concert that kicks off Central PA Pride this weekend. If I’d thought about my chores and errands I would have never experienced the joy of just marveling at beauty. An added benefit was that afterwards I was so much more relaxed.

Go offline. Read your email just once or twice a day. Start enjoying life now, because “now” is all we really have. Today open up to experience life without expectation and without judgment. It really is that simple. Stop making it so hard.

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,


Friday, July 19, 2013

Whose Hero Are You?

Bonnie Tyler’s song, “I Need a Hero,” was made popular as part of the soundtrack for the original “Footloose” movie. It also was blaring in every bar and disco I frequented at a time in my life that I was awake more at night than in the daytime. Or, if you’re younger than me you might remember the wicked stepmother singing an altered version of it in “Shrek II.” Here’s the first part of the original song:

Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the Gods?
Where's the street-wise Hercules
To fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need

Many of us have grown up believing in a God or power of some kind (even if it was a guardian angel or fairy godmother) that can swoop down and make everything better. That entity would give us exactly what we wanted and perhaps, just for added measure, even make a few people who had stood in our way pay for getting in our way.

Ah – sigh – the ignorant bliss of thinking that someone else is in charge of our lives! We make our ministers, our politicians, our entertainers and our sports celebrities into our heroes. These are usually people whom we think have gone beyond where we are in spirituality, celebrity, wealth, happiness or have a smokin’ bod. We put these people up on pedestals, often not as a goal to attain or exceed, but as a status unattainable to us. For the smokin’ bod types we also forget their jobs are to be in the gym six hours a day, seven days a week, along with a personal trainer and chef to be able to maintain cut arms and chiseled abs. Minor detail.

There are no white knights swooping into to slay our dragons and rescue us like we are some helpless damsel in distress. Speaking on behalf of myself – and a few other gay men I know – I have been both white knight (on far too many occasions) and damsel in distress (a pathetic state of being if you ask me). Neither is terribly gratifying. Oh sure, it’s a tremendous ego boost to solve someone else’s problems, make things all better and kiss their boo-boos, until you realize you’ve created a co-dependent slug who expects you to do everything for them.

The damsel in distress role isn’t what it’s cracked up to be either. Who wants to be dependent on another person for everything? If we give someone the power to make us happy we also give them the power to make us sad. Even Disney has finally figured out that the princess is no longer helpless, though for the most part the female lead eventually hooks up with a male counterpart. That’s partly because of the antiquated idea in our society that you have to be in a relationship to be happy, but I’ll deal with that next week.

You don’t need a hero in your life, at least in the sense of someone who will take away your problems. Mentors? Sure. How about a trained practitioner to treat with you about your issues and goals through the unique and wonderful process of spiritual mind treatment? Absolutely if you want results! But a hero? Nah. You’re so way beyond that. However, if you really still feel you need one, try your bathroom mirror. Awesome!

You are completely, 100 percent capable of making your own decisions and charting your own course. You are a unique, magnificent creature. We are waiting in breathless anticipated and baited breath to find out what completely fabulous thing you are going to do next. We know you won’t disappoint. In fact, you are going to completely knock our socks off!

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,

Thursday, June 27, 2013



Such a huge day yesterday in the forward movement of our country as the Supreme Court of the United States moves us closer to marriage equality! Not everyone is pleased - we've seen that before in civil rights issues, so no surprise. In fact, here's the official statement from the Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg on the Court's decisions:  "Everyone should be treated equally, but it is not discrimination to treat differently things that are different. The difference is the difference." That's one of those "WTF?" moments, meaning, of course, "Where's the Faith?"....ahem.

Yes, we still have work to be done. (The lead story yesterday in The Sentinel  was on the theft of a garden gnome - clearly we have work ahead in Central PA!) What lies ahead for each of us depends on how we want our lives to unfold. In other words in our teaching, business as usual! We are not surprised to see this sweeping change toward equal rights in our country, or the world for that matter. We have worked hard to open the doors of our Centers and the closed mind of the bigoted. Not to downplay the excitement and joy, but seriously...if we didn't expect success then why did we treat or pray in the first place? Celebrate that we have this manifestation? You bet! Rejoice and make plans for future weddings (or begin taking applications, as two of minster friends have started doing!). Of course! But be "surprised?" No, not for those in our teaching. Besides the celebrations and fireworks we rest in the peace of knowing that Divine Right Action takes place for everything, not just the "big stuff."
You see, that's what faith is all about. It's easy to get caught up in the realization of the possibilities and acknowledgement of all couples through the decisions of the Supreme Court. I certainly did. As I read through Facebook posting after Facebook posting I was bawling like a baby. But we must stay focused on equality for all people. Along this line I want to acknowledge the work in New Thought that has already been done.

In 1995, Unity Worldwide Ministries (The Association of Unity Churches) created a diversity statement for the organization. I am told by ministers involved at the time that there was a lot of discussion and not just a little dissent in the member churches, but the organization as a whole accepted the statement and proceeded accordingly. Today Unity churches are still some of the most welcoming to our diverse population.

Two other examples exist within our own organization, Centers for Spiritual Living. Almost immediately after the Court's decisions were handed down yesterday our current Spiritual Leader for the organization, the Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon, issued the following press release:

"Everyone is equal in the eyes of God. Marriage equality is a basic human right, This is a spiritual question, not a political one. Today's U.S. Supreme Court decisions are important steps toward the ultimate goal of full marriage equality. It is inane for us to put laws forward in our social contract like marriage and say it is OK for some but not for everyone. Everyone is equal in the eyes of God. We believe that love is the foundation of all major religious philosophies, and therefore we support the expression of love in same-sex couples and the right of same-sex couples to marry. Religious Science endeavors to get to the spiritual truth of the matter and through that lens we see that marriage equality is about human and civil rights. It is not up to a court to deny basic human rights to anyone." 

Long before it was popular, the former president of our organization (then Religious Science International), the Rev. Dr. Arleen Bump stood up for marriage equality. My late partner, Frank, and I were honored to be the first gay couple for whom she performed a union ceremony. It was held in our church, then the Glendale Church of Religious Science, and she performed the ceremony in full doctoral robe and hood in honor of my ministerial path and for the relationship. The year was 1993. Her actions were significant and provocative according to some in the organization at the time. More than a few ministers raised an eyebrow and their objections - oddly enough, most of them were gay themselves. It wasn't a legal union, but she fearlessly upheld the sanctity of our relationship by refusing to cave to any protests. I honor Dr. Arleen today for being a leader in supporting marriage equality for over two decades.

So where do we go from here? It may not be a "we" - it might be an "I", or an "us." We don't need societal approval to work toward the goals we desire or to live our lives as we choose. This week marks a major transition in my life as I leave Unity of Harrisburg as their spiritual leader and begin making the necessary preparations to build our Center for Spiritual Living Cumberland Valley. I have made many dear friends at the church and throughout the Unity movement. It is my hope once our Center is more fully established that Unity of Harrisburg, Unity Church of Palmyra, Unity of Lehigh Valley and our Center will form our own local "New Thought Alliance" in bringing our unique New Thought principles to the people in south central Pennsylvania. Here we grow again! 

In Spirit, Truth and Playfulness,