Home AgainPosted: March 24, 2014
I went to church yesterday after a six month absence. It was wonderful because I felt well enough, Rev. Debby’s talk was fantastic, my new wheelchair made it easy, I had good helpers, the music was marvelous, people were truly glad to see me, the room was packed with new people and ideas, and the room was packed with old friends and memories.
True, three days after I was dismissed from Rehab, I went to church to participate in the Memorial Service of a dear friend and long-time member of the Center. But it wasn’t a Sunday service and it was definitely a labor of love on my part.
I hadn’t attended a regular Sunday service in my church since October until yesterday, so it was a memorable event. I was truly thrilled to be there. This return was like picking up a good habit again. Have you stopped ever going to gym for a while and returned? Or reading good novels and started again?
I’ve kept up my spiritual practice and prayed with ministers, practitioners and friends so I didn’t feel out of touch. However, there really is something magical about all that loving energy coming together in one room. The glow from people’s faces truly warmed my heart. I was welcomed so enthusiastically that it was like a celebration for me but I think our Sundays are always magical. In fact, I think any church,temple, mosque, or center, where Love is taught and expressed is magical.
God doesn’t just live in church. God lives within each of us. We call this the Christ Consciousness. To know that we are one with God cannot help but make us feel wonderful. For that matter, I think being with people who know they are one with God (even if we’re not sure) makes us happy. The Master teacher said, “Where two or three gather in my name, there I am”. I think he was talking about the exponential growth of Christ Consciousness.
All emotions are contagious. You don’t have to be religious to know there is a lot of power in groups. If you want to be happy, find a happy church and attend regularly. I have a whole chapter in my Science of Mind Skills book about how important I think church attendance is. Not because you need it to save your soul – your soul is fine – because it is good for your life.
Long before I took Science of Mind classes or considered being a minister, I discovered my weeks went better when I went to church. It was purely an empirical discovery that doesn’t depend as much on the denomination as I would have thought. For my money, a good church is a happy church. Happy churches make people feel happy.
Church scared me as a child, it didn’t make happy. The first one I chose for myself was Religious Science and I liked it much better. That’s where I learned life went better if I attended on Sundays. I’ve been attending churches more or less since then. Sometimes I was a Unitarian when I lived places that didn’t offer my brand of choice. They were a happy bunch and my kind of people although they worried about social problems, We New Thought folks and the Unitarians share Emerson as a beloved founder. In both denominations, Love is the motive and there is no talk of Hell.
I’ve attended several other denominations and spiritual groups in my long and exciting life. I studied Judaism for a couple of years and then my Sundays were on Friday evenings. That showed me it wasn’t the place or time or day that provides the magic. The magic is the Love. Wherever I went, when the talk was based on Love and the people were friendly, I found the magic. This was true in traditional Christians, Theosophical, Spiritualist, Sufi, and Bahai groups I visited. Meditation services at my Yoga Center were especially wonderful.
I think anyone who wants or needs more love in life or to be happier could benefit from finding a friendly center like the mine – the one I attended last Sunday. We certainly attract a diverse crowd.
Of course, my welcome was special because I founded the Center For Spiritual Living in Carlsbad, CA twenty-five years ago. On the other hand, the essential elements were the same for everyone. We were all welcomed . There were smiling faces, hugs (if acceptable), a marvelous talk and fabulous music, fine refreshments and conversation after the service, interesting future events. You really could feel the Love in the air. It added up to potential magic pill for happiness.
All over the world, there are bigger and smaller cousins of our center. Why not find one for yourself?
By the way, thank you all who greeted me at our center. I plan to see you next week. And may I say, I am very proud of Rev. Debby, Rev. Mattie, our long term members and staff for maintaining a magical place of love and wisdom. Imagine how proud I was as I sat there and soaked it all up. Love is contagious and the world needs much of this precious virus.
What are your plans for Sunday?