By Terry Shea
August 4, 2017
Posted In: Spiritual Wellness, White Rock
What are these “Circles” we have been talking about? The Circles themselves will be as unique as the people in them. What is important to understand is the purpose of these Circles and how that purpose is served.
The 3C’s (Circles of Care and Connection) cause unprecedented care and connection between the participants, along with spiritual growth by establishing small intimate groups led by trained, inspired, and well-supported leaders who are members of our community. Care and connection are not something that the circle “does” as much as it is something the members of the circle experience in the process being together.
Why do this? I’m sure you have noticed that attendance to Sunday, and now Midweek Gatherings, have been declining as our long-time members move away, age, or make their transitions. In addition, new members are not finding their way to our Centres and if they do, they are not staying. The leadership wished to address this situation by carefully looking at it and improving on it. The culture that exists today is not the culture that gave rise to CSL and certainly not to the Institute of Religious Science and Philosophy in 1926.
We have traditionally built our Centres around the philosophy we teach, the classes we offer and the Sunday Celebration that largely resembled a Church service. What has been missing from our delivery system has been the connection between people and the loving support that many of our people are looking for and in need of in today’s world.
The 3 C’s program supports Centres like ours in giving people what they are looking for. It provides a consistent and effective way for people to connect; for them to continue to grow spiritually, and to share their lives – the highs, the lows, the day-to-day living and the spiritual practice that supports that life. The message is that the Centre puts people first by supporting them with a small group to be with, a philosophy and practice to work, with AND a community framework within which to practice it.
The result for our members is a deeper sense of belonging and investment. The end product for our Centre is greater stability and growth, but even more importantly is a sense of our relevance and impact in the 21st century. Centres for Spiritual Living definitely have a role to play moving forward, but what we do and how we do it MUST be tailored to the needs and sensibility of not only future, but present generations.
It is the intention of this series of lectures to introduce you to the what, why, and how of this programme and to invite you to participate in it.
Questions for Rev Terry? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org