A Radically Inclusive, Welcoming, and Affirming Community
We are a community of individual who value and honor the diverse ways that Spirit shows up! This consciousness of being a Radically Inclusive, Welcoming, and Affirming Community is what makes CSLGB a place many call their Spiritual Home, their Beloved Community, their CSLGB Family!
What does this mean to be Radically Inclusive, Welcoming, and Affirming?
It means we see the Divine as it shows up in, through, and as everyone. All who seek this teaching and spiritual path are welcome here! There are people who practice Buddhism or other spiritual teachings, religions, and philosophies and also attend CSLGB. Religious Science is compatible with any teaching that provides the seeker with greater clarity, insight, awareness, health, and well-being physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, financially, etc.
Part of how we affirm and celebrate the diversity of our community is via our Affinity groups such as the LGBTQ Affinity Group (more to come).
We also provide American Sign Language interpreters for our Sunday service to ensure access to the Deaf community and offer opportunities for the hearing members of the community to learn ASL in order to communicate with our Deaf members.
Currently being created is a focus group that discusses how to use the teachings of Science of Mind and Spirit to address Systemic Institutional Racism.
We are committed to Living the Vision of "A World That Works For All!"
And it takes all of us to manifest this vision.
We are glad you are with us!
"Black Lives Matter"
A Message from Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen,
The Spiritual Leader of Centers for Spiritual Living
Black Lives Matter – A Message from Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen, Spiritual Leader
Centers for Spiritual Living stands with people all around the world who are advocating for justice, equity, inclusion, and peace. We are motivated by our vision of a world that works for everyone and, therefore, we affirm with the people of the world that Black Lives Matter. Not only do Black Lives Matter, but according to our teaching, they are sacred.
We have confidence that the momentum of support from individuals, along with, spiritual and secular organizations, is more than a fleeting moment, but rather the heralding of lasting change.
We have confidence that a new era of willingness to engage in the inner work that leads to the end of racism in our world has begun.
We have confidence that the unifying cry of our global heart, that Black Lives Matter, has struck a note of urgency in all who will hear it.
And above all, we have confidence that the Living Spirit Almighty is working through us to bring our stated belief in Oneness into form, in the social, political, judicial, spiritual, and economic realms, and importantly, in our hearts.
The recent tragic loss of Black lives in the United States and other countries due to police violence, and the myriad inequities that have resurfaced, have revealed that our world is still catching up to the vision of a world that works for everyone. We have been called to be brave enough to examine how society can be out of step with its values and how we, as individuals can be out of step with our spiritual values. One of our values in Centers for Spiritual Living is Love as the self-givingness of the Divine to all creation, expressing through us as compassion, caring, mutual respect, and kindness. Our organization’s purpose is to awaken humanity to its spiritual magnificence. What can be more spiritually magnificent than to say a full-hearted yes to this upwelling of affirmation of the sacredness of Black lives?
We invite you to stand with Centers for Spiritual Living, and the people of the world, by affirming with us that Black Lives Matter, so that we may demonstrate the values of our teaching and embrace the emerging universal consciousness of Oneness.
Let us, therefore, light the candle of love, human kindness, forgiveness, and understanding in our soul, and let it shine brightly. Let us not peer into the darkness, troubled and concerned because it is so foreboding and unknown. Rather let us remain steadfast in the radiance of that Spiritual Light of Truth within ourselves. Let us stand guard so that the winds of malice, cross purposes, ignorance, or misunderstanding will not blow out the Light. Let us so live each day that the Light from our candle of Spiritual Knowledge will forever be clear and understood, not only by ourselves but by all with whom we come in contact.
– Dr. Ernest Holmes, Help for Today (1958), page 99
Dr. Edward Viljoen, Spiritual Leader
Centers for Spiritual Living
Racism in the United States
Centers for Spiritual Living calls for it to end!
We are grieving lives that ought not to have been lost. George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery, are the most recent in a list of countless unarmed African-American and Black people who have been murdered for the color of their skin over the past 400 years in the US. Too many generations have suffered and it has never been, and is not now, acceptable.
We denounce racism in all its forms: the starkness of unapologetic, intentional racism; the racism of silence in the face of injustice; the systemic racism inherent in our education, justice, income and opportunity inequity; and the racism that lies hidden in our individual hearts and minds.
We envision a world where personal responsibility joins with social conscience in every area of the political, corporate, academic, and social sectors. We value a community-wide climate of safety that arises from compassion, justice, mutual respect, and kindness. Therefore, we join our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, who, echoing the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said “You and I should form the habit of taking definite time each day to contemplate and affirm peace with justice—for there is no peace possible without justice. But faith without works is dead. We should not only pray, we should act, each contributing the best [they have] to the common purpose, each willing to make any sacrifice necessary…[for] there can be no individual self-preservation without the preservation of all . . .”*
We call upon ourselves and the faith communities in the US to take action that shows we have heard the cry of suffering, and we own our responsibility for it. Whether that action is prayer, donations to organizations that promote racial justice, rigorous self-education, or active engagement, let not this moment in history pass unattended. May the actions we take be steeped in peace and respect for the sacredness of each life, knowing that whatever we do, individually and collectively, must be Divinely directed from a higher consciousness. When we apply our proven spiritual principles through rigorous practices and compassionate action, the desired results cannot fail to demonstrate.
* Quote From Ernest Holmes’ Spiritual Armament, found in The Essential Ernest Holmes edited by Jesse Jennings
Centers for Spiritual Living,
Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee
Centers for Spiritual Living’s open and affirming response to the United Methodist Church vote to exclude LGBTQIA Clergy and deny marriage to their LGBTQIA members.
We believe Oneness and Wholeness is the very nature of the Infinite, Omnipresence Divine Reality – God. Our philosophy, the Science of Mind, accepts and includes all life, all beings, and all creation as the very Body of God. We celebrate the diversity of life as the expression of the Infinite Nature and revel in the impulse of Love that bursts forth in every aspect of Life – from the different flowers in the backyard, to the variety of trees in our forests, fish in the seas, birds in the air, and animals that roam our lands. This is the expression of the Infinite, infinitely loving creation in all its glory. As the ancient mystic in the Hebrew creation story, Genesis teaches us all creation is originally blessed, for “it is good”.
Because of this deep faith in our oneness with all life, Science of Mind and Centers for Spiritual Living are open and affirming. We not only accept, we celebrate our uniqueness and our diversity, including LGBTQIA in our communities, we affirm our LGBTQIA clergy and we support all our clergy performing same-sex marriage.
We stand for each and every LGBTQIA person, no matter their faith path, religion, or spirituality. We believe profoundly in loving our neighbors as we love ourselves, which includes acceptance rather than judgment, loving words rather than hateful speech, and deep respect for how love shows up in each individual.
We live in a time when many faith traditions are struggling with doctrines from another time, doctrines which are often unwelcoming, particularly to the LGBTQIA communities. While religious principles may not change over time, religious doctrine must evolve and concepts of morality evolve – toward a greater capacity for love, compassion, and acceptance. While this may be a struggle for some, it is the right path to take, for no religion can be consistent to its principles and be moving away from love – to love God as God is understood, and to love one another are the greatest commandments of the scriptures of all religions.
To our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters everywhere:
You are precious to Life. You are a beautiful expression of Love. You are an outlet for creativity like no one else. You are blessed as you are. You are a blessing wherever you go. You cannot be denied or excluded from the Divine Presence. Your expression of personhood is beloved by the One, for it is unique and perfect for you. You may be belittled, ridiculed, or shamed for your sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression but there is no truth to the names you may be called or the things you may be accused of… Only Love and Light emanate from the heart of the One, Infinite, Divine Life. And in that, you are absolutely included. Never doubt that you belong, in life, to Life!
We are committed to a world that works for everyone and ALL are welcome in support of this vision.
Dr. Kenn Gordon, Former Spiritual Leader, and CSL Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee.
In addition to this, CSLGB stands in agreement with this Declaration put forth by The Global Interfaith Commission on LGBT+ Lives
Declaring The Sanctity Of Life And The Dignity Of All
We come together as senior religious leaders, academics, and lay leaders from around the world to affirm the sanctity of life and dignity of all.
We affirm that all human beings of all sexual orientations, gender identities and gender expressions are a precious part of creation and are part of the natural order.
We affirm that we are all equal under God, whom many call the Divine, and so we are all equal to one another.
We, therefore, call for all to be treated equally under the law.
We recognize with sadness that certain religious teachings have often, throughout the ages, caused and continue to cause deep pain and offense to those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex.
We acknowledge, with profound regret, that some of our teachings have created, and continue to create, oppressive systems that fuel intolerance, perpetuate injustice and result in violence. This has led, and continues to lead, to the rejection and alienation of many by their families, their religious groups and cultural communities.
We ask for forgiveness from those whose lives have been damaged and destroyed on the pretext of religious teaching.
We believe that love and compassion should be the basis of faith and that hatred can have no place in religion.
We call on all nations to put an end to criminalisation on the grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity, for violence against LGBT+ people to be condemned and for justice to be done on their behalf.
We call for all attempts to change, suppress or erase a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression – commonly known as “conversion therapy” – to end, and for these harmful practices to be banned.
Finally, we call for an end to the perpetuation of prejudice and stigma and commit to work together to celebrate inclusivity and the extraordinary gift of our diversity