Blog

SMSE Statement: 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 

Resource: https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

Centers for Spiritual Living, 

Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee

Centers for Spiritual Living envisions world that ‘works for everyone’

By Mark B. Chitjian

It’s a new day at CSL Redlands and we invite you to be an integral part of the next steps of our growth and development. You are welcome to visit and explore what our Spiritual Center has to offer you and conversely ask yourself what gifts and talents you may wish to offer to be in sacred service to others in our spiritual community and tribe of like-minded individuals.

Centers for Spiritual Living is a global community (csl.org) comprised of more than 300 ministries in over 30 countries worldwide teaching new thought philosophy called “The Science of Mind” by Ernest Holmes, that brings religion and science together and offers spiritual tools to transform personal lives and make the world a better place. We believe in cause and effect and teach that “it is done unto you as you believe.” We believe that our thinking and expectations create our reality.

People of all spiritual paths — Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim and atheists, too — are welcome in our communities. We help all people experience a personal relationship with their creator and promote a community of tolerance, inclusion, non-judgement, understanding and respect. We provide classes, workshops, programs, five-step affirmative prayer treatments and meditation. Our global vision is: “A World That Works for Everyone.”

All of our spiritual services are now online only, and all meetings are virtual via Zoom. Follow our Facebook page: facebook.com/cslredlands.org/ so that you may click on to watch our 7 p.m. Wednesday service and 9:30 a.m. Sunday service.

Make contact with us at our Center Office: 909-793-3004, via email: cslredlands@ cslredlands.org, and on our website: cslredlands.org Your soul is welcome here!

Mark B. Chitjian is a licensed Center for Spiritual Living practitioner. CSL Redlands is a member of the Redlands Area Interfaith Council.

Redlands Daily Facts Article

Office Furniture Fire Sale!

Anyone need office furniture? Center for Spiritual Living Redlands received a generous donation from Steven Reeder at UCR Group to help with our women’s homeless shelter. We have lawyer desks, tables, shelves, chairs, corner tables, etc. Make an offer/donation and walk away with a piece of furniture of your choosing. No offer will be too low. We need to unload it all in the next 30 days. Swing by Fabulous Finds in Redlands, 200 W. Redlands Blvd. (corner of Redlands Blvd. & Eureka St., across from Redlands Mall. Formerly called the Furniture Liquidation Center).

We will be here:

Thursday, Feb. 20 5pm-7pm
Saturday, Feb. 22 10am-5pm
Sunday, Feb. 23 12pm-5pm

Center for Spiritual Living provides a homeless shelter

By JOHN HISLOP For the Redlands Community News Sep 27, 2019

Holmes Hall at the Center for Spiritual Living Redlands being used as a temporary shelter for the homeless. Photo courtesy of Joe Nelson, Center for Spiritual Living, Redlands

Ed Torres, board president of the Center for Spiritual Living Redlands, believes that it’s not enough just to offer the homeless a free handout. That alone, according to his experience, only encourages homelessness.

The key, he advocates, is to take the second step and provide them with a hand up out of their situation.

As cities and counties across the U.S. continue grappling with their respective homeless issues, the federal courts have established precedent that cities and counties cannot criminalize homelessness. Authorities can’t arrest or cite people for vagrancy for sleeping on sidewalks in parks, or other public places if no other shelter is provided.

Since 2016, the city of Redlands has ranked No. 3 among San Bernardino County’s 24 cities in the number of unsheltered homeless persons, with 183 reported in 2019.

Despite its countywide ranking for its unsheltered homeless population, the city of Redlands has no cold weather or temporary shelters for homeless men, women and children.

On Jan. 16, Redlands police and code enforcement shuttered the city’s only cold-weather shelter, operated by Set Free Church at 200 E. High Ave., because of code violations. The closure displaced roughly 20 homeless men and women during the worst winter storm of the season.

At that point the Center for Spiritual Living Redlands stepped in to provide a temporary cold weather shelter for the displaced women at its 875-square-foot Holmes Hall at 602 N. Church St, while two other local churches — the River and Holy Name of Jesus — subsequently provided shelter to some of the homeless men through March 31. The center received assistance with its shelter operations through March 31 from the Redlands Charitable Resources Coalition, a local charity providing aid to the homeless.

The Center for Spiritual Living Redlands’ Holmes Hall consists of four rooms, a waiting room, living room area, a restroom and a full kitchen. (Upgrades are underway to make the restroom and entrance ADA compliant). In one room, homeless clients sleep on mats on the floor and have storage space next to their sleeping area for their personal belongings.

The homeless were provided for by two daily shifts of volunteers, spanning from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Dinner was prepared and served at the beginning of each shift followed by breakfast prepared and served at the end of the second shift. Volunteers could and did sign up in person or online for schedule slots and duties.

Since the Cold-weather program ended in March, the center has continued operating as a safe shelter for a small group of homeless women. This effort has spawned what is now envisioned as the Safe Shelter program and is considered by the center as one of the key components to reintegrating such individuals.

Homeless clients sleep on mats on the floor with adjacent storage space for personal belongings. Photo courtesy of Joe Nelson, Center for Spiritual Living, Redlands

The center also helps individuals obtain necessary ID and other legal paperwork, which is important to be able to integrate back into society.

What is to happen with the homeless in Redlands going forward?

To the Center for Spiritual Living Redlands and other faith-based organizations, it is clear that the homeless issue necessitates hands-on community action.

The center is offering to join other nonprofit organizations and advocacy groups in the fight against homelessness by providing the community with an option it strongly believes will have a significant impact in reducing the homeless population in Redlands.

In the more than eight months it has operated as a homeless shelter, the center’s staff and volunteers have developed a six-month shelter program and established a budget to cover operating expenses. It is the center’s vision to see this program replicated by other churches citywide as one of the key components to reintegrating such individuals.

Homelessness in the Redlands area is too big an issue for any one entity to solve but by a coalition of concerned individuals and entities working together to provide the necessary money, manpower and materials it can certainly be managed on a much more acceptable level for all concerned.

For more on the Center for Spiritual Living Redlands visit cslredlands.org.

Email comments or ideas on how to address the homeless issue to: johnrcnreply@gmail.com

Original Article