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COVID-19 Vaccination Update

Centers for Spiritual Living
COVID-19 Vaccination Update

This statement is offered in response to questions regarding Centers for Spiritual Living’s stance on Covid-19 vaccinations. Our founder, Dr. Ernest Holmes, wrote that in the practice of Science of Mind, there is no place for “arrogance or the holier-than-thou attitude. The great have always been humble. The great have always been kind. The great have always been lovers of humanity.” 

We begin our statement, therefore, with great love and compassion for the diversity of thought that exists among our members. We acknowledge that as spiritual beings, we are self-determining and have personal freedom and choice. We acknowledge that this individuality expresses itself as a continuum of opinions related to vaccinations.  Because vaccination decisions are often influenced by religion (1) or sincerely held spiritual beliefs (2), we are compelled to confirm that there are no precepts or strictures against vaccinations or receiving medical treatment of any kind within Centers for Spiritual Living. 

Indeed, Holmes cautioned us not to say everything is all right when it is all wrong. (3) We don’t say that people aren’t poor, sick or unhappy. We do not deny the existence of illness, nor do we deny the need for hygiene or medical assistance. We unite with these modalities, are grateful for their assistance and cooperate with their efforts in every way. Though we may explore why sickness exists when the original Cause is harmonious and perfect, we will neither deny nor minimize the extraordinary work being done in the field of medical science.

Nevertheless, we can add something important to the care and healing of our physical bodies: the understanding that we are primarily spiritual beings with a mind and a body, and we have the tool of spiritual mind treatment to augment and enhance medical science, but it does not replace it. Indeed, we give thanks for and celebrate public health achievements that have saved lives worldwide.

Taking this perspective into consideration, we ask members to apply their freedoms for the greater good, and to consider how public health might be an expression of oneness. And most importantly, we urge our members to think about how to ensure the safety of the most vulnerable among us, who cannot be vaccinated, when we choose whether to vaccinate.

Although vaccination is a personal matter, as is the interpretation of Science of Mind, this Executive Team, using our founder’s words as a guide, cannot in good conscience endorse religious exemptions against vaccines under the authority of Centers for Spiritual Living.

In addition to following public safety protocols, it is important that our clergy, teachers, study-group leaders, practitioners and other leaders who interact with our members be transparent about their vaccination, test and exposure statuses so that the people they interact with may make decisions for themselves about safety, masking and physical distance.

In the early days of spiritual therapeutics, it was believed that a practitioner could not successfully treat patients if they were being attended by a physician or if they were using material methods for relief. Now we know that this was based on superstition. We no longer give it any serious thought. The metaphysician feels it a privilege to be called into consultation with a physician or with a psychologist. They have learned to appreciate the fields of medicine and surgery.  — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 263

We do not deny the body, nor do we deny the mind. What we do is affirm the Spirit. We believe the body should be properly cared for — that is the office of the physician. — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 527

The physician and the surgeon can patch up this physical body of ours, and the psychologist or psychiatrist can help us to straighten out our emotional tensions, for all of which we should be grateful. — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 402

One of the chief offices of spiritual mind healing is to relieve the mind of fear, to compose the thought and permit it to reflect the deep inner feeling that comes from conscious union with the Spirit. Science and religion should walk hand in hand in the accomplishment of this purpose. — Ernest Holmes, “Living the Science of Mind,” page 253

Unity is the basis of all that there is. There is but one God, one Mind, one Spirit and one Power. When I embody myself in my thoughts selfishly, I am separating myself from that which I think would be my good. You may think this is a very subtle thing and could not be the reason for so much trouble. It is the foundation of most of our troubles. I am unconsciously separating myself from my good. — Ernest Holmes, “Love and Law,” page 231.4

Centers for Spiritual Living Executive Team
Dr. Edward Viljoen, Spiritual Leader 
Rev. Sunday Cote, Field Leader 
Dr. David Alexander, Chair, Leadership Council 

Resources:
A list of spiritual organizations’ stands on vaccinations from Vanderbilt University – https://www.vumc.org/health-wellness/news-resource-articles/immunizations-and-religion  An example of explanations of sincerely held religious beliefs (California) from Mark Spring, CDF Labor Law, LLP

– https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/defining-sincerely-held-religious-9250227/  Dr. Ernest Holmes on the integration of medical science in spiritual healing, page 252, “Living the Science of Mind,” “Let Us Not Fool Ourselves”

Vaccine equity concerns: https://www.who.int/campaigns/vaccine-equity 

“12 Things to Know” from Johns Hopkins Medicine: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/covid19-vaccine-hesitancy-12-things-you-need-to-know 

Faith traditions that do not endorse vaccine exemptions: Many faith leaders say no to vaccine exemptions – The Columbian

An Update on Rev. Dr. Ruth Wilkerson

August 23, 2021
 
Dearest members and friends of the Center for Spiritual Living Redlands,
 
Many of you have asked about Rev. Dr. Ruth Wilkerson who for more than 40 years was the Minister and Spiritual Leader of our Center in Redlands, CA. Here is an update for you.
 
Her family has been caring for her at her home in Redlands after extensive hip and thigh surgery at the end of last year. We recently received a note from her son, David Wilkerson, that due to her level of dementia issues, it is necessary for her care to continue in a lovely care facility in Redlands not far from her home. Here is what David wrote about the facility:
 
“As of this date, Ruth now resides at the Pacific Pines Manor residential care facility, 1438 Pacific Street, South Redlands, 92373, which is a lovely, converted home in the south hillside area not far from her 964 Clifton Avenue house.
 
“This is a new phase of Ruth’s life, and we trust it will deliver peace, good care, and some additional companionship.  Pacific Pines has only 14 resident patients and can provide for Ruth’s level of dementia issues.  There is a lovely yard in the back with walking paths and shade for visiting with guests.”
 
Her son, David (drwilkerson1958@gmail.com) is happy to answer your emails regarding Dr. Ruth and should you wish to visit her, due to COVID restrictions, you will need to make an appointment by calling the facility director, Nancy, at 909 798-7077. Of course, Dr. Ruth would probably appreciate cards and notes as well.

Picture of Rev. Dr. Ruth Wilkerson
Rev. Dr. Ruth Wilkerson

Thank you all for your prayers for her continued peace and well being as she navigates this phase of her earthly journey.
 
Love and blessings,
 
Rev. Carrie Masters
CSL Redlands
revcarrie@cslredlands.org

We’re Open! In-Person Sunday Service

Sunday Service in Person!
Meditation: 9:45am, Service: 10:05am

602 Church Street, Redlands, CA

Per latest CDC Guidelines: We are asking everyone to please wear a mask to protect and prevent spread of the Delta variant, and in consideration to unvaccinated children in attendance.

Whether you meet in-person at the Center, or watch live via Facebook or YouTube, we will all experience the same service at the same time!

We also invite you to join us on Facebook and YouTube for our Wednesday Evening service. Here is information for those activities.

Sunday Service: 9:45am
Wednesday Night Service:  7:00pm
Facebook Stream: facebook.com/cslredlands.org
Youtube Stream: cslredlands.org/youtube

Email List Sign Up: cslredlands.org/list
This is the best way to keep connected, get our weekly newsletter, and be informed of our services and upcoming events.

Watch for more opportunities to connect with us online. You are loved and treasured. Stay safe. You make a difference.

Big blessings to you,

Rev. Carrie Masters
Senior Minister
Center for Spiritual Living Redlands

CSL Statement: PRIDE Month

Centers for Spiritual Living

“We exist in Limitless Opportunities, which are forever seeking expression through us.”
Ernest Holmes, The Science of Mind.  p. 291.1

As June draws to a close, the Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement committee of Centers for Spiritual Living invites our global communities to continue to learn more about Pride Month (see resources below,) support local LGBTQIA2+ groups or create new opportunities for inclusion and advocacy for our LGBTQIA2+ friends in our spiritual communities. (LGBTQIS2+ is lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer [or sometimes questioning], intersexual, asexual, and two-spirited.)1

It is a profound act of self-love to celebrate the unique ways Spirit manifests in us and others. Pride Month is sometimes seen as the time of year when members of the LGBTQIA2+ communities and their allies don rainbow regalia, participate in parades, and throw parties. More and more people are starting to learn that the celebration that we refer to as Pride, credited as beginning with the Stonewall riots (June 28, 1969) 2, began as early as May 1959 in Los Angeles3 and continued with events leading to Stonewall where Transgender Women of Color led an act of protest.  We stand with the LGBTQIA2+ community as its members profess the truth of their humanity, that their health and wellbeing are essential, that justice and equity are rights, not privileges, and that representation and visibility matter.

Pride Month offers us an opportunity to educate ourselves about eliminating stigma, prejudice, and violence that afflicts a significant part of society.  Centers for Spiritual Living’s declaration of principles state that we believe the ultimate goal of life to be complete freedom from all discord of every nature and that this goal is sure to be attained by all. Discrimination, injustice, and homophobia are just a few of the discords the LGBTQIA2+ community has faced in the past, and in many ways, continues to face today.  Those early Pride events in the United States began to eradicate some of the discord the LGBTQIA2+ community was facing. Now, the world over4, Pride symbolizes not only the celebration of each person’s right to be who they are and love who they love, but it is also a demonstration of radical self-love and love for all.  Pride Month can also be an opportunity to recognize that every day is an occasion to celebrate all people in every facet of life, everywhere on the planet.  

May Pride Month, this year, and every year to come, remind us of the innate divinity and spiritual magnificence we all are.

Resources 

The Human Dignity Trust
The only organization working globally to support strategic litigation to challenge laws that persecute people based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. We provide technical legal, communications, and security assistance to lawyers and activists defending human rights in countries where private, same-sex, consensual sexual activity is criminalized.
https://www.humandignitytrust.org/
 
Amnesty International
In all too many cases, LGBTI people are harassed in the streets, beaten up, and sometimes killed simply because of who they are. A spate of violence against trans people has claimed the lives of at least 369 individuals between October 2017 and September 2018. Many intersex people worldwide are forced to undergo dangerous, invasive, and completely unnecessary surgeries that can cause life-long physical and psychological side effects.
LGBT rights | Amnesty International
 
World Wide Pride Calendar
The global landscape for LGBTQ+ rights, protections, and acceptance varies tremendously by location. Some destinations attract millions of visitors to their events, like Madrid Gay Pride, Sao Paulo Gay Pride, or San Francisco Gay Pride. At the same time, more than 70 other countries have laws that allow discrimination or persecution of LGBTQ+ people.
https://www.iglta.org/Events/Gay-Pride-Calendar
 
Pride Was a Riot – Buzzfeed
Rights for the LGBTQ community in the United States have come a long way — but that isn’t the case everywhere in the world.  Anti-LGBTQ governments still quash people’s rights, and in countries like Iran, Myanmar, and Uganda, being gay is still considered illegal.  We looked at ten years of Pride marches around the world to remind ourselves that, for many people, Pride is still a riot.
Pride Was A Riot — And LGBTQ Demonstrators Around The World Are Still Fighting For Equality (buzzfeednews.com)
 
How to be an ally
You’ve propped up a rainbow flag and proudly changed your social media handles to reflect your love of all things #Pride2021. But have you gone the extra step to become an advocate, too?
‘Allyship is critical and essential’ to keep moving forward (yahoo.com)
 
Why Pride Matters
Pride Month and celebrations aren’t just about watching drag queens throw t-shirts from a float or buying items with a rainbow on them. Pride matters for many reasons beyond this, and Pride is much more than a few events in summer.
Why Pride Matters: 10 Ways To Show You Love The LGBTQ Community (2traveldads.com)

Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee
Rev. Edward Viljoen, DD, Spiritual Leader 
Rev. Masando Hiraoka, Chair
Rev. Martha Quintana, Global Services
Ayodele McClenney, Liaison to the Leadership Council
Rev. Cassandra Rae
Rev. Cindy Grimes
Rev. D. Jacquelyn Edwards
Rev. Dr. Raymont  Anderson 
Rev. Savanna Riker

Footnotes
LGBTQHealth, Two-Spirited – https://lgbtqhealth.ca/community/two-spirit.php
Stonewall Riots, History.Com – https://www.history.com/topics/gay-rights/the-stonewall-riots
Cooper Do-Nuts Riot, Los Angeles, 1959 – https://hornet.com/stories/coopers-do-nuts-riot/
Notable Pride Events World Wide, Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pride_parade

CSL Statement Ethnic and Cultural Genocide

Centers for Spiritual Living communities worldwide begin the month of June with the weekly theme “Pushed by Pain.” All around the world, on any given day, the pain is real, visceral, palpable, and it points to the truth that we are living in a time of great transformation.  We are both the agents of healing transformation and the ones impacted by that transformation.  As such, we have an opportunity to lean into the transformational power of our emotions so that we can make our way through to our inherent wholeness.  This is especially important when we hear about atrocities that have been committed across generations and nations, from the Nazis and the holocaust, the brutality of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, South Africa’s apartheid, the Tulsa/Greenwood massacre, and very recently, the discovery of 215 bodies of indigenous children in Canada which exposes the systemic racism and cultural genocide.

A discovery of this magnitude feels not only unbelievable but unbearable.  It isn’t until we know the depth of our feelings that we can put into practice what our teaching declares: “There is nothing to heal, only truth to be revealed.”

• What is the truth here that wants to be revealed?
• What is the consciousness we are being called to shift?
• How do we lay the foundation of a world that indeed does work for all and not for a select few?
• Let each of us ask ourselves and each other these questions and use our dialogues to access the truth and the healing power of our teaching.  

The corollary to “pushed by pain” is “pulled by vision.”

Our faith in the Divine in us, as well as our vision of a healthy, loving world, is what strengthens our conviction that beyond the pain lies transformation. As spiritual beings, we are called to develop the capacity to hold pain, and notice the impulse to move too quickly out of it.

Truth-telling and restorative justice practices have been a powerful agent of healing and transformation in Australia, Canada, the United States, and colonized African countries, as well as in the Catholized countries of the Americas.  Truth reveals, heals, and prepares the way to recognize and commit to the deep work that lies before us.  We invite you to join us in spiritual mind treatment for our world and also to learn more about the truth and reconciliation projects across the globe in the resources section below.

Let us hold each other in our hearts with compassion as together we traverse the physical and emotional valleys and shadows of unjust death.  

Resources

The National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, Canada
The NCTR is a place of learning and dialogue where the truths of the residential school experience will be honored and kept safe for future generations.
https://nctr.ca/

Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission, USA
The formation process of local Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commissions in the first three pilot cities of Boston, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.
www.tjrc.org/

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa
“…a commission is a necessary exercise to enable South Africans to come to terms with their past on a morally accepted basis and to advance the cause of reconciliation.” – Mr Dullah Omar, former Minister of Justice, South Africa
www.justice.gov.za/trc/

The Conversation, Article by Bonny Ibhawaoh, McMaster University
As long as unresolved historic injustices continue to fester in the world, there will be a demand for truth commissions.  Unfortunately, there is no end to the need.
https://theconversation.com/do-truth-and-reconciliation-commissions-heal-divided-nations-109925

Spiritually Motivated Social Engagement Committee
Rev. Edward Viljoen, DD, Spiritual Leader 
Rev. Masando Hiraoka, Chair
Rev. Martha Quintana, Global Services
Ayodele McClenney, Liaison to the Leadership Council
Rev. Cassandra Rae
Rev. Cindy Grimes
Rev. D. Jacquelyn Edwards
Rev. Dr. Raymont  Anderson 
Rev. Savanna Riker