Today’s blog is Part III of a series exploring the role of Mary Magdalene in the early years of the Jesus movement, its retreat under the shadow of orthodoxy and the invitation to restore her (and her movement) to its rightful place in the light.
Resurrecting the church of the Magdalene
After writing and reading the previous several blogs, I realize that the work I have been doing and continue to do already represents the resurrection of the church of the Magdalene! (I kind of knew that already….but now I’m owning it!) She has been raised from the dead right before my/our eyes. So let’s make it real and own it shall we? As such, I have posted a new page on the Authentic Freedom Ministries website saying just that…..the church of the Magdalene. (Please note the continued use of small “c” in church. Mary was NEVER part of the Institutional Church….and let’s keep it that way!) So without further ado…….let me introduce you to the church of the Magdalene:
The church of the Magdalene is a global effort to restore the intuitive, interior, contemplative and mystical church to its rightful place beside orthodoxy. Inspired by the life and ministry of Mary, the Magdalene, the Beloved Disciple of Jesus, the church of the Magdalene transcends doctrine by providing tools and resources through which participants are empowered to come to know the Divine within and in knowing God, knowing themselves and the unique way in which they are gifted to reveal Divine Love (Agape’) in the world. This mission is accomplished through:
- The Agape’ Project – an effort to support participants in the development and cultivation of a personal spiritual practice and to encourage the development of small Christian communities and house churches. The Agape’ Project is facilitated through a weekly subscription-based newsletter that can be utilized in both personal spiritual practice as well as within a small group dynamic. Additional resources are available for those interested in establishing a house church.
- Your Spiritual Truth – an inspirational blog rooted in the contemplative tradition, supporting readers in their journey toward self-actualization and the recollection of love as their original nature.
- Authentic Freedom – a formal curriculm for adults in sound spiritual formation. The Authentic Freedom courses and related books are a modern expression of the process of spiritual initiation referred to by Mary, the Magdalene in the ancient and non-canonical text, The Gospel of Mary. Readers and participants are given the tools through which they are healed and released of the spiritual fears (demons) that keep them from knowing a life of contentment and joy, thereby empowering them to identify, cultivate, embrace and openly share the unique ways in which they are called to reveal God’s love in service to the world.
- Christouch – a formal protocol and training program for holistic healing inspired by Jesus’ ministry, which incorporates prayer with laying on of hands to support spiritual, emotional, mental and even physical wellness.
- Contemplative Worship- encouraging the formation of local centers of contemplative worship
Your participation in the church of the Magdalene will be unique to your own personal call. Some may be called to become part of the church of the Magdalene as an individual; developing and cultivating a personal spiritual practice. Some may be called to gather men and women of like-mind to join them in contemplation and prayer. Some may feel called to establish study groups using the Authentic Freedom curriculum of spiritual formation. Your participation in the church of the Magdalene can stand apart or along side the religious tradition in which you were raised or with whom you currently worship. The church of the Magdalene provides a complement to existing forms of orthodoxy and in its highest form, exists as a source of accountability, testing doctrine against sound discernment. In the perfect world, the interior and exterior churches would work in cooperation and collaboration. Until that moment of true partnership emerges, the interior church stands apart, inviting you into a both-and experience.
The church of the Magdalene and its relationship to Authentic Freedom Ministries
Authentic Freedom Ministries is a secular ministry rooted in the contemplative tradition of Western Christianity. Authentic Freedom Ministries is the vessel through which the church of the Magdalene has sought to be reborn into the world and is the vehicle through which the supporting resources have been disseminated. Authentic Freedom Ministries is also the local manifestation of the church of the Magdalene, located in Oshkosh, Wisconsin and pastored by Lauri Lumby, Spiritual Director, Lay Minister, Reiki Master Practitioner, author and writer.
All Are Welcome!
Authentic Freedom Ministries