Posted in Beloved Partnership, Christ Consciousness, church, God, Jesus, Mary Magdalene

My Easter Gift to You!

Today we commemorate the resurrection of Jesus as the Christ and the witness of his resurrection by Mary Magdalene who was then ordained by Christ to share the good news with the other disciples. My Easter gift to you is an excerpt from Lesson Five of my online course, “Resurrecting the Magdalene.”  If you are interested in learning more about the full course and the course options, click on the corresponding icons to the right of this blog, or click on the links below:

Girl posing with red cloth. Concept, abstractionResurrecting-the-Magdalene-with-Magdalene-Activation-and-Ordination-by-Lauri-Ann-Lumby-Mystery-School-of-the-Goddess





The Resurrection of Jesus, the Christ

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance.

So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”  So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.) 10 Then the disciples went back to where they were staying.

11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot.

13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”

“They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus.

15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?”

Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”

16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”

She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”).

17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”

18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

John 20: 1-19


Resurrecting The Magdalene e-course Lesson 5 excerpt:

…  The bottom line is that we have no way of knowing the literal truth of any of the gospels, only that they communicate stories that were handed down for many years before they were written down by specific people for a specific audience, based on what they remembered or, more likely, what they wanted their audience to believe about Jesus, his life, and his teachings. That is not to say, however, that the gospels do not contain deep and profound truths – especially when we extract the gospel stories from the doctrine that has been developed around then, bringing them into our own prayer, and allowing God to reveal the truths contained within the stories that are personally relevant to us in our own journeys.

Beyond our own personal reflections on the gospels, there are a few things we may be able to surmise from the texts, especially for our current purpose of understanding what might really have taken place during the events surrounding Jesus’ resurrection.

  • In each and every gospel account, Mary Magdalene is named as one who is witness to the resurrection. The same cannot be said of any other “named” witness.
  • Scripture scholars further highlight this point in noting that Mary is named. Scholarly consensus holds that for a woman to have been named, she must have had a central and critical role in the story of Jesus (remember, women had no personal value within the culture of first-century Palestine). Mary is named in every gospel account of the resurrection, including that portrayed in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene (one of those that didn’t make the cut).
  • Beyond being named in scripture as witness to the resurrection, Tradition has always honored Mary Magdalene as first witness to the resurrection, so much so that in the very early Church, Mary was identified as “Apostle to the Apostles,” for this is what she was.

“But what about Peter?” we might ask. He is named in both the gospel of Luke and the gospel of John.  There is an easy explanation for Peter being named in Luke’s gospel.  Scripture scholars tell us it is unlikely that the author of Luke was a direct follower of Jesus.  Instead, Luke was most likely a follower of St. Paul, who actually never met Jesus personally.  Paul (as Saul of Tarsus) was initially a persecutor of the followers of Jesus, himself ordering the stoning of St. Stephen, the first martyr.  Paul later had some sort of mystical experience through which he encountered the risen Christ and then became a champion for the Jesus cause.  Paul likely gained his knowledge of the Jesus story from Peter and the other male disciples who presided over the first Christian community in Jerusalem, long after Mary Magdalene left the scene (more on that in the next lesson).  By this time, it is likely that the Petrine (Peter) agenda had already been cemented within the Jerusalem community.  Because Mary was such an integral part of the story, she could not be omitted altogether, but her role was easily downplayed by having Peter, himself, witness to the empty tomb.

Then there is the gospel of John. John’s gospel is markedly different from any of the other gospels and seems to be of a genre unto itself – a gospel that is a theological reflection on the first 100 years of the Jesus movement and on some of the traditions, rituals, and practices that had already become part of the emerging Christian tradition.  While one of the later gospels written, John’s gospel also possesses parts of the Mary Magdalene tradition that are not present (or are downplayed) in the other gospels including the Wedding at Cana, the story of the Samaritan Woman at the Well and the Anointing at Bethany.  In regards to the story of the resurrection, John’s gospel presents a study in contrasts.  First, Mary goes to the tomb.  She then runs to tell Peter, who comes to the tomb to see that it is empty.  After Peter (and the unnamed disciple) depart Mary sticks around and has a direct and personal encounter with Jesus, who then tells her to go tell the other disciples.

The conflicting information in this gospel has confounded me for years, until I brought this reading deeply into prayer and meditation and the answer became glaringly obvious. The gospel of John contains two separate stories of the resurrection account – one in which Mary is the witness, another where Peter is given privilege.  It is my personal belief that the passage regarding Peter was inserted into the Mary story to suit the later Christian Church (second – third century) who sought to put forth a decidedly patriarchal and hierarchical agenda.  Within this agenda, there can be no room for a woman who was obviously commissioned to a leadership role by none other than Jesus, himself.  But, don’t take my word for it.  Go back and re-read the resurrection account from John – first including the italicized text, then without that portion of the text, and then decide for yourself.

If you are interested in learning more about the Resurrecting the Magdalene e-course, or the abbreviated version “Magdalene Activation” click on the icons above in the right-hand column of this blog. You might also enjoy my novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene available HERE.  Happy Easter!


Posted in About Lauri, Healing, Initiation, Inspiration, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mystics

Journeying to Find Our Soul’s Purpose

In the past nine months, I have tried everything to be healed of the migraines, panic attacks and then vertigo brought on by a virus that attacked my inner ear. While I have found some relief through a combination of herbal remedies, chiropractics, acupuncture and physical therapy, the symptoms are still keeping me from being as free as I would like to be (specifically, being able to drive on the highway….driving at fast speeds is a HUGE trigger).  When twice in as many months, “Hildegard of Bingen” came up for me through my spiritual director, I turned to her for guidance.  It seems she was plagued by the same symptoms when she was unable (or unwilling) to share her visions with the world.  So, I’m trying the Hildegard of Bingen cure for migraines…..I’m sharing my visions.  Here’s the one through which I was given the command to “Be the Magdalene.”  This vision came in April of 2014 while participating in a shamanic journey. 


The White Spring in Glastonbury, England
The White Spring in Glastonbury, England

The vision begins with me standing inside the well house at the White Spring in Glastonbury, specifically at the shrine within the well house to Gwynn Ap Nudd. At the back of the shrine is a limestone pool in which the flowing waters of the white spring collect on their journey to the other holding pools and eventually out to the collection pools on the street.  In the vision, at the back of the shrine is also a circular, iron portal, similar to a manhole cover, marked with the Vescica Pisces.  As in other recent visions, I approach the portal and dive into it, which then leads to a long tube, submerged in water.  I am swimming away from the shrine and toward the lower world, but as I swim, I find I keep turning back toward the shrine and away from the entrance into the lower world.  With each forward stroke, I find myself closer to the portal into the lower world, but then turn back.  I am making progress, but not quite reaching the portal into the lower world.  On a final approach, a hand reaches into the water from the lower world, grabs my hand and yanks me into the lower world.

I arrive in the lower world, dripping wet, and Jesus stands before me.  “You’re not supposed to be here,” I say to him, now wondering if this is really a journey or just my imagination, colored by my Christian fantasies.  But Jesus remains.  He then leads me through the meadow where the portal enters into the lower world and towards the woods.  Once we reach the woods, he leads me to the clearing where mouse (my power animal) waits and then he disappears.

raven-pixabayMouse instructs me to sit beneath a tree in the clearing and wait.  As I wait, a parade of animals and spirits present themselves – ones which have all been part of recent journeys – stag, snake, luna moth, bat, goddess and finally raven.  Raven is perched on a tree above me and holds in his beak all the parts of me he consumed in the last journey with him.  I ask my question, “What do I need to know to more fully live my soul’s purpose?”  Raven comes down and piece by piece by piece, puts the pieces he has consumed back on to me, as if reassembling me….but in a different order and in a new and different form.  It is like taking all the pieces of a puzzle and putting it together.  This is relevant to several discussions I have recently had with spiritual friends about being aware of bits and pieces of my purpose but not knowing how they fit together and that there is something that needs to happen to put it all together.

GothicCathedralKoln1Once I am reassembled, I climb on Raven’s back and we fly from the woods.  We fly across open territory toward an old gothic cathedral that stands alone in the middle of a wilderness of wide open fields.  The cathedral is dark in appearance, but not scary.  It feels ancient, the stones are rough, and a dark, charcoal grey.  They are the color of charcoal pencils.  We fly into the cathedral and immediately descend.  Down, down, down, through a series of ramps and chambers all the way to the bottom where the flight ends in a crypt of sorts.  A dark, stone walled room which seems to have an altar, some sacred objects.  The place feels close, intimate, sacred and forgotten.  It also feels holy….as if something very ancient and sacred is housed in this space. As I’m looking around, I am invited to go toward the back, right corner of the crypt.  In a recessed area in the wall, there is a standing skeleton wearing a red cloak.  The skeleton is ancient.  I am told to step into the skeleton and the cloak.  I step into them and we become one.  As I step away from the wall, one with the skeleton and cape, I look down and see there is a gold ring on my right index finger.

I ask my question again, “What do I need to know to more fully step into my soul’s purpose?”  As I finish asking, a man steps to my side and takes my arm.  My sense is that we are a couple – romantic, but also partners in our life’s work.  For our purpose to be fulfilled, we have to come together.  We leave the tomb through the front door of the cathedral (no need to ascend, we’re just there).  We open the doors to a throng of people who enthusiastically receive us with cheers.  It is a bright, sunny day filled with light.

Mary Magdalene by Catherine E. Case
Mary Magdalene by Catherine E. Case

From that space, I immediately find myself back in the clearing alone with mouse and I ask, “Ok, now what do I need to do to get there?  To make this happen?”  I’m still the skeleton woman with the cloak, the image I get is like the Day of the Dead masks and makeup.  “Be the Magdalene” is that mouse says to me.  Then I am instructed to be with the Magdalene, to feel her energy and feel and think of what it is to be her. I sit in this receiving for a long time…it feels like a transmission, a transference, an immersion.  I am the Magdalene and I am becoming more of her.

After awhile, the return drumming begins.  I feel myself yanked from the clearing and as I am being pulled toward the return tunnel, I feel the Magdalene drop something into my left palm.  When I arrive at the other end of the tunnel in Gwynn’s shrine, I find a rough, raw, faceted garnet in my hand.

 If you are interested in learning more about the hidden truths of Mary Magdalene and in being activated through her gifts, check out my Mary Magdalene Activation Course.  Click on the picture below to learn more!  

Girl posing with red cloth. Concept, abstractionOr check out the full Mary Magdalene course which includes the Magdalene Ordination:


Posted in Being Human, Beloved Partnership, Initiation, Mary Magdalene

Order of the Magdalene

This past Tuesday, I had the great privilege of witnessing four women accept the call to be bearers of love in the world through their own unique giftedness as they received acceptance into the Order of the Magdalene/Christ.  One participant, after receiving ordination, was gifted with the following message – for those present and for all who might read this.  Here was the message imparted upon her:

“We are the light that is changing our planet.  We are the Magdalene.  Keep your hearts open and we ( Mary and friends) will work through you.  Many men are coming forth as Divine Masculine.  It is as if the curtain has dropped.  You cannot hide any longer. The curtain was fear.  The masculine and feminine are partnering.” 

Lewis Williams, SFO
Lewis Williams, SFO

These words could not better describe what I have understood to be true about the call of the Magdalene/Christ – to birth into the world the full integration of the Human and the Divine within us through the embodiment of the Divine Masculine and Divine Feminine coexisting in harmony within us.  We are becoming a new order of human beings – modeled by Jesus and Mary Magdalene and other Beloved Partners like them.

Toward that end, I am once again offering my Resurrecting the Magdalene course for women and men in the Oshkosh and surrounding area who are interested in claiming the Divine within them – both masculine and feminine – and learning how to do so through the model of Mary Magdalene in her time with Jesus.  To learn more, click HERE. 


Posted in Uncategorized

The Gospel of Sophia – Book Review

I haven’t yet finished reading The Gospel of Sophia, not because it is not holding my interest, but because this book is meant to be SAVORED! Tyla Gabriel has done a fantastic job of presenting in Encyclopedic fashion the critical importance of the Divine Feminine in all her forms. This book is not just a lesson in the Divine Feminine, it is an attunement – and an ordination. As I have been reading the book, I am being transformed. EMPOWERMENT, specifically, FEMININE EMPOWERMENT is the gift that comes in being open to the spirit of Tyla’s words. Miracles have been happening in my life since encountering The Gospel of Sophia and I imagine they will for you as well. Please get this book and savor it drop by drop by drop as you enjoy the Divine love you will experience while enjoying its nourishment.

 TheGospelOfSophia-low-resBUY IT HERE

KNOW HER.  For the first time in print the secrets of the Mystery Schools and highest yoga tantra concerning the primacy of the Divine Feminine Trinity are revealed through self-evident scholarship and inspiring, panoramic views of the three Goddesses.  The biographies of a Mother Goddess, who created the world and is found in every creation story, the Daughter Goddess, who descended like Christ from heaven to redeem fallen matter, and The Holy Sophia, who travels along with humanity as it evolves, is told in detail with accompanying documentation that is historic and deeply stirring.

The three biographies of the Mother, Daughter and The Holy Sophia conclusively answer all cosmological, philosophical and theological questions about the divine that have engaged the hearts and minds of thinkers since the beginning of time.  The Gospel of Sophia gives the reader an opportunity to see the divine pictured in ways that have never been offered in one book.  Volume I is a source text that points directly to the reader’s ability to experience the divine through the thinking, feeling, and willing aspects of the reader’s consciousness.

The Gospel of Sophia is a Living Imagination of our time.  Simple symbols and parables will bring the reader to experience Sophia in ways that have only been dreamt about before or described as inspirations that were not connected to a stream of wisdom that self-initiates the practitioner.

The reader will move from an aspirant seeking knowledge to an initiate who begins to experience Sophia-Christos in a process of self-initiation.  This vision of the Great Goddess is unparalleled in the literature on the current revelation of the Divine Feminine Trinity.

The Gospel of Sophia is intended for spiritual initiates only.  If you are not on an esoteric path of conscious, self-directed initiation, the contents of these esoteric materials may not resonate with you at this time on your spiritual journey.   How will you know if you are a spiritual initiate?  Please read the sample materials offered on Tyla’s website.  If they stir your soul and spirit, you will know that you, the student, are ready, and a teacher has appeared.


TylaWells.jpgAbout the Author

Tyla Gabriel, ND is a board certified naturopath as well as an internationally known entrepreneur in education and business.  She holds a graduate degree in Humanities from Florida State University, where she began her life-long studies in religion, mythology and philosophy, eventually leading her to the path of Anthroposophy.  As a philosopher and theologian, her writings and teachings on the pivotal role of the Divine Feminine Trinity have broken ground that is tantamount to a new revelation of the divine that necessitates a complete revisiting of our approach to the world and ourselves.

The Gospel of Sophia is the testament of an aspirant of Sophia who has been given self-initiation with the assistance of the Divine Feminine Trinity as guide and teacher.  From the first revelation of Sophia through Pelee, to the Etheric Christ experience several years later, Gabriel has followed the luminous path of study and communion with Sophia-Christos to become an initiate of Sophia.  The teachings about the Being of Sophia are the result of living Imaginations given to her by spiritual beings that inspired her over many years, guiding her to active Intuitions that unveil the hidden nature of the Great Goddess.

You can learn more about Tyla Gabriel at











Posted in Agape Project, Authentic Freedom, Being Human, creativity, Empowerment, Spiritual Practices, Virtual Church

Our Own Ordination

Each and every one of us has been uniquely and creatively gifted to reveal God’s love in the world and are anointed and sent forth to do so.  This week’s Agape’ Meditation Newsletter, supplement to the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church explores the truth of our own ordination! 

Please note that beginning, January 1, 2015, the meditation newsletter, Virtual Church and Superhero Reports will be available by subscription only.  To continue to receive these life-giving resources, subscribe HERE for a very reasonable monthly fee (about the price of one large cappuccino a week).


subscribe bottonScripture Reading:

The spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me; he has sent me to bring glad tidings to the poor, to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners, to announce a year of favor from the LORD and a day of vindication by our God. I rejoice heartily in the LORD, in my God is the joy of my soul; for he has clothed me with a robe of salvation and wrapped me in a mantle of justice, like a bridegroom adorned with a diadem, like a bride bedecked with her jewels. As the earth brings forth its plants, and a garden makes its growth spring up, so will the Lord GOD make justice and praise spring up before all the nations.

Is 61: 1-2a, 10-11


Additional Readings: 

Lk 1: 46-54

1 Thes 5: 16-24

JN 1: 6-8, 19-28


Anointed and Sent

In this week’s reading from Isaiah, he is speaking about himself as anointed and sent by God, along with the specific nature of his mission. In the Christian tradition, these words are reflected upon as a foretelling of Jesus’ mission and the work he would accomplish in the world. These words, however, were not to be interpreted as only applicable to Isaiah and Jesus. Instead, these words are meant for us to hear and understand as descriptive of our own Divine call. We too have been anointed and called by God to: 

Heal the brokenhearted

Proclaim liberty to captives

And release to prisoners

To announce a year of favor for the Lord.

Salvation for the human race is an on-going venture and as Isaiah was anointed, as Jesus was sent, so too are we.

How have you become aware that you are anointed by God and sent to support the coming of the love?



Spiritual Practices – Receiving our Anointing

Slowly and meditatively read the scripture passage above.

Re-Read it, this time reading it as if it is your own proclamation. Read it aloud if it helps. As you are reading, take in the words, let them sink in.

Allow yourself to receive the truth of these words – the truth of your own anointing and of your own call.

Pause in silence

Visualize that you are standing before God or Jesus. Imagine God as mother or father, and Jesus in whatever way you imagine him. Imagine that you are standing before them so that you may receive your own anointing.

Imagine God as mother or father or Jesus anointing your head and your hands with holy oil. Then, imagine them placing their hands on the top of your head as a blessing and as a sending-forth for the mission you are being sent to accomplish. Allow yourself to feel the impact of this anointing and commissioning.

Know that through these actions you are being ordained to do God’s work of love in the world.

Offer your own prayer of thanksgiving aloud or in writing.

Rest in silence and return periodically to the reading, allowing it to sink even deeper into you.

Record your thoughts and feelings in your journal or notebook.


Authentic Freedom

In Authentic Freedom we explore the truth that each and every one of us has been uniquely gifted and called to reveal God’s love in the world. We are called to reveal God’s love in the world in the uniquely creative way we have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in our life and when we discover, cultivate and engage in these gifts, we experience a sense of fulfillment, contentment, joy, peace and love. These gifts, however, are not meant to be limited to our own personal use. Indeed, these gifts are meant to be shared in the world – ultimately in service to the betterment of the world. It is important to remember, however, that our gifts are not limited to the things we honor as perfect. God also calls us to be love in the world through those things we might judge as imperfect or flawed – and it is often out of our deepest places of brokenness where we are most able to reveal God’s love.

What are the uniquely creative ways in which you have been gifted to reveal God’s love in the world?  

What are the imperfections, flaws and brokenness within you that seek to be used in service to God’s love?


Posted in church, Jesus, Mary Magdalene, women

Church of the Magdalene?

Consider today’s blog as a pondering of sorts – musing on what would it have looked like if the Magdalene’s perspective on the Jesus message had not been supplanted by fear, power and control, but instead, had been allowed to flourish?  I entertain these thoughts not in opposition to the Institutional Church, because ultimately, I believe that the only way for the Church to survive is if both the feminine and masculine are honored, but, not unlike the feminist movement, we have to start the conversation somewhere.  So….here goes…..


Mary Magdalene  by Robert Place
Mary Magdalene by Robert Place

1) To begin with, I believe the Church of the Magdalene would be less concerned about saving us from sin and death, and more concerned with empowering us in life.  If there is such a thing as hell, I often believe THIS IS IT!  The Church of the Magdalene would give us tools for learning how to navigate the human condition and would help us find comfort in our losses while celebrating our joys.

2) The Church of the Magdalene’s second task would be to empower us in fulfilling the mission God intended for us.  We would be given the tools and support we need to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment in our lives through the uniquely creative way in which God desires to be known in the world through us.  We would also be given the help and support we need to overcome the inner obstacles to living that purpose.

3) In the Church of the Magdalene, the priesthood would not be one of exclusivity, but instead, would empower a priesthood of ALL believers.  EVERY SINGLE PERSON would be ordained into their unique, special and necessary mission for the betterment of humankind and our world.  Some would be ordained as healers, teachers, counselors, prophets, welcomers, nourishers, sustainers, supporters, stewards of the environment, growers, inspirers, bringers of beauty, shadow walkers, hand holders, receivers of healing and compassion, etc. etc. etc.  Yes, some would be called and empowered to pastor and lead communities, but this role would be no more important than any other vocation.  All are needed….all are empowered.

4) The Church of the Magdalene would be less about showing up for church to “fulfill your Sunday obligation” or to receive your “get out of hell free” card.  The Church of Magdalene would also be less about watching and more about doing.  In the Church of the Magdalene, everyone is the presider.  We gather together to share our lives, our stories, our journeys and we do so through contemplative prayer, as Jesus did.  Then, we are all empowered to go out and do the work that Jesus calls us to do.  Love one another.  Heal the sick.  Feed the hungry.  Give sight to the blind.  Set captives free.  In this way, it is all Eucharist. And if there is a sacred meal to be shared, it could just as well be cookies and milk as bread and wine.  In the Church of the Magdalene….Christ is ever-present…in the word, in the people, in the prayer, in our sorrows and in our joys, in the rivers and the trees, in the very air we breathe – and we are invited to see the world in this way!

5) As all of it is Eucharist, so all of it is sacrament.  In the Church of the Magdalene, EVERYTHING we do, we do with God, when we hold that as our desire and as our intention.  Yes, we may ritualize our doings through public ritual, but none of the rituals are in order that we might receive another “get out of hell free” card.  Instead, through our rituals we celebrate the amazing God that we have and we give honor to each other and mark our life transitions as sacred.  Baptism is not for the forgiveness of sin, but, like Jesus’ baptism, a time to acknowledge that we are each God’s beloved sons and daughters and with us God is well pleased!  Reconciliation is returned to its original intent as an opportunity to take responsibility for our non-loving behaviors and ask God to heal us of the fears that caused these behaviors in the first place.  Anointing of the sick becomes an opportunity to share energetic healing with another, acknowledging that we are simply the vessel through which God is facilitating healing in another.  Ordination, again, is offered to everyone when they are ready to name, claim and be empowered in their own unique vocation of service to God.

6) The Church of the Magdalene would be firmly rooted in a deeply intimate and personal relationship with God.  Love would be the only ultimate truth and God, as Love, the source of authority with Jesus’ law of love being the guiding principle

Love one another as I have loved you.

and the Beatitudes of Jesus as a way to measure our personal growth.

7) Finally, the Church of the Magdalene would be less hierarchical and more collaborative, less about power and privilege and more about honoring all as sacred, less about patriarchy and more about honoring both men and women as sacred and calling forth their unique and magnificent gifts, less about fear and more about love, less about having and more about giving, less about separation and more about unity and most importantly, less about judgment and more about compassion.

I know there is more…..but this seems like a good start.  I’m interested in your thoughts.  What would the Church of the Magdalene look like to you?



Posted in Authentic Freedom, church, Freedom, Jesus

Virtual Church – Being Priest in the Post-Modern World

Dear Readers, in today’s blog, I am giving you a little peek into what is currently being discerned as the next step for Authentic Freedom Ministries:  VIRTUAL CHURCH.  The idea of a virtual church is what has arisen out of the question, “How to be priest in the post-modern world,” and is an offering twenty-years in the making.  I had no idea when the red brick flew across the Newman Center chapel and hit me smack between the eyes that this was where God was leading me…..but, here I am.  I find I can no longer deny the call to priesthood and the invitation to put this call into action in a direct and more expansive way, and what better way to do it than to create church in a way that speaks to a post-modern world – one free of doctrine, that honors the truths inherent within all sacred traditions, available to everyone, accessible in ways that meets the needs of an over-busy world, and one that can be attended in your own time?  Additionally, the virtual church meets our inherent human need for community and to be in the company of those of like-mind, while being challenged to growth through our inherent differences.  Which brings me to the one rule of the upcoming virtual church: we honor every person and their truth as sacred.


Anticipating a launch date of (no later than) March 12, 2014:


The Authentic Freedom Virtual Church

We are a community of men and women who consider Jesus to be our teacher, while honoring the spiritual truths inherent within all sacred traditions.  We recognize the Divine as that which is at once outside of us, within us and present within all of creation and which can be acknowledged by any Name, Image or Presence.  We believe in the inherent potential of all human beings to become self-actualized and acknowledge the spiritual journey as a formative tool in this endeavor.  We believe in the law of love and seek to know more fully the love of the Divine that dwells within us and which seeks to be known in the world through us which then serves to support the betterment of our world.

Participation in the Authentic Freedom virtual church will be facilitated through:

1)      The Weekly Agape’ Spiritual Practice newsletter where you will be given suggestions on specific meditation and creative practices to help support your own spiritual development.

2)      The Weekly Authentic Freedom Virtual Church service on YouTube.

3)      The Authentic Freedom virtual community on Facebook where you have an opportunity to connect with other Authentic Freedom virtual church participants.

Support for this ministry will be facilitated through your choice of a one-off donation or a monthly subscriber’s fee, and all will be welcome regardless of their ability to pay!

Thank you for your support as I continue to discern and construct this offering.


Lauri Ann Lumby


Posted in church, Empowerment

Ordination for Everyone?

Warning:  today’s blog might be considered blasphemous to some.  😉  Exploring ordination and asking the question “what is it for, who is it for and why?” 

Ordination as Most Know it

In the Christian tradition, ordination is the ceremony or sacrament (if you are Catholic) that designates a certain individual (usually male) to act “in persona Christi” (in the person of Christ) and empowers them to serve as minister, pastor, priest within their designated denomination and Church (notice I used “Big C” Church).  In the Catholic tradition in which I was raised, this designation is even more restricted and clearly defined- heterosexual male only (don’t ask don’t tell), the ONLY one who can act in the person of Christ, the ONLY one who can preach, perform the sacraments, preside over mass, lead a congregation, run the business of the congregation, heal, teach, evangelize, etc. etc. etc.

Pew Potatoes

Being raised in the Catholic Church, I had an opportunity to see the negative effects of this restrictive approach to ordination – most specifically prior to the Vatican II Council….but its effects still linger and I wonder what will happen under the rule of Benedict XVI and his “reform of the reform.”  When you have only ONE MAN who is empowered to perform the ministry of Christ in the world….you get ONE THING…..PEW POTATOES.  Pew Potatoes are dis-empowered Catholics (or any other denomination for that matter), who are never challenged, invited, formed or empowered to do anything other than show up to mass on Sunday.  They have fulfilled their “Sunday obligation” and are therefore done with their job of being Christian.  Now they can go back into the world and live as they normally live, perhaps somewhat inspired to be more loving and caring in the world, but in my humble (ok, maybe not so humble) opinion, Jesus wanted more from us.  Like our pastors, priests, ministers, etc. WE TOO are called to BE CHRIST in the world and to be vessels through which God’s healing love, compassion, mercy, peace, justice, joy can be known in the world.  We are called to do more than just show up and let the priest do all the work!  And in truth, I feel sorry for our poor priests who are expected to BE EVERYTHING and DO EVERYTHING. No wonder no one wants to join.  No wonder so many are burned out or acting out!  What would happen if the Institutions did something different with ordination and gave these guys a break!?

Crazy Ideas from a Mystical Madwoman!

So, I have a crazy idea….what would happen if ordination was available to EVERYONE?  Before you have a heart attack over this blasphemous idea…..Paul had a similar thought.  In his letter to the Corinthians (1 Cor 12: 1-27). Paul reflects on how each and every one of us is uniquely gifted to serve God and to be a source of Divine revelation in the world and went so far as to say that in doing so, “WE ARE THE BODY OF CHRIST.” (ahem….”in persona Christi”).  Why don’t we take this reading seriously?  Why aren’t each and every one of us given the tools through which we can discern what our unique giftedness might be and to discern how God might be calling us to share these gifts in the world in service to love and recognize that in doing so, we are the Body of Christ?  Why not?

Ordination for all

So here’s my crazy thought in form…..which will mostly likely NOT show up in any institutional church anytime soon.  But, what if people were given the tools to come to know themselves more fully, to come to KNOW God in a very deeply and intimate way within their own hearts?  What if people were given the tools to discover, cultivate, nurture and claim their own unique gifteness and how they are called to reveal God in the world through the sharing of their gifts.  And WHAT IF…….when those individuals are ready to claim these gifts and step into the world to boldly share these gifts in service to God and God’s love….WHAT IF….THEY WERE ORDAINED?  GASP!  Then instead of having one man who is expected to fulfill all the gifts as healer, teacher, preacher, listener, confessor, counselor, administrator, accountant, evangelizer, etc. etc. we had individual people empowered and ordained as:

  • ministers of healing
  • ministers of teaching
  • ministers of administration
  • ministers of preaching
  • ministers of leading
  • ministers of discernment
  • ministers of service to the poor
  • ministers of hospitality
  • etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.

Just a thought!

Where have you been invited to know God and in knowing God, knowing yourself in a very intimate and personal way?

Where have you been invited to name, claim, cultivate your gifts?

Where have you been empowered to share those gifts in the world in service to love/God? 

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

Posted in church, Healing, Initiation, Jesus

Ordained by God

In today’s blog I explore the question, “What does it mean to be “priest?”  Raised in an Institution that doesn’t honor women’s call to ordination/the priesthood, how does one authentically live out that call?


Blaming Jeff

Ok, not really, but it makes a good headline, doesn’t it!  And in a way, I do have to blame Jeff (as in Fr. Jeff now Pastor Jeff…the one I talked about yesterday) for apparently planting the seed of this discontent that has somehow found its way into my heart.  After posting yesterday’s blog about how Jeff was the one to point out my Introvert, he emailed me and told me of the “coincidence” of yesterday’s post as he was, on that very day, celebrating the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.  Then one of the readers of this blog in her comments observed that I was living out my call to be priest.  THEN….I had a dream of meeting two Franciscan priests who believed in women’s ordination and who readily ordained women,  and who handed me the paperwork necessary to begin that process.   So……what is God trying to tell me through all of these “God-cidences?”  Am I being called to find a church that will recognize my call to priesthood and honor it through formal ordination.  UM……I tried that one on for size a few years back and I can absolutely tell you it did NOT fit! 

How I’m NOT Called to Be Priest

A few years back, I did find a church that would have readily acknowledged my call to priesthood and would have happily honored it through ordination.  I know that I am a total brat, and that this would not be the case for many, but in the end, it was about the clothes.  (not really, but it was sure part of it).  I could not think of donning an outfit that somehow set me apart from the people to whom I would be ministering….even if the outfit were only used for ritual, I could not do it.  Plus, none of the “outfit” companies have yet designed anything that even remotely looks good on a woman…it all looks like the male version, except with a skirt.  BLECH!  What I could consider was donning the humble, brown hooded habit of the Franciscans, but the black shirt and white collar topped off with the ceremonial white vestments, then chasuble, then stole?  Nope, not for me.  To me, all those acutrements spoke only of separation.  “See, I am different than you, I am more important because I get to wear these clothes, and if I’m really important I get to wear a funny hat.”  There was something in all this clothing stuff that seemed contrary to Jesus’ message of Oneness.  Jesus didn’t wear a special dress, he wore what the people around him wore… a humble rough-hewn mantel and a pair of dusty sandals.  No collar, no dress, no special hat.  So, if I am to be priest, why would I be any different than the greatest priest of all?  Why wouldn’t I wear what everyone else is wearing?  Yea, maybe I would dress up a bit while presiding over mass (if I were even called to do this), but nothing that would set me apart from the rest.  I don’t mean to dishonor those who have chosen the formal ordination path and who humbly don the required attire of the priesthood, and I know many would argue with me that the garments represent humility, I just have to say that the people sitting in the pew view it differently.  To them, you’re wearing the collar and the robes and therefore you are different and somehow better.  I’m just sayin.

What is a Priest Called to Do?

To me, being priest is about SERVICE.  In my mind, the priest is called to preach and teach, but more importantly TO HEAL.   In the Catholic Church in which I was raised, this part of the call happens primarily through the sacraments.  As a representative of Christ, the priest presides over the sacraments of baptism, eucharist, confirmation, matrimony, anointing and reconciliation and through the reception of these sacraments, the participants receive healing.  Outside of the sacraments, the priest acts as a vessel of God’s healing through active listening and attentive presence.  This can be facilitated through an effective homily (sermon) and in the role of Pastoral Minister and/or Counselor.  The priest has many opportunities to be a vessel through which others may experience God’s healing grace and I have known many priests in my lifetime who have done a really good job of being a model of God’s compassion and healing in the world (Jeff among them.)  

So, How Am I Called to Be Priest?

So, if it is not about the dress and it is not about being separate from the rest, how am I called to be priest?  Ultimately, it is about the healing.  When I look to Jesus as the model of what priesthood could be, I see healing, healing, healing.  When Jesus taught, people found healing.  When Jesus preached, people were cured.  When Jesus offered attentive listening and focused presence to another, their hearts were uplifted.  When Jesus laid his hand on people, they were healed.  This is the kind of priest I would feel called to be.  And guess what?  I’m already doing it!  No special dress.  No special ritual.  No dude in a funny hat placed his hands on me thereby giving me permission to be “priest”.  I’m already doing it.  And guess what……SO ARE YOU!!!!!   Whenever you allow yourself to be a vessel through which others find peace, contentment, joy and love, healing, compassion, YOU TOO ARE BEING PRIEST.  When you show kindness to another, when you feed someone who is hungry, when you stand up for justice, when you offer someone forgiveness, when you show mercy…YOU ARE BEING PRIEST.  Boy, we sure have a whole lot of priests walking around!  🙂


How are you called to be a vessel of God’s love in the world?

How are you called to be a vessel of healing, mercy, forgiveness, justice?

How are you living out your own Priesthood?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries