Posted in Authentic Freedom Academy, church, Discernment, Empowerment, God, self-actualization, Spiritual Direction, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices, Truth

Not Church

It seems the final piece of an ever-evolving puzzle has found its way into place. Starting Sunday, August 16, 2015, I will be adding a Sunday service to the offerings of Authentic Freedom Academy. This addition came about through no effort of my own. Instead, it literally fell into my lap. In truth, I had given up on the idea of a Sunday Service of sorts as I have tried this over and over and over again in many different forms and all had come to a screeching halt. In actuality, I had given up on the idea. So when the invitation came through the words of my yoga teacher/friend, I was shocked and surprised…..AND….it was the easiest yes I’ve ever said in my life….which is why I know the invitation, while offered through the person of my yoga teacher, actually came from God.

This is the piece of my Soul’s purpose that was missing (there’s one more piece that is missing…I’ll save that for another day). Funny thing is I didn’t even know it was missing. Sr. Shawn knew though when she offered me the following words when I met with her to discuss my call to priesthood, “Lauri, don’t neglect the part about priestly vocation that involves public worship.” “Yeah right,” I thought. “I won’t be doing that. Been there. Done that. Failed at that. No need to step into that hot mess again.” HMMMMM…..it seems Shawn knew something I did not know. Public….something or other…..is part of the puzzle….and it’s an important part.

StMarysinterior

BUT…..IT’S NOT CHURCH – at least not in the way that Church has been experienced for the majority of the past 2000 years. Church, as most Westerners have experienced it, has been about an outside perceived authority (usually a man) claiming to be earth’s representation of Christ, telling people they have been rejected by God and then telling them all the things they have to do to earn back God’s approval so that if they are lucky, they might be allowed into heaven after they die. If they fail to earn God’s approval (by not following the rules set forth by the Church), then they will be doomed to an eternity in hell.

Um….yeah…..Authentic Freedom Academy, including our Sunday Services is nothing like that. Instead, we leave authority where authority lies – in your own intimate connection with the Divine Source within. Our job then, is to give you tools for nurturing and cultivating that relationship with your own inner Source of truth, guidance, peace, compassion, forgiveness, etc. along with tools for distinguishing the voice of truth (aka God, the Heart) from the voice of the mind (aka ego, adversary, etc.). And then, we provide the support and encouragement you need to heed the voice of truth and then live out that truth for the sake of your own fulfillment and sense of purpose in the world…..ultimately in service to the betterment of the world.

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Authentic Freedom Academy, including our Sunday service is ultimately about empowerment – empowering you to be the fullest expression of your Fully Divine and Fully Human self that is possible. Our goal is to support you in the journey of your own self-actualization where you are free to experience a life of meaning and purpose that provides you witl the inner contentment that comes with a fulfilling life experience. We accomplish this through various means:

  • One-on-One mentoring (Spiritual Direction)
  • Hand-on-healing
  • Classes
  • Writing and Publishing

And now……

  • Sunday Service

Whereas the former offerings emphasize education and empowerment, the Sunday service will focus on nourishment. Nourishment through music, ancient wisdom writings (scripture), an inspirational lesson, chant, mantra, meditation and prayer…..all in the company of a loving, supportive community where all are welcome.

To learn more about our upcoming Sunday Services, click HERE.

Posted in church, Uncategorized

Virtual Church – Ash Wednesday Launch

I am excited to announce the soft-launch of the Authentic Freedom Virtual Church.  The virtual church will consist of a weekly on-line worship service, accessible through this site, a weekly meditation practices newsletter related to the Sunday readings and an on-line discussion forum through Facebook.  To learn more, click on the “Virtual Church” tab. See instructions below on how you can become involved!!!!!   Please join us.  All are welcome.

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1) Attend our weekly service on this site- at a time convenient to you.  Services will be posted no later than Sunday mornings and will remain posted for 2-4 weeks.  Services will be archived on YouTube for limitless viewing. You can access services by coming to the website, or receive email reminders through option #2 below.

2) Receive our weekly meditation practices newsletter as a support to your Virtual Church service.  In this newsletter you will received a copy of the upcoming scripture reading(s) along with suggested contemplative/mindfulness/creative exercises that you can practice on your own. By subscribing to this meditation newsletter, you will also receive email notification of when virtual church services are posted and information on upcoming classes and workshops facilitated by Lauri Lumby. To receive the newsletter, subscribe HERE.

3) Join our Authentic Freedom Virtual Church group on Facebook. The intention of the group is to provide a safe, non-judgmental, non-dogmatic and non-prostheletizing forum through which virtual church members can connect and share their meditation and reflection experiences with the hope of growing through each other’s experiences.  It is a “closed” group which means that you will have to request an invitation and only members can read each other’s posts.  To join, click HERE, and request to be invited.  (PS I reserve the right to ask people to leave the group who cannot play nice!)

and…

4) Subscribe to this blog!  Receive blog postings 2-3 days per week which educate and inform you, supporting the birth of your Soul – the uniquely creative way in which you have been gifted to find meaning and purpose in your life and through which you are empowered to contribute to the betterment of the world.  To subscribe, click on “Subscribe” button on the right sidebar menu.

Please note that all services are made accessible to anyone at no charge.  If you find the services and meditation resources to be meaningful and supportive, please consider making a donation.  You can choose a one-time or a recurring donation through PayPal:

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Thank you and we look forward to your participation!!!

“Remember the Love that You Are!”

Lauri Ann Lumby

Posted in church, Raised Catholic

Where Have All the Catholics Gone? Part II

Today’s blog continues the discussion about the 42.7 million people who still identify themselves as Catholic, yet no longer participate in the Church.  Today’s discussion explores where they might be and includes those who were raised Catholic but no longer identify themselves as such.  PS  I’m probably going to get a little “up in my ego” on this one……so I acknowledge this ahead of time.  I’m still human afterall.  🙂 

Why They Left and Where They Went

The last two blogs explored the why’s of the Catholic exodus:  change in priest, Church teachings, bad liturgy, sex abuse scandals, told they weren’t welcome, etc.  Today I will share with you my theories on where the Catholics went.

Evangelical, Congregational and Unitarian Churches

It has been my observation that when Catholics leave, they don’t normally trade Catholicism for something that looks similar such as Anglican, Lutheran or Methodist.  While I’m sure there are exceptions to this rule, Catholics who are liturgy inclined, are more likely to seek out a worship experience different from what they have known.  For those who are in search of vibrant worship, uplifting music, motivational preaching and who want to know more about scripture, they might find themselves drawn to Evangelical and Non-Denominational Christian churches.  The Congregational Churches draw the Catholics looking for community.  And for those Catholics who are kind of done with the whole “God” thing, and are looking for something more embracing of all practices and beliefs, the Unitarian church might do it for them.

If You Want to Learn More About Scripture and how to Know Yourself and God through Scripture, click HERE. 

Wicca/Neo-Pagan

Did you just fall out of your chair?  It is really true……the majority of people I know who are currently practicing Wicca were raised Catholic.  And if you know anything about Wicca, it is an easy transition from Catholicism to Wicca for many reasons, not the least of which is polytheism.  As much as the Institution would quake in its shoes to hear me say this, Catholicism is about as polytheistic as it gets.  No, the teachings and theology of the Catholic Church are not polytheistic – professing One God (oops….in three!).  🙂  But let’s get real, in practice, Catholics worship many “gods”.  Yes, these “gods” are cleverly disguised as “Mary and the Saints” but who do we think we are fooling?  I know, I know, we aren’t worshipping Mary and the Saints and we really do only believe in ONE God, but our practice of honoring the Communion of Saints and having altars to our favorite saints, wearing their medals, hanging their pictures in our home,  saying novenas to them, etc. etc. etc. is no different than the practices we judge as polytheistic from our Wicca or Hindu or Pagan brothers and sisters.  So let’s pull the splinter of the true cross out of our eye before we yank the broomstick out of our Wicca brother and sister’s eyes.  The other reasons Catholics gravitate toward Wicca are rituals and sabbats.  Wicca rituals look a lot like ours and their holidays…..well, let’s just be really honest here and admit that we stole our holidays from THEM!  Check your history books if you don’t believe me!

Buddhism

For many Catholics, their true heart resides in contemplation.  The problem is, they don’t know it and the Church hasn’t done a good job of helping them identify or find this within their own faith.  So…….for many of these Catholics, the restlessness that drives all of us to our truth, causes them to seek the remedy to this restlessness and for many, instead of finding the remedy within the rich tradition of Christian Contemplation, find it in the contemplative practices and philosophies of Buddhism.  Here, they find the DIRECT EXPERIENCE of God, (known in peace, contentment, love and joy)  that they found elusive in their experience of Catholicism.  Buddhism is also an easy resting place for those who have had trouble with the negative images of God sometimes propogated by the Church.  In Buddhism, there is no sense of a “personal” God.  Instead, it is described as Essence or Presence – something transcendent, but not separate from us, something that is part of us and it our truest self, highest self, truest nature.  HMMMMM…..sounds a little like Jesus’ teachings on Oneness.  🙂

If You are Interested in Learning More About Christian Contemplation and Jesus’ Teachings on Oneness, click HERE. 

Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong

One HUGE thing that has been neglected in Catholicism is the spiritual nature of our physical bodies.  Our bodies house our Spirit and are therefore sacred, holy, amazing.  In its attempt to demonize physicality, the body has all but been neglected or worse yet, effectively destroyed.  Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, Dance, SEX, allow us to rediscover the intimate relationship between physical movement and God.  Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, etc. allow Catholics to fill an ENORMOUS gap in their religious/spiritual experience.  Sadly, the Institution hasn’t been very supportive of these practices and in some cases have tried to dissuade Catholics from participating. If you have found yoga to be supportive in your search for inner peace and your priest tells you it is evil, how are you going to respond?  Hmmmm…..I’m thinking some might decide to leave, especially if their experience of Church isn’t providing them with the same kind of spiritual fulfillment.  Just sayin’!

New Age Groups, gatherings, on-line communities

Several years ago the Vatican published a document on the New Age Movement.  In short, they don’t like it and in the document condemn many of what they are calling “New Age” practices (Eastern meditation practices, hands-on healing, yoga, meditation, among other things).   The New Age Movement is drawing many Catholics away from the Church because it meets the needs that are not being met in the Church.  DUH!  And this is where I get to do a little of my own pontificating……What would happen if instead of condemning the New Age Movement, the Vatican took the time to explore WHAT in the New Age Movement was drawing Catholics and offer these things in their own communities.  Because I’m here to tell you that whatever we are finding in the New Age Movement exists within our Catholic Tradition.  It is just that nobody bothered to teach us and show us how we could get the very same needs met within our own Church.

If you are interested in learning more about the connection between “new age” energy medicine and Jesus, click HERE

Isolated and Alone

This is the group of non-practicing Catholics for whom I feel the deepest level of grief.  These are the folks who were told they weren’t welcome or felt as if they were not accepted by their Church and who have been unable (or unwilling) to find supportive and accepting community elsewhere.  So, they sit home, alone and unfed.  This makes me sad.

If you were raised Catholic and no longer attend mass, why not?

What spiritual and communal needs are you finding satisfied outside the Catholic Church and where are you finding them met?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in church, Jesus, Mary Magdalene

Resurrecting the church of the Magdalene Part III

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:

copyright Robert M. Place

http://thealchemicalegg.com/

Mission:

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

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!

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in church, Gifts of Contemplation, Spiritual Practices

Manifesting a Vision

In today’s blog, we explore the topic of “Contemplative Worship” and “Contemplative Community” as a complement to our traditional western forms of worship and church.

Coming to Fruition

On Sunday, January 8, 2012, Authentic Freedom Ministries will start offering a Sunday worship service, manifesting a vision that has been nearly 20 years in the making.  What will set these worship services apart from traditional worship is that it will be rooted in sound spiritual formation and focused on the contemplative journey of the individuals in attendance.  In other words, those who participate will not be told about God, they will not be told what to believe based on someone else’s experience of the Divine, or by an institution’s dogma or doctrine, instead, they will be given tools through which they can come to KNOW God – to know God in a deeply intimate and personal way that is unique to their own life experience and to their own unique giftedness and call.  They will be empowered to know the Divine that resides within their own hearts as the source of Truth, Guidance, Comfort, Healing, Love, Compassion, Peace, Joy, Mercy, Justice and Empowerment.  In coming to KNOW the Divine that lives within, we are healed of the fears and false perceptions that prevent us from remembering love…specifically, the love that we are.  When we remember this love, we are free to know peace and joy and to discover, cultivate and share our own unique giftedness so that we can experience the fulfillment that is intended to be known in the human journey.

Speaking of Love

After years of trying to figure out how to describe the work and the ministries that I offer, it seems I have found the words.  My job, the work that I do, is all directed toward helping my clients, students, readers, etc.   REMEMBER THE LOVE THAT YOU ARE.  And it turns out that it is through sound spiritual formation, combined with contemplative practices that we remember this love.  This is another one of those things that will set apart the worship, along with the expanded offerings of spiritual formation (more on that later).  Departing from the Western model of religious formation that begins with the idea that there is something inherently wrong with us (ie: original sin), and that there is a formula by which we strive to re-earn God’s love and approval so that we can know eternity in heaven, we discover instead that there is NOTHING WRONG with us.  In fact, EVERYTHING about us is good, benevolent, loving, kind, peaceful and filled with joy.  The problem is not that we “sinned” –  but that we forgot.  Through sound spiritual formation and engagement in contemplative spiritual practices, we REMEMBER  We are inspired (like Jesus and other spiritual masters) to identify the fears that keep us from remembering this love, we allow these fears to be healed and we are restored to the recollection of our natural state which is love.  From this perspective, we don’t follow the Ten Commandments or the Beatitudes just because we are told to do so, instead, a virtuous life flows effortlessly and naturally out of the knowledge that we are love.  Rosaries are said because they help our minds quiet so that we can connect with God, not to earn indulgences that will buy our way out of purgatory.  Service is done because love naturally flows outward….not because we are expected to do “Good works” to earn God’s favor.  Providing a foundation of spiritual formation that encourages contemplative practice allows the human spirit to blossom into the fullness of its natural magnificence….AND we come to know heaven on earth.

A Word on Traditional Worship

“In this model, is there still a place for traditional worship?” you may ask.  In a nutshell….you bet!  As I observed while working as a Lay Minister in the Catholic Church, Religious Formation (as we experience through the Catechism, study of theology, scripture, etc. and in attending the mass) is necessary for those who choose a specific set of beliefs and desire to live that in community.  Traditional worship provides the Yang to the Yin of Spiritual Formation.  Traditional worship gives us form, structure, ritual that allows us to live our beliefs in a public forum.  In my opinion, the healthiest, most balanced of religious institutions would provide equal opportunities for both.  Unfortunately, most Western religious institutions aren’t there yet, hence the vision and ministry of Authentic Freedom Ministries – providing opportunities for men, women and children to balance the religions of the mind with the Divine in their heart.

Where have you been given opportunities to KNOW not just about God but to actually KNOW God in your heart?

Where have you learned and explored opportunities for contemplative practice?

Where do you find the balance between the traditional religious experience and spiritual formation?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in church, Gifts of Contemplation, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Practices

It’s Official – Contemplative Worship is Coming

It is Official!

Well, it is officially official!  Authentic Freedom Ministries will be offering Sunday “worship” services starting January 8, 2012.  And, all I can do is sit in breathless awe and wonder.  And the awe and wonder is over the overwhelming support, positive feedback and interest in what we will be offering.  Apparently the thoughts and suspicions that have haunted me for these past 20 years are real.  People are hungry spiritually, starving actually, and have not or are not finding the fulfillment to this longing through their Sunday worship alone or in the absence of Sunday worship.  While this may not be true for some, it seems to be true for many.  So, in response to that hunger, we will be offering something as a complement to traditional Western worship or as an alternative.  Here’s what it will look like (at least initially):

Contemplative Worship

In my experience and observation, what is frequently missing from the traditional ways in which we have been worshipping is time to discover the Divine that resides within us.  Instead, we worship the God “out there” and hear someone else’s interpretation of what that God looks like, acts like, smells like, feels like, tastes like (ie: a dry and tasteless wafer that sticks to the roof of your mouth).  Then, we are told the laws and rules of our chosen Church and are expected to abide by these rules because that is what we are told to do…..but we are never given the tools to come to know God within our hearts and we are never empowered to allow that knowledge to guide our actions, our thoughts, our behaviors, etc.  At the end of the day, we are rarely given the tools through which we can REMEMBER the Love that we Are and heal the wounds within that prevent us from remembering this truth.  Then, there is the additional challenge that some religious doctrine tells us that we are NOT this love…but instead, that we are inherently evil and that love has to be earned and that it can be taken away if we do not follow the rules of the Church or the angry “god.”  SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO…….our goal at Authentic Freedom Ministries is to give you the tools through which you can REMEMBER the Love that you are…..and heal the spiritual wounds and fears that might be standing in the way of you remembering that love so that you can live the life of joyful contentment that is your natural state.  In the context of worship, it might look like this:

An Opening Song that states our intention to be open to knowing the Divine that lives within our hearts

A Scripture Reading recognizing that Hebrew and Christian scripture does possess a wisdom beyond us when we allow God to speak to us directly through it, unfettered by doctrine or dogma or someone’s political agenda.

Mantra/Chant a tool that helps to engage and thereby calm our monkey minds so that we can be peaceful enough to hear the voice of God within us

Contemplation/Meditation a tool that helps us to be open to the voice of the Divine within us, a source for inspiration, insight, comfort, healing, discovery, challenge, invitation, empowerment.

Sharing we learn and grow through each other’s discoveries and insights

Ritual ritual empowers us to embody the insights, healings, comforts, discoveries, challenges we gain through contemplation.  And….the ritual objects, through our prayers and intentions, carry the energy of these insights, healings, etc.

Song of Mission we are invited to take our interior relationship with the Divine out into the world in service to God and for the benefit of all of humankind.   We are called to be God’s hands, ears, eyes, heart in the world.  We accept this call and say “yes” through our songs of mission.

Asking for your prayerful support

So, as we step into the call to bring forth contemplative worship, the ministry team of Authentic Freedom Ministries invites and welcomes your thoughts and prayers and any other means of support that you may be called to offer.  We offer this, not in competition or in conflict with what other houses of worship are providing, but to answer to the call of those that hunger and thirst for more.  We recognize that some are called to a contemplative path and offer this service for anyone called to that path.

In gratitude on behalf of the Authentic Freedom Ministries team,

Lauri Lumby, Spiritual Director

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com

Posted in church, Discernment

Jumping off the Bridge

Today’s blog reminds us that sometimes we just have to take a leap….even when we do not yet know the exact plan or the outcome.  And in taking this leap, we need to be willing to fail (or perhaps worse…succeed!).  GULP!

On the Chopping Block

As I share this blog today, I feel a little like the Thanksgiving Day turkey, laying on the chopping block, getting ready to have his head lopped off so that his body can be served up on a platter for all the world to consume.  GULP!  On the professional front, this has been a month of lower income, high anxiety, boredom, lack of direction or motivation and restlessness.  After a weekend of just feeling sorry for myself, the universe slapped me upside the head and yelled at me, “Sh…t or get off the pot already!!!”  ARGH!!!!!   So, yesterday, without a clear plan or direction, I got off the pot.  I jumped off the bridge and dove into what my mother, not so affectionately, refers to as “The Church of Lauri.”  (I love you mom!)

Tearing Down to Rebuild

So, yesterday I began the process of tearing down my existing website in order to build something new.  (cruise around the site a bit and you’ll get a glimpse into some of the changes) Specifically, it seems it was time to put “it” out there.  The “it” I am referring to is myself, along with a team of magnificent people, stepping into the call to offer an alternative and complementary form of worship, along with expanded offerings of spiritual (not religious) formation for adults, couples and children.  I know, it sounds kinda like “church,” and that is the part that freaks me (and my mother 😉 ) out!

Jumping off the Bridge

So the Universe slapped me upside the head and urged me to put it out there…..even though I still don’t know exactly what it will look like and I have no idea the outcome.  The “outcome,” in fact, is the part that freaks me out the most.  What if it fails?  Or perhaps worse, what if it is a HUGE success?  Then my brain goes off on all kinds of worrisome tangents playing every possible scenario out in my mind.  No wonder I’ve been feeling anxious.  The bottom line is that it is time to put it out there, time to get off the pot and time to risk miserable failure or magnificent success because at the end of the day….I am surely not in charge of any of this!  All I can do is what I have tried to do over the past 20 or so years…..take time to listen to God, try to hear what God is telling me, believe what God is telling me….then act.  This is certainly one of those situations where I have done and continue to do this.  So….without further ado:

Contemplative Worship and Spiritual (not religious) Formation

Sometime in January of 2012 (probably on the Feast of Epiphany), Authentic Freedom Ministries will be launching our first venture into Sunday Worship.  We are calling it alternative and complementary because it is not like what you have seen before in the tradition of Western worship and because it can be used as a stand-alone experience or in conjunction with your existing worship practices.  We are calling it contemplative because the focus will be on your own personal, intimate, unique experience of the Divine as discovered and cultivated in the silence of your own heart.  If you come, you will be empowered to take time to discover and develop a relationship with the voice of truth that resides within and you will be given tools to begin to discern that voice from the voice of the ego/false-self.  And you will be supported in heeding that voice.  It is worship because there will be songs of praise and mission as well as time to read and reflect on scripture.  The only doctrine will be that which you discern in your own heart in your intimate connection with the Divine….measured and guided by compassion, justice and love.  We will leave the other questions of doctrine for the religious institutions to argue over.  Formation will be spiritual rather than religious…in other words, tools will be introduced, utilized and explored which empower you (and your partner and your children) to remember that love is your original and natural state and tools that will clear the way for you to live that love in the world.  In other words – answering the questions:

  • Who am I?
  • Whose am I?
  • What are my gifts and how am I being called to use them?

Are You Happy Now?

So Universe, are you happy now?  I put it out there.  I stepped off the path and leaped off the bridge.  Without knowledge of the exact plan and with no vision of the outcome….I put it out there.  Now it is your job to figure out the rest!!!!!

What are the situations in your life where you have had to step in with no discernable plan or vision of the outcome?

How are you at risking failure?

How are you at risking success?

What tools do you use to reason, discern and exercise Divine guidance/your own truth in this life?

Lauri Lumby

Authentic Freedom Ministries

http://yourspiritualtruth.com