In the late spring of 1998, I walked into my first Religious Science church which was under the direction of Rev. Dr. Marlene Morris. I had come from 45 years of practicing various religious ideologies from Catholicism to Mormonism to New Age. At that time, I was finished with churches, so I said.
However, when I heard the words of Dr. Marlene telling me that there was a Power for Good in the Universe greater than I was that I could use, and that I could have my heart’s desire, something happened within me that set me on a twenty year journey to where I am today as Co-Founder of a Religious Science Center.
It is this idea that “something happened” that I would like to focus on today. I was reminded of it when inspired to read the famous speech by Religious Science Founder Dr. Ernest Holmes that he gave right before his death. I was struck by these words,
“Our movement grows and expands very rapidly – as rapidly I think as is possible – because we would not wish to mistake its end and purpose, which is not the building of churches. It is not the dedicating of churches – It is what happens in them after they are built, and after they are dedicated. It’s what happens where there are groups of people in our conviction who meet together for only two purposes for which we exist – teaching and practice.”
I find these words very powerful for me, because I think of late I’ve been torn between the building of another bigger center and the building of the consciousness of where we are now. I understand that one must come before the other. This is how our Center has evolved already. It is about what happens within its walls or anywhere we meet that is important. It is about the lives that change. It is about the people who remember who they are, as I did that day back in 1998. Whether we were to meet on a beach (which we have) or in the most beautiful temple or cathedral ever built would be nothing if nothing happened within that place.
So, I see that the answer for me is to continue to do what Ernest Holmes first envisioned – a group of people who meet for two purposes only to teach and to practice. If something continues to happen within the times we are together that can be taken out into the world and make life more purposeful, loving and faith-filled, then buildings and the outer trapping will come. If that was all we were to ever do, we would have done enough. The right place reveals itself when the old cannot contain our consciousness anymore. There is nothing to strive for. We are on the right track and have already arrived if we can remember this. It’s not about the building or spot we meet. It’s about what happens where we are.
Love and Aloha,