Denomination Bucks Trend, Reunites After 57 Years
Golden, CO - March 10, 2011 – In an era when religious denominations are splitting into smaller and smaller sects, one just reunited after being split since 1954. Science of Mind®, also known as Religious Science, founded in the 1920s by philosopher Ernest Holmes, functioned as two competing organizations for more than 50 years. This week, delegates at their joint annual conference in San Diego approved reunification, called “integration,” with 98% of the vote.
In preparation for their integration, the two organizations, originally called Religious Science International and United Church of Religious Science, changed their names to International Centers for Spiritual Living and United Centers for Spiritual Living, respectively. Now that the merger is official, the new organization will be known simply as Centers for Spiritual Living.
“We are a philosophy that teaches unity, so it is time for us to walk our talk,” says Rev. Dr. Kathy Hearn, Community Spiritual Leader for United Centers for Spiritual Living. “Our founder, Ernest Holmes, always believed the movement would come back together at some point, and the time is now.”
“The time has finally come for our organizations to come back together,” echoes Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon, President of International Centers for Spiritual Living. “We simply cannot go on teaching unity while remaining split.”
The merger has been in process for eight years, intensifying over the last three years, and using a shared leadership model that included almost 400 volunteers working to create “modules” that reflect the functional departments of the new organization. These modules became the basis for the new corporate documents that were overwhelmingly accepted this week.
Rev. Petra Weldes, senior minister at the Center for Spiritual Living Dallas said, “This has been a dynamic process of discovering and birthing the ”Third Way“. It comes at a time when the world is showing signs of being tired of strife and needless conflict, and ready for path of reconciliation and peace. Spiritual, political, and ideological polarization has wrought enough suffering and anger. This integration is a positive, practical model for businesses, politicians and spiritual leaders to apply in their own work.”
Science of Mind is part of the New Thought Movement, started in the mid-1800s by Transcendentalists like Ralph Waldo Emerson and continued into the twentieth century with the teaching of Emmett Fox, Napoleon Hill, Emma Curtis Hopkins, and Holmes. The cornerstone of New Thought is a teaching of unity, yet despite this, two factions of Science of Mind broke apart in the 1950s over organizational differences. “We have the opportunity here to heal the wounds of the past,” says Gordon.
During Ernest Holmes’ life and ministry in Los Angeles, celebrities such as Cary Grant, Peggy Lee, and Doris Day followed his teaching. More recently, Science of Mind has influenced such luminaries in the field of self development as Wayne Dyer, Jack Canfield, Oprah Winfrey, Michael Beckwith, and Marianne Williamson. The integrated movement has over 400 spiritual centers in 29 countries, and publishes two inspirational monthly magazines with a combined readership of 100,000.
“We have a big vision for providing spiritual tools and transforming personal lives,” says Hearn. “We realize that our influence is much more powerful now that we’ve integrated than it has been on our own.” Gordon adds, “I know Ernest Holmes would be proud today.”
For more information about Centers for Spiritual Living, or to find a center, you can visit either www.unitedcentersforspiritualliving.org or www.intcsl.org.
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