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by Anne Batty
In a peaceful and beautifully appointed gathering place in the Talega Business Park, the Center for Spiritual Living Capistrano Valley holds Wednesday evening and Sunday morning services for those seeking spirituality ... Wednesdays being a “Mid-week Faith Lift” and Sundays being a weekly celebration of living.
The Sunday service typically begins with a fifteen-minute collective meditation, the lighting of candles representing all faiths and honoring all paths to spirituality (the last candle being lit for what brought each participant to the service), live music featuring guest musicians, an offering, and a message relevant to daily living.
“This year’s theme is A Global Vision, a World That Works for Everyone,” explained Pattie Mercado, Assistant Minister in charge of youth programs. “Each month there is a new focus on the theme, with a new topic weekly.”
Led by Spiritual Director Dr. Heather Clark, along with several assistant ministers, the core teaching of Centers for Spiritual Living is a philosophy that integrates spiritual truths with science and physics. While teaching a New Thought Philosophy, these Centers incorporate affirmative prayer, meditation, healing, visioning and other spiritual tools as an aid to leading a spiritual life. Their goal is to help members think positively, love more deeply and ultimately grow in self-esteem, self-awareness and self-advocacy.
A tradition that dates back to the 1880s with roots in the Transcendental Movement of the 1830s, New Thought Philosophy’s legacy includes luminaries such as its founder Phineaus Quimby, theologian/teacher Emma Curtis Hopkins, and poets Ralph Waldo Emerson and Walt Whitman; and its teachings are represented in works by Dr. Wayne Dyer, Deepak Chopra, Michael Bernard Beckwith and Eckhart Tolle as well as others.
Originally founded in San Clemente in 1968, relocating to San Juan Capistrano, and recently returning to town, CSLVC not only offers seekers two worship services weekly, but it is a place where members and visitors are provided with a variety of spiritual literature, opportunities, classes, adult/youth programs, prayer support and more. And in 2018 it will celebrate its 50th Anniversary as an established Center in this area.
Believing that every person is on a spiritual journey, ultimately leading to their greatest good, the Center uses the Science of the Mind textbook written by Dr. Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science, the western Bible, the eastern teachings of the Tao and other sacred texts as resources for teaching spiritual truths.
CSLVC also offers programs to capture the interests of all, bringing together like-minded individuals to discuss topics relevant to living a spiritual lifestyle in today’s modern world. Among those available for adults are Circle of Love, a support group for those experiencing illness or grief; a Jewel Tones Choir, directed by Diane King Vann; Shifting Sands, a gathering of men/women of experience and insight who explore ideas together; a Community Outreach Program and more. Classes at CSLVC feature subjects like: From Whence We Came, Exploring Roots, Power of your Word, Meditation is More Than You Think, Self Mastery-the Emergence of the True Self, the Four Agreements, Emerson’s Essays and others.“We have a well-equipped Youth Center that includes all ages,” children’s minister Mercado remarked. “From toddlers to teens our programs consist of activities that encourage prayer, listening with ears and hearts and the practice of the law of giving … for it is in giving that we receive.”
To that end one of the activities, among many others created for the children, is the passing of a basket into which participants place the spiritual gifts of love, peace, joy, forgiveness, gentleness, kindness, goodness, patience and self-control; mirroring not only the offering of the community during services, but illustrating the offering of self to the good of others.
Among the many youth program available at CSLCV are: a Mom’s Day Out co-op toddler’s program every Tuesday through the school year; a Catalina Camp trip for Middle Schoolers; and a globally attended Teen forum held twice annually.
“Our family has attended the Center since I was married, over 30 years now” Pattie shared. “My children have grown up attending the programs here. It has been a wonderful place to teach children to honor life, appreciate its beauty and be of service to the world.”
The ground-roots Center for Spiritual Living is based in Golden Colorado, with over 450 Centers established around the world. Interested parties are invited to attend a Luncheon for Newcomers offered to those who wish to learn more about CSLCV.
For more information about CSLCV call (949)240-6463 or visit www.cslcv.org.