This afternoon, January 29, 2012 at @4:00PM, I was ordained as a minister through Pathways of Light. This may, and has, come as a shock and a surprise to many people. I have, for the most part, kept this part of my life a secret. The obvious question is, why?
Well, first of all, I considered going into Christian ministry decades ago. Those who know me know I was heavily involved in the evangelical Christian movement for most of my teenage and young adult years. However, I never followed through on that call and subsequently left the fundamentalism of that path far behind me.
However, a few short years ago, I experienced a dramatic turn of events in my life that knocked me sideways. An 8-year marriage that produced a young daughter was suddenly yanked from under me. I felt alone, betrayed, unfairly treated by a legal system rigged against me, financially crippled and I carried a profound sense of guilt and shame to how this was affecting my daughter. Even though I struggled with the rationality of believing in a Higher Power, I turned to God, as I understood Him, for help.
I started devouring books like Spiritual Divorce by Debbie Ford, You Can Heal Your Life by Louise Hay, The Power of Now and A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle, anything by Wayne Dyer, the Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz, Radical Forgiveness by Colin Tipping, etc. Through my readings, the name of a specific book, A Course in Miracles, kept being mentioned or quoted. So I began reading and studying it.
A Course in Miracles is actually a 3-volume set of books consisting of a Text, Workbook for Students and a Manual for Teachers. It is not credited to a specific author. The person who scribed the course, Helen Schucman, claims she received it through the process of an Inner Voice, which she referred to as Jesus. Whether or not this is the biblical Jesus is uncertain, nor do I profess to believe it one way or the other, but Helen did believe it and refused to take credit for the Course's authorship.
What I found in A Course in Miracles has been life changing for me personally. The term "miracles" does not necessarily mean dramatic demonstrations of healing, walking on water or changing water into wine. It describes a miracle as a "change in perception".
So, I began to look for resources to further my understanding of ACIM. It was through this process that I found Pathways of Light, an organization dedicated to helping students understand the Course. They describe themselves as a "church without walls" which I find personally appealing.
Working with my friend and mentor, Rev. Lorraine Merritt, I started taking correspondence courses through Pathways of Light. As I began taking the courses, the more I felt led, inspired and called to also facilitate these courses as Rev. Lorraine had been doing for me. So I decided to continue taking the courses to the eventual conclusion of becoming an Ordained Ministerial Counselor for Pathways of Light.
As I proceeded on this next phase of my life in this new type of ministry, I needed to be certain I was going to follow through with it before I drew any attention to it. So I left announcing it to the timing of the Holy Spirit, or my Inner Wisdom.
That time is now.