The peace in knowing who we are with Priscilla Harper, Virginia Harris, CSB and Erin Gruwell

 

“Many (of these youth) feel negatively towards religion since it has contributed to their isolation from their family and/or homelessness,” said Taz Tagore, a Reciprocity co-founder.

“Most LGBT adults have left their childhood religion because of rejection they’ve experienced,” Ryan said. “So many have a lack of rootedness and connectedness. (Reciprocity’s) approach is helping to restore a sense of spiritual practice.”

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/12/09/reciprocity-foundation-lgbt-retreats_n_6294206.html?utm_hp_ref=gay-voices&ir=Gay%20Voices

 

My prayer each day is this: “Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven…”  In the kingdom there is no limit of goodness and blessing, no lack of justice and freedom, no loss of equality, and no less than the highest status and standard of right for each and every individual…in earth as it is in heaven.

In the wholehood of the Divine, we are all one with and inseparable from the omnipresent and omni-abundant Supreme being.  No one is cast aside, no one is diminished, no one is less than another or limited in opportunity.

Divine law mandates all rights in equal measure to all God’s children.  This must be the standard of right for all humanity.

“The Standard of Right”

by Virginia Harris, C.S.B.

*

* A dedicated teacher (Erin Gruwell) in a racially divided Los Angeles school has a class of at-risk teenagers deemed incapable of learning. Instead of giving up, she inspires her students to take an interest in their education and planning their future. She assigns reading material that relates to their lives and encourages them all to keep journals.  

Hope must be taught before there is a chance of learning the subject matter. When students feel self-defeated and hopeless then learning can’t occur.   They must feel valued, listened to and understood for their mental gates to open up to be receptive to learning and for healing to occur.

Then “this opens up a conversation about seeing ourselves as God does, as His child, “cared for, watched over, beloved and protected” (No. 278)—rather than as lost, lonely, and vulnerable.”  Perhaps Erin Gruwell saw the perfect man and it made all the difference.

Faith and spirituality can be an unobstructed path to hope.  But not if you are labeling LGBT youth as “less than” or “unequal”.   You just took away their hope.  Some lost their family with it.

 

The peace in knowing who we are

From the April 4, 2016 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel

By Priscilla Harper

My present experience was seen to be the result of things that had happened in the past, which I felt had embedded in me a tendency toward certain emotional reactions that I could not change. These events in early childhood had left such an impression on me that they had become to me my identity, and I felt I had to live out that identity—that this was “me.” This left me confused, fearful, and at times without hope.

Within two days I signed myself out of the hospital, and days later I attended a Christian Science lecture. The Christian Science practitioner who gave the lecture spoke of some very challenging and familiar (to me) experiences that had been healed through prayer. What she said directly addressed my fears. After the lecture I told her about my situation and asked her if she would pray for me. She said she would.

Continuing to reason over many years from this standpoint, I have found not only a permanent joy and peace, but also a strong sense of purpose that I had not previously known nor could have imagined for myself. In fact, recently while sorting through old papers, I came across a letter from a family friend, who was a doctor. In the letter he said that he was sad to think how I would suffer in the future because of the past.

I smiled as I read his well-intended letter and thanked God that Christian Science has given me a beautiful new understanding of our true and only selfhood. This has been foundational in my social work with children. Sometimes when I talk with teenagers in foster care, I share my favorite hymns from the Christian Science Hymnal. This opens up a conversation about seeing ourselves as God does, as His child, “cared for, watched over, beloved and protected” (No. 278)—rather than as lost, lonely, and vulnerable.

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