SOMM 90th Anniversary The Journey Ahead Unabridged
October 2017 Blog
By Rebecca Hiraoka and Kathy Mastroianni, RScP
As we wrap up our commemoration of the Guide for Spiritual Living: Science of Mind magazine’s 90th anniversary, we explore new pathways of this teaching throughout the Religious Science movement. These powerful world ministries (and so many others) are forming the future of this organization and the next annals of the Science of Mind Library & Archives Foundation.
Due to space limitation in the printed magazine and an abundance of enthusiastic responses for information from the various ministries, the Science of Mind Archives is hosting the full, unabridged/unedited versions of all these articles–including a few new ones! There are a series of six blog articles, one on each of the following ministries: Interfaith & Multicultural, Social Justice, Emerging Leaders, Diversity, Global, and Seniors.
Be inspired! If you read about a ministry that you would like to learn about or could possibly work for your Center–reach out. Contact them. Let’s share these Creative Ideas with each other to truly reveal a World That Works for Everyone–Now.
Dynamic Diversity Ministry!
Bodhi Spiritual Center
Senior Minister: Reverend Lola Wright
Associate Minister: Reverend Rainbow Weldon
In 2003 Bodhi was founded by Rev. Mark Anthony Lord and his husband Patrick Ziegler. Mark Anthony’s personal experience as a gay man in religious tradition and later his deep and personal connection to the New Thought movement impelled him to birth a Center for Spiritual Living in Chicago that appealled and engaged the LGBTQA community in meaningful and provocative ways. Much of Mark Anthony’s work has intended to heal religious trauma and create a new and deep experience with one’s personal divine.
In 2005 Rev. Lola Wright joined our community as a member. She was a single mom of biracial children. Rev. Lola was raised by two women. Her commitment to honestly and candidly exploring racism, sexism, homophobia and classism required Bodhi to look more rigorously at its commitment to being a safe and affirming space for all of Chicago. Lola joined our staff in 2012 and has served as our Spiritual Director since 2015. Lola is impelled by her vision to create a multicultural and multiracial community that explores unconscious bias and healing the traumatic wounds of racism, sexism, and classism. Lola is constantly driven by her deep commitment to hip-hop culture and it’s history of Unity. Lola weaves together the Ancient Wisdom/New Thought teachings and Hip-Hop tradition, both liberation philosophies, to create a catalyzing community that moves Oneness from theory into practice.
Chicago is arguably the most racially segregated city in America. Rev. Lola’s vision is to create a powerful community that does the work to bust down barriers of separation, heal racism, sexism and classism within our own community and provide a model and demonstration of fierce exploration, honest dialogue and deep listening.
Rev. Lola orients her lifestyle and the culture of Bodhi to be congruent with the vision of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s Beloved Community. The Bodhi Spiritual Center community is regularly exploring The Triple Threats of Evil as warned by Dr. King. Bodhi is supporting creative and innovative ways to disrupt our national and cultural commitment to poverty, racism and militarization in an effort to realize a society that experiences our profound and intrinsic connection to all sentient beings sharing and honoring the wealth of the earth among all.
Bodhi has a long history of doing project based work that has immediate impact in the community but is shortlived. Our growth edge is to develop greater strategic partnerships and initiatives that don’t disappear once performed so that our community can have an ongoing and measurable impact in areas and on topics that matter to us. We would love to be known within Chicago for specific work that we do and the difference and contribution it brings to Chicago.
Bodhi has a strong team of highly skilled and trained facilitators on unconscious bias, microaggressions, and systemic racism. This year we have had a committed group of 25 community members meet monthly to discuss their own fears, projections, and judgements related to race. This group is titled Unity Dialogues and is led by practitioner Gina Harris. With appropriate, trained and committed Center leadership we see this as a valuable framework for other Centers supporting a movement from a theory based exploration of Oneness to the application based practice of Oneness. Rev. Lola has a skilled ability to explore highly charged topics of racism, sexism and classism while weaving in spiritual principle and practice in honest and refreshing ways. She currently offers training within Bodhi and beyond for leaders interested in exploring their own blindspots and taking responsibility for bringing awakened cultural competency into organizations and institutions.