"There's no agenda other than exploring God's truth. There's this, "let's get real and go into a deep space," which I believe the church ignores either because it's distracted or doesn't know how to address and guide congregants in the healing process."
"This is it," I whisper to myself, as I did the first time I attended a class here, last year. This is the community I wondered if existed that I'm now fortunate to be a part of, and it's right in the heart of Greensboro, NC. Unassuming. Peaceful. Powerful. Transformative.
It's been a little over a year since I began taking classes at SLS. When I arrived in Greensboro nearly 9 years ago, I heard of the school, read the catalogue, thought it would be nice to look into one day, and went on about my business. But after my brother, who pastored the church I attended in High Point, took an offer to pastor a church in Charlotte, I thought this might be the time to do something different, spiritually.
So, I enrolled in the first year course, "Putting on the Mind of Christ." Within months, I felt my spirit and mind enter another dimension. The teachings not only challenged me, they confirmed what my spirit had been searching for. I wanted more.
The second year course, which I've just begun, is "Deep Healing." My first thought was, I will sit in the class and learn what I can learn, be glad to be surrounded by my new friends, but the topic really doesn't apply to me. I've gone through the healing process. I wasn't sure why a class needed to be devoted on healing.
What's been profound -- and this is only the second class in the course -- is the sense of community and the depth which we enter discussions. There's no agenda other than exploring God's truth. There's this, "let's get real and go into a deep space," which I believe the church ignores either because it's distracted or doesn't know how to address and guide congregants in the healing process.
In class, we talk about the ego versus the truth of the true self, how God loves all of us and not just the "angelic" part of who we are. We talk about self acceptance and how important it is to be conscious, awake and aware on our spiritual journey. We talk about how messy the spiritual path can be, how it seems we are going in circles or backwards but that we are really exactly where God wants us. We talk about claiming our Belovedness and recognizing we all are chosen.
But we don't just talk and listen. We are challenged. How are we called to grow, to expand our minds and hearts? To be in alignment with God? We sit in silence together. We are given tools on how to sit in silence when we are apart.
This is good stuff. It's not just folks talking about Christ but we're operating in Christ consciousness. It's a sanctuary (without it looking like one: stained glass, red carpet, pews). It's being the church outside of the church. It's a place to go, to be fed, to give, to share, to sit with the questions, to learn, to listen, to chant, to be honest, to be free, to be restored all that we might be able to go into our part of the world and reach others with the Truth of their Belovedness. There are ministers and laypersons in class, all laying down their burdens and picking up Truth to walk this road in communion with one another and with God.
Class, for me, is like a child experiencing wonder. My eyes get bigger with each reading and discussion. I become so excited that I can hardly contain the "Good News." I guess it's not "class" that does this but discovering God in this new way, and classes at SLS are an avenue for that. I'm thankful to God that those who began the school have kept it going for all these years. I'm sure they've faced challenges and opposition, and at some point questioned if they were making a difference. My family provided a strong foundation for my Christian faith, but SLS has provided the air for which I am able to spread my flawed yet beautiful multi-colored wings.
I'm asked often where I go to church. That leads me to a lengthy answer because I now see church as something different than where I go on a Sunday morning. I'm at SLS on Thursday mornings.
Click here to find out more about the Servant Leadership School of Greensboro.