Monday, October 22, 2018

Where do you see God?


That was the question that led us in a recent youth ministry class. Prior to asking the question, we watched a short video titled "Eating Twinkies with God" (The video can be found on YouTube).

After the video, everyone had the opportunity to answer the question, where do you see God? The answers were given and written on our classroom chalkboard. By the end of the morning the board was so full of words they couldn't fit in one photo! Below are a few of the ways our children see God.

In - Reflections, Sunsets, Ocean, Music, Sports, Dancing, Animals, Nature, Church, Fun, Flowers, Love, Voices, Truth, Everywhere, Each other, Art, Giving, People, Clouds, Smiles, At the park, When we are giving, Hope, Goosebumps, Kindness, Helping others, Sportsmanship, Books, Stars, Family!

The Centers for Spiritual Living Teen Leadership team also used this question during a recent planning weekend for their upcoming Winter Camp. They added a new twist by having attendee’s pair up into partners with the instructions for each partner to share for one minute, all the ways in which you see God. Once both partners shared, the instructions were changed to "where do you see God in you?” As a participant in this process, I can share that both my partner and myself had tears in our eyes at the conclusion.

There is something very special about sharing out loud and being witnessed to all the ways we each see and express Divinity. Our lives are so full of work, school and tasks that often we forget to take the time to just sit quietly and recognize all the magnificent gifts that are right in front of us. As well as those that are within us!

Your invitation, should you choose to accept it, is to use this simple practice with your friends or family as a way to recognize the essence of Divinity that is always expressing in, through and around you.

Where do you see God?





Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Wednesday Night Wisdom - September 2018

Conscious Parenting for Everyone is coming to the free Wednesday Night Wisdom classes for September. 7-8 pm.

Whether or not we are parents, we were each parented along the path of life. We may have been influenced by a particular mentor or family member who imparted wisdom we hold dear. Some of us may find that the lessons we learned along our path of life are ready to be set aside for they no longer serve our highest good. We may even find it is time to claim a new story for our life, one that is uplifting, supportive and nurturing.

Over the course of four weeks we will begin an exploration of our individual consciousness and life experience. We'll visit some of the ways in which we bring, or have brought, the lessons learned in our childhood forward into our personal relationships and into the lives of the children and young people in our lives.

Two books support our studies, "This Thing Called You" by Ernest Holmes and "The Conscious Parent" by Shefali Tsabary, PhD. Each of these books contain gems of wisdom that guide us to reclaim our authentic voice and remind us of who we truly are and what we are capable of becoming.

It is my honor to bring this topic of study and exploration to our Center and I look forward to sharing the journey with you.

Blessings,
Susan Robinson, RScP







Thursday, July 26, 2018

Summer Teen Camp 2018


In the early morning hours of July 14, thirteen members (11 teens, 2 advisors) of our Santa Rosa teen group embarked for a week long adventure at the beautiful mountain site of Buckhorn Camp in Idyllwild Ca. for Centers for Spiritual Living summer teen camp 2018. Along our travels we met up with one more teen and advisor making our group 15 strong! A total of 345 teens and advisors from Centers through out the USA, Canada and Jamaica were present for a week of spiritual connection, workshops and play.

Cabin bonding night has become a great way to get to know the people in the cabins. Since we don't spend much time in our cabins, other than to sleep and get ready for the day, this event is a fun way to get to know each other make new friends and create a bit of team spirit.

This year each cabin created a cabin flag (not pictured) and a paper chain and choose one representative to compete in the great Rock Paper Scissors challenge. Pictured to the left is Lily Downs who made it through the first round.

Estrella Pacheco and Charles Woodside each made it into the semi finials. After each round the winner acquired the paper chain of the looser. What you can't see in the picture is that both Estrella and Charles were covered, and or trailing, a huge pile of paper chains. Shout out to Estrella who won this round and went up against the eventual winner of the event.

Our evenings sessions continued with a variety of events. Advisor night being one of the most powerful. This is where a team of five to six advisors share something very personal that they have overcome through applied spiritual practice. Other events include advisor talent night, teen talent night and the Hootenanny, a night of comedy, skits, music and the infamous Padawan skit. A parody of camp put on by those moving into adulthood.

Then there is Empowerment night. This year we separated into age groups and were guided through a series of questions posed by advisors on what it's like to be our specific age. Each person was invited to create a paper leaf in a specific colors with a positive affirmation or statement written on it. When we came back together, each group added their leaf to a large family tree. The tree became a symbol of our connection for the week. It also became a great place to take photos with our camp families as pictured below with mine, Family 16.
On Wednesday afternoon we participated in the teen business meeting facilitated by the current International leadership team. During this meeting teens voted for one of three organizations that will receive a tithe donation from "CSLTeens". The organization chosen was the International Red Cross. We also listened to speeches from the candidates running for the incoming teen leadership team. Nine teens in total created the slate of candidates with six positions available. Only teens are allowed to vote for the incoming leaders. They are instructed to put aside popularity and friendships and choose who they feel will make strong leaders to represent them over the coming year.
Our last day and night together was a mixture of closure with our camp families and a super fun outdoor party complete with water slides, a dunk tank, a pie toss, and carnival snacks. It was a wet and wild adventure full of laughter and fun.
Later that evening was the closing dance. Halfway through the dance the new slate of leadership was announced. Santa Rosa had two teens running for leadership and BOTH of them were voted in! Congratulations to Dylan Jansen and Danna Iversen for your dedication to Center for Spiritual Living Teens.
There are many more stories from our week at camp. Our days were long, beginning at 7:30am for great awake and ending near 11:00pm for lights out. We made new friends, strengthened bonds with existing friends and said farewell to those moving on. We are very grateful for all the love and support of our Santa Rosa community who made it possible for us to attend. Thank you for making our 2018 summer camp experience one to remember for a lifetime!















Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Overflowing with Gratitude!


On June 3rd, our beloved Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa community helped our teens have the most successful fundraiser EVER! At the beginning of each morning service, we shared a short video, that was recorded by our teens and put together by our dear Rev. Edward. Our teens then staffed two tables in the social hall and welcomed your love and your loving donations. By the end of the day we had received just over $4676. 

The following week, we were notified that three of our teens received a $200 scholarship each through the Centers for Spiritual Living Teen Camp Scholarship program!

When all the funds were combined, along with previous funds raised and donated (specifically for teen camp) we were able to 100% scholarship the eleven teens who are qualified and able to attend this years CSL summer teen camp program.

We are overflowing with gratitude for each and every donation and words of support and kindness received. Your generosity is a demonstration of a prayer intention we set last year! We are so excited to meet up with teens from across the United States, Canada and Jamaica this July and celebrate the love we have in our hearts through the outpouring of your loving kindness.

Thank you, Center for Spiritual Living Santa Rosa!

WE LOVE YOU


Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Voting with a youthful Voice!


On June 5th, we adults in California have a job to do and that is to get out and VOTE!!! Regardless of where we are in political affiliation, it's time to pay close attention to the candidates who are running and the policies and issues they are passionate about. It is up to us adults to get out of our own way and to listen to the voices of the youth. For it is their future we are setting in motion through the elected officials we place in office.

Over the weekend of May 19/20 our friends at the Center for Spiritual Awareness (CSA) in West Sacramento hosted a teen overnight. Approximately 50 teens and adults representing 6 Centers, gathered together for a fun, engaged time of connection. One of my personal highlights was a walk from Old Sacramento along the Capital Mall where we gathered together on the steps of State Capital. It was a beautiful night, a little breezy, yet the energy of being together was electric. It was the perfect moment to reflect on the issues that are at the forefront of the minds of the teen population, our upcoming voters, so that us adults can make informed choices when it comes time for us to vote.

We witnessed the flag flying at half staff, in honor of the lives lost at the latest school shooting in Texas, and took a moment to send our love and prayers to all the victims and their families. Then one by one, the teens spoke out loud the issues that they are most concerned about. Gun violence/Gun control. The need for tighter restrictions for purchase and the elimination assault rifles. Mental Health education and funding so that instead of cutting programs we have more services available. Reduced fees or free education programs - trade schools - and higher education options. Keeping programs available and funded such as planned parenthood and DACA. Housing options for the un-housed/homeless population. Keeping creative arts programs in public schools. Suicide prevention and awareness training and more programs that help students learn healthy ways to deal with anxiety and depression.

We listened with hearts open. We also shared the importance of staying involved and informed. One advisor shared that teens can preregister to vote when they get their Ca. drivers license so that when they turn 18, voter information will automatically be sent to them. It was a heart warming discussion filled with hope.

In true Center for Spiritual Living teen style, we put our hands together and rubbed them with warmth and positive energy taking all we had discussed and releasing it in a blessing upon the State seal, the Capital building and the Nation. I am so grateful to Louis Gonzalez and all the staff of CSA for opening their spiritual home and creating a space for us to come together in love.

When it comes time for you to cast your vote, please listen to what is in your heart and to the issues that matter to the youth in your life and vote in the spirit of the youthful voice.
We are all in this together!
With Love and Blessings ~ Susan Robinson, RScP






Monday, May 14, 2018

Growing in the flow of the Divine


Coming up with creative projects to complement our lessons in Youth and Family Ministry often requires a big dose of imagination blended with Divine Inspiration. Such was the case a few lessons ago when we used our hand prints as a way of expressing our individuality in the form of a fish.

Our lesson was focused on our individual expression within the Mind of God. Our complementary reading for the day were the books, You be You and Only One You by Linda Kranz. 

Linda has a wonderful web site (www.lindakranz.com) with free printable worksheets that we used for our pre-class activity however, when it came time for us to have some creative expression everyone loved the idea of using their own hand prints to create their one of kind masterpiece.

The creative genius in the room was contagious! A little bit of extra craft paper, googly eyes, glue on gems and lots of imagination went a long way to support the sea of creativity that sparked to life in our classrooms.

You could say, we were growing in the flow of the Divine and having a great time doing it.



Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Celebrating Earth Day

On April 20th we merged our youth lesson with a celebration of Earth Day.

It was the perfect time to remind ourselves what an amazing miracle this life is. That inside all of us is Universal presence that exists in every aspect of being, in every form of being and in all the space in-between.

We spent time marveling at how our bodies know exactly what is needed to function on the inside. How everything works together to support each of us. From the transportation system of our veins and arteries, to the factories of the heart and brain, to the mechanics of our joints and bones ~ all of it working together in harmony for our highest good in every moment.

We expanded this idea to include the miracle of everything around us, our plants, trees, oceans, rivers, pets, friends, family and the precious planet we live on. We spent time sharing all the ways we care for the planet, and explored a few ideas that we can add to be even more mindful of our resources.

When it came time to have a little creative fun we re-purposed and re-used as many items as we could to create mini versions of ourselves. Being that we are one with all of life, that meant embracing our connection to everything. Some of us choose to look through the eyes of animals ~ or to have the body of nature.

Some of the students choose to add words to their projects, such as, Nash who wrote "I am Nature" or Mateo who added "I love Life" and Sophia who reminded us "We only have one Planet, so let's take care of it."

Sage advise and reminders from our young friends that we can all benefit from.

 



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