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The Community Ministry provides opportunities for us to experience our primary tenet of Oneness. The root of community is to commune, to come together in caring, support, and service. Relationships are a laboratory of sorts to practice the principles that otherwise might be mere abstract conceptualizations. Participation requires patience, compassion, healing, and the willingness to openly address and resolve conflicts. Our charge is to love each other while we grow into our greater yet to be. We strive to be inclusive and appreciate authentic expressions of our divinity. We respect all family units and encourage multigenerational participation. Our Community Ministry continues to evolve and is currently comprised of the following associate ministries.
The Families Ministry is devoted to fostering the development of a spiritual community in which children are an integral and valued part. We are committed to nurturing and supporting families and children in ways that are inclusive, respectful, and welcoming. We dedicate ourselves to assisting the children of Inner Light to know the truth about who they are as pure Spirit, to develop their own powers, to learn compassion for others, and to recognize our spiritual community as a rich resource for love, support, nurturance, and tools for living spiritually. Families Ministry programs include developmentally-appropriate spiritual education for infants through teenagers, parent support groups, monthly intergenerational activities, on-site child care for some Inner Light programming, and an annual prayer group focused on parenting as a spiritual path.
Our ministry provides a nurturing environment for men to help one another express and heal themselves while learning to use their masculine energy to heal the greater community. We intend to introduce men to spirituality and transform men’s awareness and experience of their daily lives by opening their minds, hearts and souls. Our history started in 2003 when Inner Light Ministries sought to provide a safe place for all men to explore their emerging spirituality. Especially for those men confronted by their own life circumstances that, maybe the first time in their life, they felt powerless about and that had a future that was unknown to them. Truly a man’s personal spiritual space and meaning is found in the unknown and powerlessness.
Our ministry is a place of heart, of compassion and unconditional love. The inmates provide an opportunity to deepen our awareness of ourselves and the world around us. Truly, we are students and teachers of each other. Those called to this ministry, will be a gift and will be gifted in ways that you cannot perceive of now. Through prison outreach, we find first hand witness to the truth that is everywhere present and Good all of the time!
We intend to bless and be blessed. To minister to and be ministered to. To hold Truth that there is truly one of us here and that what happens to our incarcerated brothers and sisters is happening also to us.
Our history started in 2000 when someone heard Reverend Deborah on tape and thought she would be a great speaker. She was invited to come and speak at Pleasant Valley State Prison. Men asked her for her address and started corresponding. Over 80 men have been written to and some of the original men are still corresponding. As men were transferred to other facilities, the word spread and we are writing to men in seven institutions. The prison outreach ministry has been invited to participate in various events such as Interfaith Banquets, music events, and Muslim Eids (holy days).
Inner Light strives to create a Youth Ministry with strong youth input and leadership. The vision is of a ministry that addresses the issues and concerns facing today’s adolescents with openness and honesty in formats and forums that enable young people to support each other in applying spiritual principles in their lives. In addition to their own programs, the youth are fully incorporated into Inner Light activities, including Sunday Services, education, community volunteer work, and participation in multi-generational activities.