A Prayer for the Victims of War
Day and Thanksgiving
Each year, on the first Sunday in August, The Centre community celebrates its birthday, giving thanks for our founders – Rev Mario Schoenmaker (1929-1997) and Rev Colin Read (1944-1999) – all those people who have and continue to build upon the vision and purposes they set before us. This year The Centre celebrates its 45th birthday.
The Centre community places the spirit of Christ at the forefront and is guided by a vision of a spiritual community within which we experience a deeper relationship with the spiritual worlds and a deeper knowing of Christ within us. It’s a vision of a community of people dedicated to living in such a way that the spirit of Christ is more visible, more available, more manifest on this earth. A community of people where Christ is pre-eminent and flows from us in the relationships and situations we encounter in our lives.
We give thanks for our founders, Rev Mario and Rev Colin – for their sensitivity and courage in bringing The Centre into being and for the wonderful ways they nurtured our newly awakened souls. And we give thanks for all our members, present and past, who have helped The Centre be what it is today.
Mario and Colin always maintained that they were not the founders; rather, it was the action of the Spirit which brought The Centre into being. Undoubtedly this is true, and yet it is also true that they had the sensitivity to listen and perceive the still small voice of the Spirit and the courage and ability to respond to and enact what it revealed within their consciousness. And all those Centrites who have shared and who continue to share in the work of realising the purposes and manifesting the vision which has been set before us also demonstrate our capacity to listen and respond to the still small voice of the Spirit within. We continue to build together upon the foundation laid by Mario and Colin in response to the Spirit.
In his 1986 Founders Day address entitled ‘The Nature of the Church’, Rev Mario had this to say about the purpose of The Centre:
I wish point out to you that this Centre was born because of one great principle which we have upheld throughout the years without failing. That great principle you know for we have spoken about it often enough and have given each and everyone of you sufficient knowledge of how to attain to that great principle within your own being.
That principle lies in the I AM, and the attainment of the I AM is the secret of our success and the secret of our power. …
Our Church will be even more necessary in years to come when all the powers of hell will try to take away from you that little freedom we have enjoyed so far. For freedom and I AMness go hand in hand. Not a freedom to do what one wishes, but a freedom to create and bring beauty and love into the world through the emanations of our own Christed being.
A great vision and purpose has been set before us, and this Founders Day we give thanks and rededicate ourselves to its fulfillment.
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