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On Sunday January 24, 2021 Rev. Vincent Fuqua addressed the congregation for the Community Miracles Center's *A Course In Miracles* Zoom Sunday Gathering. What follows is a lightly edited transcription of that talk.

Amanda GormanHello everyone. As usual it's always a great and wonderful opportunity to be able to speak, and to be able to share my thoughts. Specifically my thoughts around how A Course In Miracles has helped me shift and helped me to be able to see things differently than I had previously in my life. I'm always grateful to be able to have the opportunity to share regarding that aspect of the Course.

One of the things I always do is turn my talk over to the Holy Spirit, to ask for guidance, exactly what is it that I am to talk about. The word "hope" just kept coming to my mind. I thought, "Okay," maybe that's something that I can speak to and share my thoughts on – how I see it, and how I perceive what hope is. As we know, the word "hope" is used so many different times in so many different ways and in so many different situations.

I decided to actually look "hope" up in a dictionary just to see what the dictionary actually has to say about the word "hope." Here are a couple of things that came from that. "To cherish a desire with anticipation. To want something to happen or be true. Desire accompanied by expectation of our belief in fulfillment." I appreciated the definitions because in my mind it does demonstrate and does show that there are different aspects, or different ways, we can actually look at the word "hope." In my mind I'm also looking at it in a spiritual way as well. How can we embody it and really embody what the meaning of hope is in regards to the spiritual aspect of it? One of the things when you think about hope is to think about all the different examples of hope that we tend to have in our lives.

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We tend to want to hope for a better day. We tend to want to hope the movie we are going to see is going to actually be a good movie – unlike Wonder Woman 1984. When I saw it, I was very disappointed in it. I had hoped that it was going to be good. We all have those hopes regarding that aspect of things. For me, I am a big football fan, I always hope every year that my 49ers do well, but it didn't happen this year. But those are things that, you know what, we hope for. That's the energy that we put out. Normally, when you think about it, it's usually putting out the energy of "something good" about the thing we want. Usually we're hoping for something nice, something that feels right for us regarding that aspect of things.

This got me thinking more about hope. You know what? We're starting 2021 and lots of people set goals or resolutions for themselves. Every year it's something that folks do, and something that I continue to do. I continue to reflect on my life and how the previous years were, and how I'm hoping to continue to evolve in the next year. The thing that came up for me is that – you know what? I want to be able to allow myself to be more hopeful. It's about me learning how, no matter what's going on in my life, no matter what type of challenges that may be coming up, to have the frame of mind of having hope. Because, when I think about it, when I am feeling like I am not hopeful, or even feeling like I'm hopeless, it's very draining. It takes a lot of energy out of me, and I don't want that.

I want more of that uplifting positive energy in me. And that's what I want to strive for in this year. I want to look at every situation in a more hopeful way, not in a negative way. It got me to reflect even more on my life, about what things have been like for me throughout my years in this world regarding that aspect of hope, and to recognize and to understand that – you know what? There were numerous times in my life when I did not feel hopeful. I grew up in an area where I had to deal with a lot of harassment. I grew up in an area where there was a lot of drive-by shooting. I grew up in an area where I lost a lot of key people in my life in an early age. I grew up in an area with situations where I just did not feel safe all the time.

I could have easily made the choice to not be hopeful. I could have easily made the choice to allow those things to hold me back. Even though all that happened pre-Course, I do think that there was something in me that I already had the message of the Course. It was there to let me know, "No matter what is happening with you at this time, Vincent, there's more for you. There is a purpose out there that is waiting for you to be able to take that opportunity." And it has. I've been very fortunate to have A Course in Miracles come into my life. I've been very fortunate and blessed to have the Community Miracles Center come into my life.

The thing is, when we reflect on our lives, all these different situations happen for a reason. They happen because those are experiences that we need to continue to evolve, to continue to be able to see things in a way that we haven't seen before. The Course says this, "The possibility of freedom has been grasped and welcomed, and the means by which it can be gained can now be understood."(OrEd.Tx.30.58) The Spirit is always in us. It is deep in our souls. The question is, are we willing to listen to it? Are we ready to truly allow ourselves to embrace it, and to be able to see that hope and beauty in this world that we are in? One of the great things that I appreciated, because of what happened to me in my past life, is the Course has taught me and has given me the hope to not allow myself to play victim, to not allow myself to be in guilt. "No." It also gave me the opportunity to see forgiveness. It gave me the opportunity to see love.

In my mind, that is part of what hope is about. It is seeing those things and not seeing the negative things, the victims. It's not seeing the guilt, the shame, all those challenges that we go through. "No." Those are just learning opportunities and experiences for us to be able to shift and change. "The world becomes a place of hope because its only purpose is to be a place where hope of happiness can be fulfilled. And no one stands outside this hope because the world has been united in belief the purpose of the world is one which all must share if hope be more than just a dream." (OrEd.Tx.30.58) "... because the world has been united in belief the purpose of the world is one which all must share if hope be more than just a dream." (OrEd.Tx.30.58)

It's all of us folks. It is each and every one of us. This road, in my mind, is really about happiness, is really about us learning how to shift and how to see what we really are meant to be. I do believe, for me throughout my life, that I have been able to see that path of hope and happiness. I have felt it in myself. I feel it in others. I feel it in this world that we are in. I know for me, in order to stay in that frame of mind of believing in hope, that I have to understand that there is a power way greater than myself that is guiding me and that is letting me know that no matter what obstacles may appear to be coming forward, it doesn't matter. It really doesn't, because that power knows and understands where I'm at. It knows and understands where we all are at.

For me, I will do everything I possibly can to not allow myself to lose hope anymore, to see it, to cherish the beauty of what hope really is about. I recognize that it's not always easy. I recognize that there's going to be those moments where I want to slip back into my old ways and feel guilty, depressed, or sad, whatever it is, because so much is thrown at us on a daily basis. But yet, we have the strength, the power, and the willingness to be able to change that.

I reflect that I hoped that I would have a better life. I hoped that I would be able to help others. I hoped that I and my siblings would always be close, even after we lost our parents at an early age. And guess what? It all happened. Even though I and my siblings are in separate places farther away than we have ever been, we're still very close. That's because I had hope, and I had trust and I believed that's what was supposed to be.

We are seeing the change that is happening in this world, and it is a positive change. It is uplifting change. All I see is the beauty that is starting to manifest. I'm seeing the energy, the light that has been given each and every one of us. "Not yet is Heaven quite remembered, for the purpose of forgiveness still remains. Yet everyone is certain he will go beyond forgiveness, and he but remains until it is made perfect in himself." (OrEd.Tx:30.59) "... for the purpose of forgiveness still remains." (OrEd.Tx:30.59)

In my mind forgiveness is one of the biggest hopes that we can ask for, that we can put out there. I'm very sure each and every one of us has experienced some form of trauma in our lives, has experienced something in this world that just did not feel right for us, that brought uneasiness to us, made us doubt ourselves, that made us believe that we were not worth it. All those things we all may have experienced. If we didn't experience it personally, I'm very sure other people in our lives have experienced it. But the greatest hope is to allow ourselves to forgive those things. For me, I have to forgive those thoughts that I know that came from my ego mind.

That is the hope, when I'm able to do that, because then I'm able to see all my siblings as one. Then I can see that we are all collective and that there is no separation. We all may appear to be different. In reality we're not, even though we might see or appear to see those differences. Think about it. To see all our siblings as one makes us stronger. It makes us stronger beings in this world. For me, my goal of allowing the hope, my goal to allow myself to see things differently, is to recognize those moments when I feel like, "That person doesn't agree with me. That person has a different view from me. That person doesn't look like me. That person …" whatever it is. You know what I'm doing then? I'm planning the separation. I'm not allowing myself to see who that person is. That person is exactly who I am.

We are all loving, healing beings. My hope is your hope; your hope is my hope. This word "hope" is all of our hope, each and every one of us. That's the energy. That's the essence that I want to see, that I want to embrace and believe in. I do not want to allow any of these obstacles or challenges or barriers to interfere with me. For 2021, it is all about having hope. It really is about seeing the beauty, the loving, incredible energy that each and every one of us brings. That is what I am about. "Look forward, then, and walk in confidence with happy hearts that beat in hope and do not pound in fear." (OrEd.Tx.30.68) I'll repeat, "Look forward, then, and walk in confidence with happy hearts that beat in hope and do not pound in fear." (OrEd.Tx.30.68) Our heart is beating with nothing but hope and love.

As I reflect on my path, as I look in the present, and as I look towards the future – that's all I see right now. I see hope. I am so confident in what's going to be manifested in this world now: that all will be seen with forgiveness, that we all would be in love, that we all will be united as one, that we all will be healed in this world in the way that we need to be.

We have a new generation of folks who are coming forward who are already starting to embrace that. We had the privilege, I felt like I had the privilege and honor to hear the 22 year old African-American woman, Amanda Gorman, speak at the recent Presidential inauguration. (See the cover of this *Miracles Monthly* for her picture and page 9 for the text of her poem performed at the inaugural.) We heard the amazing words that she wrote and read. That gives me hope. That has led me to see that this world is ready for a change. This world is ready for each and every one of us to do our part, to see the love, to see the beauty, and to not allow ourselves to dwell on things that appear to weigh us down. Let us do nothing but put the energy of hope in every ounce and bounce that we have, because that is our purpose in this world. That is my purpose in this world.

I am looking forward to an incredible 2021, because I know, and I trust in what the new generation is going to be doing and what each and everyone of us is already doing.

That is my talk for today.

Rev. Vincent Fuqua is CMC's 51st minister. He currently serves on the CMC's Board of Directors (01.24.22). He was ordained by the CMC on Oct. 4, 2004.

Amanda Gorman

© 2021 Community Miracles Center, San Francisco, CA – All rights reserved.

Rev. Vincent Fuqua
c/o Community Miracles Center
POB 470341
San Francisco, CA 94147

This article appeared in the February 2021 (Vol. 34 No. 12) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members, Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.