Ministers & Their Articles

CMC Active Ministers (102)

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When I think of aliens, I think about how they’re portrayed in Hollywood movies. In many movies they look like fearsome, enlarged, insect-like creatures with really scary faces. The thought of making love to this depiction of an alien would repulse most people. A Course in Miracles describes an equally unpleasant image of the ego. It describes the ego using the imagery of blood, skeletons and pigs to name a few; still we often make love to its beliefs and idols. My talk will be about how we can use this imagery as a way to expose the ego and make love to the beauty, innocence, and oneness of our true reality. 26 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Tuesday, 25 May 2021 12:00

Your Practice Is Important

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Dear Miracle Workers,

As I practice using the Course I sometimes forget why I’m doing it. Sometimes I get caught up in how often I have practiced and judge myself on whether or not I’ve had a miracle as often as I used to have them. All this is simply more madness from my ego. Recently, I was taking a walk and I was thinking again that I hadn’t had a miracle in a while. That’s when it popped into my head (thank you, Holy Spirit) that it was still important to practice the ideas. The ideas themselves are healing and upholding the One Mind. I had never realized that before. Simply repeating the ideas in my mind is helpful.

The miracle is always there, but I am still practicing whether I have a miracle or not. We are each here to help one another remember. My remembering is helping my brothers as well as myself. That thought has helped to release me from “trying” to have a miracle or judging myself about it. I know that’s my ego, but somehow I’ve been freed from all concern about it. Now I’m just willing to practice. “The overall aim of the exercises is to increase your ability to extend the ideas you will be practicing to include everything.” (FIP.WkBk.Intro.7) So, I am happy just to practice.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #288, May 25, 2021)

Tuesday, 18 May 2021 12:00

Producing Time Miracles

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Dear Miracle Workers,

I have manifested a life where I frequently (always?) have a lot to do. Maybe that’s just the nature of church work in general. My usual activities of the day are always more than I can actually do. However I am an ACIM student and I believe in miracles. "The miracle is the only device which man has at his immediate disposal for controlling time." (OrEd.Tx.85.51) Sounds grandiose. The miracle that will allow me to control time itself is under my immediate disposal! “Immediate!?!?” Like right now!?!?

Last week the CMC’s checking account, payroll account, PayPal account, email account, and even our office phone lines were hacked and compromised. We’ll probably never know how this happened. Someone must have gotten into something of ours and was able to log into multiple accounts with passwords or password reset credentials. The resulting business chaos was “time consuming” to say the least. Can time truly be “consumed?” Yet miracles continued to happen. We were able to freeze everything before any money was lost. Considering the comprehensiveness of the situation that was amazing! “WooHoo!!”

There was all the time it took, and still is taking, and here I am “short on time” because our ACIM Virtual Event is happening next weekend. Could the event still happen? Was there enough time? Someone had definitely “consumed” my time. They ate it all up and left me with an empty time cupboard. But miracles give me time mastery. “Time is a trick – a sleight of hand, a vast illusion in which figures come and go as if by magic." (OrEd.WkBk.15.84) The miracle is happening. Our virtual event is progressing “on time” and I’ve had another opportunity to prove to myself how valuable it is for me to be a person who practices ACIM and produces time miracles.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #287, May 18, 2021)

Tuesday, 11 May 2021 12:00

Everyone Lives in a Small Town

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Dear Miracle Workers,

Remember that John Mellencamp song, "Small Town"? It came out in 1985 and some of the lyrics are:

Well I was born in a small town
And I live in a small town
Probably die in a small town…

 The point of the song is that there is a comfort and a familiarity and even a charm about his small town that makes him want to stay:

And I can breathe in a small town
Gonna die in this small town
And that’s probably where they’ll bury me.

It got me to thinking, don’t we all live in a small town? The people we grew up with, the experiences we’ve had, the limits we’ve learned, the memories we cherish, the judgments we’ve made – they are all still there – in the small town in our mind – where we still live.

Our habits of thought are comfortable and familiar. We like them. We believe in them. In fact, were we to suddenly have to give them all up, we would feel anchorless and fearful. That is why, in the Manual for Teachers, Jesus explains that most of us are given “a slowly-evolving training program.” (OrEd.Mn.9.1) We are also taught that how much time we spend in this training program before being born again, before we remember who we are and the innocent child we are, is up to us. We can choose to be buried in our small town, or we can choose to be born again into someplace really spectacular.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #286, May 11, 2021)

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As Rev. Deb Canja and I prepare for the upcoming Live, Virtual event, I am taking a moment to pause and to express gratitude. Yesterday we hit over 100 registrants and the numbers have gone even higher since then. Midnight Sunday will be the end of the “Early Bird” price discount so I’m excited to see where we reach by midnight May 9. I am grateful to Rev. Deb who is the newest member of the CMC Board for all of her valuable training in organizing and marketing – plus her boundless positive energy, intelligence & creativity. I am grateful to our wonderful Presenters who agreed to participate and help with publicity – and basically to trust Community Miracles Center (and me Rev. Tony) one more time! Of course I am grateful to Holy Spirit for allowing us to change the “lemons” of the Pandemic and two canceled in-person Conferences – Los Angeles in 2020 and Washington DC in 2021 – to the wonderful lemonade of our upcoming Virtual Event: Unblock! Unlock! & Rock. ACIM teaches us "All things work together for good. There are no exceptions except in the ego's judgment." (OrEd.Tx.4.69) This has certainly proved itself to me during these last 14 months. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Tuesday, 04 May 2021 12:00

The One Thing That Worked

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Dear Miracle Workers,

Since becoming a published author I’ve heard a lot of advice on how to turn a book into “a money-making machine” and make “a six-figure income.” It always sounds so great until I remember I walked away from a six-figure income and a rewarding position because I’d had a nagging feeling I was being called to do something else.

And even though I didn’t know what I was being called toward, I knew what I was being called from. Jesus tells us there is a basic level confusion that underlies all attempts to seek happiness with the instruments of the world. He says, “A desert is a desert is a desert. You can do anything you want in it, but you cannot change it from what it is. It still lacks water, which is why it is a desert. The thing to do with a desert is to leave." (CE.1.43.12:2-5)

I left a desert for more alignment with A Course In Miracles. Even though I’d been studying the Course for years, I didn’t feel I was living its teachings. For starters, I hadn’t actually ever done the lessons the way they are supposed to be done. I’d read a lesson in the morning and not even remember it until the end of the day. And forget about that every half hour thing! I bought lesson cards and a reminder app for my phone. I taped things to my mirror. I’d like to say it all worked like a charm, but it didn’t.

Yet, one thing did –– the Community Miracles Center’s Workbook Lesson class. I almost didn’t take it. I remember saying, “There is NO WAY I am going to call a lesson buddy every day and do the lesson together! I am too busy! I don’t want to be that structured! I don’t even like talking on the phone!” But, folks, it’s the one thing that worked. And it was such a beautiful experience. I’m now on my third year of “lesson buddy-ness.” Looking for a fast track? This is it.

(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #285, May 4, 2021)

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Are we off to see the Wizard? It takes courage to take on the world’s thought system. The “Sickness & Death” lobby do not accept being challenged. They fight back! The ego will be quite vicious when its foundations are shaken and we may often quake with "... the sweat of terror and a scream of mortal fear. " (OrEd.Tx.27.73) However courage does not mean the absence of fear. It means that we faced the terror and followed guidance regardless. "Yet God can bring you there if you are willing to follow the Holy Spirit through seeming terror, trusting Him not to abandon you and leave you there. ... He would lead you safely through and far beyond." (OrEd.Tx.18.87) Remember The Wizard of Oz? The Cowardly Lion thought he didn’t have courage because he was frequently afraid. However he learned that just facing his fears WAS the proof of courage. At the end the Wizard gave the Lion a hero’s “Courage Medal.” Let’s claim our own Courage Medal this Sunday at the Sunday Gathering! The Wizard will be there. 25 min. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE

Thursday, 29 April 2021 08:07

The Courage to Confront the Ego

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Dear Miracle Workers,
 
I am aware of the tremendous courage it takes to confront the ego. There is a profound bravery that we have to find when we challenge the the ego’s dark cornerstones – the sickness, aging, and inevitable death belief. There is an appearance of a very organized group of collaborators that I have labeled “the sickness and death lobby.” This group continues to advocate and argue for – lobby for – the reality of sickness and death.
 
We are living through the manifest example of the control the sickness and death lobby has. The current pandemic gives us examples enough. The divisiveness of the society – mask or not mask, vaccine or no vaccine – is just another example of the divisiveness we continue to see elsewhere (ie: government). The insanity of the world continues to manifest. “This is an insane world, and do not underestimate the actual extent of its insanity.” (OrEd.Tx.13.50)
 
Never underestimate the strength of the ego’s defense for its belief system. “The ego will begin to attack your motives as soon as they become clearly out of accord with its perception of you. This is when it will shift abruptly from suspiciousness to viciousness.” (OrEd.Tx.9.42) Just observe how vicious both sides of the pandemic debate can get when they see the “other side” as disagreeing. Watch them both resort to extreme guilt projection.
 
The best way for us to handle the seeming attack is to understand we not in this alone. We call on our Mighty Companions. All of us regular ACIM students gathering with the CMC are here for each other. We hold hands as we look at the ego. We find our courage; we find our sanity. “Only the sane can look on stark insanity and raving madness with pity and compassion but not with fear.” (OrEd.Tx.19.100)
 
(First appeared in *Miracles Weekly* #284, Apr. 27 2021)
Sunday, 25 April 2021 06:29

04.25.21 Video "It's Time"

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ACIM tells us quite clearly, "The emphasis of this course always remains the same—it is at this moment that complete salvation is offered you, and it is at this moment that you can accept it." (OrEd.Mn.24.6) If it always "at this moment" then …it’s time for us all to do it. I still witness many students putting their healing off into the future. I still witness many students putting their happiness off into the future. "For the past is gone, the future but imagined. These concerns are but defenses against present change of focus in perception. Nothing more." (OrEd.WkBk.181.4) IT’S TIME! It is time to heal and be healed. It’s time to save and be saved. It’s time to extend peace and to embrace peace for ourselves. And it’s time to be happy and have fun – to be glad! Let’s stop refusing those moments to gladden ourselves. This week's Sunday Gathering will be one of those moments. Don’t refuse to experience it! IT’S TIME!

Can we simply choose this? The answer is “Yes!”
 
I bring this up today as I have been observing a lot of discord in our world. People seem to be living in fear of losing their: jobs, homes, family, and freedom. I hear these concerns in daily conversations, in person and on social media. The appearance of a world divided is not what I know to be the truth. So instead of engaging with what I don’t believe or desire, I choose to trust in God, the All Good, All Love, and hear Jesus speak the truth through A Course in Miracles.
 
“I am determined to see things differently.” (OrEd.WkBk.21) First – choose this when experiencing something you don’t like. Know that what took place in your life before was perfect exactly as it appeared in your lifeline, and appropriately belongs in that spot of your evolution. But that moment is now past and you must make yourself available for the next moment’s vibrational pull today. No matter what was your life experience in the past, you can change it! The key to moving on from the past is letting go of the story that you repeat in your mind and stop sharing it out loud with others!
 
Lesson 132, “I loose the world from all I thought it was” teaches us this truth, “… that anyone is free to change his mind, and all his thoughts change with it. … You free the past from what you thought before. You free the future from all ancient thoughts of seeking what you do not want to find.” (OrEd.WkBk.132.2-3)
 
So now, embracing the vibration of Love, choose what you want to experience. How freeing it is to realize that the Divine Plan for us is whatever we choose it to be!
 
(originally appeared in Miracles Weekly #283, Apr. 20 2021)
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Select CMC Minister

  • Rev. Tony Ponticello is CMC Minister #20. He was ordained on Oct. 17, 1997. He is Executive Minister of Community…
  • Rev. Peter Graham is CMC Minister #40. He was ordained on Feb. 23, 2002. He serves on the CMC Board…
  • Deb Canja is a spiritual teacher dedicated to removing the obstacles that prevent us from experiencing self-love and inner peace.…
  • Rev. Joanie Schaeffer-Goss is CMC Minister #71. She was ordained on Feb. 16, 2014. She co-facilitates the "Southern Spirit Sisters"…
  • Rev. Kim Wilson is CMC minister #85. She was ordained Mar. 15, 2015. She teaches CMC's Tue. evening A Course…
  • Rev. Paula Carpe is CMC minister #125. She was ordained Feb. 14, 2021. She teaches CMC's Wed. morning 9:00 a.m.…
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