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METHODS AND IDEALS for CONDUCTING CENTERS AND STUDY CLASSES
The Field Department of Unity School of Christianity
917 Tracy, Kansas City, Mo.
Healing, a Part of the Work
One of the outstanding phases of the ministry of a Truth center is its healing work. To be a true exponent of practical Christianity, a center must not only recognize healing as a part of Christianity, but must make the healing work a practical part of the center's ministry.
The subject of healing brings up many questions, some of which will be answered in this lesson. These answers will be helpful to those who have study classes and centers and to those who anticipate such a ministry. Many methods of healing are now in vogue in the modern movement toward the reestablishment of spiritual healing in connection with religious organizations. Most of these methods produce problems which we feel can be avoided if the healing ministry is confined to the plan followed by Jesus Christ in the case of the centurion's servant. The account of this healing shows that by speaking the healing word Jesus Christ restored the centurion's servant to health.
The Healing Word
One who has made a study of metaphysics soon learns that words are a stronger medium than the hands for transmitting the healing power. Too often, when one makes a practice of laying on hands, his own personality enters into the practice and he descends to the plane of magnetic healing. Even the one who heals by the word should watch himself in this respect, and never descend to the plane of mental healing.
All-conquering Power of God
Spiritual healing is the direct realization of the all-conquering power of God. A spiritual healer endeavors to expand his consciousness to comprehend more and more of the allness of God, to let the emanations of his mind be the voicing of divine impulses.
True Basis of Healing
Jesus referred to this practice when he said: "The words that I say unto you I speak not from myself: but the Father abiding in me doeth his works." We believe this to be the true basis of spiritual healing.
A Truth center should be strong in its healing ministry. In fact, every student of Truth who realizes his oneness with God not only should be, but is, a healer. No one can realize the presence of Truth within himself or in another or in any place in the universe without lifting himself or other individuals or the situation in which he realizes the presence of God, nearer to a state of perfection.
Most Successful Centers
The most successful centers and study classes are those that have established a strong healing ministry as a part of their work. Some centers have struggled along with a small following while the entire healing ministry was resting upon one individual, but have grown and flourished when the healing ministry was emphasized and other members of the center were drawn into the healing work.
Developing Additional Healers
It would be well for any center or study class to hold regular weekly meetings wherein all persons interested in spiritual healing may join in the realization of spiritual health for themselves, for other members of the center, and for those generally who have asked for help. This ministry need not be confined to the individuals who have asked for help; the idea can profitably be broadcast to the entire community, to the entire race.
Begin by Serving
A center need not wait for a following in order to carry on an effective spiritual ministry. Man needs the inspiration of Spirit, and those who are really desirous of serving mankind can effectively send forth the healing message to all men. This we heartily indorse as a practical method of beginning a spiritual ministry. Through it a strong healing consciousness is developed, and individuals in need of help will more readily be attracted to the center.
Group and Individual Healing
Not only can the healing ministry be carried on by groups, but the names of individuals needing help might be assigned to different members of the group. In the intervals between the regular class meetings, the individual members of the healing group could continue to give spiritual help to those in need.
The centers that have found the healing ministry to be a vital help are those that have a meeting of the healing group everyday. This daily healing meeting is held at a time most convenient for those attending; those who are interested in the healing ministry should make it an important part of their work and should give a definite amount of time to it.
An important point is to recognize the fact that the community needs a greater realization of the healing power of God, as well as a general illumination upon this subject. The greater the number of persons who become actively engaged in the healing ministry in connection with the center, the greater the number of those who will be attracted to the center; in this way the center will become a more vital factor in the community and thereby a stronger and more stable work will be the final outcome.
Assigning Healing Work
Some centers have very effectively set about the development of individuals to take an active part in the healing ministry, by assigning cases to them from the beginning. Whenever some one came to the center asking spiritual help, he was at once asked to treat other individuals having similar difficulty. Individuals helping to realize the Truth for others with similar difficulties found it an effective manner of lifting themselves out of error conditions. This method serves the double purpose of helping the individual to free himself from his difficulties, and of developing a healing consciousness, wherein he is able to render effective ministry to those in need.
Scope of Healing Ministry
Spiritual healing does not confine itself to the physical ills of man; it also extends into his mental difficulties and into the affairs of his business life. The subject of spiritual prosperity comes under the general head of healing. However, in connection with all the healing ministry, it is well to keep constantly before the minds of those who are seeking help that the all-important step in their healing is for them to come into a consciousness of the living Spirit of God within themselves and that the realization of Spirit is the means by which they will attain health and peace. In other words, an understanding of Truth is more important than the mere manifestation of health and prosperity. "Seek ye first his kingdom and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
For centers or classes that find it impracticable to hold a special healing service during the week, it may be found practicable to hold a healing service in connection with the other meetings of the center. For instance, a few minutes at the close of each study class period may be devoted to healing. Even though this service be short, it can be carried on much in the manner of the healing meeting to which a longer time is devoted.
Conducting the Healing Meeting
Healing should never be made the paramount issue in a center, but should be a vital factor in the center's ministry. The method of conducting a healing meeting should be left entirely to the one conducting the meeting; no set form is applicable to all such gatherings. We suggest that in the beginning a period of silent meditation be devoted to the realization of the power and presence of Spirit. Let each individual enter into the presence of Spirit in a receptive mood, that he may receive spiritual inspiration concerning the central idea in which all will join at this particular meeting. When all members of the group are united in realization upon this point, all those who have asked for help may be included in the realization. This may be done by calling the names of the individuals needing help, or in any other way that may seem practicable.
Broadcasting the Healing Realization
After those who have especially asked for help have been brought into spiritual realization, then the idea may be expanded to include the entire community, and all mankind. Sometimes a talk along spiritual lines and in harmony with the meeting is very helpful in bringing all into the same consciousness. Songs of a suitable nature may be of help in bringing about unity of spirit in preparation for the declaration of the healing ministry.
Be Led by Spirit
In all these matters each member of the group should seek to be led by the Spirit of truth and should always realize that the work is done by the power and presence of Spirit.
- What relation does the work of healing bear to the activities of a center or class?
- What is the relation between teaching and healing?
- What is spiritual healing?
- Do you believe that it is necessary to lay on hands or to resort to any other external method in healing?
- What workers in a center or class are eligible to help with healing work?
- Of what help is it to the class or center to have a regular healing group?
- Should the healing ministry "be confined to physical ills? Along what other lines may it be applied?
- Through what medium is the healing accomplished?
- Which do you consider of more importance: healing or understanding?
- Give an outline of the way in which you would conduct a healing service.
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