Martha Randolph Carr Martha Randolph Carr, 2/25/2008 [Archive]

Of One Mind

Of One Mind

By Martha Randolph Carr

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once pointed out that America was never more segregated than on Sunday morning. But there is a growing movement in America that has managed to find a way to encompass all kinds of people and has found a way to let everyone be right. The movement goes by several names, often called New Thought as both a compliment and a sneer, and is attracting the most unlikely of followers, like me.

The way I was raised, an old-line Episcopalian, was no different from King's view of the spiritual landscape. Almost without exception all the faces in the crowd I saw on Sundays were the same.

Eventually, going to church brought me the comfort of the familiar. I didn't necessarily agree with the rules, but I knew them in my bones and could put on a good face. After all, I am the daughter of a minister. I was raised inside of a church.

I still rarely agreed wholeheartedly with anything I heard, but I spoke the language effortlessly, knew the appropriate body language and could relax back into a mindless state of being and know I was welcomed. The congregation was full of very nice people, worth knowing, but only one segment of the world and with only one way of looking at things. I wanted more.

Eventually, along with a growing number of people in this country, I stumbled onto the answer in the most unlikely of places, back in church. The new spiritual movement, which encompasses places like Joel Osteen's church in Houston or Unity Church of New York, preaches the theme of interconnection between people regardless of how we might view ourselves as individuals. In other words, room for everyone.

Add on to that idea that we are all the creators of our own lives with everything we need already within us and a higher power who's got our back.

To accept that idea is to forever let go of being a victim of any kind. If all things are equal and I control my own destiny then where I am is where I chose to be and change is not somewhere out there or in someone else's hands. It struck me as common sense suddenly that the possibilities are up to me.

We all find our own path and are where we need to be.

I let go of the idea of anyone having to be anything and by doing that, I released myself. If there was no mold, I was going to have to define myself, take responsibility for it, and just be happy. I began to ask myself what I wanted to do or say. I'd been silent for so long, I had stopped asking myself those questions. Asking the questions led to a plan of action and real change.

Over time I've learned to say what I wanted and still get along and it's made me calmer, happier in all aspects of my life. It's made it easier to test out the possibilities.

Maybe most importantly for the world community, these new style of churches are the only places I've found where no one is ever in the majority whether it's age, income, religion or ethnic background. All kinds of people are welcomed and included and they're all there in ever increasing numbers all across the country, side by side.

Martha Randolph Carr's new book, A Place to Call Home, is in bookstores everywhere. Author's email: Martha@martharandolphcarr.com. For more info about Martha and her books go to www.martharandolphcarr.com.



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