Miracles News

April-June, 2018

Making No Exceptions

by Rev. Larry Glenz, O.M.C.

Rev. Larry GlenzWe are taught that Love never compares. Comparisons are a tool of the ego thought system. Nevertheless, making comparisons seems like a natural process in the world.

Rev. Myron Jones and I have been presenters at the last four ACIM conferences sponsored by the Community Miracles Center. The two of us have represented Pathways of Light and are among about thirty Course teachers that represent other ACIM-related organizations.

The CMC (Community Miracles Center) is based in San Francisco and led by Rev. Tony Ponticello. Like Pathways of Light, they have a program for ordination of ministers. It just seems so natural to compare the style and personality of these two ACIM churches.

If I put Holy Spirit in charge of this comparison I believe it can serve as food for thought and not a critique. I have no desire to convince anyone of a preferable way to study the Course. No matter how the Course is studied or interpreted, it is a personal spiritual experience.

Rev. Tony of the CMC has been quite controversial over the years that he has led these popular ACIM conferences. Some people in the Course world have taken offense to some of his statements and actions. He has stirred the pot concerning which is the right version of A Course in Miracles. He lives a non-traditional lifestyle and has a propensity for shocking people from their comfort zone while personalizing his beliefs about the Course.

This year, Rev. Tony’s Sunday service addressed his past perceived transgressions with the humor and drama that we have come to expect. Rev. Tony and his CMC staff performed a parody of Rev. Tony’s crucifixion on a large wooden cross. It was a comical play with a serious message — Love makes no exceptions.

He was accused by the Roman centurions of crimes and was dragged up and nailed to the cross. These crimes included using the Course to justify his non-conformist polyamorous lifestyle. He was accused of slandering the early Course leaders of the Foundation for Inner Peace — calling them liars. He was further accused of lewd behavior by stripping down to his white briefs in front of the entire audience to demonstrate his willingness to show vulnerability. The performance was met with much laughter as Rev. Tony responded feebly from the cross.

The grand finale had well-known Course teacher, Gary Renard, surprisingly appear and extol his forgiveness upon Rev. Tony. Gary and Rev. Tony had a bit of a falling out in recent years. It was a message of forgiveness to emphasize the theme of the conference — “Love makes no exceptions.”

I have gotten to know the staff of the CMC through the years of attending the conferences. They are devoted to the study of the Course. They are certainly non-traditional, entertaining, and love to have fun. They are loud, charismatic, emotional, and fearless in their presentations.

I would never describe Pathways of Light in the same way. To my way of thinking, Pathways is “the quiet way” to connect to Holy Spirit. The emphasis is always on letting the Holy Spirit teach us through our peaceful connection through study and meditation. The leading voices in the Pathways of Light community are gentle and always kind.

I most definitely believe that ACIM students and teachers have no common stereotypes. They appear as different as the rest of the world does from one culture to the next. We can enjoy these seeming differences and forgive our judgments of behaviors and beliefs that do not easily harmonize with our own.

The full theme of the conference reads as follows: “Love is incapable of any exceptions … Fear does not gladden. Healing does. Fear makes exceptions. Healing never does.”

I congratulate the staff of the CMC in their efforts to bring this most important understanding to the attendees in San Francisco. Let Holy Spirit bring this beautiful message to us in a way acceptable to all of us — the One Son of God.

Rev. Larry Glenz, O.M.C., is a Pathways of Light minister living in Long Beach, New York. Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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