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updated: 2/22/2013 10:55 PM

New Thought Sunday at Center for Spiritual Evolution March 3 in Cary

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Rev. Anne Muelleman

As more and more people pull away from traditional religion and begin to question the organizations they were raised with, the New Thought movement has steadily grown into a solid core of more than 1,000 centers and independent ministries world-wide teaching positive consciousness and common sense.

According to www.adherents.com, "the 3rd largest group of religious adherents in the world

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have no religious preference."

New Thought, not to be confused with New Age, is more than a century-old, practically-oriented spiritual faith which promotes fullness of all aspects of living. It celebrates its legacy world-wide for the first time on Sunday, March 3, 2013, with prayer sessions, guest speakers, parties, pot-lucks and overall singing and dancing.

New Thought embraces positive thinking, listening to one's inner voice, affirmative prayer, meditation and other ways of realizing the presence of God within. New Thought, which began in the mid-1800s in America, has branches similar to almost every other religion, although the teachings and rituals are very similar within each branch. The branches include: Unity, Association of Unity Churches, Affiliated New Thought Network, Centers for Spiritual Living, Agape International Spiritual Center, Hillside International Truth Center, Center of Truth, and Universal Foundation for Spiritual Living. New Thought participated at the 2009 Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne, Australia under the banner of Global New Thought.

Rev. Anne Muelleman, founding minister and spiritual director of the Center for Spiritual Evolution (a Religious Science community affiliated with the Affiliated New Thought Network) in Cary, notes, "Since 1998, over and over again, I have heard new congregants express the same feelings I had when I first walked into a Religious Science church. They joyfully say, 'I never knew there was a place like this'…'I finally have a spiritual place I can call home'…'New Thought is one of the best kept secrets in the world.'"

The Cary center is celebrating the first New Thought Sunday with a pot luck after service and the screening of the new movie, What Is New Thought produced by Jon Miller, and released February 19, 2013. (www.newThoughtMovie.com).

Although its influence has been widespread throughout our culture, most people have little knowledge about this far-reaching spiritual movement. From the self-help industry to Alcoholics Anonymous and from Oprah Winfrey to the Word-Faith movement, the principles of this New Thought movement have been instrumental in transforming the lives of millions of people.

New Thought has no dogma or creed but has affinities to idealistic philosophical traditions of all ages and places (e.g. Phineas Parkhurst Quimby: the Complete Writings, Science of Mind by Ernest Holmes, Spirits in Rebellion by Charles Braden). "Its roots are in Christianity but it is not limited or bound by it," stated Rev. Wendy Craig-Purcell (Unity). Dr. William Hornaday (Religious Science) said, "It is a practical and spiritual approach to life." New Thought is not a static or fixed belief system. Ernest Holmes in the Science of Mind says, "Religious Science is a correlation of laws of science, opinions of philosophy and revelations of all religions. It is the wisdom of the ages, with the essence of the world's great spiritual traditions offering a universal key to well-being which can be used by anyone, anywhere, at any time."

New Thought believers say, "God is in all, as all and is all" and "There is one life; that Life is God and that Life is our life now." Ernest Holmes said, "There is a Power in the universe greater than you are and you can use it." New Thought believes this power was present in Jesus the Christ and that Jesus embodied the "Christ Principle," and used his God-given power to teach, and heal for only good. New Thought honors and respects all people of all faiths who believe spiritual equity and human rights belong to everyone. They honor and respect all faiths, cultures, creeds, and races and learn from those who believe the presence of God is within all people, places and things.

Through leadership from the Association of Global New Thought, the faith celebrates many service programs throughout the year. These include: A Season for Nonviolence, A Season for the Earth, A Season for Humane Service, and A Season for Interfaith-Intercultural Celebration.

To find the local New Thought Center nearest you, contact the branches mentioned above or link to their websites via: http://www.agnt.org/node/12

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