Joining together with others in the study of A Course in Miracles can assist with more understanding of the material, learning from others’ personal miracle stories, and the encouragement to dive deeper into personal practice. We have three weekly ACIM Study Groups that meet via video and phone conferencing on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. On Sundays in Madison, Wisconsin, we have an in-person study group. Each group has a slightly different focus but all maintain practical application of A Course in Miracles in our lives. Our study group facilitators are Gayle Bartlett, Mari Dole, Ryan Westbrook-Vigue, Darike Vigue, Tracey Frick, Tom Wolff, Rev. Paul Phelps, and myself, Rev. Deb Phelps. My thank to all!
Below you will find the summaries from our groups this week.
To join in our Tuesday and Wednesday ACIM Study Groups via video or phone conferencing, see the information at this link. Our Monday morning study group has been discontinued.
For Madison, Wisconsin information, go to this link.
Sunday ACIM Study Group in Madison
Opened with Lesson 156 – I walk with God in perfect holiness.
Practical Application Topic: Who Walks with You
We focused on the idea that we are never alone and we engage and acknowledge Jesus and the Holy Spirit by our side.
We shared the song “If You Only Knew” by Donna Marie Cary which is based on the reading we had, Text, Ch. 18, III. Light in the Dream.
This week’s video teaching is “If You Knew Who Walked With You”
Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG6Qn0ztuCU
Tuesday ACIM Study Group by Video/Phone Conferencing
Greetings to all!
Tuesday Night Study Group has been evolving over a period of time, but seems now to have arrived at a format with which we shall be happily continuing forward!
We began with a meditation based upon the Workbook Lesson of the day: Lesson 190 I choose the joy of God instead of pain.
Some of us chose to share our personal experience of this lesson and how the Course inspires us through our daily challenges.
We are now following the weekly Text readings as they appear in Deb’s roster of weekly offerings. This week’s reading, and therefore our reading in the Tuesday Night Study Group was: Chapter 5. Healing and Wholeness, Section II. The Voice for God.
Our first lively talking point was Jesus telling us that: “The Holy Spirit promotes healing by looking beyond it to what the children of God were before healing was needed, and will be when they have healed.” This led to sharing how it is that we look beyond conditions and circumstances to the perfection which is Wholeness.
This idea from Jesus: “The Holy Spirit is the spirit of Joy”, inspired some of us to recall another place in the Course where Jesus says: “To heal is to make happy.” And then back to this reading to explore Jesus’ words that: “When the ego was made, God placed in the mind the Call to joy.”
From here then, both this Section and our discussion were off at a gallop into that ever present choice in each moment – to listen to and follow the Voice for God or the voice of the ego. Jesus explains in detail how to recognize the difference, and how each voice sounds. Jesus says: “The Voice for God is always quiet, because It speaks of peace.”
We shared with our own questions:
Do we know this Voice for God, and when do we hear it? How does the ego sound, when we hear that? Our discussion was rich!
We found this Section to be full of Jesus as our companion, in having been exactly where we are. We felt bolstered by how much promise this Section holds as he made many statements such as this one: “I am your model for decision. By deciding for God, I showed you that this decision can be made, and that you can make it.” Yes! Jesus lets us know that we can live as he lived, listening and following the Voice for God!
He encourages us to know that we are strengthened by working with this Course together. We are so very grateful to have this opportunity in Study Group, to share and to strengthen together!
We invite you to share and to strengthen with us, in Tuesday Night Study Group at 6:00CT/7:00ET!
We welcome you!
With love and blessings,
Wednesday Study Group by Video/Phone Conferencing
I am not sure if any of you out “there” are reading our summaries so I am earnestly trying to make mine user-friendly, if you will.
We are almost done now reading through the Manual for Teachers so you might think, why would I read a summary when they’re at the tail-end of it?
Up to you.
However, we will soon embark on reading the pamphlets (supplements) and they are deep, rich, profound and such an elegant opportunity to practically apply the Course. If you have no interest in the Manual, join us every week for our study of them. Even if you don’t read along, you will learn much from Mari and my sharing or synopsis.
The 26. CAN GOD BE REACHED DIRECTLY is short and sweet, just four paragraphs. The last one is powerful, an excerpt follows:
“If you would be a savior, you must understand what needs to be escaped. Salvation is not theoretical. Behold the problem, ask for the answer, and then accept it when it comes. Nor will its coming be long delayed. All the help you can accept will be provided, and not one need you have will not be met. Let us not, then, be too concerned with goals for which you are not ready. God takes you where you are and welcomes you? What more could you desire, when this is all you need?” Sentences from paragraph 4.
What that means is we don’t worry about not having enough time to learn the Course because we’re too old or too busy or raising kids, whatever. God meets us where WE are and we are to do the same with those with whom we interact. We stay in the present and all is well.
Oh, also, we don’t compare ourselves to anyone else who may have experienced a direct union with God. In other words, just pay attention to your own forgiveness opportunities and don’t fret about where anyone else may be on the ladder back home.
The 27. WHAT IS DEATH?….reading is seven paragraphs and WHOA! Unbelievably meaty and thought-provoking. Paragraph three states, “Death is the symbol of the fear of God.” How could it not be? We wanted individuality, we left God, we created the world to hide the guilt we felt and developed the sense of sin and fear, all because we wanted more and then we turned it around and decided God was going to kill us for having done so. Hence, death becomes the abject and terrible fear of the love of God.
How about paragraph four? “He did not make death because he did not make fear. Both are equally meaningless to Him.”
In the last paragraph, Jesus admonishes us to “Be steadfast but in this/ be not deceived by the “reality” of any changing form. Truth neither moves nor wavers nor sinks down to death and dissolution.”
Our group shared innumerable examples as to how these two readings apply to our lives. One was a participant had some complications with her air conditioning unit, a new one, and found herself very angry. She referenced the first sentence of our first reading, no. 26, where Jesus stated, “God indeed can be reached directly, for there is no distance between Him and His Son.” As she has committed to practical application, she realized she need not blow the challenge out of proportion and relaxed into peace.
Another referenced a distance relative of hers, a woman, having died recently at the age of 90, she hadn’t cared much for her, however, she unearthed an article written decades ago about her having lost her daughter at the age of two in a catastrophic event at home, I think it was a fire, cannot remember.
She referenced the first reading as well referring to paragraph four, sentence one, “Do not despair, then, because of limitations. It is your function to escape from them, but not to be without them.” As her understanding of this woman’s life and hardship broadened, her compassion grew and from this experience we can all realize we do our best and can heal a misperception or judgment regardless of any time that may have passed. Time is an illusion anyhow!
Please join us when you can. It’s delightful, fun, rich and meaningful sharing among participants where they is NO judgment and NOTHING BUT COMMUNION for 90 minutes.
To join in our Tuesday and Wednesday ACIM Study Groups via video or phone conferencing, see the information at this link.
For Madison, Wisconsin information, go to this link.