No. 103 Soul Home’s 19th Anniversary and Our Call to Greatness – Part III

Rev. Steph

Last week you read the first part of an excerpt from my autobiography about how I got my call from Martin Luther King Jr. to start the first multi-racial New Thought ministry in S. Africa.  The book is entitled: The Miss-Adventures of an Irreverent Reverend: a spirit-ed guide for rebels and renegades”.  This week I have posted the rest of the chapter.

Front cover, Miss-Adventures

“The next day, Sunday, right before Day 2 of the workshop started, I was standing in the queue for coffee in the Holman Church, thinking that I would tell Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith about my experience.

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Rev. Michael Beckwith, Founder of the Agape International Center of Truth, Los Angeles

In that moment, I turned around and, miraculously, there he was right behind me in the queue! Without so much as a “Hi,” he abruptly asked:

“Stephanie, when are you going back to South Africa?”

“I don’t know exactly.” I replied. “But I had my call from Dr. Martin Luther King last night.”

“Yes,” he said knowingly as if he had been there.

Then he walked away, and left the church. He did not come back for the rest of the day. It looked as if he had simply touched down for a moment to get the confirmation of something he had already intuited.

Later that day, when the workshop had finished, I raced the forty miles over to the Santa Anita church, where I had completed my first ministerial training, in order to attend the Memorial Service for Dr. Roger Stevens who had been a teacher of mine at Ministerial School.

Santa Anita church

The Santa Anita Church, Arcadia, California

Dr. Margaret Stevens, the former Minister of Santa Anita, who had interviewed me in South Africa in 1989, had flown down from Ashland, Oregon, especially to officiate at the Memorial Service for her ex-husband.

images Dr. Margaret Stevens

Dr. Margaret Stevens

I felt such gratitude to the Santa Anita community. The members had embraced me when I first came out from South Africa even though most of them had not understood a word I said, divided as we are by our common language….

After the service, many old friends came up to me and asked:

“When are you going back to South Africa?”

It was a simple enough question, but I had never been able to answer it properly until that very day.

“In December,” I replied confidently.

A plan had already begun formulating itself in my mind over the course of that day: I would fly back to South Africa in December 1999, and attend the Parliament of the Worlds’ Religions in Cape Town just the way I had wished it.

Parliament, Cape Town 1999 (2)

After the Parliament, at the beginning of the New Millennium, in January 2000, I would go back up to Johannesburg to start my multi-racial ministry.

God’s timing, not mine.”

 

COPYRIGHT Rev. Stephanie Clarke, 2016

The book is available on Amazon or Kindle. Click on the link 🙂  https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Adventures-Irreverent-Reverend-Spirit-ed-Renegades-ebook-dp-B01MRZJ3E1/dp/B01MRZJ3E1/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

Author of “The Sex Goddess: debunking the mythology of God & Sex”

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

 

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102. Soul Home’s 19th Anniversary and Our Call to Greatness – Part II

Rev. Steph

This week’s blog is an excerpt from my autobiography The Miss-Adventures of an Irreverent Reverend: a spirit-ed guide for rebels and renegades. It is the story of my call to start my multi-racial ministry in S. Africa.

Front cover, Miss-Adventures

“My second ministerial graduation was in June, 1998. By this time, I had completed a further two years of study at the Holmes Institute (the new name for the United Church of Religious Science Ministerial School, based at Agape) and in August, 1998, I was officially granted status as a Fellow of the United Church of Religious Science.

What next?

I had no plans.

Look, I had never forgotten my original vision to start a multi-racial ministry in South Africa but I was still enjoying life in California and certainly did not have any immediate desires to go home. Being a part of the Agape community was a very compelling reason to stay in the U.S.A. I loved all my teaching and counselling work and being surrounded by so many friends and powerful teachers who were consciously on the spiritual path, such as Marianne Williamson, Neale Donald Walsch, Dr. Louise Hay and Deepak Chopra. Last but not least, by this time I was living right by the beach in a luxury apartment in Marina del Rey, California.

Villa Venetia apartments M7h4cLOUPf6

No, there was no way that I was going to prize myself out of my sunny comfort zone, especially not before establishing my Green Card status that would have allowed me to return to the U.S.A. at will.

Well, you know by now what happens when I have a cunning plan for my greatest comfort…. It rarely coincides with God’s Universal Purpose for my life. In fact, it backfires. Spectacularly.

In December of 1998, I heard the news that the next Parliament of the World’s Religions would be held in Cape Town, South Africa, in December 1999. The Parliament is a gathering of religious leaders, which is held every five years for the purposes of dialogue and global inter-faith peace work. The 1999 Parliament was going to be the first year in which the New Thought movement would be recognized as an official world religion and Rev. Dr. Michael Beckwith had been invited to be our global New Thought representative, as well as to present the former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, with the Ghandi-King Peace Prize.

Nelson_Mandela-2008_

Oh, how I longed to go to the Parliament, to be in Cape Town again and to witness Rev. Michael on stage with Nelson Mandela! It would be a magnificent reconciliation of both my worlds in South Africa and America, the perfect cornerstone in my vision, the culmination of all my hopes and dreams.

But I discounted the idea.

I was too attached to America and would not risk being refused re-entry after a reckless trip to Cape Town.

Regardless of my little human preferences to stay put in America, Something Huge had already been set in motion but it was outside the range of my awareness. In other words, God was scheming again behind my back.

One of the projects at Agape that drew me was the 1999 Season for Nonviolence, created to honour two of the world’s great peace activists who were both assassinated: Mahatma Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. The Season begins on 30th January on the anniversary of Ghandi’s death in 1948, and it ends on 4th April, the anniversary of King’s death in 1968. Eisha Mason, RScP (Religious Science Practitioner) initiated and organised the annual three-month Season on behalf of Agape to examine and heal the violence within ourselves, within our city and upon our planet.

eisha_mason

Eisha Mason, my teacher in my final year of Practitioner studies at Agape, 1993

In January 1999, shortly before the official beginning of the Season, we were invited to a weekend workshop at Rev. James Lawson’s church, Holman United Methodist Church, in South Central Los Angeles. What a privilege it was to meet and be taught by Rev. James Lawson. He had actually marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s and was part of King’s intimate circle of confidantes and strategists.

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With Rev. James Lawson at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Toronto, Canada, November 2018

Our homework on Saturday night was to read The Letter from the Birmingham Jail written by King when he was jailed for his Civil Rights activism.

Martin_Luther_King,_Jr.

True to form, I got home late and only started my homework at about 11:30 p.m. almost falling asleep over the page. As I began reading, intending to simply skim over the material so that I would be familiar with the basic content for the next day, something happened that I have never experienced before or since: my consciousness was split down the middle.

To the right of me and slightly above my head, I heard the voice of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reading the letter to me in his southern American drawl. I had never heard any recordings of him speaking but I knew immediately and intuitively that it was him.

To the left of me was my human consciousness reading the letter for homework.

I could move between both dimensions at will. I was startled when I heard the Voice, and fascinated that I could switch it on and off voluntarily, depending on where I chose to focus my attention. The Voice was compelling and yet I flipped back and forth between belief and unbelief. Was this really happening? How did it come about?

The Voice moved me. It got under my skin. I began to shake and cry. I could not continue reading. There was a cement mixer in my gut and in the midst of the churning I heard what seemed like a different Voice inside me say:

“It’s time to go home now.”

Martin Luther King had been speaking to me from the field outside my body. This Voice, which was telling me to go home, came from my centre, my gut.

I knew what it meant:

“Go back to South Africa, start the ministry, Green Card or no Green Card, like it or not.”

I was in awe, in fear, in trembling. Without feeling any sadness, my body got taken over by loud unrelenting sobbing.

This thing that was happening to me was too big to keep to myself. I had to tell someone. But who? Who do you call at midnight on Saturday, who will be happy to talk to you, who will understand the enormity of the experience and who will not judge you as an attention-seeking religious drama queen?

Rev. Carole Traylor (deceased 2007) was my woman. Rev. Carole was an African priestess living in flimsy disguise as the Youth and Family Minister at Agape, a teacher at the Holmes Institute and also my personal spiritual counsellor.  I knew there was a God when she picked up the phone. I do not remember what I said or what she said. The important thing was that she was there as a witness. She believed me. She made the experience real. I slept peacefully, knowing I would follow the Voice, come what may.

(To be continued in the next blog post)

COPYRIGHT Rev. Stephanie Clarke, 2016

The book is available on Amazon or Kindle. Click on the link 🙂  https://www.amazon.com/Miss-Adventures-Irreverent-Reverend-Spirit-ed-Renegades-ebook-dp-B01MRZJ3E1/dp/B01MRZJ3E1/ref=mt_kindle?_encoding=UTF8&me=&qid=

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

Author of “The Sex Goddess: debunking the mythology of God & Sex”

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

 

 

101. Soul Home’s 19th Anniversary and our Call to Greatness – Part I

Rev. Steph

I founded Soul Home, the first New Thought multi-racial ministry in South Africa, on Easter Sunday 2000. In the last blog post, we were gearing up for Soul Home’s 19th birthday.  We celebrated on Sunday, 28 April 2019.

My talk was entitled “Your Call to Greatness” and I shared an excerpt from my book “The Miss-Adventures of an Irreverent Reverend: a spirit-ed guide for rebels and renegades” regarding my own call to begin the ministry in S. Africa.

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Forever Irreverent

I also asked my colleagues, Rev. Gerd Pontow, Melanie Hall (practitioner) and Anka Daly (retired practitioner) to share the call of their soul to live a larger life.

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L-R Kabelo, Rev. Gerd and Lifutso

Gerd shared his desire to be a global citizen and a messenger of peace and he has become that as well as the Director of Soul Home since 2005.

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Marcia Kay and Melanie Hall.  (These two wonderful souls first met at Pembury Frail Care in Johannesburg.  Marcia was the nurse assigned to care for Melanie’s mother.)

Melanie always wanted to be a school teacher and she has become that and so much more: now she is a spiritual teacher and a facilitator of Compassionate Communication.

Anka wanted to fly.  While she was studying Science of Mind and actively serving at the Church of Religious Science under Rev. Gladys Harrison in the, 80’s and 90’s, she got her pilot’s license and bought her own plane!

Anka and Steph – Practitioner student classmates under Rev. Gladys Harrison in 1989.  Anka and Gerd, Practitioner student classmates under Rev. Steph, graduated 2005.

I asked the Soul Home community members who were present to share their sense of calling with one another.  It was a Sacred Gathering and birthday celebration rich with insight and appreciation for the inner call and the meticulous divine orchestration that has allowed, and continues to allow, that inner call to fulfill itself in form.

In the next blog post, I will share the excerpt from my book “The Miss-Adventures of an Irreverent Reverend: a spirit-ed guide for rebels and renegades” regarding how my spiritual call to the ministry came about.

Front cover, Miss-Adventures

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

Author of “The Sex Goddess: debunking the mythology of God & Sex”

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

 

100. Honoring Soul Home on our 19th anniversary – April 2019

Rev. Steph

On Easter Sunday 2000, I founded the first New Thought multi-racial spiritual community in S. Africa.  We called it Soul Home.  I was the Senior Minister until 2005 and then I passed the baton to my three practitioner graduates. Gerd Pontow was appointed as the leader and he was magnificently supported by Anka Daly and Penelope Gottlieb for the next 10 years.

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Rev. Gerd Pontow being blessed as a new practitioner by Rev. Steph  – 2005

Gerd even trained his own class of practitioners and his graduate student, Melanie Hall, joined the leadership team.  Melanie is a school teacher and runs her own successful counselling practice as a practitioner and non-violent communication facilitator.

BL with Team SG IMG-20180616-WA0003

Team Sex Goddess at my birthday book launch on 16 June 2018. From left to right: Penelope Gottlieb, Melanie Hall, Rev. Gerd, Rev. Steph, Anka Daly and Miriam Nunes. (Miriam was also a practitioner student of mine. She moved to Cape Town  where she helped Gerd to set up a monthly Science of Mind classes in the Mother City.)

In 2015, after 10 years away in Europe, I was guided to return to S. Africa to care for my elderly mother and step-father.  Gerd and I began partnering as co-facilitators of the Sacred Gatherings.

In 2016, everything changed. Penelope moved to Cape Town, Anka retired as a practitioner and Gerd graduated as a minister after completing a very demanding online training over many years and flying to America at least once per year to participate in the ministerial student retreats.

SH 10 July 2016, Soul Home Ceremony

Soul Home ceremony in July 2016 on the occasion of Penelope’s departure for Cape Town, Anka’s retirement and Rev. Gerd’s graduation as a minister.

The vision of Soul Home continues to unfold in its own right and perfect way.  The right people show up at the right time to offer service or funds or participate in the Sacred Gatherings. The  power of Unconditional Love is forever being more deeply anchored, providing a prototype for what is possible in S. Africa between the black, colored and white races.  We are the living demonstration of healing in the aftermath of Apartheid, proving that Oneness is the Divine Reality!

On the occasion of Soul Home’s 19th anniversary, which we will be celebrating on Sunday 28 April, 2019, at our Sacred Gathering, I am sharing the following (slightly edited) post from Facebook written by my friend and colleague, Bishop Jackson Khosa. It was posted on Saturday 23 March 2019, two days after the Human Rights Day Summit on 21 March 2019 which focused on honoring the LGBTQ+ community.  Also on 21 March, at Muzi Cindi’s evening event – a Gala Dinner honoring the Legends & Generals in his life -Bishop Khosa was ordained as a Metacostal (i.e. Metaphysical and Pentecostal) Bishop – the first one in S. Africa!

LGBTQ Eve Bishop Jackson being blessed at the ordination 55887841_10218340429684812_128875239655342080_n

Bishop Jackson receiving his ordination blessing

LGBTQ Eve Bishop Flunder confers Metacostal Bishop title on Bishop Jackson 55621042_10218340454485432_7926798801208082432_n

Bishop Yvette Flunder and Bishop Carlton Pearson – two metacostal bishops from the USA – led the Ordination Ceremony for Bishop Jackson Khosa

REV STEPH WRITES:
Thank you, Bishop Jackson Khosa for this touching tribute to the Soul Home ministry which I founded in 2000 and which my former student, brother and colleague, Rev. Gerd Pontow, now directs.

For my non-S.African friends, the Africa word UBUNTU is best translated as “humanity”. It is often translated as “I am because we are,” and also “humanity towards others”, but is often used in a more philosophical sense to mean “the belief in a universal bond of sharing that connects all humanity.”

The Bishop’s joke at the end of this tribute re my “Lobola” being too high may not be funny to my friends outside S. Africa. “Lobola” is the African concept of a dowry or bride-price.  You see, God gave me great legs. I flaunted them at the Human Rights conference on 21 March. This might have been both stimulating and confusing for some Christian pastors and the Bishop wants to advise them that I am not up for sale in marriage. 

LGBTQ Bishop Jackson on stage 55529939_10218340469845816_8570217088633798656_n

BISHOP JACKSON KHOSA WRITES:

“There are very special reasons why I want to singularly honour these two beautiful souls for having blessed my ordination yesterday.
1. I have known Reverend Gerd Pontow for many years~I use to buy New Thought books from him e.g.THE SCIENCE OF MIND textbook etc.
2. Rev Stephanie is the founder of Soul-Home, South Africa’s first multi~racial New Thought Center, where my friend and the host of the Human Rights Summit, Muzi Cindi, found a spiritual home during the darkest night of his soul.
3. These two beautiful souls are nurturing Muzi’s spiritual life in a manner that is humanly inconceivable.
4. Rev Stephanie is my sister, my coach, etc. We are working together on many empowering projects~[check my Facebook space soon].
5. The foundation for me to be ordained as a Metacostal Bishop came after Muzi officially re~introduced me to Rev. Steph and Rev. Gerd.

JFDA Gerd Steph and Muzi, really the best 48420820_10217579176133949_3195250046664704000_n

Rev. Gerd, Rev. Steph and Muzi Cindi at Muzi’s book launch of “Jesus for a Digital Age” – December 2018 

On the NEW THOUGHT side of things I totally submit to their leadership and counsel.
They will be my two visiting professors at THE METACOSTAL INSTITUTE in Sandton City, Johannesburg, very soon.
6. The African Continent is blessed to have these two New Thought Leaders.
7. New Thought Spirituality is the only spirituality that embodies UBUNTU AND RADICAL INCLUSION – second to none.
8. There is no religious or spiritual movement that promotes WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP and openly affirms same gender loving relationships like NEW THOUGHT.
I SALUTE YOU MY BROTHER AND SISTER.
I BLESS AND SUPPORT YOUR MINISTRIES WHOLEHEARTEDLY.
I think it will be proper to say I dedicate my Metacostal Bishopric to you two, Muzi and the whole SOUL-HOME FAMILY.

On a lighter joking note!
Any African man who is chasing my sister Rev Stephanie must understand that the LOBOLA is far too high!
BLESS YOU ALL!”

 

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

Author of “The Sex Goddess: Debunking the Mythology of God & Sex”

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

No. 99. The Human Rights Summit 2019, and the LGBTQ+ community – Part III

Rev. Steph

In last week’s blog post, I relayed to you how the morning unfolded at the Human Rights Summit, 2019. Now we come to the afternoon.

LGBTQ Nothabo 55453751_10218340455085447_6707591932450701312_n

The beautiful Dr. Nothabo Ncube, originally from Zimbabwe, joined us from Toronto, Canada, to speak to the millennials.  Her speaking slot was supposed to be in the late morning, about one hour after she landed in Johannesburg from London, UK.  However, her flight was slightly delayed.  Spirit knew that, of course, and so the whole event ran “late” to accommodate these airline delays. 🙂 Nothabo inspired us all with her passionate speech about the importance of living our dreams.

LGBTQ Comedian 55949101_10218340484206175_1747136423351287808_n

Celebrity Comedian, Celeste Ntuli, was hilarious. She spoke so honestly about the challenges of being a 40-year old, overweight, professionally independent woman trying to meet a suitable male partner to date and eventually build a relationship with. With her blunt and down-to-earth humour, she spoke to everywoman’s longing to find a mate with the capacity for intimacy, romance and a partnership based on equality.

And now we come to one of the most memorable moments of the day….  Nono, one of the panelists, had asked Muzi ahead of time if she could make a surprise proposal to her girlfriend, Dumi, from the stage.  Muzi agreed. As time was speeding by and we had accomplished the work of two panel sessions during the longer morning panel, Muzi asked me to get up on stage and summarise the essence of the morning panel and then facilitate the marriage proposal.

The brave Nono came on to the stage and, in front of everyone there, declared her love for Dumi on bended knee and with a ring.  We all exhaled when Dumi said “Yes”.

This proposal was revolutionary in terms of same sex marriage in S. Africa.  Regular heterosexual proposals usually happen in private but at least the couple can be openly in relationship without threat or judgement.

LGBTQ Thipo and Dumi proposal embrace 55473451_10218340460685587_2150926558208983040_n

In the case of same-sex relationships, the individuals have, historically, had to hide their sexual orientation and hide their relationships too.  Same-sex marriage has only recently been legalised (the Civil Union Act came into force on 30 November 2006) and despite that, social criticism based on antiquated biblical “morals” remains strong so same sex couples have to be careful about publicising their engagement or marriage and they have to choose carefully whom they can celebrate with.  That is not freedom!

Well done Nono and Dumi for proudly agreeing to be together in front of an audience of at least 1500 people!  That took huge courage AND it symbolized the essence of the Human Rights Summit: i.e. the right to choose an intimate partner, regardless of gender, without fear of persecution.

LGBTQ Steph facilitating the blessing on the proposal 56119788_10218340456325478_1293819367041007616_n

I called four of the bishops present up on to the stage to bless this Holy Union between Nono and Dumi.  What a surge of spiritual energy was unleashed, creating a springboard for their relationship to soar and thrive.

Lekgowe Nono Thipe and Dumi after betrothal 54798645_2187122458000842_6455222355672170496_n

Just engaged!

Next up was our keynote speaker, Bishop Yvette Flunder, who had joined us from the USA.  Such a beautiful lady of great depth, compassion and wisdom.  Bishop Yvette has been in a lesbian relationship with her beloved partner for over 30 years and is the voice of spiritual leadership in the USA, representing the LGBTQ+ community. She absolutely lives the love that she preaches.  What an honour and a privilege to have her in our midst!

LGBTQ Bishop Yvette Flunder 55624267_10218340436884992_4868394671816048640_n

Bishop Yvette Flunder

Before I finish this blog post, let me mention that another highlight of the day was the entertainment from Majeste Amore, the daughter of Rev. Gina Gauthier Pearson and Bishop Carlton Pearson from Tulsa, USA. Majeste is the most amazing singer with a depth and quality to her voice that is far more mature and developed than one could ever have expected from a 22 year old.  Every time she sang, I was moved to tears.  Soul Home member, Malefane Monyane, filmed her.

And now we come to the end of the Summit and the fulfillment of its holy purpose – the reconciliation with the LGBTQ+ community.  This section was led by Muzi’s friend and mentor, Bishop Jackson Khosa, a wise and humble man who has years of experience leading rituals for forgiveness and reconciliation amongst warring groups, particularly racial reconciliation and gender reconciliation.

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When Bishop Jackson got up on stage, he immediately admitted that, in his past, he was one of the narrow-minded, prejudiced church leaders who rejected the LGBTQ+ community.  He asked all the pastors in the audience who were willing to admit to their own prejudice to join him on the stage in order to apologise and to ask for forgiveness from the LGBTQ+ community.

LGBTQ Bishop leads reconciliation process (2)

Bishop Jackson Khosa welcomes the pastors and ministers to the stage to lead the Reconciliation process.

Muzi had asked me to write a prayer for Reconciliation which he had had pre-printed on cards and distributed to everyone present.  I then stepped forward on to centre stage and read the prayer out, asking the audience to repeat it after me line by line.  (The prayer has been included in full below.)

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Rev. Steph leading the audience in the prayer for Reconciliation

I sensed that even though many people present might have been uncomfortable with the unfamiliar wording and format of my affirmative prayer, nevertheless they joined in with willing hearts and minds.  Jesus said that it only takes two or three gathered in agreement for the Christ Consciousness to be present. In this case, on this Human Rights Day 2019, there were 1500 people affirming the truth of their divinity.  I KNOW we caused a cataclysmic shift throughout the universe and no-one at Birchwood was left unchanged!

A deep bow to you, Muzi Cindi, for being obedient to the call and creating this grand and glorious event. May all the blessings that you give return to you pressed down, shaken out and running over.

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AN AFFIRMATIVE PRAYER FOR HEALING AND RECONCILIATION

for Human Rights Day, 21 March 2019

by Rev. Stephanie Clarke

RECOGNITION OF THE ONE POWER – GOD

There is One Power. We call It God, Life, Divine Mind, Holy Mother-Father or Universal Consciousness.  This Power is Omni-sexual – It embraces the polarities of Divine Feminine and Divine Masculine. It joyfully creates every variation on the spectrum of gender and sexuality with infinite combinations of chromosomes, cells and gender characteristics for Its own pleasure and delight. This All-Knowing Creator make no mistakes, no rejects, no aberrations nor any abnormalities.

MY CONSCIOUS UNIFICATION WITH THE ONE POWER

I AM that Holy Power, created in the image and likeness of Wholeness and Perfection.  As God/Goddess embodied in the flesh, I speak this Word of Truth for myself and the world.

MY DECLARATION OF TRUTH

I declare that I and everyone present here now, takes a quantum leap in their awareness of sexual identity as a perfect path to Spiritual Development and Awakening.

I claim that a most magnificent healing is occurring this day:  a healing for all those who have ever felt or been persecuted for their gender identity or sexual orientation or expression.  And a healing for those who have ever consciously or unconsciously played the role of persecutor.

I know that the Spirit of Life within could not violate another and has, in Truth, never been violated. I forgive all others for their ignorance.  And I am forgiven for any thoughts words or actions born of fear.

The old wounds of seeming division between Spirituality and Sexuality, Binary and Non-Binary, Oppressor and Victim are now mended and healed forever!

I declare that the bonds of stigmatisation are now being loosed and released.  Acceptance, Tolerance, Inclusivity and Divine Justice are the new laws of my being and of humanity.

I claim perfect freedom and transcendence for all those whose pathway included HIV AIDS.  I know they are forever welcomed into the arms of love in their transition to the other side of the Veil.

The past, with all its secrets and lies, shame and hiding, is now dissolved.  I am set free to be the god/goddess I was born to be and to fulfill my divine purpose on earth as it is already in Heaven.

I stand on the leading edge of Evolution, deliberately co-creating a world that works for everyone.

THANKSGIVING

I give thanks for the release of the pain of the past. I give thanks for the forgiveness of all errors of judgement and for all thoughts, words and deeds spawned in ignorance and fear. I give thanks for Love and Acceptance, the Celebration of Diversity, now being established right where I AM.

RELEASE

I release this Word into the outworking of the Universal Law and know it is manifesting now! It is done!  And so it is!

LGBTQ cartoon 1554627071352

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

Author of “The Sex Goddess: Debunking the Mythology of God & Sex”

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

No. 98. The Human Rights Summit, 2019, and the LGBTQ+ community – Part II

 

Rev. Steph

Human Rights day on 21 March 2019 was magic.  I covered a little about the history of Human Rights Day in S. Africa in my last blog post as well as why Muzi specifically wanted to honour the LGBTQ+ community at this particular event.

In this blog post, I want to share the day with you, mostly through pictures because words cannot capture the explosion of love and joy and honesty that we experienced and witnessed.

At 9:00 am on 21 March, my colleague at Soul Home, Rev. Gerd Pontow, came to pick me up so that we could travel to Birchwood together.  We found the right street address but realised that Birchwood was so huge that we did not know which entrance to pick.  Just then, as we were wondering where to go, Muzi drove up in the lane next to us and we were able to follow him. 🙂

I had a ticket in my bag for my friend Marcia.  I had told her I would leave it at Reception for her to pick up.  But where was Reception?  As I wondered about that, I saw Marcia’s car driving past us in the opposite direction.  So I stopped her, gave her her ticket there and then and told her to turn around and to follow us to the VIP parking area. Her prayer was answered because she was not sure where to go either and it would have taken a while for her to find us in the crowds.

LGBTQ Steph and Marcia 1 55458183_10218340466405730_687641499793358848_n

Steph and Marcia – soul sisters

Once inside the VIP lounge, we connected with the other speakers and the Empowaworx team.

LGBTQ Gerd, Steph, Somizi and Muzi IMG-20190323-WA0015

Rev. Gerd, Rev. Steph, Somizi Mhlongo and Muzi Pontow gathering in the morning before the event started.  What a buzz in the air!!

Muzi and I gathered the speakers and MCs in a circle to pray.  Muzi said he wanted transformation and healing to happen on such a huge scale that this event would still be having its ripple effect 500 years from today.  He asked us to be spontaneous and funny so that people would be healed while they were laughing and not even know that the healing was happening.  Then I spoke a prayer for the event and we were off!

Birchwood Conference Centre is so huge that golf carts are provided to move people around. Here we are setting off for the main event space from the VIP lounge

My beloved colleague, Rev. Gerd Pontow, did the opening meditation and prayer and created a beautiful sacred atmosphere in the room.

Muzi greeted his audience and then did something most unexpected: he grabbed Somizi as if he wanted to hug him but instead he picked Somizi up!  As you can see, Somizi was totally in the flow and seemed to enjoy it. 🙂

LGBTQ Thami and Somizi 55795189_10218340466365729_669695429918588928_n

Thami Ngubeni and Somizi Mhlongo, our two MCs, singing and vibing together on stage as if they had been working together all their lives.

LGBTQ Rev Gina Pearson on stage 55514053_10218340464165674_5200558440237236224_n

The lovely Rev. Gina Pearson was our keynote speaker in the morning.  This was an answer to prayer for me as I had seen that this slot on the programme was empty until shortly before the Summit started.  I prayed that Gina would be asked to fill it and sure enough, she was the one!  Rev. Gina spoke about the courage to live an authentic life and be true to oneself no matter what the world thinks.  She set the tone perfectly for the next item on the programme: the LGBTQ+ panel that I would be facilitating.

So there I was, on the stage, but we could not start the panel discussion because my panel members were making their way over and the event staff were setting up a couple more chairs on the stage.  I had not prepared a talk, even though I always have plenty to say about religion and sexuality so, naturally, to keep the audience entertained, I did what any irreverent reverend would do and I told a naughty religious joke.  “There were three nuns…..” 🙂

Finally my panel joined me so I prayed us in and we got started with our conversation.

My panel members: Top L-R: Moi, Mpho Malepo, Somizi Mhlongo.  Bottom L-R: Dr. Love, Rev. Gerd Pontow and Lekogwe Nono Thipe.

Let me give you a bit of background to this panel experience:  I was terrified!  I have facilitated plenty of small groups in my time but never an LGBTQ panel and never in front of an audience of approximately 1500 plus!  The chances of bombing were high in my rabid imagination.  Plus I am white.  Would my black panel members, whom I had never met until we were up on the stage, even talk to me?

Well, Spirit had gone ahead to prepare the way.  First to join me on the stage was Mpho Malepo, a human rights lawyer, who knew me intimately because she had read my book “The Sex Goddess: Debunking the Mythology of God & Sex”. And when I asked my first question about the panel members’ experience growing up and what they learned about masculine and feminine genders, there was an initial elongated silence of about 3 seconds and then Mpho spoke up and got the ball rolling.

For the most part I was very present with my panel but then I had a moment outside my body where I was observing my experience and thinking “Wow, this is juicy!” I knew I was in my groove and that the panel discussion was unfolding perfectly.  The panel members were stellar, each one sharing so honestly about their sexuality and their experiences of shaming and rejection as well as acceptance and inclusion.  I even jumped in and started sharing some of my own experience which was a little unorthodox as the panel facilitator.  Then Muzi cried out from the audience “Steph, tell them the story of how you lost your virginity!”  He had heard me tell the story at my book launch and, since it is in my book anyway and available for public consumption,  I obliged.

After nearly 1.5 hours (instead of 1 hour), I wound up the panel discussion and opened it up to the audience to share and comment or ask questions to the panelists.  In the spirit of inclusivity, I asked the audience to share from the perspective of identifying with the speakers rather than engaging in a debate. The sharing that occurred was magnificent – so real and profound.  People had clearly been moved by the honesty of the panel and felt a sense of permission to be their authentic selves.  Tears were shed. Hearts were opened. And after all that, it was time for lunch.

LGBTQ Shile sharing after the panel 56164127_10218340463685662_6060246043461681152_n

Beautiful heartfelt sharing after the panel

More about the Human Rights Summit on 21 March 2019 in the next blog post.

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

Author of “The Sex Goddess: Debunking the Mythology of God & Sex”

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter

 

 

No. 97. Human Rights Summit 2019 and the LGBTQ+ Community – Part I

Rev. Steph

Today’s blog is about the recent Human Rights Summit which my friend and colleague, Muzi Cindi, hosted at the Birchwood Conference Centre in Johannesburg on 21 March 2019.  It was the most amazing conference – so full of love and joy and profound healing and transformation. I was privileged to have a leading role as the facilitator of the LGBTQ+ panel alongside some S. African A-list celebrities, some international speakers from the USA as well as my beloved colleagues in Johannesburg, Rev. Gerd Pontow and Bishop Jackson Khosa.

LGBTQ Human Rights Day, Muzi with black speakers and entertainers 54437199_10218256648190327_3623103861079670784_nLGBTQ Human Rights Day 21 March 2019 50827396_10217885979123832_628973492070514688_o

LGBTQ pre-conference line up 53660863_10218294460735617_2524851552074596352_n
Pre-conference line-up. Left to Right: Thami Ngubeni, Rev. Gerd  Pontow, Rev. Steph, Somizi Mhlongo, Bishop Yvette Flunder and Muzi Cindi

21st MARCH – HUMAN RIGHTS DAY

For my non-S. African readers, 21 March is a major public holiday in South Africa known as “Human Rights Day.” On this day, we commemorate the Sharpeville Massacre which occurred when S. Africa was still under Apartheid.   On 21 March, 1960, the S. African people of colour staged a peaceful protest, unarmed, against the racist Pass Laws.

In the years pre-1994 and the beginning of democracy in S. Africa, blacks and coloreds were required by law to carry passes.  These were ID documents which had to be produced upon demand, if ordered by a white policeman, and which indicated who the bearer was and where s/he had the right to live and work.  If the bearer was in the “wrong” area or if s/he was not carrying their pass, s/he could be arrested, jailed and tortured.)

Sharpeville Massacre, crowds fleeing from bulletsCrowds fleeing from the bullets at Sharpeville, 21 March 1960. 

Photo from Baileys African History Archive (BAHA)

The Sharpeville protesters were either killed or wounded by the Apartheid police force as they ran from the gun fire. This protest led to the banning of “subversive” political organizations in S. Africa and the subsequent arrest of Nelson Mandela in 1962, which resulted in a life sentence for him and his fellow freedom fighters in 1964.

Nelson Mandela, 1962

Nelson Mandela, sentenced to life imprisonment in 1962

Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela, the first black President of South Africa, 1994 -1999

MUZI CINDI
Muzi is a visionary, a truth-seeker and a wayshower.  Walking in the footsteps of Jesus the Christ and Nelson Mandela, he is a role model for the practice of radical inclusion. In his own personal search for Truth, he has bravely allowed all his antiquated and conditioned, fundamentally patriarchal, concepts of God to be destroyed and, in so doing, has established an inner relationship with the Divine Presence.  This is what he generously shares with others on his mission to empower those who have been rejected by the mainstream.

LGBTQ Muzi Intro 55653329_2332928043404971_2207196277668577280_n

Muzi Cindi welcomes the crowds at the Human Rights Summit, 21 March 2019

DIVINE FEMININE CONFERENCES
In August 2014 and in August 2017, Muzi hosted conferences on the theme of the Divine Feminine. In 2017, he invited big name speakers from the USA – Dr. Rev Michael Beckwith and Lisa Nichols (both made famous in “The Secret”) – to speak to the mostly female S. African audience about the power of the Feminine.  I spoke too on my favorite theme of “God & Sex.”  It was a day of confrontation, awakening, reconciliation and laughter and a radical departure from the old, out-moded, divisive and destructive ways of thinking based on a misogynistic, patriarchal, religious mythology.

THE LGBTQ+ COMMUNITY

At the recent conference on 21 March 2019, Muzi shone the spotlight of love on the LGBTQ+ community. South Africa is one of the few countries where same sex marriage is legal under the Democratic Constitution and yet the LGBTQ+ community is still culturally marginalised and experiences some of the most vehement prejudice from the traditional Christian Church. Fortunately, and despite the intense cultural bias towards heterosexuality as the “norm”, some openly gay media personalities have risen to celebrity status in S. Africa and two of the more famous ones, namely Somizi Mhlongo and Dr. Love, participated in the recent conference.  Somizi co-hosted the event together with Thami Ngubeni and Dr. Love was on the LGBTQ+ panel which I facilitated.

LGBTQ Somizi Mhlongo propic-somizi

Somizi Mhlongo

lgbtq DR. MVELELI GQWEDE 51OPGQgO_400x400

Dr. Mveleli Gqwede aka Dr. Love

OUR LAST TWO BATTLES
The late Evangelical Scholar, Dr. Phyllis Tickle, said that the last two battles to be contended with were:  1. LGBTQ+ Human Rights and 2. Evolution.   She believed there would be no more battles after these two!  And FINALLY, thanks to Muzi, these critical conversations are being held and we are moving through the mass illusion of separation towards the radical inclusion that Jesus the Christ preached and lived.

LGBTQ Steph and Somizi Mhlongo IMG-20190323-WA0018
Rev. Steph with Somizi Mhlongo

Somizi and I had only just met when we had this photo taken but we had an instant rapport. I just noticed that the heterosexual, white, British woman is wearing all black and the gay, black, S. African man is wearing all white and we have our arms around each other. That’s deep! 🙂

Appreciating the miracle of global communication via technology.

All blessings,

Rev. Steph

“The Miracles of Earth are the Laws of Heaven” – Johann Richter