New Thought Editorials > Reaching out to the Edges

 

October 2004

Reaching out to the Edges

A wider umbrella, a bigger footprint: INTA is constantly looking for new ways to offer a meeting place for like-minded people to meet and discuss forward-looking ideas in a God-centered, abundant-universe way. There is plenty of room for individuality in our relationship with God and our approach to the world, yet there also needs to be some thought given to the beliefs we pretty much hold in common, the beliefs outlined in INTA’s Declaration of Principles, printed in every issue of this magazine.

The principles in the Declaration allow for the timeless truths set forth most clearly by Jesus but building on ancient wisdom. They serve New Thoughters well, and they can also be the means of our reaching out to others, people who do not belong to a New Thought denomination but are in harmony with these basic principles.

Scholar Susan Kendall has coined the term edgeliners to describe what her mentor, Marjorie Suchocki, of the Center for Process Studies, describes as

Persons who belong to mainline denominations, but no longer feel comfortable with traditional ways that creeds and liturgies express God’s work with us. They long for a kind of theology that is consistent with scientific understandings of the world, and that promotes inclusive well-being on our highly diverse planet . . . . They look for a sense of transcendence that doesn’t require a "three-story universe," and a sense of the immanence of God that doesn’t reduce God to nature.

INTA is in a perfect position to reach out to these edgeliners. People who do not wish to leave their current denominations and might not be comfortable even visiting a New Though church could come to an INTA Congress or read New Thought. They could become familiar with New Thought books and periodicals, and they might be amazed to know how many of their ministers turn to New Thought literature in preparing their Sunday sermons! Our Declaration of Principles is not a creed to be sworn to, but a series of comfortable spiritual resting places that we can hold in common with those who have not yet discovered New Thought. Our new Web marketplace, www.NewThoughtStreams.com not only enables New Thoughters to communicate with each other, but also spreads the word to the rest of the world. In addition to linking to our wonderful Archives, this site will be a means of encountering new helps along the path of spiritual growth for anyone in or out of New Thought.

Do you have friends, clergy or laity, who might be sympathetic to our overall New Thought approach if they only knew that it existed? Are there others who believe in the freedom of each person in matters of belief? Are there others who welcome the idea of a wholly good, everywhere present and available God (by whatever name), the source of an abundance of every good thing we could ever need or desire? Are there others who hold that this is a universe of ideas (mind), where our habitually-held thoughts make a difference, where prayer changes things for the better? Are there others who affirm absolute morality instead of moral relativism, upholding the highest spiritual principles of unconditional love for each other, knowing that those principles appear in every time and culture, since they come from God? Are there others who believe that our understanding of reality is growing and changing, and are ready with us to revise our beliefs accordingly? These are the ideas set forth in our Declaration of Principles.

It’s easy to see individual and group differences. What do we have in common, that we can use to form unconditionally loving relationships without abandoning our own individual beliefs and preferences? It is our commonalities that form our collective footprint and our meeting-place umbrella.