The curriculum features nine modules for group study:
Gun Responsibility and Healing Violence
Religious Diversity and Inclusion
Healing Racism and Upholding Ethnic Fairness
Homelessness and Poverty
Women's Issues and Rights
Immigration and Refugee Rights
Gender and Sexual Identity & Expression
What's the Program About?
For two decades, leading ministers from Unity World Headquarters, Unity Worldwide Ministries, Centers for Spiritual Living, and Agape have worked together under the banner of The Association for Global New Thought, inspiring congregations worldwide to participate in a mission of spiritually motivated social activism. AGNT's mission has been to evolve New Thought beyond a magnificent spiritual practice to a platform for ENGAGEMENT in the pressing needs and issues of our communities and our world.
In early 2017, the AGNT Leadership Council rededicated itself to this mission that would transform its charter project, "The Gandhi King Seasons for Peace and Nonviolence (1998-2018)," into an increasingly relevant platform for spiritual and social uplift that could even more actively address the challenges we face today.
Following a year of dialogue and creative explorations, AGNT empowered its founding Executive Director, Dr. Barbara Fields, to create a program that could be offered to Season for Nonviolence (SNV) centers and all New Thought churches beginning in 2019, marking the 21st year of The Season. She set on a course to research faith communities well known for their contemplative activism including Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ, Methodist, Catholic and more. As former Program Director of the Parliament of the World's Religions in Chicago, Dr. Fields also called upon resources in the international interreligious community.
With AGNT leader Rev. Wendy Craig-Purcell, a pilot group was formed in the San Diego area among New Thought churches ready to explore issues such as gun control, racism, and immigration. Through a series of planning meetings, the San Diego group adopted a model long known to AGNT, Living Room Conversations (LRC). LRC, along with its partners Allsides.com, became one of AGNT's research sources in creating some of the Fact Sheets associated with AGNT's new program.
Envisioning its own signature curriculum that reflected New Thought principles more directly, and approached the issues of the day with a spiritual focus that transcends the polarizing political agenda that has discouraged our churches from engaging in the past, AGNT's new Spiritually Guided Social Uplift Ministries (S.U.M.) was born. At last, New Thought takes a leadership role in offering this unique opportunity to our own centers and beyond.
The 2019 curriculum features four of nine modules: Gun Responsibility and Healing Violence; Religious Diversity and Inclusion; Healing Racism and Upholding Ethnic Fairness; Homelessness and Poverty. In 2020, the remaining five modules will be offered: Climate Truth; Women's Issues and Rights; Immigration and Refugee Rights; Healthcare; Gender and Sexual Identity & Expression.
In October of this year, Dr. David Goldberg, editor/publisher of Science of Mind Magazine, arranged for a day long workshop of CSL Colorado area ministries at the Golden headquarters. 20 ministers and CSL staff members were joined online by Unity representatives for a FOCUS GROUP process whereby CSL ministers actively reviewed the curriculum modules and submitted written feedback on all aspects of the material. Gratitude is owed to these CSL ministers for spearheading a critical step leading to major revisions in the draft content.
Jim Blake, Unity World Headquarters, and Rev. Donna Johnson, Unity Worldwide Ministries, generously offered their media experts (Jacquie Fernandez and Laura Carl) to graphically design the program components, and edit the videos taped at Unity of Sacramento under the direction of Rev. Kevin Ross.
Participating churches and centers are invited to EXPLORE the S.U.M. curriculum and SIGN IN as a participant. AGNT will coordinate and facilitate local communities and congregations as a collective effort of the New Thought movement.
The S.U.M. curriculum is FREE to members of AGNT -- both to Individual Members ($50/yr) and Organizational Members ($250/yr which includes 5 individual account for minister and key members of their community).