“How can we shed light on humanity’s potential to evolve into a new way of relating that gives rise to an individual and collective realization of our interconnectedness and purpose of existence?” This was, for us, the question that birthed the possibility of creating a gathering of communities that would go much farther and deeper than organizational brand name loyalty, marketing campaigns, or increasing the dissemination of our respective teachings. In other words, to allow each associate member to maintain the uniqueness of their individual vision and mission yet collaborate with other communities to benefit from their respective explorations, discoveries, and successes.
The beauty of our visioning and dialoguing was how it led to the realization that no one spiritual path or practice has the final answer to life’s divine mysteries, that humanity’s limitless possibilities transcend any one point of view. Coming together as an association of spiritual aspirants has the potential to illuminate new horizons for us all, eliminating competition and encouraging collaboration as an association of shared values and vision.
When a movement gathers power, there is a grace-filled energy which causes its vision and mission to flourish. In his book, Where Good Ideas Come From, author Steven Johnson writes, “When one looks at innovation in nature and in culture, environments that build walls around good ideas tend to be less innovative in the long run than more open-ended environments.” Our intention is for the Agape Association of Communities to be an open-ended environment of inclusivity, creativity, innovation, and evolutionary progress.
You may be asking what the difference is between affiliation and association. Association and affiliation are not synonyms. Instead of being under the legal authority of Agape as an affiliate, associates enter into a voluntary agreement to accomplish a common goal. They retain their own 501c3 and remain independent in name, mission and purpose statement. They share with Agape a belief in universal principles and are committed to evolving this consciousness worldwide.
In a spirit of clarity, it’s important to point out that being an Agape associate is not about being the “Agape International Spiritual Center of Kentucky.” Each associate will remain autonomous and the Agape name will only be used when it is listed as one of the groups with which a spiritual center or spiritual teacher is associated. Example: The New York Center of Spiritual Practices, a member of the Agape Association of Communities.
If after prayerful consideration you feel the Agape Association of Communities is attuned to your vision, I invite you to contact Reverend Susan Shahani, Director Agape Association of Communities (info below) . We look forward to cultivating a mutually beneficial relationship with you and among all members.
Peace and richest blessings to you,
Michael Bernard Beckwith
Founder and Spiritual Director
Agape International Spiritual Center
Reverend Susan Shahani, Director Agape Association of Communities – phone: 310-348-1260 ext 1603 email: [email protected]