Friday, March 26, 2010

The Global Spiritual Community of New Dream—Who Are We?


At its inception, New Dream was created to support and educate individuals that wanted to offer ceremonies or become ministers without a specific religious affiliation.

Now…we support many more people with a variety of goals!

Within months of our initial discussions, the original founders, Jim Matthewson, Ariann Thomas, my husband Jeff Burger, and I decided that we could be more. Jeff introduced us to a plan he had co-created years ago for an online global spiritual community where people gathered together to inspire and support each other in our unique journeys.

We were blown away. So many of us feel isolated and alone as we attempt to follow spiritual paths for ourselves—drawing from teachers, healers, and traditions that speak to our hearts—putting together concepts, rituals and teachings from various practices in some meaningful way for ourselves.

Creating pathways for one’s own spiritual development and consciousness is a mighty task. And those of us that founded New Dream recognized this. So, together, we created an environment where you could feel supported in your choices and your courage. And where you could be honored for the blessing of your unique presence and the gifts you bring to the communities you serve.

In our desire to create a space of support for you, we adopted the mission statement: “Creating Global Spiritual Family.” (And we meant functional and healthy spiritual family.) That mission statement is being refined, as you will read in the next Soul Purpose article, but this mission has carried us to place where we are meeting some of the most extraordinary people like you!

Are you wondering who some of those other extraordinary people are? From surveys we have taken, here is what we have discovered. We come from a variety of races and cultures, though we are still predominantly Caucasian, and looking forward to embracing greater diversity.

Among us you will find spiritual practitioners that are primarily Jewish, Catholic, Muslim, Buddhist, Protestant, Hindu, Native American, Pagan, Unitarian, New Age, Metaphysical and from many other traditions and people with no labels for their practices.

Most of us are in the U.S.; however, we are delighted to say we are growing globally with participants in England, Germany, Mexico, Portugal, Canada, Australia and more.

The majority of us are women, and we get really excited when our men participate with us! And the vast majority of us do not have children at home under the age of 18. Though about 12% of us do have children we are still raising. Most of us live alone or with a partner. In terms of age range, 84% of us are between the ages of 36-65. About 60% of us do not have spiritual communities in our area that are meeting our needs on a regular basis. So, we come to New Dream for inspiration, spiritual connection and community, meaningful ritual, rites of passage, spiritual development, and support in fulfilling our purposes and making a difference in the world.

Some women have chosen to be initiated as Keepers of the Water Ceremonies in order to offer specific ceremonies in person in their communities. Still others have decided to become recognized or initiated elders. Yet still others join together annually at SpiritQuest in order to experience yet another level of what it can mean to be with spiritual family. These represent the Native side of me in terms of what I bring to New Dream, and while honoring my gifts, the trustees and I aspire to offer even more from various spiritual perspectives to you.

The vast majority of us participate in ceremonies and meditations together over the phone as well as selected tele-classes, and some of you are now listening in on the radio with us. In fact, some of you have been participating so regularly that we recognize each other’s voices on the phone! How cool is that?

I could write another page about the incredible volunteers that have created this sacred space for support and inspiration. But instead, let me suggest you get to know them a little bit. Then let me suggest you offer a prayer of thanks to them for holding true to the vision and putting in long, dedicated hours to creating global spiritual community and family. Volunteers for Our Global Spiritual Community


My elder used to say, “When you do ceremony together, you become family.” If you have joined us in spirit in any way, we consider you to be part of our global spiritual family and because you are here with us, we know we are richly blessed!