We are currently looking for a church space in which we can hold Sunday services, as well as classes and various events. While we prefer the east side of the Grand Valley, we are open to possibilities that will suit us perfectly.
It is our vision to secure a dedicated space of our own that allows us to offer multiple classes, activities, and a growing list of events, as well as to occasionally host other organizations, who wish to present similar offering, with a warm and loving space. We’ll start where it makes the most sense and work up from there!
A Unique Church Model
New Thought Grand Valley (NTGV) is an independent New Thought church. While we may accept mentorship or guidance from those who have traveled the path before us, NTGV and its members are ultimately responsible for its direction, growth, programs, and success.
Our ministers and practitioners follow a “code of ethics” and report annually to a governing organization to retain their credentials. NTGV follows the governmental rules for non-profit incorporation and in securing a 501c3 status (coming soon!) However, there is no “mother ship” to dictate rules and regulations. We are self-governing based on our experience as church leaders, the by-laws and policies that guide us, and the voices of our church community.
Team Leaders: NTGV as an organization is based on defined teams with qualified leaders at the helm. These team leaders then represent their church area (team) as part of the Core Leadership or Board of Trustees. In that way, every major aspect or category of the church organization has a place at the table. Core Leadership members (team leaders) sit on the Board for a specific term. They may return after a period of absence. All team leaders and board members are volunteers. In this way, we put community first… principles above personalities.
The teams of volunteers upon which NTGV relies means everyone has the opportunity to be involved. It also means that the contributions or donations collected for the church are not going to salaried staff members, so that a larger portion of this funding can be allocated to a future building or campus, community service projects, Spiritual education for our leaders or scholarships for new students, as well as allowing us to occasionally hire guests – musicians or speakers – for Sunday services and special events.
This mostly-volunteer arrangement applies to the minister position as well. NTGV does not have a salaried “senior minister” to lead the church. Instead, we have a Spiritual Advisory team composed of experienced ministers and practitioners. The Spiritual Advisory team determines the monthly and weekly themes or topics, offers prayer support for the congregation and its leadership, and provides the vision and Spiritual direction of the church. The leader of the Spiritual Advisory team, currently Rev. Dr. Carla Ryan, represents this group as a member on the Core Leadership team.
Volunteers Welcome… Always: While the volunteer model is not new in the world of church, having team leaders, rather than just one senior minister at the helm, is a different way to run a New Thought church. It means that, rather than having one person responsible for everything church-related – from preaching the sermons to decisions about the repairing a roof and putting in dozens of hours each week to the point of burn-out – the responsibility of managing the organization and taking care of its many aspects falls to teams within the congregation. “Many hands make light work.” (John Heywood, 1500’s)
Path to Leadership: We all have a voice in this community called New Thought Grand Valley. Also, we all have a responsibility for its success. Thus, we are developing a “Path to Leadership” that includes personal growth opportunities along with being able to serve the church financially through donations and through service with hands-on tasks. More will be shared as teams develop.
Our Way of “Doing Church”
Like many churches, we plan to hold Sunday morning services… eventually. However, since many in NTGV enjoy weekend freedom, our initial gatherings are being done as a mid-week class and discussion group.
When the Sunday space and time eventually happens, it is our vision to have a simple “order of service” that could include the following (not necessarily all on the same day):
- short readings from various religions or holy texts, as well as from contemporary authors and children’s books
- an inspirational message (about 15 min.)
- short meditations of various styles
- topics for round-table discussions in small groups
- uplifting music (contemporary, classic rock, gospel, country and more) – some for singing and some for meditation
- affirmative prayer (what we call the “5-step prayer treatment” process)
- a table activity for the younger children (in the main “sanctuary” with everyone else)
- light refreshments and fellowship during or after the service
Dress Code: We don’t have one for the congregation. Folks can dress up in their “Sunday best” or wear bluejeans. We welcome the authentic YOU. As we want to be kind to those who have sensitivity issues to perfumes and colognes, we do appreciate it if you can go “light” on the smelly stuff.
Hugs Galore: Yes, we’re a hugging bunch of folks. Be gentle when you do and be sure to ask for permission before fully embracing someone new. Some of our friends have had their ribs fractured from bear hugs they couldn’t bear. Handshakes, high-5’s, elbow bumps, and a friendly nod are also welcome greetings… especially when colds and flu’s are making the rounds.
The key founders and organizers of New Thought Grand Valley are mature and long-time students of the Science of Mind philosophy and all things written by Ernest Holmes. They are ministers and practitioners who have studied for years, developed and taught classes, and continue to deepen their understanding of Religious Science – a religion based in principle and love. It is with a sense of awe at the magnitude and depth of this teaching that they chose to come together and develop a church organization that allows them to share it within the Grand Junction area.
They also like to have fun. They enjoy being with friends of like-minded Spirituality and openness. For them it’s about experimenting with Universal Laws, being creative, discovering how far they can grow in consciousness and Life. So far, none of them have reached the limits of their understanding or ideas!
Check out the CORE LEADERSHIP page for more specifics on the people behind the beginning of New Thought Grand Valley.
- Rev. Dr. Carla Ryan
- Rev. Dr. Mike Ryan
- Practitioner Debby Powell
- Attorney John Powell