A Celebration of Success and Growth

Ministerial Report for 2024

As we step into the New Year, let us bask in the glow of our collective achievements. Reflecting on the past, it’s incredible to think that just a year ago, we were grappling with a daunting $50K deficit and had to rebuild our music program from the ground up. Fast forward to today, and not only have we surpassed our financial expectations, but our music program is thriving.

In addition to this, we’ve ventured into new territories, creating innovative streams of income by renting out our offices and launching the Mystic Fairs. Looking ahead, the possibilities are limitless – envisioning an Alternative Health Fair and renting space for a food truck are exciting prospects that could further enrich our community.The recent breakthrough in Sunday service attendance, especially during the Burning Bowl Sunday, with over 90 in attendance, is a testament that we have the right message for this time. As we move forward with increased attendance, I feel it is imperative that we keep our eyes open to other streams of income. One of the major complaints we hear from people leaving Churches is the constant badgering for money. Going forward I feel we will be wise not to totally rely on our congregation alone for our funding.

Ongoing and Upcoming Events

This February, we will start the Essential Ernest Holmes class. Our ongoing programs, such as the Circle Supper initiative, a robust hospitality program, and the reinvigorated E-Blessing program (opened by 300 people weekly), showcase our commitment to fostering connection and spiritual growth.

Looking forward, our roadmap includes a continuation of Interfaith events, with plans for a Sufi dance and a Jewish Seder service. These events not only foster inclusivity but also resonate strongly on social media, drawing new individuals into our community.

We are also fortunate to be situated in one of the fastest-growing areas in the country. Additionally, we have successfully built an excellent reputation within our community. When Temple Bat Yam sought to organize an Interfaith event addressing the turmoil in Israel, we were their first choice to collaborate. Moreover, our commitment to community involvement is evident in our open-door policy for various groups. For instance, the theater company we hosted last week drew an impressive attendance of over 90 people.

Furthermore, our Center has become a hub for diverse activities, ranging from the fun game nights to the entertaining talent show, Sam & Lucis music workshops to meaningful events like the Thanksgiving dinner, the Commitment dinner, singing at Bayview on Christmas Day, collecting computers and Christmas gifts for Betty Griffin, our picnic and hosting a candle lighting service. Each of these events serve as a testament to our identity as an inclusive and fun spiritual community.

Venus Manly Scholarship

I am delighted to share that Ted and Tongila expressed their excitement and gratitude for our commitment to sustaining the Venus Manly Scholarship program. They would like to turn over some of the responsibilities, fundraising for one, but will stay involved. As we move forward, I hope that we can create a separate board comprising community leaders and parents of previous scholarship winners to help us with this effort. The Venus Manly Scholarship program holds immense significance for us, contributing significantly to community goodwill.

To find more information about activities at CSL St Augustine, view our event calendar.

Finding a New Location

We’re currently addressing our ongoing challenge of securing a permanent location. Our landlord hasn’t increased our rent in a year, so we anticipate a rate hike soon. Currently, we pay $4,500.00 per month. While we’re maximizing profitability in our current space, owning our own place would bring significant relief.

Currently, we’re exploring the option of buying land in the Shores development. There are several commercial lots available there, and for approximately $250K, we could acquire three acres. We have $100K in savings, and a member has pledged another $100K towards the purchase. We would need an additional $50K to cover the purchase and another $50K to finance the necessary improvements to the land.

We have done research and have found that food trucks in our area pay rent of up to $1,500 per spot. We plan to create a park area where we can rent out three spots to food trucks. As we accrue more funds, we aim to construct a building with office space that we can also rent out. This strategy will help the building to pay for itself freeing us up from having to make excessive financial demands upon our congregation.

Our Vision

In 2024, with an election on the horizon and global uncertainties persisting, our role becomes even more crucial. As one of the fastest-growing counties in the nation, we are a beacon for those seeking open and accepting spiritual communities. Embracing the idea of being a spiritual community with no dogma, we respond to the growing trend where individuals seek refuge from rigid rules and regulations in their spiritual journey.

Man standing on rock overlooking the ocean with sunset in the background

I want to express my gratitude for your hard work and unwavering support – it is because of each one of you that we stand where we are today. Together, we carry an important message to share with the world – a message of love, support, and encouragement. In a world often burdened by the belief that life must be painful, we are fortunate to offer a different perspective. With spiritual guidance, we can live in health, joy, and prosperity.

Let’s continue spreading the good news of the ages and move forward with confidence, knowing that our efforts are supported by the spirit of love that unites us. Here’s to a year of continued growth, shared blessings, and the unwavering belief that our community is destined to thrive.