FEATURED KEYNOTE ADDRESS (WED PM)
"The Power of Alignment, A Created Future for Spiritual Living"
Treya Klassen, previously the vice-president of product and brand at RYU Apparel, currently the CEO of Design House Collective. She has over 30 + years of experience in building brands, culture and apparel related sales, product development, design, brand development, and manufacturing. As a results-oriented entrepreneur, Treya is responsible for creating and sourcing innovative design & product, high functioning teams, building company culture, and leading companies and organizations to be the most innovative and successful in the industry. She also has 19 years of leadership, coaching, seminar, team, and workshop training. In addition, she leads numerous seminars and guest speaking engagements on how to increase performance and communications that make a difference. Treya is a high performance coach working with visionary leaders all over North America, creating and building business that makes a difference.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 19
OPENING GENERAL SESSION: EMERGING LEADERSHIP
Rev. Brian Akers
Rev. Brian Akers has been in the Science of Mind since age 12 and has served in leadership roles with the CSL Teen Program, Young Adult Program and several Committees and Councils. He began his ministry as the Youth & Family Minister of the InSpirit Center for Spiritual Living in Mission Viejo, California and is now the Sr. Minister of the Oneness Center for Spiritual Living Columbia in Columbia, Maryland.
Rev. Brian Akers lead the former Center for Spiritual Living Young Adult Program with a team of piers to its largest attendances in the programs history with over 120 participants at the annual gathering. He played a key role in the development of the Center for Spiritual Living Granada Hills Young Adult Services as well as other related local projects to include a Young Adult group in Orange County, California and the only Centers for Spiritual Living Young Adult Retreat held on the east coast at the North Jersey Center for Spiritual Living. Rev. Brian reached a self-sustaining ministry when he was accepted as the Sr. Minister of the Oneness Center for Spiritual Living in Columbia, Maryland before the age of 35 and has been advising organizations and communities on the development of programming for younger audiences for more than a decade.
Rev. Masando Hiraoka
Masando “Mike” Hiraoka received his BA in Religious Studies from the University of Colorado in Boulder in 2004, was introduced to his Buddhist meditation practice in his travels to India through Naropa University's Buddhist Studies program in 2003, and became a minister in June of 2016. He has a monthly column, "The Art of Being Human" in the Science of Mind Magazine and is a former member of CSL's Diversity Commission, whose charge is to foster a greater culture Diversity & Inclusion within Centers for Spiritual Living.
His greatest passions include inter-faith and social justice ministry, finding that place where socially engaged participation and action can meet spiritual growth and the creation of greater communities of kinship and belonging.
Rev. Abigail Schairer
As a vibrant minister, dynamic speaker, and compassionate spiritual counselor, Rev. Abigail Schairer is inciting a global Love-olution by awakening people to their spiritual magnificence and radiant essence.
Her spiritual journey began at the age of 21 after walking into Center for Spiritual Living San Jose, where she instantly found her “tribe”. Diving passionately into spiritual studies, she became a licensed Religious Science Practitioner in 2005 and later in 2011 graduated from the Holmes Institute of Consciousness Studies with her master’s degree and ministerial license. In 2012, Rev. Abigail founded Center for Spiritual Living Peninsula, where she lovingly guides a growing congregation to embrace their own Divine potential.
Inspired by the awesome collective potential of women in this world, she birthed SisterSpirit Women’s Retreat in 2008. She continues to facilitate this annual retreat, empowering women to live fully in their authenticity, allowing their love, creativity, and spirituality to heal themselves and the world.
In 2015, Rev. Abigail also created a remarkable experience designed for spiritual adults ages 18–35, the Next Gen Retreat, as an investment in the future leaders of the world. This retreat educates participants about social justice, engaging in healthy relationships, leadership skills, and emboldens them to create a sustainable future of prosperity, service, and love for all. In 2017 Centers for Spiritual Living recognized her powerful and impactful work with the emerging leaders in the organization by bestowing her with the global Youth Champion award.
Rev. Abigail draws inspiration from the great spiritual masters of all religions and seamlessly marries it with practical guidance in her speaking and teaching. With a spirit as fun as her hair, love is at the core of all she expresses. She believes we are all a part of the human race, here to help create the life God intended us to have – one of absolute joy, complete abundance, and freedom.
tuesday, february 20
morning General Session
tracy brown, RScP
Tracy Brown is a Licensed Practitioner with Centers for Spiritual Living and is the current Chair for our organization's governing body: The Leadership Council. She is also the most recent recipient of the Ernest Holmes Award.
Introduced to Science of Mind by Dr. Donald Curtis in 1986, Tracy has used universal spiritual principles to infuse her life with peace and joy for more than 30 years. Her personal motto is “You Always Have a Choice.”
In her home community, Tracy is actively involved as a teacher and leader at CSLDallas. To serve beyond her local community, she has produced or hosted six spiritually focused podcasts, including: “Say Yes to Spirit” and “Spiritual Practices that Work.” Plus, she is the author of 11 books including “I Turn to Prayer” - a collection of prayers written in a variety of formats.
Outside of CSL, Tracy is the President of Intentional Inclusion Inc. and is recognized nationally as an expert on diversity and inclusion in business organizations. So, it is no surprise that she founded Stained Glass Spirit to provide resources that help navigate the intersection of diversity, spirituality and inclusion in spiritual communities. In addition to workshops and retreats, Tracy hosts the Intentionally Inclusive podcast specifically to focus on what leaders in spiritual communities should know and do to be inclusive. She challenges church leaders to explore their Diversity Welcome Factor and to examine their Inclusion Worship Factor so they can engage congregants and achieve their mission.
Rev. Dr. Rebeka Piña
Rev. Dr. Rebeka Piña is the Founder – Dean of the School of Spiritual Leadership Latin-America (ELELA in Spanish).
A native of Mexico, Rev. Dr. Rebeka is also a citizen of Canada. Teaching has been a great part of her life, and hers is a teaching ministry. She is a graduate of the Holmes Institute, Huntington Beach Campus (1997) and received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity in 2007. She founded Ciencia de la Mente México in 1999.
She has served as a member of CSL Global Services Core, and in AGNT & INTA Advisory Committees.
Her vision and mission is to assist the vision of creating a world that works for everyone, by providing quality training for our spiritual leaders in the Spanish speaking communities. Rev. Rebeka feels that Long Distance Learning is the best way to assist her in reaching her mission.
Vida Espiritual Org, her virtual ministry uses flipped classrooms and state of the art technology.
rev. dr. christian sorenson, D.D.
Reverend Christian Sorensen, D.D., is the eminent spiritual leader of the Seaside Center for Spiritual Living and a past president and community spiritual leader of the United Church of Religious Science (UCRS) worldwide (now United Centers for Spiritual Living). He is also the Director of The United Centers for Spiritual Living School of Ministry, an accredited master's degree program in consciousness studies with campuses in San Diego, Seattle, Washington.
Dr. Sorensen was born into Religious Science and has been a lifelong student of metaphysics. Both his father and mother were ordained into the ministry on the same day as Dr. Sorensen in 1985—the only triple family ordination in the history of the movement. His credentials include a Doctorate of Religious Studies earned from Emerson Theological Institute, a Doctor of Divinity and a Doctor of Religious Science received from UCRS. He served as Senior Minister of the Ventura County Church in California from 1983-1988, Co-founder of the Costa Mesa Church in California in 1982, and Co-Creator of the Oahu Church in Hawaii in 1988.
A gifted and eloquent speaker with a unique and engaging style, Dr. Sorensen lights up audiences with his expansive vision, passion, and heart-felt enthusiasm. His impassioned visionary talks on spirituality, New Thought, Religious Science, practical matters, and Universal love continue to thrill listeners in all venues. His new talks are now being viewed by thousands every week on webcasts which can be viewed globally on-demand at www.seasidecenter.org. He is in high demand as a speaker for corporate business and social engagements and is a sought after facilitator of conferences, workshops and seminars internationally.
Dr. Sorensen is a world traveler, speaking to groups in Tibet, India, China, Russia, North Africa, Scandinavia, Australia, and New Zealand. Raising global consciousness is of great importance to Dr. Sorensen. To that end, he has strengthened international ties by helping orphanages and schools in Mexico and Africa through direct giving and hands-on building.
A distinguished representative within a multitude of religious traditions, Dr. Sorensen addressed the United Nations General Assembly as part of its annual World Interfaith Harmony Week. As a leadership council member of the Association for Global New Thought, Sorensen is involved in worldwide grass roots movements of the Season For Non-Violence. As a member of the Evolutionary Leaders, whose mission is to collectively inspire, support and serve conscious evolution, Dr. Sorensen and nearly 40 other evolutionary leaders who are forging a movement towards the conscious evolution of humanity. He’s been privileged to be a participant of the Synthesis Dialogues with His Holiness the Dalai Lama of Tibet and a repeat speaker at the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne Australia and South Africa.
Dr. Sorensen has authored ten books. His books include: Joyous Living (a Series of 3 books), Catch the Spirit; Riding the Waves of Life and its sequel Flying through Life; A Book of Prayers; Good Cents; Free Your Own Tibet and Soar, Spiritual Guidance for over coming Life’s Turbulence. His newest book, Living from the Mountaintop: Be the Mystic you were Born to Be was released in November 2016 and recently collected a 2017 LA Book Festival Winner award.
Dr. Sorensen is an avid sportsman who loves surfing, skiing, tennis, and flying. He shares his love for travel and the outdoors with his wife, Kalli Holmes-Sorensen, and their teenage son, Trevor. His family resides in Encinitas, Ca.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20
SPECIAL EVENING CONCERT
Rickie Byars is the Music & Arts Director of the Agape International Spiritual Center where for 29 years she has directed the incomparable Agape International Choir. One of the 21st century’s most revered singer-songwriters, her transcendent music deeply touches the hearts of all she encounters through her solo concerts, women’s retreats, workshops, music festivals and appearances with Michael Bernard Beckwith.
She has produced nine solo albums, is the founder and CEO of KUUMBA-In-Motion Expressing Transformation, as well as the founder of the Rhythm and Joy Music Festival.
In its 19th year, Dr. Rickie co-partners again with Rev. Greta Sesheta in the dynamic Soul Sisters Retreat that they create together. With a fantastic team of intergenerational women who also facilitate, it is hands down the most fun, out of the box, diverse and eclectic women’s retreat, ever!
Rickie is on the Board of Directors for Voices 4Freedom an abolitionist organization that empowers enslaved people to free themselves and offers the infrastructure that empowers children and their whole families to live productive lives through education, nutrition, and the creation of their own businesses.
Last, Dr. Rickie is mother of two, grandmother to three wonderful and almost mini-versions of herself, sister to 11 siblings and daughter to a ninety-one-year-old wonder, Mama Byars. Says Mama Byars of Rickie, “Many people long to live their dream, and have visions of how they would like to make the world a better place. Rickie is the kind of person that makes it happen right where she is, and that is a WONDERFUL thing.”
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 21
MORNING GENERAL SESSION
REV. CYNTHIA JAMES
Cynthia James is a transformational coach, speaker and multiple award-winning author of What Will Set You Free and Revealing Your Extraordinary Essence and an Amazon #1 Bestseller for I Choose Me: The Art of Being a Phenomenally Successful Woman at Home and at Work in three categories. She has facilitated hundreds of workshops Internationally and is the creator of several music and meditation CD’s. Cynthia guides groups Internationally on pilgrimages to sacred sites; trains coaches in her innovative Freedom Techniques and is the co-creator of Women Creating Our Futures, hosting conferences and online programs.
rev. dr. maxine kaye
Raised in Unity and Religious Science, Dr. Maxine Kaye has served as Minister of Centers for Spiritual Living for forty-one years. Spiritual Leader of two Centers in Northern California, she also has functioned as Interim Minister and led the Co-Creation Process in many other Centers. Her Chaplaincy work included Hospital, Hospice, Prison, and Police. She is currently Spiritual Leader of the Greater Philadelphia Center for Spiritual Living in Paoli, Pennsylvania.
Previously active on the Religious Science International Board of Directors, she served as 1st Vice President, Practitioner Chair, Ethics Chair, and with Sponsorship. On the R.S.I. Board of Education, her responsibilities included: Curriculum writing, Chaplaincy development, Ordination procedures, and she currently serves on the CSL Chaplaincy Committee. She was awarded Minister of the Year in 1999.
Dr. Maxine has authored, Alive and Ageless: How to Live Fully Every Day of Your Life, and is an excellent example of this philosophy, as she brings both wisdom and a youthful spirit to everything she does. She produced the CD, A Gentle Guide to the Art of Meditation, and writes a daily inspirational message Monday through Friday, which is delivered through her Conscious Connections via Constant Contact.
Her partner, Rev. Michael Gerdes, serves as Family and Youth Director in Paoli, and they love this thriving Spiritual Community and their fulfilling life in Pennsylvania. Children and grandchildren delight their lives, and Dr. Maxine lives by the maxim: “Everything is sacred; nothing is serious.”
thursday, february 22
MORNING COMMUNITY GATHERING
rev. dr. Linda mcNamar
Dr Linda McNamar is a published author of the book, Alive with Spirit. She currently writes for the Laguna Woods Globe, a newspaper from the Orange County Register. Her writings have appeared in various magazines and Chicken Soup for the Soul cookbook. She has mentored individuals and Boards in non-profit leadership and presents classes in ageless living, spirituality and positive living. As the minister of The Center for Positive Living in Laguna Woods California, where she lives, she is well known in her community as a member of the Quilt Guild and the Camera Club. She has two grown children and two teen-age grandchildren.
evening awards dinner gala
REV. DR. KENN GORDON
Rev. Dr. Kenn Gordon is the Spiritual Leader of Centers for Spiritual Living. He is the founding minister of the Centre for Spiritual Living, Kelowna British Columbia, Canada.
Dr. Kenn has been involved in leadership in Centers for Spiritual Living since 1999; he has held almost every position on the International Board of Directors as well as completed five years as their President.
He currently is seated on several councils and boards, including the Leadership Council of Centers for Spiritual Living, the Science of Mind Archives & Library, SOMark Inc, and The Science of Mind Foundation. He is an active participant in the leadership of the Association for Global New Thought.
Dr. Kenn is a monthly contributor to Science of Mind Magazine and is the author of the book, "Mind and Manifestation."
Over the years, Dr. Kenn has focused his attention on innovative and transparent models of leadership. He is a well-known, well-loved speaker, and teacher. His unique, humorous, and insightful style of presentation has blessed many lives.
He is well known for his extraordinary vision and leadership. He is a catalyst for evolution and change in every area of human development. A strong believer in spending yourself and giving back to life, Dr. Kenn aspires to keep three major principles in mind, through everything he does; inclusivity, communication, and principle.