Integral Church St. Petersburg
A History of Integral Spirituality
Integral Church is an interspiritual and interfaith community for those who identify with a specific faith tradition as well as those identifying as “spiritually independent” or “religiously unaffiliated.”
It is our mission to deepen personal transformative practice, engage in community service and promote religious and interfaith literacy.
We embrace both wisdom and knowledge by including the beauty, goodness and truth found in the world’s myths, creation stories and faith traditions as well as scientific findings from the domains of psychology, biology and cosmology.
We are interested in carrying forward what works about religion and letting go of what doesn’t. We want to bring religion into the 21st century by replacing hierarchy with holarchy and practicing religion in a post-modern, peer-to-peer setting.
We are reclaiming previously stigmatized words like “church” and “religion” for those raised on pluralistic beliefs, multiculturalism and universal values (i.e. compassion, charity, playfulness, mindfulness and The Golden Rule). We express the three faces (or dimensions) of Spirit-in-Action (“I,” “we” and “it”) as we embody these values in our selves, express them throughout our culture and honor them in nature.
We are building radically inclusive forms of spiritual expression including new inter-generational rituals and rites of passage for young people and families, interfaith circles and study groups. We also believe in recognizing the new mythologies and sacred texts being written in our time (Star Wars, Dune, Harry Potter, etc.).
Integral Spirituality is not just a spirituality of “both/and” (masculine/feminine, transcendent/immanent, etc.), it is the belief that we all transcend and include, integrating more and more consciousness and complexity. The belief that something can be both changing and complete — unfolding, yet ever-present — this is the unique idea that Integral Spirituality offers to the world.
The Purpose of the Integral Church
(An Excerpt from Reverent Irreverence: Integral Church for the 21st Century by Rev. Tom Thresher, Ph.D.)
“Integral Church … offers a conveyer belt for the evolution of consciousness. The Integral Church carries us through increasingly expansive ways of being by creating a context for our personal and collective spiritual development, by offering and legitimating stories for all phases of the journey, by recognizing where we are on the path, by creating programs and experiences that offer tastes of consciousness beyond our current comprehension, by providing safe places to take chances, by offering a map to guide us, by helping us to laugh at ourselves and by encouraging us to play …
To be an Integral Church does not mean all practices are Integral or everybody inhabits an Integral perspective. What I call Integral begins with the Self-Actualized wave of development … This is the first perspective that truly embraces all the previous levels in the overall spiral of development. This stage is the first to deeply recognize the complexity of human spiritual evolution and seeks to nurture the full spectrum of that spiral. … But moving in the direction of Integral Church does not require a large contingent of folks to inhabit Integral consciousness. …
In general, the Integral Church’s mission is to serve people as fully as possible on their journey of awakening or salvation, which includes all the crises of life we identify as distinctly human. Currently, churches and denominations tend to serve folks at a particular wave of development. Fundamentalist churches primarily serve the Magic and Warrior waves of development. The mainline churches typically serve Conformist stages. The Achiever wave is served by secular humanism, scientism, and some progressive churches. Most progressive, New Age and Unitarian Universalist churches serve Pluralist development. An Integral Church is required to integrate these perspectives into a unified whole.”
What is the Integral Movement? – An interactive visual aid, courtesy of Formless Mountain.
Sri Aurobindo – The Integral Yoga
Integral Transformative Practice – Michael Murphy and George Leonard
Suquamish United Church of Christ – The First Integral Church? “What We Believe”