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Introducing Myself


JosephM
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A colleague and dear friend recently told me about TCPC. When I went to your web site I felt like I had found people who,like me, saw themselves as on the way, rather than the only way. The 8 Points are profound, yet wonderfully simple and easy to understand. They present, I believe, an approach to consciousness and spirituality that are consistant with the teachings of Jesus and Budda (and all great spiritual teachers). After presenting the 8 Points to my congregation, the undivided consensus was to affiliate with TCPC.

 

As a minister I have served my church since 1975. In 1984 I also founded a nonprofit corporation, The Covenant Connection, Inc., through which I could also minister to marginalized people. The people I chose to focus on were convicted offenders at the county level. Over the years I have involved myself and CovCo in various events designed to bring disparate groups in the community together in venues that enabled all collectively to see one another's humanity. The goal was to reduce prejudice and hostility and create consciousness and understanding.

 

During that same time I also worked for 3 years for the Sonoma County Public Defenders Office (California), providing counseling for a young male convicted murderer; operated a community conseling project, and involved local inmates in the county jail in fund raising programs to help special needs and abused children.

 

Ultimately, I began doing treatment programing for first time convicted child molestors whom the court had placed on probation. Currently, this program known as Specialized Treatment Services. It is one of two sex offender treatment programs certified by county probation to work with their referrals. In this work my approach includes accepted psychological approaches appropriate for this specific work and the use of myth (ie. Grail Myth, Tristan and Isold, Iron John, The Handless Maiden, and some religious myths). Although I'm not a licenced therapist I was accepted by ATSA as a clinical Member and occasionally testify in court as an expert witness.

 

My church is made up of a remarkable small group of people who are very self-reliant. I don't consider myself a pastor, rather a facilitator. The ministry provided by the group has been to provide food programs for the economically stressted people in our neighborhood, do town-hall meetings to help the community deal with gang related problems, provide extra food and gifts during the holidays, and work on making our gatherings open to all. We have been blessed to include people of various sexual orientations, religions, and ethnic heritage.

 

Let me conclude by saying something about who we are as a small independant church. From what we hear from others we are a warm and caring people. We try to provide a safe place for people to be who they are. I hope one day that you will be able to visit us and let us share our hospitality with you.

 

Thank you TCPC for letting us affiliate with you, Rev. Robert Gutleben

 

Posted for and at the request of Rev Robert Gutleben by JosephM

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It is very inspiring to see people realizing and serving the Divine in every person. We are lucky they are joining with us to help to see God’s presence in every person, every

animal, and every plant.

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