Once upon a time, Lauri Ann Lumby was an enamored, mostly devout Catholic girl. I attended Catholic school for most of my 12 years of schooling, proudly wore my plaid uniform skirt with starched white blouse and embraced all that post-Vatican II Catholicism had to offer (it really was an exciting time in the Church!). I continued attending weekly mass during college and into adulthood. I heard my calling to active ministry somewhere around the age of 27, completed 7 years of training as a pastoral minister and spiritual director and worked in the Church for 10 full years.
Then it all went bad. The short version is that I dared to take Jesus’ teachings and commands seriously and stepped more and more fully into “doing what Jesus did.” The Church didn’t like that, and neither did the self-appointed inquisition who made it their job to make sure I was obedient to “only that which was handed down by the magisterium,” which I found hilarious because the history of the Catholic Church has always been practice before legislation.
Most likely the real issue was not the work I was doing, but the fact I am a woman and I dared to do what Jesus did – namely, be a source of healing for those who sought it.
That’s the short of my boring story….but what’s yours? I bet I can guess some of the primary reasons why you no longer go to Church and maybe have no interest in returning:
- The Church’s hypocrisy – teaching one thing but living another. (#priestsexabusescandal)
- You’ve been divorced, use birth control, or found yourself having to make the choice to terminate an unplanned pregnancy.
- You’re LGTBQ.
- You no longer, or never, resonated with the idea of a hellfire and brimstone God or the idea of hell in the first place.
- Many of the Church teachings don’t make sense to you.
- You have a sense that Jesus may have been a cool dude, but don’t resonate with the Church’s portrayal of him, or don’t believe Jesus is the ONLY WAY to “salvation.”
- You’re not sure “salvation” is even anything to strive after.
- You are a woman and wonder if you even have a place in a patriarchal/hierarchical/clerical institution.
- You take issue with clericalism.
Ringing any bells? This is just a handful of the infinite number reasons I have heard from others for why they left the Church and have no plan of returning. Good for them. I agree with them. It is for this very reason that Authentic Freedom Academy and the Temple of the Magdalene came about in the first place. And here’s why:
- I personally have no problem with Jesus. When we look beyond Church dogma and man’s interpretation of Jesus’ message, we only find a message of compassion and love. I think this is a good and timely message – one the world really needs!
- I also accept the truth present within every other world spiritual tradition. I have found in my own exploration that every tradition holds a piece of the truth – why not embrace them all?
- I have to say the same about scripture. Scripture and sacred writings of all sorts hold kernels of the truth – we just have to find them. Dogma and doctrine get in the way. Let’s study the texts with naked eyes and an open heart.
- In my experience working in the Church, the greatest thing I found missing were tools for authentic psycho-spiritual development. These tools are readily available in the Church, but the Church refuses to share them. I have studied, applied, practiced, and now share these tools with those who attend my classes and partake in the services I provide.
- I also found the Church lacking in authentic empowerment. The Church begs for people to serve the betterment of the world but provides no formation that would support people in doing this. I provide that formation.
- There is a place for women! Not only is there a place, Jesus’ closest disciple, the one to whom he revealed the resurrection and who he ordained to continue his mission was a woman herself – Mary, called Magdalene.
- All are welcome!!!!!!!!! Authentic Freedom Academy and the Temple of the Magdalene welcome all people from all walks of life, orientation, beliefs, etc. The space we have created is big enough for all of it.
- Salvation? Jesus never spoke of salvation being in a heaven light years away. Instead, he showed his disciples how to find peace, contentment, and joy in the midst of the human experience. This is what I teach, along with the tools for experiencing this.
- Love. Only Love. Compassion and Love. That is all.
Authentic Freedom™ is Lauri Ann Lumby’s trademarked protocol for transforming the fears that keep you from knowing your true self and living that out freely. Authentic Freedom™ integrates specific tools and practices of Western Psychology with those of Western Spirituality, resulting in a powerful process through which YOU are supported in becoming self-actualized.
Self-actualized individuals know:
- Who they are.
- What their unique gifts are.
- How they are called to use those gifts for the sake of their own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.
Our online community is made up exclusively of women and men who have completed the Magdalene and/or Melchizedek Trainings, patrons of Authentic Freedom Academy and those who have joined through personal invite. Learn more and become a member HERE.