Years ago there was a country and western song entitled You’re Still New to Me. The singer was telling her beloved that after all the years he was still new to her, meaning that she was still in love with him. Sitting here in the quiet of the Authors’ Lounge, reflecting on the past years of my life, that song and its implications flits in and out of my mind.
In 2006 I received my ministerial license. After six years of studying, writing papers, taking tests and being tested, I was at last a minister! I even had the promise of a letter-of-call, a contract to be the minister for a church I founded. Fast forward a year: it’s 2007 and the anniversary of my licensing date is coming up. I’m thinking about the sermon for the Sunday closest to it. What shall I speak about? I begin to think of the years of studying, the day I was licensed. I thought about this thing called The Science of Mind, that I profess to believe and which I teach every Sunday. Do I still believe it? Can I still teach it, with integrity? As I pondered those questions and studied the book, The Science of Mind, my bible, the words of that song filled my mind. Are the teachings of Ernest Holmes, the author, still new to me? Do I believe the words of Ernest Holmes as much today as I did when I first discovered the teachings in 2000? As I studied and examined my soul, I realized I was just as passionate about it in 2007 as I was when I entered ministerial school. I was able to stand before my congregation the following Sunday and declare, “It’s still new to me! I believe it as much today as I did seven years ago!” Every year after that this was my sermon on that anniversary.
It became not only my sermon on my anniversary, but also the title of the book I wrote after earning a Doctorate of Divinity, in 2010. It became not just an examination of The Science of Mind, but of the entire New Thought theology and history. New Thought is a movement that began in the late nineteenth century, of which The Science of Mind – or rather, it’s fundamental name, Religious Science – is a branch. My doctoral thesis was about the relevance of New Thought for the 21st century. Once more I find myself in the quiet of the Authors’ Lounge contemplating this subject as I review the book it became: It’s Still New! How a Nineteenth Century Spiritual Revolution Transformed My Life: How It Can Transform the World.
My life has always been a spiritual quest. I’ve studied and joined churches – many different denominations and dogmas – trying to find the secret to who I am, who God is, and how to be good enough to go to heaven. I never felt worthy and couldn’t find a solution until the day my husband and I attended a Religious Science church service. I fell in love that day, with a belief system and with God. A few years later, after much study and meditation, I fell in love with me. Religious Science and its teaching, the Science of Mind, saved me from a life of doubting myself and my worth. If you’re wondering how, you’ll have to read the book. It’s too long for me to tell you here.
For now, an excerpt is below:
It’s Still New! is an expansion of the doctoral thesis of Rev. Gale Stewart, D.D. Stewart explores the New Thought Philosophy from its roots to the present, all the while asking herself, “Is it (New Thought) still new? Is it still relevant for this century, this present world, these times?” In her exploration, Stewart compares New Thought with modern science, that is, quantum physics, epigenetics, positive psychology, neuroscience and neuroplasticity. She asks, “How does New Thought, a spiritual philosophy created in the late 19th century, address the issues of today: over-population, poverty, diseases such as cancer, war, bullying global warming, racial profiling and hate crimes?”
Stewart’s exploration and questioning began with a personal crisis of faith and ended with a faith stronger than ever, not just in the relevance of New Thought for today’s issues, but also in a deeper and more profound connection to her God, who she calls her Magnificent Obsession
It’s Still New! is available at www.amazon.com