Category Archives: Retreats

God is a Brown Girl Too 2013 Cruise

Click on the link below to enjoy the video presentation on the upcoming God is a Brown Girl Too Cruise.
Contact CRUISE ONE at (800)619-1694 or (718) 673-9003 for more information.

God is a Brown Girl Too 2013 Cruise.

CREATING OUTSIDE THE BOX OF CONVENTIONALITY By Cecilia Loving

It’s easy to say God is good but more difficult to be good to God.  Being good to God requires us to be good to the divine ideas that God gives us.  Being good to God requires us to tap into the Universe’s unlimited potential – expressed as our gifts and talents.  When we don’t share our gifts and talents, they dissipate.  A singer who doesn’t sing loses their vocal ability.  An artist who doesn’t paint loses their technique.  A dancer who doesn’t move loses their flexibility.  Pamela D. Jones, Master Quilter extraordinaire, is a perfect example of someone who is good to God because she shares her gifts and talents.  Her phenomenal quilts are exhibited everywhere – from Ethiopia to Detroit to Dallas – and will be a perfect complement to next week’s “Creating Outside the Box of Conventionality” Retreat at the Mariandale Conference Center.

When  her brother, the late jazz poet, hip hop-ologist, author and journalist Kenneth Jones, used to sit behind me at Cass Tech in 1972 and pull my pony tail, I had no idea that his little sister was at home designing doll clothes.  Detroit has an extraordinary creative energy, a magnetism of vision that vibrates even deeper than Motown, even more profound than futuristic car sculpting, even more daring than Xhibit’s sonorous voice or David Alan Grier’s genius – as it keeps expanding into endless forms of artistic expression.  Pam’s artistic expression first took shape in her wearable art fashion line called “Fashions for Sisters with Attitudes Today” which was featured at major department stores and praised by the Michigan Chronicle, the Chicago Tribune and other papers.  But when she began quilting, she was hooked.

A new “quilt-ology” emerges from this registered nurse and Masters of Divinity candidate at New York Theological Seminary.  I call her work “quilt-ology” because it blends healing, regeneration and Spirit into cloth that not only covers us or hangs for our pleasure but also anoints us, prophesies for us and summons us to see as well as listen.  Ms. Jones’ quilts force us to go within and realize that God is here because we witness in them the craftsmanship of the Kingdom.  We know the divine moves through her quilts because they sing scripture and they dance devotion and they even shout hallelujah through color, imagination and intricate, delicate stitching.

Her quilt called “Awakening” was featured on the cover of “The York College Commemorative Quilt” book.  Her “Women of Masi” was featured as the promotional quilt for the Citicorp Quilting and Art Exhibition.  Harvard University School of Divinity, the Black Christian Women’s Conference, and the State Office Building in Harlem are just a few venues that have recognized Pam’s amazing talent through display.  She is Chair of the Maafa  Quilters at St. Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn who shares Pam’s passion for healing deep wombs of oppression and liberating souls from suffering.  She is also the lead instructor for “Black Men Who Quilt”, the only known Black male quilting guild in the country.  My favorite collection is Pam’s “Living Waters: Women of the Bible” series, which consists of 20 quilts depicting some of the women in the bible and their stories.  I love her work because it buries victimhood and celebrates triumph.  She creates outside of the box of tradition through a soul that resonates with victory.

Pam’s quilts tell a new story of victory.  Her witness testifies through texture and shape and form to preach the parables of creation, love and hope in a way that doesn’t just inform us but delivers us.  She says “Art is instinctive to me. It is a talent, which I feel, is best expressed through my quilts.  I enjoy painting but prefer letting the various fabrics I use be my color pallet, expressing the boundless contemplation and evolution of divine ideas.  Spirit always leads me to a mixture of fabrics from hand dyed to African prints, as well as more traditional American fabrics to blend the tapestries of my ancestral inclusions from Native American to Africa.”

She says “beadwork and shells embellish my quilts and work along with embroidery to add dimensions and life to them.  Sometime I also use paint to for added dimension as well.”  Each quilt magically anoints the viewer with a positive and peaceful state, in part, because Pam often creates them as she recites scripture.  These quilts wear the blessing and bring it into new shape and form and texture.  “When starting a new piece, I never really know what it will look like in the end,” she says.  “I see each one emerging like a mystery novel.  I must keep reading – keep adding fabric – in order to reach the end of the plot. Most times the true meaning of the piece is not revealed to me until it’s finished.  Quilt design is my way of allowing my imagination to soar.”

In the book God is a Brown Girl Too, God reminds us to let our imaginations soar – to embrace each moment with poems, hugs and twitters, to radiate new joy, solve new equations and fulfill new prophecies.  When we are daring enough to go with the flow of wherever creativity takes us, we find ourselves giving shape to form and substance well beyond convention or norm – to the miraculous and the genius and the divine.  Being made in “God’s image and likeness” means that we, too, are co-creators with light, energy and power.  We carry the notes of the musician giving birth to new music, the harmony of the rapper reaping hip hop beats, the whisper of the writer typing word magic, the ministry of the sculptor shaping faith from blocks, the prophecy of the painter blending answered prayers, the stitch of a quilter moving beyond ordinary squares to extraordinary surprises.  When we take time to listen to Spirit and allow it to direct our path, we realize that the things we devote most of our time to are not the most important.  We have to bold enough to move beyond the margins, to bend them into something beautiful, to create a master-piece by coloring outside the lines. Creating outside the box of conventionality is what really sustains us because we are here — not just to be good for ourselves but to be good for God.  Being good for God only happens when we allow God to use us – in the basic, simple, honest, most extraordinary ways.

If we listen, we can hear God saying move out of your way:  “I will open new doors.  I will send new ideas.  I will bless you with the wisdom that you need.  I will lift you to dance into and leap out of my realm of infinite possibilities.”

Artists like Pamela Jones remind us that using the gifts that only God can give us is a starting place, a foundation for a triumph that will flourish so much, it will become the ground upon which we stand – but only when we give way to it.

© 2011 Reverend Cecilia Loving

About SPIRITMUV:  Spiritmuv® is a trans-denominational church, which means that it transcends the confines of religion and teaches unconditional love for one another regardless of race, creed, culture, or religion.   At the heart of its teachings is what Jesus taught — that we love one another, as well as the community that Mahatma Gandhi inspired when he said, “I am a Christian and a Muslim and a Hindu and a Jew.”  Reverend Cecilia Loving is the founder and creator of Spiritmuv, formed in 2007.  Services are held for an hour every Sunday, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M. at the Unity Center of NYC, at 213 West 58th Street.

AWAKEN TO LOVE: A POWERFUL TIME LIKE NO OTHER

The God is Brown Girl Too® Retreat this past weekend was not a “retreat” at all.  Rather than a retreat, it was as our spirit sister Oza described — a “movement forward.”  The “Awaken to Love” movement was one of those unforgettable moments in time when all of the forces of the universe are in perfect alignment with an idea whose time has come.  Thus, it was in divine order that “Awaken to Love” opened our minds to reach beyond the appearance of physical limitation to the divine rhythm of endless possibility.  Our hearts were freshly anointed to beat beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary.  Our consciousness was newly uplifted to realize the sacred in the simplistic.  Our souls were synchronized in joyous surrender to Spirit by the story of God is a Brown Girl Too, accompanied by the beauty of Malesha Jessie singing Awaken to Love.  We could not have planned a more perfect “movement forward”; the universe did it for us.

The moment we entered the sacred space of the Mariandale Retreat Center last Friday evening, we knew that we would be transformed forever.  Owned by the Dominican Sisters of Hope, its captivating peace and warm embrace is a beautiful sanctuary overlooking Eagle Bay — that does not withhold its endless gifts of gentle breezes, peaceful shade, calm waters, and the everlasting witness of God.

With the convergence of many religions, faiths, perspectives, and beliefs, we rose above the division of differences to celebrate the fact that there is nothing that we cannot do, nothing that we cannot be, nothing that we cannot summon from God as our creator constantly creating.  We carry the universe in our souls, justice in our wombs, and triumph in our magic.  When we come together, we know that nothing and no one can stop us from attaining the good that God is expressing as us.

Auah Tuah Nera Freeman, a powerful actor from Washington D.C. , and I performed part of God is a Brown Girl Too, along with Malesha Jessie, we could feel the magic of the Holy Spirit baptizing us in new waters of faith.  We could feel the incredible and the magical and the fantastic emerging as us.  And we knew that it was something better than a fleeting moment, that it was — as Malesha sang — a change come over us — that would be transformational.

Sonya Johnson sang be Still and Know that I AM God from her beautiful Worship From the Heart CD — blessing us into the stillness and centering us in the wisdom that we must look neither here nor there but to the Kingdom of God within us.

We opened our hearts and witnessed love creating, love releasing, love evolving, love planting, love expressing as us.

Everyone was a divine contributor to our entire body of love and light, including worship leader Celestine Walker who brought the love of her spirit all of the way from Detroit with worship songs, testimony and exaltation of the words of God; healing goddess Cynthia Adams, who reminded us to lay our burdens down by the riverside; gentle touch visionary Bianca Townsend, who healed us with her gift of massage and the beauty of her photography; and Rev. Mari Rodriguesz Ragsdale, who centered us in the heart of ancestral love and spiritual de-cluttering.

Oza Plynton, Spiritmuv’s new Meditation Leader and sister of divine fulfillment, fed us with not only her wisdom but also her extraordinary culinary skills.  If you ever have an opportunity to buy a piece of any of her dishes don’t hesitate to partake.  I see a corner bakery named Oza’s smoothly unfolding.  It is a blessing that a sister who is so open and receptive to Spirit can also “throw down” as a chef.

Aakhu Tuah Nera poured the libation in a way that not only honored those who came before us but also allowed us to stay connected with them forever.

As my mother, Rev. Dr. Myrtle Ross said during one of our circles of light — if we could honor our ancestors the way we praise Jesus, we could tap the full spectrum of power that is always embracing us and unfold our own magic with the help that all of our ancestors — all of whom stand ready to help us.

One of the highlights was the robing ceremony honoring Spiritmuv Prayer Minister Raquiba LaBrie, who is also one of the main visionaries and supporters of God is a Brown Girl Too.  In the physical realm, she is really the spiritual glue that holds our prayer circle lifted in the love and light of God.  Rev. Ross presented her with a prayer shawl on behalf of Spiritmuv and sisters of light stood with Raquiba because as Rev. Ross reminded us — “none of us should ever be made to stand alone.”

Early Saturday morning, Prayer Warrior Raquiba blessed us with an early morning meditational knock at our doors — to awaken us to love, and we were all glad that we did.  An hour later, movement minister Esther Sylvester led us through our love walks through the labyrinth.  Not only was there as celebration of what we wanted but also that we were grateful for Spirit’s immediate response.

Elizabeth Walker, divine diva of organization and beauty, shined her light of love on every crack and crevice of registration, assuring that we would take care of business as seamlessly as she does.  Bayliss Fiddiman was by her side, assisting with all of the details.

It was Bayliss who ignited the passion of the creative Spirit in us as we drew goddesses to celebrate the divine within.  We know that we are the inexhaustible force of an energy that is greater than the human body temples of God.  Bayliss helped us re-discover and express love as us in a new way.  The Creativity Room expanded beyond spaces of confinement and the boxes that we once stepped in were torn down.

Najah Brown reminded us of the importance of youth, tireless energy, and joyful presence.  Both he and my husband Marlon Cromwell are all of those things and more — the men behind God is a Brown Girl Too and Spiritmuv — without which it wouldn’t run as smoothly and effortlessly as it does.

If you missed this powerful gathering of like-minded sisters of Spirit, don’t worry.  There will be similar gatherings for you to participate in.  But after this one, I have one piece of advice.  Register early, and don’t miss it — at least if you want to awaken to the freedom of endless possibilities, divine opportunities, new dreams, quiet healings, and prophetic callings.  Not only did we awaken to love but we also listened.  In the peaceful stillness, we heard God praying us.  We loved and felt beings of light in our midst praying as us.  And in the end, we remembered, and stood proudly on the prayers of our ancestors — lifting us above every obstacle, every fear, every doubt, every hesitation, every appearance of lack.  When we left, there was no uncertainty in our minds, hearts and souls — that we were our Mother God’s creation and our Father God’s child, which at the very least means that we are gods.

Namaste,

Reverend Cecilia Loving

GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO® is grateful for SPIRITMUV Member Bianca Townsend’s Photographic Essay of “Awaken to Love.”

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® and Spiritmuv messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART I OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON THE TWELVE POWERS OF HUMANITY, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

THE MAGIC IS HERE

love9When I began working on God is a Brown Girl, Too, I could not imagine how it would take shape, but I knew that I was called to create it.  When we are called to do something, spirit-moved into action, soul-motivated to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, we don’t have to worry about how it will take shape.  God goes before us to do the work that we are appointed us to do.  All of the pieces fall into place.  The right people show up to help us.  Mentors appear from seemingly out of nowhere to guide us.  New ideas bless us with creative expressions of divine source.  Resources that we had never imagined unfold our unlimited blessings.  And we witness the magic of the universe giving shape to something bigger than who we are in the flesh.

love For example, this weekend at the Awaken to Love Retreat, we will enjoy the magic of God is a Brown Girl Too unfolding a new story that recognizes that God is not limited but is constantly creating through an endless stream of love.  Gospel Songstress Sonya Johnson will bless us with some beautiful music from her album, Opera Singer Malesha Jessie will uplift us with her music ministry, Worship Leader Celestine Walker will bless us with her ministry, and beautiful and talented actor Aakhu Tuah Nera Freeman will perform selections from the God is a Brown Girl Too script.  And tomorrow evening, the magic begins.  Hope you will be joining us.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re a multimillionaire from Scarsdale or a brown girl from the South Bronx, the magic begins the moment you realize God is blessing you from a wellspring of inexhaustible source.  Look not to your life, nor to your right — just know that the magic is here.  The love of God is within our body temples, our soul auras and our minds re-wakening, just waiting to unfold good as us.   Some call it grace, some call it a miracle, some call it luck, some call it the silence.  Some simply say, “It is done.”

When you truly believe that it is done and you speak with a god-is-a-brown-girl-too-2010-listeningconsciousness of power and faith, Spirit will embrace  you with an abundance of success.  You will know without a doubt that all of those things that you need in the material world are manifesting right now.   You will start recognizing the pure potential that God is expressing as you.  You will no longer fear a retreat into the silence because you will know that God is always speaking to us: all we have to do is listen.

god-is-a-brown-girl-too-2010-awaken-to-love-threeStop tip-toeing around the periphery of your greatness and allow your magic to begin with the understanding that Spirit is the omnipotent creator of the shape and form and texture of everything in your midst!  Open your heart to the power that is never separate from who you are in Spirit.  Jesus said that you are such a magnificent heir to the throne that all you have to do is ask, and it is done.

god-is-a-brown-girl-too-2010-awaken-to-loveAwaken to the truth that that the Kingdom of God is within us.  Awaken to power of Love — anointing you and cleansing you and expressing as you.  The magic, the Kingdom that you have long prayed for, is here.  It is done!  Judge not by the appearances of less or the vision of lack.  See rightly the success that is always shining its light through you.  We do not need the economic appearances of health, the promises of others, the limited resources that we see in the physical world.  The only thing that we need is the full and complete understanding of our divine nature.

Namaste,  Reverend Cecilia Loving

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

Register for the God is a Brown Retreat this July 16-18, at the Mariandale Retreat Center by going to http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.  You don’t want to miss it!

Rev. Loving is the Spiritual Leader of Spiritmuv, which holds its services at the Unity Center of NYC, from 2:30 to 3:30 PM, located at 213 W. 58th Street.  Except this Sunday, July 18, 2010, its services will be held at the Mariandale Retreat Center.

VICTORY IS MY NAME

god-is-a-brown-girl-too-2010-retreat-161I was at the Mariandale Retreat Center today to ensure that on July 16-18, God is a Brown Girl Too®‘s second annual retreat will provide an awesome opportunity for you to “Awaken to Love,” which is this year’s theme.  I am excited, so excited that I feel like jumping up and down in anticipation because I know that we are going to have a fabulous time.  It is the perfect environment for you to do the work that needs to be done to release and heal, rejuvenate and energize, recreate and resurrect the power and presence of God in you.  So get your registrations in!  You don’t want to miss this powerful gathering of sisters in the Spirit.  We are coming from Washington D.C., North Carolina, Michigan, New Jersey, California, and several other places to center in a new energy, hear a new calling, and receive a new story of the inexhaustible source of God expressing as us.  We will meditate, pray, praise, worship, enter the silence, and receive our blessings in a magnificent way.

I have extended the $100 discount deadline to July 1, so you can register on line and send your check to me to avoid that part of the registration fee.  This amount includes a single room, three meals, powerful workshops, and spiritual grounds to open the mind, heart and soul in a new way.

In the interim, enjoy the words of Victory, one of the voices of God is a Brown Girl Too that was heard at the last retreat:

GBGII CoverI am the time before, the was then, the beginning now.  I am the breath-filled space, the light-filled hand, the love-filled heart, the joy-filled dance.  Prayers call to me, and I anoint believers with the evidence of things hoped for and the miracles of things unseen.  When everyone is looking for God, as something more extraordinary than themselves, they will miss me — even though I am here.

I am the time before, the was then, the beginning now.  I am the breath-breath-10filled space, the light-filled hand, the love-filled heart, the joy-filled dance.  Prayers call to me, and I anoint believers with the evidence of things hoped for and the miracles of things unseen.  When everyone is looking for God, as something more extraordinary than themselves, they will miss me — even though I am here.

If I need you to release your fears, will you open your eyes and realize the strength of your own salvation?  Will you praise the divine creation that you are?  Will you kneel with me at the altar of infinite possibilities?  Will you keep your promise to be the blessing that you were born to be? 

Discover the Power Within ThreeWho am I?  They call me Victory.  What am I?  I am the daughter of the first and the last, the beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega — brown as the soil of my mother.  Where am I? I live wherever you shine your light. 

If you are waiting by the healing pool for someone to lift you in; if you are reaching to touch the garment of wholeness; if you are weary in the race and cannot go any further; if you are down in the valley and need some lifting up, then all you have to do is call my name.

breath3I am greater than you could ever imagine.  I am the healing balm, the burning bush, the living water.
I can walk through the fire, cut to the chaise, rise to the occasion. I never lose, never miss, never  falter.
I am closer to you than hands and feet, closer to you than the air that you breathe and the space that you take up.

Victory is my name, and you — made in the image and likeness of God — are all that I am. 

breath-7If you are looking for God, if you are looking for freedom, if you are looking for prosperity — all you have to do is look within.  And there, you will find me.  I am the ground upon which you stand, more than the economy, richer than a stimulus, better than a job.  I am the divine surplus — always giving, always forming, always molding, always shaping, always rewarding, always liberating.

If you have forgotten me, re-discover who you are, taste the wisdom of your highest self, push past your self-imposed limitations, leave the prison of your own mind, and imagine God as simple as a plain brown girl.

Taken from the book, God is a Brown Girl Too, by   Reverend Cecilia Loving © 2010
Pastor, SPIRITMUV  (www.spiritmuv.com
 )

All of the materials in God is a Brown Girl Too® email messages are copyrighted by and may not be used without the written permission of Cecilia Loving. 

Register for the God is a Brown Retreat this July 16-18, at the Mariandale Retreat Center by going to http://www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.  You don’t want to miss it!

This Sunday, JOIN SPIRITMUV FOR PART V OF OUR 7-PART SERIES ON TERRIE COLE-WHITAKER’S BOOK, What You Think of Me is None of My Business, from 2:30 P.M. to 3:30 P.M., at the Unity Center of NYC, 213 West 58th Street, between Broadway and 7th Avenue.

 

God is a Brown Girl Too Sunday Workshop April 11

JOIN US THIS SUNDAY, APRIL 11, FOR A GOD IS A BROWN GIRL TOO WORKSHOP in lieu of the SPIRITMUV Service at the Unity Center
THIS SUNDAY ONLY
  We will be having a God is a Brown Girl Too Workshop at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street, in Brooklyn Heights, from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM.  

If you want to learn more about God is a Brown Girl Too, find out about last year’s retreat, and be lifted in the love and support of a community of like-minded people, come and join us!

God is a Brown Girl, Too®, founded by Reverend Cecilia Loving (Pastor of SPIRITMUV, www.spiritmuv.com), is dedicated to the spiritual empowerment of women and girls of color throughout the world.  The celebration of our lives is not important just because of our connection to the oldest bones known to man but because of the divine legacy of all humanity.  We are spiritual beings in physical form.  We were created in God’s image and likeness; God was not created in ours  (Genesis 1:26-27).  We are not merely flesh; the Spirit of God dwells in us (Romans 8:9).  Jesus said, “it is not written in your law, I said, ye are Gods” (John 10:34-35).  As descendants of the mothers of the earthly realm, we should all recognize that we are co-creators of Spirit, constantly creating.  Our ultimate victory is our awareness that we are not separate from but One with love, One with peace, One with wisdom, One with strength, One with power.  As Wendy Sealey says, this “is not only for ‘brown girls’ everywhere but for the conscious evolution of all humanity.”  Come celebrate the Spirit in which we live and move and have our being.

 Learn about the next retreat, “Awakening to Love,” at the Mariandale Retreat Center this summer, from July 16 through 18 — by going to www.godisabrowngirltoo.com.

   The Awakening to Love retreat costs $350 now for the entire weekend!  However, in May, we will be raising the price to $450, so take advantage of the early registration fee.  This is a beautiful facility, equipped with its own labyrinth, hiking trails, and loving vibrations of Mother Nature.  We will enjoy meditative walks and reflections, along with powerful spiritual workshops.  This is a wonderful opportunity to tap into the vast resources of the divine within and slow down enough to listen to yourself and fully embrace what God is calling you to do.  Pursuant to the requests of the first retreat participants, Reverend Loving will be elaborating on the principles behind God is a Brown Girl Too.  Note that this particular event is for women only, and space is limited, so you want to register sooner rather than later.  A reasonable portion of the retreat will be dedicated to the silence, so it’s a great opportunity to experience a silent retreat as well.