(Oasis Ministry for A Course in Miracles)
July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017
I continued this year to provide teaching, administrative, and organizational services to the Circle of Atonement and the Circle Course Community (CCC). As the Circle’s satellite, we continue to reach out more and more to an ever-growing community of Course students and teachers.
1) Course Oasis Toronto
A very significant development has emerged this year. In last year’s Operational Group meeting, the Board gave approval for the establishment of a branch of Course Oasis in Toronto, led by Kathy Chomitz. Kathy has been a longtime Course student and pupil of Mary Anne, a Circle of Atonement-trained Teacher of Pupils, a Circle-trained Study Group Leader, and a Course Oasis Board member. Kathy has several pupils, is mentoring two trainees through the Teacher of Pupils Training Program, leads an online support group, and leads a study group in Cobourg.
Kathy has been working to establish a Course Oasis presence in the Toronto area with the help of Darcy Polito (her pupil, a trainee in the Teacher of Pupils Training Program, and a trained study group leader). Darcy offered the “More-Than-an-Intro” course in the fall of 2016 and again in January 2017, and has been leading, with Kathy, a study group, which came out of that.
Kathy has also developed a beautiful and informative Course Oasis Toronto website: courseoasistoronto.org
Kathy is planning to move to Toronto in the future to set up a physical centre. The long-term plan is that she carry on the work of Course Oasis when Mary Anne “retires.” Kathy is a totally faithful representative of the Course Oasis mission statement. There could be no better person to carry on the work of Course Oasis. (Kathy’s report on Course Oasis Toronto is appended to this one.)
2) The Complete and Annotated Edition
In January, the Circle of Atonement published the Complete and Annotated Edition (CE) of A Course in Miracles. I had been part of the editorial team, and James and I had been actively involved in checking the transcription and proofing the typesetting.
From now on, we will be teaching from this edition and will offer a study and support group meeting for local and online students. I will also be a teaching assistant for Robert Perry as he teaches the CE online for a new Circle community called Course Companions. (Course Companions will replace the Circle Course Community.)
For the first few months of 2017, we were also the sole Canadian distributor of the CE, and this involved a lot of work. I handled the customer service aspect, James was instrumental as the “Pack and Ship Man,” and Nancy advised on record keeping and kept track of inventory and sales via her spreadsheets! We continue to sell the CE, but at reduced rate pace, since it is also sold now by amazon.ca.
1) Teacher-Pupil Initiative
I continue in the role of leader of the Teacher-Pupil Initiative. I am also teacher to ten pupils, seven of whom are trained teachers of pupils. Five of those seven are also mentors to seven teachers-in-training. ( I am also mentoring one trainee.) The pre-training period mentioned in last year’s Annual Report ended in March and led into a two-year Teacher-of-Pupils Training Program, which began with a training “launch” in Sedona in April.
My work with the five continues to deepen, since I am not only a teacher to them as my pupils, but also a teacher of them as teachers of future teachers! There is a lot more training involved in our work together and more of a sense that we’re colleagues in this holy endeavour.
I continue to administer the program, which involves ongoing involvement with the mentors as they work with their trainees, “supervision” of the trainees and, with their mentors, assessment of their readiness to become teachers of pupils, facilitation of a bi-weekly discussion and support group for the trainees, and moderation of an online training forum. I also administer the process of accepting new pupils into the program and matching them with trainees.
2) Study Group Leader Training and Support
As I mentioned in my last year’s report, a very important part of our mission is the training and support of Course teachers, both teachers of pupils and study group leaders. The six-month Study Group Leader Training program I took students through in 2016 ended in November. I continue a bi-weekly Study Group Leader Support Group for those who want continuing education and support as they either began leading study groups or continue leading their existing groups. These leaders will also begin to lead online discussion and support groups in the New Year.
I am so very grateful for the gift of being able to teach and help train the Course teachers of the future. It is immensely satisfying, fulfilling, and joyful work, and it offers me the opportunity to truly join with others in meaningful relationships.
3) Other Teaching Activities
Because of my increased role with the Circle of Atonement and its Circle Course Community, I did not teach any courses or lead any groups specifically for Course Oasis alone this year. As stated in last year’s Annual Report and earlier here, my teaching has expanded to include the broader Course community served by the Circle (which includes, of course, Course Oasis students). This has been primarily online.
With the publication of the Circle of Atonement’s Complete and Annotated Edition (CE) of A Course in Miracles in January, I began leading a weekly online CE Text Practice Group. Several teachers and trainees are taking their daily lessons from the CE, and we meet weekly to discuss our practice and share insights arising from our study and practice. The level of honesty and openness has been remarkable, and working together like this has led to a strong sense of community. I maintain discussion forums for the group, and these have proven helpful to the members as they learn from one another.
4) The “More-Than-an-Introduction to A Course in Miracles” course
I completed the adaptation of the course from six to eight weeks and added a training component. Five study group leaders taught the Intro in their communities during the year.
Because of the publication of the CE, all of the references and in the Intro course have to be revised. Ellen Frisch in South Carolina offered to undertake the revision and began working on it in June. This is a big job, and I am extremely grateful to Ellen for her generous volunteer effort. It is especially welcomed, because I intend to offer the course in person and online in the New Year and other leaders want to offer it in their communities.
5) Circle Course Community April Events
This year, I once again organized the April community events in Sedona––with the help of several volunteers, who handled pre-event tasks and provided on-site assistance during the events. These included a one-day workshop presented by Robert Perry, an annual gathering for CCC members, and the three-day launch of the 2017–2019 Teacher of Pupils Training Program mentioned above. I also coordinated the promotion of the workshop and worked with Circle office staff on registration and website details, as well as on workshop preparation requirements, and I organized the volunteer help.
This past fiscal year has been an unprecedented one for Course Oasis due to two major events. The first was a significant bequest from a Course student. The other was Course Oasis’s involvement in the Circle of Atonement’s undertaking to publish and distribute a Complete and Annotated Edition of A Course in Miracles (the CE). These two events generated a significant amount of revenue over what was achieved in previous years.
As you will see from the attached Statement of Profit and Loss, as of June 30, 2017, the total income of $41,229.85 is approximately $19,000.00 higher than last year. This was split relatively evenly between the CE-generated income and a portion of the bequest. The remainder of the bequest was deferred to allow the use of these funds in future years.
Expenses were also higher by a similar $19,000.00. Approximately $7,000.00 was attributable to purchase of CE inventory and the associated shipping. Also, the bequest allowed us to expense an amount for prior year utilities, effectively repaying the total outstanding liability.
The organization ended the fiscal year with a net income of $171.14.
(See appended “Statement of Profit and Loss” documents for details.)
My gratitude for our faithful Board members grows as we grow! I can not imagine how I could carry on this work without their loving and insightful support. I especially want to acknowledge Nancy Langdon for her expert financial guidance and direction and her wise counsel. She makes financial affairs seem easy! I also offer my deep gratitude for James, my partner in Course Oasis and without whom I don’t think there would be a Course Oasis.
I also am filled with gratitude for the my pupils and students and all those whom I have the opportunity to serve. From all of them I truly receive as much as I give.
Respectfully and lovingly submitted,
Mary Anne Buchowski