"I don't like labels," says Lynn Osborne, minister for Sequim Church of Religious Science. Osborne's church recently voted to change its name to Sequim Center for Spiritual Living.
"Keeping 'church' (previously) fit demographics here," she said.
Still, "some people don't want traditional, organized religions but still desire a spiritual path," Osborne said.
Kathy Purcell, a member of the church, said "The new name is closer to what we really are."
"A lot of people have connotations about 'church' versus 'center.'"
Their international group, Church of Religious Science, changed to United Centers for Spiritual Living in October. Sequim's center waited until things were finalized through the main headquarters.
Over the past five to 10 years, the church has been split on the idea of a name change. When it was announced recently the congregation applauded.
"We've met this issue many times and are now stepping over a threshold. It feels exciting," Osborne said.
No philosophy changes will occur with the new name and teachings will remain the same, she said.
"There's been this consciousness that 'church' is man-made and that 'spiritual living' is more about who you are as a person," Purcell said.
"By changing the name, it is less intimidating. It will draw more people to (the center)."
"Now seems like a good time for change for a wide scope of interest in spiritual growth," Osborne said.
Ernest Holmes, founder of Religious Science, didn't plan on his "Science of Mind" concept becoming a church. The church was founded in 1927.
"Holmes said to stay 'open at the top,'" Osborne said.
"There are always deeper levels of understanding things, more evolved thinking."
She attributed a lot of the center's popularity to Oprah Winfrey.
"Oprah has taken it upon herself to have a lot of our teachers on her show," she said.
"She has done wonders for us. I don't know if she'd get my letters if I sent them, but I'd like to thank her."
Osborne was ordained in 1982 and the Sequim Church of Religious Science had its first service on Aug. 6, 1995. This was Osborne's grandmother's birthday.
"I saw it as a good omen," she said.
Sequim Center for Spiritual Living meets at 10 a.m. Sundays at Pioneer Memorial Park, 387 E. Washington St., in Sequim.
Matthew Nash can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What they believe
What is their belief about Jesus?
We accept his example and teachings.
What do they believe about the Bible?
It is among many sacred scriptures inspired by the one Mind and presented through various spiritual leaders.
What do they believe about God?
God is the transcendent and beautiful mystery, the origin of all, the sustainer of all, the truth of all that is.
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