The Center has deep roots that were planted over 40 years ago by Leo and Betty Stockman. Celebrations of Life have been conducted every Sunday since that time at various locations throughout the Capital District.
On May 29, 1969, Leo Stockman received a letter from Raymond Charles Barker approving his Religious Science Thesis. Leo also received a letter from the International Association of Religious Science Churches (IARSC) Board of Directors granting his request for Recognition as Society Leader of Religious Science, to lead a group in Albany, NY. On September 16, 1969 a request had been made by the then acting Directors, Fred D. Shavor, Harris R. Gregory, Jr and Beverly B. Noord to have Leo V. Stockman be granted the status of “Licentiate Minister”. They petitioned IARSC for a Church Charter since they now were a active group of at least fifty members over the age of 18 years, since they had been operating as a Religious Science Society since May 19, 1969.
On October 1, 1969 the “Albany Society of Religious Science” was granted their Church Charter and Leo V. Stockman was granted Licentiate Ministerial status as Pastor of the Albany Church of Religious Science.
Rev. Leo V. Stockman received a letter from Dr. Frank E. Richelieu, President of IARSC, on October 15, 1969 extending his personal congratulations upon the attainment of full Church status. And so it began and on November 10, 1969 the Church of Religious Science of Albany was incorporated.
All of this came into being because of so many like minded people who joined together to study “Religious Science”. Leo and his good wife Betty hosted study groups in their apartment on North Pearl Street until there were too many people to accommodate so they moved the meetings to the Tom Sawyer Inn. For years they all readily listened to the radio broadcasts of Dr. Raymond Charles Barker (1911 - 1988) and wanted to be more involved with the teachings of Ernest Holmes (1887 - 1960) book Science of Mind first published in 1922. Holmes also originated the international periodical Science of Mind magazine in 1927.
Dr. Barker opened the First Church of Religious Science in New York City in 1946, was President of the International New Thought Alliance (INTA) and a well-known minister, author and teacher throughout the New Thought movement.
Barker had grown up in New Thought, being trained at the Unity Training School, and prior to his election as INTA president in 1943, was minister at the Unity Center in Rochester, New York. He was later to affiliate with the Church of Religious Science and became the leader of the First Church of Religious Science in New York City and president of the IARSC.
On March 31, 1975 Fred D. Shavor was unanimously accepted and approved as Interim-Minister after the demise of Rev. Leo V. Stockman. October 29, 1976 Fred Shaver receives a letter from Raymond Charles Barker approving his work. Fred is welcomed into the ministry of Religious Science by letter on November 9, 1976 and becomes Rev. Fred D. Shavor. In a letter from Frank E. Richelieu written on November 9, 1978, Fred is advised that he was granted full ordination as minister on October 31, 1978 by the IARSC. Fred was ordained by Dr. Stewart Grayson on Saturday March 17, 1979.
Fred served as minister for until the early ‘90’s when he retired. Frankie Timmers was minister for three years and sadly left us for another opportunity in Morristown, NJ. Fred came out of retirement to serve this Center while we were again on the search for another minister.
Fred entered eternal rest on February of 2009. He kept us all together for over 25 years and is sadly missed.
Two of our main slogans are "Change your Thinking... Change your Life" and "God in You, as You, is You".
We strive to keep positive thoughts and ideas in our consciousness every Sunday morning when we meet. Sunday mornings at our Center we have interactive discussion group meetings with the expertise of several exceptional leaders who have studied elements of positive thinking. Each one of them has led a life influenced by their beliefs in New Thought.
Dr. Ernest Holmes, the founder of Religious Science and developer of the Science of Mind philosophy, gave this definition for his teaching:
Religious Science is a synthesis of the laws of science, opinions of philosophy, and revelations of religion, applied to human needs and the aspirations of humankind.
Dr. Ernest Holmes was a mystic who found God in the silence. Going within and experiencing God in the deepest part of himself was his spiritual practice. His spirituality was reflected in his living; he believed he was one with God, and he experienced that oneness in all that he did. As important as the mystical experience was to Dr. Holmes, he also believed that religion had to be applied to everyday life problems, as an integral part of the walk of faith. Wholeness involved the Presence, yes, but also the Power -- the two faces of the dual nature of God.
Dr. Holmes developed the Science of Mind philosophy to reflect his twin beliefs that the inner experience of God gave entry to the Power of God and that changing the way we think about our conditions causes the Power of the Universe to change those conditions to make our lives better. Science of Mind identifies the spiritual principles that apply equally to everyone in every situation, and it teaches us how to use them for our advantage.
In their 1993 revision of the Foundational Class curriculum, Religious Science educators demonstrated that the Science of Mind philosophy is based on 10 Core Concepts that serve as the organizing principles of the Universe. The complete text of the Core Concepts can be found in the Foundational Class workbook. Summarized, with keywords, they are:
1 - Oneness - God is the Source of all that is, and God is all that is. Everything in the Universe is made of the God- substance and is a unique, individualized expression of God.
2 – Triune Nature - God expresses Itself in three aspects -- Spirit, Soul, and Body. Each human being also has these same three aspects. Thus, there is God as macrocosm, human beings as microcosm.
3 - Creative Nature - God thinks, and the world comes into being. Likewise, all human accomplishments originate in thought. Our human thinking process is a reflection of the Divine Creative Process in microcosm.
4 - Prayer - All Good is eternally available and ready to flow into human experience. We activate this flow by means of prayer. Through affirmative prayer, or spiritual mind treatment, we increase our consciousness of Good eternally flowing to us.
5 – Wholeness - Spirit is a transcendent, perfect Whole that contains and embraces all seeming opposites. As human beings, we have free will and can choose what we experience, whether it be positive or negative. The same Principle that brings us freedom, prosperity, and joy also allows us to experience bondage, lack, or misery, according to our consciousness.
6 - Abundance - All that anyone will ever need or desire is already provided by Universal Abundance. This applies to everybody, not just some people. Every person is heir to the riches of Creation, without regard to merit.
7 - The Reciprocal Universe - For every visible form there is an invisible counterpart. This means that what we receive corresponds to what we imagine and believe we can receive, the Law of Mental Equivalents. This also is the Golden Rule: that what we do to others will be done also to us, the Law of Cause and Effect.
8 - Forgiveness - In the Eternal Now, there can be no place for Divine anger, unforgiveness, or punishment. If we perceive a need for forgiveness, this is a human condition. Human forgiveness is the process that frees us to live in the Eternal Now. It is the essential step before real spiritual growth can flourish. Science of Mind teaches that the ultimate goal of life is complete emancipation from all discord of every nature, and that this goal is sure to be attained by all.
9 - Immortality - The Universal Truth about life is that life never ends. What we call death is simply the changing of one form of life for another. Death, the belief and perception that life must come to an end, is a human concept. As in birth the invisible becomes visible, so in dying the visible again becomes invisible. Life continues on another plane when the body has outlived its usefulness.
10 - The Christ - Christ is not a person, but a Principle, a Universal Presence, the Universal Image of God that is present in all Creation. This is the concept of the Cosmic Christ, which is present within every person. Each human individual partakes of the Christ nature to the degree that he or she recognizes the Cosmic Christ within and lives out of that revelation. Jesus of Nazareth was a human individual who revealed the Christ Nature to the highest degree ever known.