Rev. Ali Benjamin
I discovered Science of Mind and Religious Science in 1989 at the Vista Church of Religious Science. I felt at home on my very first visit, they were speaking a language that I understood without knowing how I knew it. I felt a spiritual connection with myself and with the world that enhanced my life. I learned very practical spiritual wisdom that I could apply to my everyday life as a young single mother of three (Adam, Alex, and Christopher) and that made a huge difference for all of us. I felt empowered and motivated to learn more, be more, and give more.
We moved to Big Bear in 1991, and immediately found the Bear Valley Center and became a member. We were welcomed in to the small but mighty community. I met my husband, Michael, at one of the SOM study groups. The New Thought spiritual practices and principles have been the foundation of our relationship and I feel extremely blessed to have a life partner that agrees with me, that God is our source and absolute authority. I began taking classes and did my practitioner training with Rev. Jean Sweet and in 2000, I graduated from Emerson Theological Institute with a Practitioner Credential.
In 2003, we moved to Ogden, Utah, where I continued my studies, completed ministerial training, and in 2009 founded the Satya Center for Conscious Living, an ANTN affiliate member. I received my ordination from the Emerson Theological Institute in 2010, and have been teaching accredited classes ever since. I serve the New Thought movement in several capacities: President of the Affiliated New Thought Network, Board Member of the Big Sky Retreat, and mentor many ministers and Centers.
I would occasionally speak and present workshops for the BVCSE over the years when we came home to visit. And in 2016, began mentoring and working with the Board of Trustees. In 2018, we moved back to Big Bear to care for Michael’s mother Carolyn - she made her transition in 2019. Spending time with Carolyn (a friend, Practitioner, and leader within the BVCSE) and being in Big Bear opened me up to realize how I longed to live here and serve this community. In January 2019, I received a letter of call from the BVCSE and accepted with deep gratitude, feeling so loved and chosen. I serve alongside my longtime friend, Nancy Walker, RScP, as co-spiritual leaders. We work very well together and have established systems, structure, and a level of spiritual support and care for our community that assures that no one falls through the cracks. We look forward to bringing leading edge New Thought inspiration through leadership, Sunday services, classes, and workshops to our thriving community.
As Michael and I serve both BVCSE and Satya, we have begun a new adventure in our OM Shanti hOMe (camper van), which we call, God on a Joyride, where we travel from California to Utah monthly, interviewing thought leaders, and sharing our empowering message of overcoming life’s challenges, living unconditional joy, and activating authentic power.
I look forward to growing with our community and spiritually supporting our members and the greater community of Big Bear. The BVCSE has been a beacon of light and love at the top of these beautiful mountains since 1949 and will continue to, as we expand in consciousness and love!
Love and abundant blessings,
Rev. Ali Benjamin
Nancy has been studying Metaphysics since 1985, and Science of Mind since 1988. She studied with Dr. Frank Richlieu at the Church of Religious Science in Redondo Beach and was a frequent soloist there. After she and her husband purchased the Inn at Fawnskin in August of 2000, she soon found our Center and served as Music and Choir Director for nine years. In addition to being our newest Practitioner, Nancy is also serving on the Board as Vice President, and manages our Imagine Books & Treasures store, along with Mindy Mathewson. Nancy has recently assumed the position of Co-Spiritual Leader and is enrolled in Ministerial School through Emerson Institute.