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Pioneers Light up the Twin Cities with
the First Minnesota Spiritual Development Course
Sukyo Mahikari is spreading into new states throughout the Midwest. The first spiritual development course in the state of Minnesota took place June 22-24, 2012, at a member's home in suburban Minneapolis. The course was organized by the Chicago center.
Before this course came to fruition, a member moved from New York to Minneapolis and worked actively for many years to share the Light with others. In 2009, two people she met took the course. The same year, a family member of a Chicago member who lives in Minneapolis took the course.
Though the Minnesota members are guided by the Chicago center, Chicago is 380 miles away, a six and a half hour drive. Due to the distance, the Minnesota members gave each other Light on a regular basis.
Then came the development of the Pioneer Spirit Project at the Chicago center, a pilot project to support the Midwest US states, particularly focusing on Minnesota, Missouri, and South Dakota. See our original article in the April 2012 issue of this newsletter. Beginning in early 2012, through this program, Chicago members started making concentrated efforts in Minnesota.
With a prayer to have a spiritual development center in every state, the center director scheduled a course in Minneapolis, and 23 members went on nine trips to support the local members in outreach activities. The Chicago members developed a strategy for outreach events and follow up. One of the key elements was finding a location where like-minded people gather, which we found in an organic café that hosts community activities. The owner promoted the events to his network and customers. Outreach events had a specific format that included an individualized introduction with a Welcome Team person, Light session, and wrap-up with someone skilled in helping guests move to the next step. Staff members helped us all to identify and use our specific talents and skills as part of a team effort.

Follow-up included email and phone contact, a weekly Light Circle hosted by local members to nurture returning guests, and ongoing support from traveling Chicago members. When guests indicated interest in the course, the course coordinator made personal phone calls to guide and nurture them, as well as mentoring the local members. Staff members also traveled to give preparatory classes.
Five people finished preparations for the course by April. Some of those people dropped out, but others signed up and eventually four people took the course. Eight members and staff came from Chicago to help with the course, and all three local members were able to review the course for the first time. With the three members already living in the Twin Cities, as Minneapolis/St. Paul are known, there are now seven members in this area.
The Ceremony for the Founder's Ascension was also held during the course, and the divine song for the ceremony was an excerpt from "Disciples in Far Away Places." This was very encouraging for the members in Minnesota, who felt the great love of the founder during this historic event.
These new members have a strong character and see themselves as leaders in spreading the Light. They are planning to pool their resources so they can attend monthly ceremony in Chicago. Several friends and family attended the ceremony on the third and final day of the course and had amazing experiences receiving Light.
Several more guests have expressed interest in taking the course but were unable to take it at this time. Ongoing activities continue to attract new guests, and previous guests are bringing their friends to receive Light. Momentum is building for a natural expansion in the state of Minnesota.

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Sukyo Mahikari is an Affiliate with the United Religions Initiative (URI) of North America