The History and Beliefs of First Spiritual Science Church

The First Spiritual Science Church is a unique spiritual community with a fascinating history and set of beliefs. Located in the picturesque town of Pleasanton, California, this church has attracted followers for over 50 years.

The Founding of First Spiritual Science Church

The First Spiritual Science Church was established in 1958 by spiritual teacher and author John Rogers. Rogers had spent over a decade immersing himself in various spiritual traditions before synthesizing his own set of beliefs and practices.

In the late 1950s, Rogers gathered a small group of fellow spiritual seekers in Northern California to join him in establishing a new kind of spiritual community. This group began meeting in Rogers’ home in Pleasanton before eventually renting their first dedicated church building in downtown Pleasanton in 1961.

Word of this unique spiritual group spread over the years through Rogers’ impassioned teachings and writings. By the late 1960s over 100 members were actively participating in First Spiritual Science Church services, classes, retreats and other activities.

Early Growth and Development

In the 1970s and 80s, under Rogers’ leadership, the First Spiritual Science Church continued to grow and formalize its beliefs. Rogers authored two seminal books during this time period that became core texts for the church.

His first book, Awakening to the Divine Within (1975), outlined his vision of humanity’s spiritual potential and the path to enlightenment. His second, Discovering Higher Truths (1983), delved deeper into the cosmology and energy principles underlying First Spiritual Science teachings.

An education branch, the First Spiritual Science Academy, was also founded in 1972 to nurture members’ spiritual growth. The Academy offered members a structured way to deepen their knowledge through classes on topics like meditation, mindfulness, spiritual healing and finding inner guidance.

Week-long immersive retreats at the church’s sanctuaries in the mountains also enabled members to disconnect from mundane life and connect more fully with the spiritual realms.

Transition to New Leadership

When Rogers passed away in 1991 after a brief illness, leadership of First Spiritual Science Church passed to his hand-picked successor, Miriam Smith. Smith had served as Rogers’ top assistant for over 15 years by this point.

The peaceful transition to Smith demonstrated the stability and maturity of the church after over 30 years of existence. It also marked the beginning of a new phase.

Under Smith’s visionary leadership during the 1990s and 2000s, First Spiritual Science Church upgraded facilities, embraced new technologies for connecting with younger generations, and worked to make teachings accessible to more spiritual seekers.

Smith guided the church through this major transitional period with wisdom, while still honoring the essence of Rogers’ spiritual vision. She led expansion into new communities while cultivating increasing depth of practice among long-time members.

Core Beliefs and Principles

Members of the First Spiritual Science Church adhere to a distinct set of tenets and spiritual principles that guide their practices. These principles stem from the teachings Rogers first set forth, interpreted through the lens of leadership’s evolving intuition.

Here are some of the central beliefs and philosophies of First Spiritual Science Church:

Oneness with the Divine

A foundational teaching is that every person has the Divine or “God” already residing within them. We are each spiritual beings on a human journey. With dedicated spiritual practice and self-reflection, we can quiet our ego-identities and realize our essential Oneness with this Universal Divine essence that goes by many names.

Humanity’s Spiritual Destiny

First Spiritual Science Church believes humanity is on an evolutionary journey to manifest greater spiritual consciousness across the planet. As more individuals awaken to higher truths and their divine nature, humanity as a collective moves closer toward its ultimate spiritual destiny.

The Power of Spiritual Energies

Members recognize that our thoughts, intentions, emotions and other inner states radiate subtle energies that shape our outer experience. Consciously cultivating higher states of spiritual energy through practices like meditation, prayer and chanting is seen as foundational.

Integrating Duality

To fully awaken, followers believe each individual must balance and integrate dualities within themselves – masculine and feminine, action and receptivity, intellect and intuition. This honors the full spectrum of the human experience.

Unifying Body, Mind and Spirit

Holistic self-care, nurturing healthy relationships, expressive movement, and aligning one’s actions with one’s values are all seen as pathways for unifying and aligning our body, mind and spirit.

Accepting Spiritual Diversity

First Spiritual Science Church embraces spiritual pluralism. It acknowledges many authentic paths to the Divine exist across cultures, religions and belief systems. No single creed or tradition holds absolute truth.

Practices and Community Life

To actively live their principles, members of the First Spiritual Science Church engage together in spiritual practices that cultivate inner wisdom. The church also offers a supportive community for sharing the spiritual journey.

Individual and Collective Meditation

Church members set aside time for silent meditation and prayer daily to cultivate inner awareness and invite divine guidance. Services also incorporate collective guided meditations invoking spiritual energies.

Sacred Rituals and Ceremonies

On Sundays and other significant days, the community comes together for sacred gatherings involving teachings, music, collective meditation, chanting, and spiritual ceremonies honoring the cycles of life.

Spiritual Education and Exploration

The First Spiritual Science Academy continues to provide structured classes where members explore various spiritual texts, practices and mystical traditions from different cultures. Pointers are given on applying learnings.

Small Practice Groups

Members regularly meet in small groups or “sanghas” for practices like chanting, attunement, energy healing, conscious dance, or martial arts to deepen bonds and spiritual progress.

Outreach and Service

Putting their faith into action, members participate in outreach like community meals, restorative justice, suicide prevention, environmental activism and mentoring at-risk youth.

Nature Retreats

Members frequently gather for spiritual retreats in natural sanctuaries away from city life. Time spent meditating by lakes, hiking in silence, or gathering around campfires deepens connections.

Special Events and Celebrations

Workshops led by guest teachers, solstice and equinox observances, full moon ceremonies, and other special events offer members inspiration and renewal throughout the year.

Since its founding, First Spiritual Science Church has welcomed sincere spiritual seekers from all backgrounds who feel resonance with core teachings and want to engage in conscious community.

Newcomers can attend Sunday services, introductory classes and social events to learn more. Those wanting to become members undergo orientation over several months before officially joining.

No prior experience with religion or spirituality is required. An open and discerning mind, patience for self-inquiry, and a desire for spiritual growth are valued qualities in new members.

First Spiritual Science Church emphasizes that no single creed or rigid dogma contains absolute truth. Each person’s journey unfolds in its own way. Members support each other in exploring spirit in an authentic way while giving and receiving community support.

At its heart, this spiritual community aims to create an oasis where people can discover their inner divinity and fulfill their highest spiritual potential, wherever the journey leads.