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On Labor Day weekend, August 30 and 31, 2003, about 500 *A Course In Miracles* students from all over the United States and several foreign countries converged on the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California to participate in “The Ark Of Peace” conference. The weekend was organized by the renowned *A Course In Miracles* organization, Miracle Distribution Center. It was presided over by the center’s President, Beverly Hutchinson-McNeff. In her opening presentation Beverly spoke of the ACIM community as a big family who was having a Labor Day family picnic. She said that the picnic was complete with even “strange relatives” in attendance. Towards the end of the conference, after many wonderful speakers, the Community Miracles Center's Rev. Tony Ponticello addressed the attendees. What follows is a lightly edited transcription of Beverly’s introduction and Rev. Tony’s lecture.

Cargo Ship On San Francisco BayBeverly Hutchinson: “We are very pleased to have Tony Ponticello with us this weekend for our 25th Anniversary celebration of the Miracle Distribution Center. This conference is titled ‘The Ark of Peace’ and our goal as students of A Course In Miracles is to allow our relationships to be healed so that together we might enter that ark of peace. It is clear through his work, his life commitment and his earnest study that Tony has dedicated his life to this goal — not only for himself but for others.

He has the incredible center in San Francisco called the Community Miracles Center, and they have a publication named Miracles Monthly, and we have some of those out front for you to pick up. Community Miracles Center has been around been around for ... 17 years? (Beverly asks; Tony nods “yes.”) So they’ve been offering their service and love for quite a while.

Tony has dedicated is life to his Center. He’s an author. He’s a speaker. He’s an on-line communicator. He facilitates some wonderful retreats. I was at one last year — my first outing with my child to a place outside of my own home. It was a great experience and Jeffrey did well. (Beverly’s four year old son is named Jeffrey.) So, it looks like we can do that sort of thing on a selective basis. I was grateful to be there with Tony and the delightful group of people who attended. Tony is a very charming, caring and wonderful person and his partner back there, Larry Bedini — come on stand up Larry (Larry stands.) (applause) — he is just so charming, and I’m so grateful that he is here this weekend as well. What would Tony be without Larry — well, probably not as well dressed!

I know you will enjoy Tony Ponticello.” (applause)

(Tony walks up to the podium.) Hello everybody.

(Audience replies.) “Hello Tony.”

I have a timer. I have to turn the timer on. Here we go. Ha! It’s ticking. Okay. (laughter) First of all, I want to say that I am absolutely honored to be here. It really is an honor to be here. It’s an honor to be speaking in front of you, it’s an honor to be at a Miracle Distribution Center conference. I want to thank everybody at the Miracle Distribution Center. I certainly want to thank Beverly. I want to thank Darin, who I know does so much work here. It means a lot to me. It absolutely does.

Beverly’s wonderful, and very politically correct, and I’m not as politically correct as Beverly. But the truth is, we have this organization and we put out a publication, Miracles Monthly, and Beverly puts out a wonderful publication, The Holy Encounter. The Community Miracles Center, my organization and Larry’s organization, we sell books and tapes all over the country and all over the world and Beverly’s organization sells books and tapes in this country and all over the world. We organize events and she organizes events — and as the world looks at things, we’re probably the competition. (laughter)

I know Beverly would never say that, but see, that’s because she’s more politically correct than I am. But the fact about this is Beverly is the great student of the Course that she is and she really doesn’t look at things the way the world looks at things and probably would look at this. She has invited the Community Miracles Center, and me, to be right here in the middle of her conference, and I think that’s a wonderful witness and testimony (applause) to this wonderful discipline that we all practice and that she’s such a great demonstration of, so really, “Thank you.”

Okay. Beverly said in her opening talk that this is a Labor Day family picnic. I like that, and I am the “strange relative” that ... (laughter) that’s visiting the Labor Day family picnic. I’ve always been the strange relative in my family see, so I knew that was me. (laughter) Many years ago, 24 years ago, I moved away from my family on the East Coast and I moved to the West Coast. I moved to San Francisco. I’m a single man and I moved to San Francisco and — I liked it there. (laughter) I stayed. (laughter) Every time I go back East I go to visit my family. They’re really cute — my little Italian family. They’re not real outspoken and they wouldn’t ask me certain questions directly — but they say things like, “You live in San Francisco, don’t you?” (laughter) And I say “Yes.” “You’ve been there a long time, haven’t you?” I say “Yes.” And then they look at me and they say, “Are you married?(laughter) And I say “No.” And they said “Ohhhhhh….” (laughter) I love it. So yeah, I am the strange relative that is dropping in.

The name of this conference, “The Ark of Peace” and Judy Whitson just talked about that and quoted the particular quote that comes from the Course, and it is, “The ark of peace is entered two by two, yet the beginning of another world goes with them. Each holy relationship must enter here.” (T-20.IV.6.5-6) By dedicating this conference to “The Ark of Peace” what we’re really saying is this conference is about our relationships, our holy relationships. I certainly want to acknowledge my holy relationships and I definitely want to acknowledge my holy relationship with my partner, Larry, who for nineteen years has been such a wonderful support for me and I’m so glad that he is here at this conference with me today. Larry’s a great person to have as a support person. He has the great healing story and I just go along for the ride. (For an account of Larry’s healing from two cancers see Vol. 17, No. 2 / April 2003) It’s great. I know that nineteen years ago Larry and I entered the ark together and we’re still here together and we’re still here doing the work that we’re doing together. I’m so happy that we are still together — and tomorrow — we’re going to Disneyland! (applause) It’s right across the street. (laughter) (The Disneyland theme parks are directly across the street from the Anaheim Convention Center.)

“The Ark of Peace” — “The Ark of Peace” is about relationships. Okay. The ark is a boat, right? Okay. So it’s the boat of peace. It’s the ship of peace. I was thinking about the word “ship.” Ship is that thing that transports you. So, the relations that we’re in transport us. A ship is a large, ocean-going vessel, but “ship” means many things. We’ve really taken ship on to mean any kind of transportation. We at the Community Miracles Center, transport A Course In Miracles books and other related books all over this country — all over the world. We ship them. We even charge a shipping charge. None of them go by boat, but we still charge a shipping charge. (laughter) Isn’t that interesting? So “ship” is what transports us. We are transported in a ship.

Then I thought about the meaning of this conference, “The Ark of Peace” — relation-ships. “Ships” — it’s got “ships” on the end! Ark of peace — ark — boat — ship — I started playing with those ideas and then I remembered “ship.” You know — it’s about transportation. Our relations transport us. Our relations ship us to higher states of consciousness. Our relations ship us to higher plains of being. Our relations transport us to the real world. That’s what they do, and that’s what they should be in our mind. We should understand that they’re the vehicle that moves us along. They’re very, very important. They literally are transporting us to higher levels of consciousness and that’s very important in A Course In Miracles because A Course In Miracles, more than anything, is salvation through relationships. That is what it is.

It’s not a behavioral discipline. It’s not about what you do in terms of behavioral things with your body. It’s not particularly about what you do with your life. It’s not actually about meditation, but we do meditate some. It’s not actually about prayer, although there certainly is prayer in it. There are all kinds of things in it — but what it is about, by its own statement and certainly by what we can all attest to, it’s about relationships. That’s the means of A Course In Miracles. That’s the method. That’s the spiritual method it’s employing — relationships, a new perception of our relationships and it’s different than other spiritual paths because other spiritual paths don’t have that as their central focus, as their central means. A Course In Miracles says “Your way will be different, not in purpose but in means. A holy relationship is a means of saving time. One instant spent together with your brother restores the universe to both of you.” (T-18.VII.5:1-3) So our holy relationships, perceiving our relationships as holy, is the means we use to save time and one instant spent with each other restores the universe. It heals us and in these two days we’ve had many, many holy instants where the universe is being restored. We are healing. We are actually practicing doing the thing. We’re participating in the means that A Course In Miracles is giving to us.

Jon Mundy’s presentation last night was great. He spoke of how it’s great to go to miracles gatherings because you meet up all these other people and everybody, in this unspoken way, knows this path just works. People are happy and they smile and they greet each other. We don’t have to talk about it, but we just know that it works. We know this new way of living in the world where we get to reperceive our relationships and we get to know that there’s a loving core inside of everyone. Absolutely everyone loves us, whether they’re able to show it or not, and we love them, whether we’re able to show it or not. We can bring that into greater fruition. It’s just such a wonderful thing. It’s so wonderful to be around people who do that. It’s relationships. That’s the means that A Course In Miracles uses

In another place it says “This is the special means this course is using to save you time. You are not making use of the course if you insist on using means which have served others well, neglecting what was made for ” (T-18.VII.6) So a lot of times we still want to gravitate to those means which served other people well. We still want to gravitate to prayer — meditation. We’re still not really sure. Maybe we should be vegetarians. (laughter) You know? Maybe wearing all natural fibers is the way to go. (laughter) We don’t know. But the truth is those are all fine. Do what you’re guided to do. But the Course’s means is relationships and we have to use those means. Other means have served other people. They may still serve us, but A Course In Miracles is telling us that relationships are the means.

Our relations ship us to a higher form of consciousness and that’s all that’s going on here this weekend. That’s what’s been going on. It’s all about: Beverly’s relationship to the different presenters, her relationship to her staff. It’s about the Miracle Distribution Center’s relationship to you. It’s about your relationship to the different presenters and it’s about your relationships with each other more than anything. We all said things. Presenters said things. You have interactions but the real work that’s gone on these past two days is: the little meetings in the hall, the smile, the handshake, the hug, maybe a shared lunch with somebody. All that stuff — that little “click” where you just look at somebody and connect with them. That’s the real work, and everything else is just here to facilitate that. But it’s the relations that are shipping us, that are transporting us.

You know, Donna Cary the other day said that she needed to speak her truth and that was great. And I need to speak some truth as well, and I want to give this message to Beverly. What I really want to say to Beverly is that I’m aware that in the past, sometimes, I, Tony Ponticello, have not been the most tactful ... (laughter) and the most gentle in some of the words, maybe, that I’ve said or put in print or maybe posted on a internet bulletin board somewhere. (laughter) And I get it. And I’m sorry. You know, I really am. But, you know, that’s just my truth. And there’s other truths I want to share. I know Beverly really thinks that Lee Jampolsky is the sexy one. (laughter) What I want to tell Beverly is ... (laughter) her husband Paul’s kind of hot! (roaring laughter and applause) And the next time they come to San Francisco, I don’t think she should leave him alone on the streets of the Castro. (laughter and applause) The streets of San Francisco are pretty ruthless. (laughter)

A Course In Miracles says “You may be attempting to follow a very long road to the goal you have accepted. It is extremely difficult to reach Atonement by fighting against sin. ... Nor is a lifetime of contemplation and long periods of meditation aimed at detachment from the body necessary. All such attempts will ultimately succeed because of their purpose. Yet the means are tedious and very time consuming ...” (T-18.VII.4.6-9) (Tony’s emphasis.) (laughter) Tedious, time-consuming — all that focus on prayer and meditation, it has its place. But if that’s our main focus, we’re accepting a very long haul. A tedious, time-consuming haul. Behavioral control is — that’s a long way to go to get to enlightenment. This relationship focus, using our relations to ship us to this higher frame of being, I mean, that’s the fast track. Those ships are clippers! (laughter) They just clip right along. That shipping is air freight, overnight express! (laughter) It just goes.

Focusing on what we do here, this really is the fast way and that’s why it’s so tumultuous at times. That’s why it’s so much like a roller coaster at times. We’re on the fast track. And it’s working. We’re really are the wonderful example that it is working. A Course In Miracles is full of these ideas of the importance of understanding that our relationships are our spiritual path. It says, “And here can he learn relationships are his salvation, and not his doom ...” (T-20.VI.11.9) Relationships are our salvation. They’re not what’s causing us problems; they’re what’s saving us.

In another place it says “The Holy Spirit’s temple is not a body, but a relationship.” (T-20.VI.5.1) The Holy Spirit’s temple is a relationship. I had an experience of this recently. I’m 51 years old. I turned 51 just a couple of months ago, and I decided that since I moved away from home many, many years ago, 24 years ago, and they perceive me as the “strange relative” and I’ve never been married — I’ve never had the experience of having a wedding where I invited all of my family to be there. So, I decided that I’d have a birthday party and I would invite all of my family, my biological family, my cousins and my aunts and uncles — there’s a lot of them there. I would invite them to this birthday party. That way I could have some kind of celebration with them. Now, I am the kind of person who has multiple relationships. Significant relationships. Intimate relationships. And — in truth, I have a lady friend. I know it comes as a shock to some of you — but I have a lady friend. (laughter) And we’ve been together for 12 years, and we’re obviously lovers. People pick it up, so I decided to bring my lady friend back home with me and she wanted to come back home to this little upstate New York town, so I brought her there. And it was a shock to my family. (laughter) They were — stunned! But it was amazing because it was this huge shift in perception for all of them. It was just miraculous! They got to see me in a different light. They were just seeing me “... with no reference at all to the past.” (T-13.VI.2.3) There was a holy encounter. (laughter) They came up to me and looked at me and one aunt said “Do you have something to say to us? Are you getting married now?” (laughter) “No.”

But I had such wonderful connections — connecting with those relations. Why? It’s important to me because these relations are the ship that transports me to a higher level of consciousness. My family — they’re part of that ship too and I love them. They’re strange, Italian American people. I don’t know — but I love them. They’re my people! (laughter) We got together; we ate meatballs and sausage. We drank wine. It was great. That was really fun and I got closer even to my sister. I have an older sister I’ve never been that close to. She’s 10 years older than me and she helped me get the party together. I went home early and cooked all the food, rolled all the meatballs, my sister helped and it was great. It was very great.

When I was talking to Beverly and she was communicating to us about conference, she said “Talk about relationships.” You know, I’m a little — I like talking about relationships, but I get a little squeamish, sometimes, talking about relationships because the only way to do it effectively is to be really self disclosing. (laughter) You know, am I going to the Miracles Distribution Center’s conference and be that self disclosing — but I thought, “Okay.” You know, I thought of that line from Shakespeare,: “Once more into the breach, dear friends” (Henry V) One more time I just had to jump into the void, into the break. But, the truth is, I am qualified to talk about relationships. I’ve had a lot of relationships. I’ve had many interesting, unusual, different, significant relationships. It’s a great field and I really like it, so I do have some things I want to say about relationships. I want to talk about honesty in relationships because there’s — you know how it is in this culture. We say these things. We don’t really think about them, but we just say them because everybody says them. “Honesty is very important in relationships. My relationship is based on honesty; that’s why it works.” And first, I want you to know that nobody is honest! (laughter) Nobody’s that honest. (laughter) I was talking to an A Course In Miracles teacher the other day and she said, “I never lie — unless I absolutely have to!” (laughter)

I’m a counselor. That’s one of the things I do. I counsel, and without disclosing anything about my counselees, I just want you to know that the level of withholds and subterfuge and deceit in relationships is colossal. (laughter) It’s colossal! You have no idea! It’s staggering! I just say — assume the worst! (laughter) They’re already sleeping with your best friend! (laughter) Wasn’t it your best friend that introduced you? Didn’t she say, “He’s perfect for you”? How do you think she knew? (laughter) Why does it matter? Really. Why does it matter? If you can’t still be in a relationship with them even though they are sleeping with your best friend, you probably shouldn’t be in a relationship with them. (laughter) I always liked, what Bill Clinton came up with for the military: “Don’t ask; don’t tell.” I figured that was his and Hilary’s agreement, you know? (laughter) It worked for Bill and Hilary and it probably would work for the US Military.

I don’t know. I think we make way too much of it. The truth is when people say that their relationship is based on honesty, what I really get is that it’s based on control. Because that’s what you’re using the honesty for, right? If they’re really honest you know where they are and who they’re with and what they’re doing and then you can let them know when you don’t like it! (laughter) That’s it. The truth is I don’t demand honesty in a relationship. I really don’t demand it. It’s nice if it’s there, but I don’t demand it. What I really do want, kind of demand, in a relationship is a real genuine love and connection and care and support — and that they make me laugh. Actually, honesty is not their responsibility. It’s my responsibility. It’s my responsibility, not only to be honest to them — it’s my responsibility to create an energy whereby they feel safe to tell me whatever’s so for them. If somebody’s not being honest with me, the first question I ask is, “What am I doing to create an energy whereby they don’t feel they can tell me everything?” It comes right back to me. What am I doing? I have to look at that.

As I said, in truth I am not a monogamous person. I have never been a monogamous person — or haven’t in many, many years — and sometimes we call that “non-monogamy.” But there’s a new word for it now called “polyamory.” You know, if you’re up on your politically correct terms, you say “polyamory.” I like that word. I don’t like being “non” anything. I’d rather be “poly.” (laughter) I did try monogamy a few times and the last absolutely disastrous time was a little more than twenty years ago. You know how it is, whenever a relationship breaks up and there’s bad feelings — it feels rotten. It just felt awful, and right at that time I’d been two or three years into A Course In Miracles and I just decided that , “There must be a better way.” That’s just for me. Other people — do whatever you’re guided to do but for me, I got, “There must be a better way.” There was a particular passage in the Course that hit me right at the time of my relationship breaking up when I was open to new perceptions. Again, this is how I interpret it. You interpret it any way you want. This one was significant for me. “It is sure that those who select certain ones as partners in any aspect of living, and use them for any purpose which they would not share with others, are trying to live with guilt rather than die of it.” (T-16.IV.4.5)

So, if you select certain ones as partners, I thought, and use them for a purpose that you aren’t willing to share with other people, you’re making some kind of sick bargain with guilt. You’re just trying to live with your guilt. You’re not trying to release your guilt. You’re afraid you’re going to die of it so you make a bargain with it. I decided — maybe there was a different way. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Maybe it just really doesn’t matter. I decided to live my life like it didn’t matter. That was over twenty years ago and this is better — for me. This is better for me. I don’t know how it is for you, but this is definitely better for me.

Sometime ago I was getting involved in a new relationship, and this new relationship again was with a woman. And you know, when you’re polyamorous, you find other polyamorous people. That’s how it works. You’re not involved with people who aren’t polyamorous. You find other polyamorous people. That’s easy with the internet. You just put it on your listing and look for it. (laughter) So, I was getting involved with this new woman. We liked each other and things were going very, very good. It looked like we were going to spend a lot of time with each other. The interaction was good. I could tell she had other people she was involved with, but I could also tell she was a little concerned. Maybe she didn’t know everything that was going on with me, even though I told her everything that was going on with me — all my other relationships. To help ease her mind I said “You know, don’t worry. If I get involved in a new relationship, my commitment is to you is that I will tell you about it. I’d tell you about it. I couldn’t hide it anyway. I wouldn’t want to hide it. I’ll tell you about it.” And she said to me “Well, that’s good because with all you’ve got going on, let me tell you. If you get involved with somebody else, that’s it. It’s over!” (laughter) That was a big space there that made me feel like I wanted to be honest, wasn’t it? (laughter) I just let that sit there. Yeah, I just let it sit there.

Now, a year later, we’re talking gain. The relationship is still going on. Things are going great. The intimacy is still great. The fun is still great. We still make each other laugh. We still feel really like we love each other and she wants to have a talk with me. The truth is she’s now involved with somebody new and she wants me to know about it. I thought, “This is great.” It’s my little opening now. I said, “Remember when we talked about this a year ago and I told you that if I was involved with somebody new I would tell you about it and you told me that that would be it? It would be over?” I said “Well, I haven’t told you about anybody because — there isn’t anybody. In this past year I haven’t been going out with anybody new but I do want to tell you now that when you said that last year, it was a little hard. I didn’t feel like that was the energy I would have liked. So I’m really glad that this is coming from you now because maybe we can revisit this.” She replied “Well, I guess I’d have to say that was pretty harsh to say, so I probably wouldn’t just say, ‘Good-bye’, but I know it would really upset me.” And I said, “‘Really upset.’ That’s okay. I can deal with ‘really upset.’” We’ve got to look at the energy that we’re putting out there, and if we feel that people aren’t being honest with us, what are we doing to create that?

I have a friend, who I’ve known for years — happy marriage, kids, been married for years — recently announced that he was getting divorced. I was shocked! I said “Wow. I thought you had a great marriage. What’s going on?” He said “Well, you know, my wife and I have been together for years and we’ve always been really different people, and we’ve just kind of grown in different directions so it’s very amicable. Everything’s fine and we’re simply getting divorced.” (pause) I thought — “What a bunch of bullshit that is! (laughter) I don’t know anybody who gets divorced for that reason. That’s why you take separate vacations; that’s not why you get divorced. (laughter) I communicated to him, “Well, that’s great! But what do you tell your friends? I thought we were friends.” I waited a little bit and then he proceeded to tell me a longer version of that same previous, simple statement. So, I got it. He’s not going to tell me any more than that. Then I really got it. Wow. It’s about me. I have not created the energy in this relationship so that this person feels safe enough to tell me the bigger story.

Months later he told me the whole story. He said to me, “Gee, I’m really sorry. But at the time you asked my wife and I were going to a counselor, it wasn’t all that happy and we had made an agreement with the counselor that we wouldn’t talk about the details of the divorce for a while until we’d worked through all of the emotions so I really couldn’t tell you. But I do want to tell you — you’re the only one that really pressed me about my simple statement.” I thought, “Yeah, I guess so. It’s because I’m that strange relative that asks you embarrassing questions.” I started thinking about it. He could have told me at the time “Tony, I’m going to counseling and I really can’t tell you the details right now.” But again, it was about me. It was about whatever energy I had created. The Course says “If he speaks not of Christ to you, you spoke not of Christ to him. You hear but your own voice ...” (T-11.V.18.6-7) “You hear but your own voice.” Which voice was I willing to hear? In truth, he was absolutely offering me an incredible gift. It was an incredible gift to let me know the kind of energy I was sometimes creating in my relationships. A Course In Miracles says “Salvation can be thought of as a game that happy children play.” (W-pI.153.12.1) Since salvation and relationships are the same, relationships can be thought of as a game that happy children play. It’s a game. I was playing a game with this friend of mine and now it was his move and then I’d have my move. I truly grateful that he finally told me the truth and I was also willing to accept that maybe my energy did need to be looked at. That was great.

I told you, twenty-four years ago I moved to San Francisco. I have an older sister. I told you I worked with her at my birthday party. She’s 61. She’s ten years older than I and I’ve never been particularly close with my sister, but we have a nice relationship. I mean, I can absolutely say that I’ve got a sister that I’ve never had a fight with. I have never had a fight with her. I’ve got another sister and we fight all the time, but I’ve never had a fight with my older sister. That may sound good, but it actually means we don’t have a close enough relationship to have a fight. We’re sweet to each other, and we’re happy to see each other, but there isn’t any .... So, I went home for my birthday party and she really showed up to help me. Now, what I got was, you know, I’m a little upset that I’ve been in San Francisco twenty-four years and my sister, who has the means to come and visit me, and although I’ve extended numerous invitations to her she’s never come and visited me. So, I decided maybe she doesn’t actually get that I really want her to come and visit me. So, I really told it to her. “I want you to come and visit me. Come and visit me! It’s easy. Get on a plane. You take planes all the time. Come and visit me. I’ll make it easy. I’ve got a nice spare room. I’ve got cable TV there. It’s a great. Come visit me! I want you to visit me!” She said “Okay.” (laughter)

Well, my sister came and visited me. It was amazing! My older sister Angelia was there visiting me. It was great. We were going around and doing all these things.

See, my family doesn’t know me as a minister because I moved away and they don’t see me in that role and my sister was going to come to church with me. She was going to hear me preach one day and speak and that was great. She’s staying with me in my apartment. We’re getting ready to go to church and we’re primping up then we’re going to church and we’re leaving the house and I realize that my sister’s got curlers in her hair. (laughter) Big ones. (Tony gestures big circles on the top of his head.) (laughter) And I said, “Angelia, you’ve got curlers in your hair.” She said “Yeah, my hair’s not dry. It’ll dry when I get to the church. I’ll take them off there.” (Tony grimaces.) (laughter) Then I remembered that relationships are a game. It’s a game that happy children play. This was my move! My move now. (laughter) So I went in and I asked for guidance. My guidance said it really doesn’t matter — really doesn’t matter. I probably could have said something to her if I was guided to say something to her. The truth is I did feel embarrassed, but so what? So, we parked the car and we’re walking down the Castro (laughter) in San Francisco — my neighborhood. My sister’s got these big curlers in her hair! (laughter) So, she goes up into the church and people were just getting there. The truth is — it was early. She figured she’d take them off before the main congregation got there. The truth is also by the time we got to church it was cracking me up. (laughter) It’s really cracking me up.

I had a great time with my sister. Everybody loved my sister and had a great time with her. Probably, because she really did have that attitude. She didn’t care. She had curlers; her hair wasn’t dry. She told people, “I’m having a bad hair decade.” (laughter) A couple of days ago I got this big box at the Community Miracles Center. I didn’t know what it was but it’s addressed from my sister. I opened it up and it was this big stuffed elephant. There was letter inside which said, “I just want to thank you for the indescribably, phantasmagorical visit to San Francisco, the best part was being with you.” She highlighted that in yellow. (laughter and applause) She said, “Somehow a big sister really doesn’t think her baby ‘brudder’ grows up. I’m starting to believe it. It was extra special meeting your West Coast family. Your Miracles Center does such a super job and has so many great people to facilitate it. Lucky me.” This was her move. Our relations are transporting us to a higher level of consciousness. I got a chance to work on my relationship with my sister. I’m 51; she’s 61. We’re still working on our relationship. Our relations are transporting us to that new level of being. It’s great.

Larry and I — thank you Larry. We made a great move in this game of relationships when we first started seeing each other in 1984. We made a great move when we formed the Community Miracles Center in 1987. If you ever hear people say that polyamory doesn’t work think of Larry and I. It’s working just fine.

Beverly you made a great move when you accepted our invitation a year ago and came to our Miracles Experience. It was great! And I made a great move by accepting the invitation to be here today. I’m really so honored and happy to be participating here at this conference. All of you out there you made a great move by signing up and registering for “The Ark of Peace” the Miracle Distribution Center’s, Labor Day, 2003 relationships conference. You showed up and you shared and it means so much to all of us. It means so much to me that you’re here listening. It means so much to the other presenters and it means so much to Beverly that you’re here. Thank you.

These relations, these relations that are here in this room they are the ship that is transporting us to that higher level of consciousness. Thank you so much for listening to me today. (Loud applause with “hoots” and “hollers”) 

© 2003, Rev. Tony Ponticello, San Francisco, CA – All rights reserved.

Rev. Tony Ponticello
c/o Community Miracles Center
2269 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94114

This article appeared in the September 2003 (Vol. 17 No. 7) issue of Miracles Monthly. Miracles Monthly is published by Community Miracles Center in San Francisco, CA. CMC is supported solely by people just like you who: become CMC Supporting Members, Give Donations and Purchase Books and Products through us.