You may have already heard of the COMMUNITY MIRACLES CENTER [CMC], especially in connection with the Bi-Annual "A Course in Miracles [ACIM] Conference", which will be in CHICAGO April 26, 27, 28, 2013.  Or you may have seen the CMC tweets or have become aware of the CMC Facebook page, and have wondered ~ What exactly IS CMC? Who is Reverend Tony Ponticello and what is the connection to ACIM?

           That is the purpose of this article. As a Supporting Member of CMC, as a student coming down the home stretch of the 2 year ministerial program, and as a friend of Reverend Tony Ponticello, I am blessed to have had the CMC in my life. Now I would like to offer to you the chance to know more about CMC and learn more about my personal experiences as a "Supporting Member" of CMC.

          Actually, my inspiration first came about after I read the cover article in the September issue of CMC magazine MIRACLES MONTHLY written by  Reverend Tony called, "Politics and Spirituality". The article is a lightly edited transcription of a talk given at CMC by Reverend Tony after both political conventions were over. It is a beautiful illustration of listening and sharing from GUIDANCE. When I  started the article there was no putting it down until I read every word!  Just exquisite!  

          When I ask myself when it was that I had first been aware of CMC I realized that I had previously known of the CMC, almost from its inception, since I had been studying the Course since 1983 and kept tabs with the Course Community over those years. However, it wasn't until 2000 that I finally came to the Bi-Annual ACIM Conference in San Francisco and had the pleasure of meeting and hugging Reverend Tony Ponticello and Reverend Larry Bedini who both co-founded the CMC in 1987.  

          That was the year, 2000, in which we incorporated Course in Miracles Society [CIMS] and completed the very first printing of the Original Edition which at that time was called: "Jesus' Course in Miracles". This was the 1972 manuscript of A Course in Miracles newly discovered at the Edgar Cayce Library. It was this manuscript that was the reason for our creating Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]. We wanted to disseminate this beautiful document to everyone.

          Reverend Tony was very supportive at this time and after the copyright was cancelled by Judge Sweet in his judgment of the Court Copyright Case in 2003, CMC sold the 'Original Edition' in their Book Store. Eventually, Reverend Tony made the decision to base the Ministerial Program on the 'original edition' published by CIMS.

         On-Line Edit Discussion Boards were eventually created on the CMC website on which corrections, changes and omissions in the 'Original Edition' could be shared and decided upon.  Although these EDIT discussion boards are not open, everyone is encouraged to READ the discussions. There is also a Miracles On-Line Discussion Group [MOLDG], that includes general discussion about ACIM on multiple topics, that is open and may be READ by non-members, while Supporting Members may comment and post.

          So what exactly is CMC? Is it an organization, a corporation or a Church? Actually, it's all three. Community Miracles Center, is an "official church organization" established 25 years ago in 1987 by Reverend Tony Ponticello and Reverend Larry Bedini based on A COURSE IN MIRACLES. As explained in the FAQ section of the CMC website, "official church" is a legal designation provided to a non-profit corporation as long as that corporation:

  •   has been formed for the public benefit
  •   has services open to the public and
  •   has been formed around a specific spiritual teaching

          The "official church" must comply with these stipulations but must also be officially 'recognized' by the State in which it is incorporated as well as by the Internal Revenue Service of the United States of America.  CMC  applied for and received both of these recognitions which took about two years to complete.

On the CMC website you will find that, "Official churches also have the right to ordain legal ministers. Legal ministers can perform marriages and are legal 'pastoral counselors.' There is no legal difference between the CMC's ministers and any priest or minister from any other faith."  

          The ordination process at CMC is a full two year program. Upon the completion of the first year of the ministerial program [ACIM-1],  the student is certified as "A Course in Miracles Practitioner of the Community Miracles Center" and then becomes qualified to take part in the second year of the program [ACIM-2].  The first year class studies the TEXT and the second year class studies the WORKBOOK, MANUAL for TEACHERS, Clarification of Terms, Psychotherapy: Purpose Process and Practice and Song of Prayer. The process during the first year is a weekly conference call on which the students read and discuss the Course.   

          The process during  the second year of the ministerial program continues to be the weekly conference call, however the students also have a  monthly rotating lesson partner which they call daily to read, and study the Lesson for the day.  In addition, the Students have a 'service commitment' which must be something that directly benefits the Community Miracles Center and must do volunteer work for a local non-profit organization for a year.

          Once the two years of commitments are completed, the students are ordained as "A Course in Miracles Ministers of the Community Miracles Center".  

          One of the lessons in the Course says, "When I am healed, I am not healed alone." And there is the idea throughout the Course that awakening is a 'collaborative venture'. As we made the journey through the text and lessons together with the other ministerial students, we were guided by the program to relate the material to our own lives and our own experiences.  This is what drew me to the program. The Teacher is the Student and the Student is the Teacher.  We journey to healing, hand in hand.

Community Miracles Center Staff

          What also drew me to this program is the ecumenical attitude exemplified by Reverend Tony.  It's the same ecumenical attitude that drew me toward YOGA in the 70's when I first began my spiritual journey.  Even as a child I felt inside that we are ALL GOD'S CHILDREN, with no one excluded.   

          And it is that same ecumenical spirit with which Reverend Tony wrote the lead article, "Politics and Spirituality" in the latest MIRACLES MONTHLY Magazine that lets me know the CMC speaks for my HEART.  

          Thank you Reverend Tony [and my dear Reverend Larry, now passed] for your inspiration, dedication and devotion to BEING the message of A COURSE IN MIRACLES.  


~Reja Janaki Joy Green
Co-Founder of Course in Miracles Society

*Reja Janaki Joy Green  is one of the founding members of the Course in Miracles Society [CIMS]; She teaches Hatha Yoga and hosts Facebook Groups: ACIM and Yoga & Hatha Yoga with Reja; She currently resides with her husband Chris Green in Omaha, NE.


Course In Miracles Society
7602 Pacific Street, Suite 200
Omaha, NE 68114