For our understanding of our eternal natures, afterlife communication, and the new spirituality that is developing to have an effect on humankind, people must come together in local groups, assembling in love and harmony to share what they have learned, encourage others, and teach each other. AREI is supporting the establishment of local groups around the world by publicizing groups that are starting and showing individuals how to use the Meetup program to start a group in their area. The groups can be discussion groups reading resource materials and books about the afterlife and afterlife communication, study groups going through a curriculum in afterlife studies, grief-support groups to help people cope with the passing of a loved one, spiritual growth groups learning about the new spirituality ad how to become more loving and compassionate, and any other local group that would like to assemble.
AREI is identifying discussion and training materials local groups can use, depending on their areas of interest. When possible, these materials will already be developed by dedicated writers who have produced the materials to teach people about the afterlife and afterlife communication. Where new materials would be useful to groups, AREI will identify subject-matter experts to develop the new materials.
Using the Resources of Meetup.com
Meetup.com has an existing structure that makes it easy for founding individuals to begin local groups with focuses on any subject. The Meetup.com system announces new groups to members of all existing groups within a geographical area. When anyone in the area is looking for a group with that subject as the area of focus, the person searching enters the key term for the subject into the Meetup.com search function and information about the founding individual’s group will appear. Meetup.com allows new members to register and keeps track of their attendance to meetings. The system has a calendar on which the founding individual and newly appoint group officers can announce meetings. The system automatically sends reminder notices to members and allows the members to RSVP whether they will attend a meeting or not. In that way, the officers know how many will be coming to each meeting. The Meetup.com system has other useful functions as well, such as surveys for group members, the ability to send e-mails to all group members, notifications about fees and donations, and other functions.
AREI will help anyone who wants to start a group use the Meetup.com system. The group subjects may use the key terms “afterlife,” “grief support,” “mediums,” “near-death experiences,” “consciousness,” “metaphysics,” or any other key term specifying the focus of the group. There are 5,142 Meetup groups focusing on metaphysics worldwide, 1,625 focusing on Spiritualism, 785 focusing on mediumship, and 13,443 focusing on consciousness.
AREI has a model Meetup functioning at meetup.com/Afterlife-and-Spiritual-Truths/ with 318 members. The Meetup meets on the second Thursday of every month to discuss the afterlife, afterlife communication, and how to become sensitive to receiving messages from people living in the next plane of life.
Groups Focusing on the New Spirituality
Our understanding of the nature of reality, the individual’s place in eternity, and eternal life have resulted in a new spirituality that is enhancing religious practices or replacing them. Small groups are forming to discuss the new spirituality and engage in practices that reflect its perspectives on the nature of reality, humankind’s place in eternity, and the Source or Higher Power.
AREI member Nolleen Kelly has successfully established a contemplative spiritual practices group she titles “Spiritual Self-Care: Techniques for Mind and Heart” within the structure of a United Church of Christ church. The group meets at the First Congregational United Church of Christ every Saturday morning in Hendersonville, North Carolina. The first hour of each group meeting is devoted to explaining and demonstrating a spiritual technique, such as setting intentions, visualization, and affirmations. The second hour is devoted to orientation to and practice of meditation. A short period of discussion about the day’s experiences ends the meeting. More about the group
Providing Resources for Group Meetings
AREI will be providing lists of existing materials for various types of groups meeting with their focuses on various topics related to the afterlife, afterlife communication, consciousness, and the new spirituality. Where the resources do not exist, AREI will work with subject-matter experts to develop them.
AREI will also develop a database of local speakers who will be available to present to local groups and speakers willing to address groups from their locations via Skype.