For more than 25 years, the Universal Truth Center has facilitated an annual church-wide program to help its members to go deeper into their spiritual practice in a way that frees them up to be true channels for God.
The Adventures in Faith (AIF) program is UTC’s yearly capital campaign where members are asked to make a financial and volunteer commitment to the church, located in Miami Gardens. This year’s AIF kicked off on Aug. 29 with an introductory sermon delivered by interim pastor, Rev. Charles Taylor, and will run for seven weeks, culminating on Oct. 25.
Taylor said that members are also asked to make “a commitment to themselves to stabilize what we call their life structures.” Those life structures represent seven different areas of a person’s life and they include spiritual, mental/emotional, physical, relational, social, vocation and financial.
“We ask members and friends to look at each area of their life to see which area they want to work on during this campaign and beyond,” Taylor explained. The idea, he said, is “to stabilize that particular area so that it is not a distraction from them being able to be clear and available for God to use for them to offer their gifts and talents to the world.”
The AIF program uses a different book each year as its guide. This year’s book is The Power of the Heart: Finding Your True Purpose in Life by Baptist De Pape. Taylor explained that the human heart is more than a physical organ and the book helps readers learn to tap into its sacred power.
“It’s an energy source of knowledge and intuition and when you tap into your heart, you’re able to make more authentic, committed choices for your life,” said Taylor, who explained the importance of listening to your heart when choosing a career, for example.
“You should really follow the calling of your heart. What is it that makes you come alive? That’s what’s coming from your heart. Find a way to do that. Even if you cannot get a full time job that makes you come alive, volunteer or do it as a hobby. It’s important to connect to that part of your heart that is telling you that this is what you are born to do,” Taylor explained.
The AIF campaign also focuses on the power of commitment; which Taylor said is evident in a person’s daily reality.
“You can tell what you’re committed to by the results that are showing up in your life; not what you say, not what you fantasize about, not what you talk about, but what’s actually showing up in your life,” he said.
Taylor’s wife, Shakira, is the AIF Coordinator. She said that the entire community is invited to participate and that church membership is not a requirement. To gain the greatest benefit from AIF, participants are encouraged to attend the Sunday AIF sermon, which is held at 10 a.m., or view it via live stream at www.utruthcenter.org. The AIF experience also includes “Heartfelt Wednesdays” at the church, 21310 NW 37th Ave. in Miami Gardens; also accessible via live stream. The Wednesday gathering begins at 7 p.m. and is described as an experiential one hour AIF session in small groups that allows participants to delve deeper into the book and the AIF experience.
Shakira explained that UTC is also offering a variety of activities to augment each week of AIF. “For physical unfoldment, we have a 5K walk/run that happens on Sept. 26; for social enfoldment, we offer a poetry café. There are a lot of different opportunities for the community to get involved.”
A highlight of the AIF experience will be a guest appearance by motivational speaker and author, Les Brown, who will deliver the Oct. 4 AIF sermon.
To anchor the AIF experience, small group discussions that are held in members’ homes will commence during the last week of September. Participants will be able to connect to small groups according to where they reside throughout Miami-Dade County.
“Wherever they live, they can call the church at 305-624-4991 to connect to an AIF group in their area,” Shakira explained.