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Natural Awakenings Sarasota / Manatee / Charlotte

Change Your Perspective: Find Your Purpose and Reach Your Potential at the Center for Spiritual Living Sarasota

Mar 29, 2015 01:04AM ● By Mary-Elizabeth Schurrer

Every individual’s journey toward higher enlightenment, personal empowerment and religious connection is distinctly unique yet equally sacred. 

Reverend Karen Wolfson, founder and senior minister at the Center for Spiritual Living Sarasota, recognized this universal truth after struggling aimlessly to fill an internal emptiness for several years, and has since dedicated her life’s work to guiding others along their own paths of self-awakening.

“Growing up in Pentecostal and fundamentalist Christian traditions, I had a rich spiritual experience as a child. But, as a teenager, I found that those parameters and teachings hindered my sense of personal and spiritual growth,” reveals Rev. Wolfson. 

She then continues, “However, leaving that behind me created a void that I tried to satisfy with alcohol and mood-altering medications. Then, in my young adulthood, I found my way into a Twelve Step Program. [This led to] sobriety and a new, open spiritual path, discovering a relationship with the God of my own understanding and not the God that someone else defined for me. Later, I discovered Centers for Spiritual Living and the kind of open spiritual experience I yearned for.

“After a 20-year corporate career and completing ministerial studies, I recognized that I’d always had an inner ‘calling’ to ministry. I answered that call because I passionately wanted to share this message of possibility with others, who might feel spiritually lost – as I once felt.” 

This deep-rooted passion prompted Rev. Wolfson to open the Center for Spiritual Living Sarasota in 2002, which has positively impacted the surrounding community, while enriching her own earthly experience as well.

“Every day, I found new, practical and amazing ways in which to apply the principles I teach to my daily life. I continue to be blessed by this simple yet powerful truth: Change your thinking; change your life. I am free from the belief that people, places and things have to change in order for my life to get better. I am continuously discovering that, as I change the way I think about things, the things I think about change. 

“Most profound is my awareness that I am a co-creator with the Infinite. I am never alone in my endeavors but have a Silent Partner as my Source and Guide. When I see my congregants’ joy in discovering these same [truths] in their lives, I am incredibly inspired and grateful,” she explains.

The Center for Spiritual Living Sarasota welcomes people from every background with “dignity and respect,” regardless of religious affiliation, race or ethnicity, socioeconomic status and sexual orientation. Diversity is embraced, and Rev. Wolfson’s primary concern is equipping others to unlock their “inner purpose and fulfillment of highest potential.”

“We honor all paths to God. Ours is a positive message, inspiring possibilities, offering spiritual tools for transforming lives, and creating a world that works for everyone. Here, you can find peace of mind, a spiritual home and a personal relationship with the God of your understanding. We are here to discover what we already know,” she clarifies.

As Natural Awakenings’ 2014 “Nattie Award”-winner for “Favorite Spiritual Center,” this organization also offers numerous opportunities for community outreach and involvement.

“We invite anyone who is interested to participate in our classes and workshops, as well as attend our Sunday services. In addition, we tithe 10% of our income to various [charitable causes] in the community – Mothers Helping Mothers, Every Child, Inc., Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center, Resurrection House, Selah Freedom, Habitat for Humanity and many more,” expounds Rev. Wolfson.

With regard to upcoming events throughout this month, she then adds, “A new 10-week class will begin April 7, taught by Theresa Fieberts, [one of the Center’s licensed Religious Science Practitioners on-staff] called ‘Treatment and Meditation: Spiritual Practices for Daily Living.’ This course will offer inspiration and direction into developing lifetime habits of meditation and Spiritual Mind Treatment, also known as Affirmative Prayer. These two tools are essential for a path of spiritual development and self-mastery.

“Meditation is considered receptive, opening ourselves to the Spirit’s presence in communion with the One, while treatment is directive in nature. Various forms of meditation will be explored, and students will deepen their understanding of the Science of Mind principles, especially how this power can be used to transform lives.”

Through such insightful workshops, a sincere dedication to community activism and an “open-door” approach to weekly service attendance, the Center’s mission of positively enhancing everyone’s Divine connection is undeniable. 

As Rev. Wolfson aptly concludes, “Life is filled with possibilities. Each individual is pure potential. This is a friendly universe, and we’re all expressions of the Infinite. At our core, each of us is whole, perfect and complete.”      


Sunday service meeting location: South Gate Community Center, 3145 South Gate Circle, Sarasota. Service time: 10:00 am. For more information, call 941-927-6212 or visit     

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