In 1999, at the age of 16, my spiritual path called to me when I walked into Mile Hi Church in Denver, CO. I had abruptly moved to Colorado after an unfortunate situation with my father, mid sophomore year of High School. At the time, I can remember how devastated I was to leave my childhood home and everything I knew, to completely start over.
My mother, a Religious Science minister, took me to Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, CO, where my entire life turned upside down. I found the Science of Mind teaching as a teenager and it launched me into youth leadership globally for 8 years, serving what was then United Church of Religious Science.
I served this movement as a youth delegate and voice, serving on various committees that promoted the powerful presence of youth in our organization and in the world. We had little representation then, and I felt called to take classes, inspire others, and enter practitioner training so that I might be a more influential presence. I traveled the world and worked in and with our communities in Ukraine and Russia, and through the leadership of the many movers and shakers in our organization, was given the opportunity to speak and participate in our Youth and Family Council, our Visioning Core and so many international conferences.
In 2012 and 2014, as I was finishing ministerial school, I moved my life to the Middle East and back to Ukraine and became very active in Revolution torn countries. I found that in crisis, in turmoil, in the unknown was where I thrived the most. I have always been inspired by cultures, languages, what makes people seek connection and meaning. As I watched governments crumble in both Egypt and Ukraine, I also saw the hope and light within young revolutionaries to rebuild something new. It was in the breaking down of structures that new possibilities were born. The crisis of my young life at 16 years old, leaving a familiar small town of 3,000 people, launched me into a life I could have never imagined possible. This crisis had activated my potential and that which I was becoming.
You see, living in the midst of so much shadow, violence, and chaos, I discovered that there was just as much light. The darkness is merely the absence of light. I had to ask myself how I could find the sacred in the midst of so much darkness. It was absolutely the embracing of my humanity, not bypassing real human experiences, pain, and challenge, that I could also know the divinity within me as well as all around. It was not always easy to see at times.
Crisis can serve as an opportunity when we continue to remember that there is a much bigger picture unfolding. We don’t always get to see the ending just yet. Every single challenge I have experienced has shaped the magnificent tapestry of my life and thus brought me into a relationship with the Divine that has created a deeper faith and trust in the mystery. Can you trust the mystery?
About Rev. Savanna Noelle Riker
Rev. Savanna Noelle Riker completed her master’s degree in Consciousness Studies in Egypt in 2012. Since 2014, she has served as a staff minister in spiritual communities across California. Youth leadership, global outreach, facilitation, leading retreats, and speaking engagements in London, Vancouver, Cairo as well as communities throughout the U.S. reflect her passion for global ministry. Science of Mind magazine featured her on the cover of the February 2015 issue, with her article, 'The Sacred Amidst the Shadow." Currently, Rev. Savanna resides in Seattle, WA, and is an Assistant Minister at Amazing Grace Spiritual Center.
About the Centre for Spiritual Living White Rock
We envision a world that naturally expresses Love. We’re on a mission to awaken humanity to its Spiritual Magnificence. We offer tools for transformation, authentic self-expression, and conscious living. We believe that spiritual community is key in living a life of purpose and meaning. We gather to inspire, support, and invite heartfelt connection that empowers the soul.