Inner Peace is part of a larger community of spiritual centers known as the Global Religious Science Ministries, which is based on the work of Ernest Holmes. Holmes published The Science of Mind in 1926, and the following year founded Religious Science, a religious movement in the New Thought (not to be confused with New Age) tradition. Religious Science (also referred to as Science of Mind) focuses on how the individual interprets and acts on his/her own experiences. For some the slogan, “Change your thinking, change your life,” is the only necessary belief. As for practices, most centers throughout the world differ with respect to specific practices but focus primarily on emotional and spiritual healing (and the best means available to initiate the healing). Common to Religious Science groups is a five-step prayer treatment (Recognition, Unification, Realization, Thanksgiving, Release)
Religious Science first arrived in Richmond in 1994 with the ministry of Revs. Dwight and Thelma Smith. They established the Spiritual Mind Center of Richmond, and began teaching classes and holding services in the tradition of Religious Science. One of those who took the classes the Smiths offered was Lisa Marks. Rev. Marks received her certification after training with the Smiths and then moved on to establish her own center. Inner Peace was originally established in 2003 under the name EnerPeace, short for Energy of Peace. After separating from the other original founders, Rev. Marks moved what now became Inner Peace to its current address on Skipwith Road.
Inner Peace is primarily a counseling center. Rev. Marks holds numerous small-group events ranging from the Lightworkers Workshop to classes on Science of Mind to emotional and spiritual counseling. With all of these offerings, the goal is personal empowerment. Not all of the events at Inner Peace are explicitly part of Religious Science. There are also events, like the Lightworkers Workshop, that utilize Pagan, New Age, and Asian methods of healing and empowerment. Attendance at Inner Peace events varies according to what is being offered. The classes tend to be similar in size to graduate-level seminars, but some events can draw as many as forty people into the small workshop room. Approximately sixty to seventy-five people attend the various center events on a regular basis. In the Science of Mind classes, the book, The Science of Mind, is used as a textbook, and the classes are treated like a college-level course. Successful completion of two years of classes prepares one to enter into the more difficult minister-preparation classes. Completion of these classes prepares one to become a Science of Mind minister.
Other activities involve the Lightworker’s Circle, the Intender’s Circle, and the Healing Circle. In the Lightworker’s Circle, readers and healers donate their time to give readings and healings to anyone who comes. These meetings are usually held the second Friday of every month in the evening. Intender’s Circle is facilitated by a Science of Mind student, and this circle is for the purpose of putting your intentions out to the Universe with the support of the group in attendance. The first Sunday of the month features the Healing Circle, which is a time for song, meditation, sharing, and healing, along with a group potluck.
3201 Skipwith Road
(Above Tauer Chiropratic Center)
Richmond, VA 23294
Inner Peace website
Profile prepared by Jon Headlee