Support | Community | Hope
For current and former religious professionals without supernatural beliefs.
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    • The Clergy Project
    • The Clergy Project

    Bill Israel

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    bill israel

    As a former United Methodist minister and lifelong spiritual seeker. I am 73 years young, happily married for 30 years and am still “in recovery” from my long-ago days of theism and church dogma. That period of my life included divorce, family break-up and a long series of broken relationships and dead-end jobs.  It has been an inspiring thrill to join this merry band (TCP) and other refugees from religion.  I was ordained (Elder) in 1967 and served three separate parish churches over a period of 12 years.   

    Mine was a stormy ministry during the 60’s and 70’s in the Midwestern U.S. I experienced much conflict in my parish communities and with church authorities over the war in Vietnam, civil rights, human rights, my own divorce and more.  It soon became clear that those conflicts “disguised” a much deeper, personal discontent as I struggled to make an untenable religious belief system function in a chaotic social environment.

    In 2008 I retired from a 25 year consulting career. Around September, 2013, I began the process of “unretiring” to complete my life with a retooled mission/career.  This recent development is inspired by a life-long passion: seeking a good path in this life that is not limited by my intellect nor deluded by religious dogma. Having abandoned the religious (theism) effort many years ago, I’ve taken up a new set of dialogue “tools”. 

    I live in Victoria, B.C. Canada and am a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada. The Tao Te Ching is my daily “scripture” now, though I also read the Dhamapada, The Inner Chapters of Chuang Tsu and various poets.

    Since 1974 I have been an avid personal journal method adherent. It was then I found Dr. Ira Progoff’s Intensive Personal Journal Method as I departed the church, including my beliefs in that  “other-worldly religious dogma”. The program has been (is) my transformational vehicle into a marvelous new mortal reality.  

    I am now engaged in a series of qualifying exams to become an Intensive Journal Workshop Facilitator. The program is available across North America (and overseas), having served more than 180,000 “seekers” since 1970. Check out the web site – intensivejournal.org.