What Beloved Community Means to Me, by Nonie Freeman, Second Year Student

Within close authentic relationships, conflict is bound to arise. Beloved Community for me means being in a group where I feel safe experiencing, expressing, and listening to positive as well as negative feelings. It’s a space where wounds are acknowledged, feelings accepted, and the desire to live together in peace and harmony is cultivated as a sacred intention.  

According to ChIME’s founder, Jacob Watson, “It is our deeply human wish, our longing, that we belong to a community of souls where we feel safe and secure, able to be our true selves, show our natural emotions and live not only free of judgments but deliciously affirmed for being who we really are.  No pretense, just me.” This is Beloved Community for me, and I’ve found it here at ChIME.

Remembering to listen to the still small voice within – something I knew but had forgotten – has made all the difference! My overwhelming longing for Something More, and my decision to have it, led me to become a student at ChIME. Once at ChIME, my Spirit re-ignited as I found kindred souls, learned to create sacred space, and participated in circles of trust. These incredible blessings are giving me a deeper experience of oneness, equality, and the power of Beloved Community to grow hope and healing in place of painful childhood wounds. 


Nonie Freeman (Psychotherapist, Speech Coach, Teacher, TV Producer, Public Speaker) is eagerly looking forward to ChIME ordination as an Interfaith Minister in June 2017.  She's enjoying her chaplaincy internship with the palliative care team of the Southern Maine Health Center in Biddeford and Maine Health Care at Home. Although Nonie has no new chaplaincy plans for the near future, she is hoping to use her creativity on behalf of Beloved Community. In the meantime, she's delighted to carry the torch to her granddaughter, Amelia Rose, and her next grandchild, due any moment.