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Spiritually far out

This corrects an earlier version of this story.

Flower power met spiritual power Sunday at a one-of-a-kind church service.

It was a groovy morning at the Costa Mesa Senior Center as the spirit of the 1960s was incorporated into the usual activities and religious wisdom.

Donning ’60s threads with a daisy in his shirt pocket, Pastor Jim Turrell led a service about adversity and security.

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“It was a great opportunity to have fun,” said Turrell, who has been leading the church since 1987. “This is sort of our target market. People who grew up in the ’60s.”

Turrell went to high school and college during the era.

Turrell’s sermon reflected the themes of the ’60s: facing challenges and finding peaceful resolutions to life’s difficulties.

“In the analogy of the stone, if you hold it too close everything becomes obscured,” said Turrell, comparing the stone to adversity. “If you set it down it becomes a stepping stone.”

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There was a solid turnout for the service which had many dressing up and showing peace signs.

The inclusiveness of the church and its unique style attracts many different people to hear Turrell speak.

Thea Iberall, 58, is Jewish and doesn’t usually like churches, but she treks all the way from Long Beach to attend Turrell’s service.

“I love this church,” said Iberall, who attended Woodstock. “It is about how to be happy, about living your life in a peaceful, happy way.”

Turrell focuses on trying to reach out to multiple communities, cultures and lifestyles in his service.

To him, it is more about a spiritual philosophy inclusive of all religions than strict dogma.

“We are more interested in helping people get closer to God,” he said. “You don’t have to sacrifice cultural connections.”

In addition to various religions and cultures, a connection to an epic era was celebrated Sunday. Featured soloist Scott Sechman and other musicians got patrons swaying, flying up peace signs, and singing along to classic ’60s anthems like Donavan’s “Sunshine Superman” and Buffalo Springfield’s “For What It’s Worth” while church members sang The Youngblood’s “Get Together” to begin the festivities. The band often received loud applause and standing ovations.

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Using the daisy, distributed to all in attendance, Turrell spent much of his time discussing personal growth and finding new perspectives to handle life’s problems. which he said can help create personal change.

“It’s the dawning of Aquarius,” he said.

The Center for Spiritual Discovery sponsored Sunday’s service. The church has services at the senior center, but the senior center was not involved in organizing or sponsoring the event.


DANIEL TEDFORD may be reached at (714) 966-4632 or at daniel.tedford@latimes.com.


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