The Process Church

The Process Church

The universe is in a constant state of change, according to members of the Process Church.
A self-help group founded by Robert de Grimston in London led to the evolution of a belief system based on change. De Grimston, called "The Teacher", believed that God, as well as the entire universe, is constantly in a state of change, and therefore is still not complete. "The Process" is defined by change - specifically the change required to avoid the judgment that is expected when the world ends.
Church members, called Processeans, traveled throughout Europe and North America during the late 1960s and early '70s, gathering like-minded followers and organizing administrative, traveling, and open chapters for meetings. Church leaders penned books to use as reference texts, including Exit, For Christ is Come, and As it Is,. By the mid-1970s, there were several Process church chapters in the United States and Canada, with their headquarters located in Washington, D.C. All the chapters in the operation dispersed free clothing and food, and the Processeans adopted various projects and were given grants by state and local government agencies.
In areas with extreme poverty, chapters established mass feeding operations that continued for years. Ministers and lay members of the church worked with community action programs and assisted the Salvation Army and Red Cross in responding to disaster situations. Prison ministries were set up in some chapters, and the Process regularly welcomed everyone to join in the church, and also legally ordained women to be priests. In fact, in the ruling body of the church, the administration and operational functions, there was an equal balance of the sexes.
The beliefs of The Process Church were decidedly unique; the three gods worshiped in services represented the basic patterns of humanity. The god Jehovah was considered to be a wrathful God of retribution and vengeance, who demanded courage, discipline, and ruthlessness from followers. The second god, Lucifer, according to Processeans is commonly mistaken as Satan. They claimed that Lucifer urges people to enjoy life to the fullest, to be gentle, kind, and loving, and to value success. The third god, Satan, was the receiver of transcendent souls who leads human to a subhuman, depraved existence, as well as to a superhuman, ascetic life. The Processeans considered Christ to be the transcendent "unifier of all", whose purpose was to reconcile the missions of the three gods. Services were traditionally held in a room with a Christian cross posted on one wall, with the opposite wall holding a Goat of Mendes - a Satanic symbol featuring the head of a goat inside a pentagram.
In 1974, de Grimston slowly began to distance himself from the church as disputes arose between his ideals and the ruling body of the church, to the point that de Grimston was dismissed as the chief theologian. Afterward, the ruling body legally dissolved the entire Process Church. Disappointed and disgruntled, de Grimston tried to reorganize a new Processean group in Massachusetts, but he failed and returned to England.
In 1979, a loosely knit organization under new leadership emerged as The Process. A rigorous expansion effort began in 1987, establishing private chapters where individuals launched programs designed to help homeless people become self-sufficient. In 1988, a secular organization called The Society of Processeans was created. But then, amid more disputes, the faith and teachings surrounding The Process were declared to be obsolete in 1993. The church archives were destroyed and the church itself was dissolved. However, Processeans still exist, members still pursue the beliefs of the church, and the group is maintained as a self-help organization, although their future is uncertain.