New Spirituality Communications

57 Fairmont Avenue Kingston NY 12401

(845) 331-7136 Cell (845) 389-9201 Fax (845) 331-7168

gerry@newspiritualitycommunications.com

 

 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 16, 2004

 

CONTACT:

Gerry Harrington

New Spirituality Communications

(845) 331-7136

gerry@newspiritualitycommunications.com

 

Gerry Harrington forms

New Spirituality Communications;

signs Neale Donald Walsch as client

 

      KINGSTON, N.Y. — Responding to a fast-developing trend toward a spiritual revival in America, Gerry Harrington, a veteran marketing and communications executive, has formed New Spirituality Communications — and almost immediately signed Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling “Conversations With God” series of books, as his firm’s charter client.

      New Spirituality Communications, the nation’s first public relations and marketing firm focusing on the swiftly emerging “spiritual marketplace,” is publicizing Walsch’s just-released book, “Tomorrow’s God: Our Greatest Spiritual Challenge,” worldwide in conjunction with the book’s publisher, Atria Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint. Walsch is currently on a book tour of the United States and Canada and will tour Europe from April to June.

      “We’re honored to have been selected, almost simultaneously with our announcement of the firm’s formation, to market such a profoundly insightful work by this highly respected author,” says Harrington, president of the new firm.

      The book, which was released March 2 and within three days became a “What We’re Reading” best-seller on Amazon.com, predicts that humanity will significantly alter and expand its understanding of God within a generation — in effect, creating a “new” God. This momentous change of understanding will produce a new form of spirituality that will transform life, the book says.

      “Walsch makes an amazingly bold and startling prediction, including what this new God will look like and how this God will inspire the human race,” Harrington says. “The book is sweeping in its scope and breathtaking in its vision. People who have read it, including academics and theologians, say it may well be the breakthrough statement on spirituality of the early 21st century.”

      A major college received an advance copy of the book and was so impressed that it now plans to hold an international conference on Walsch’s prediction next year, he says, adding that details of the conference will be available shortly.

      Harrington — a former executive producer of CNN, news director of a New York television station, contributor to Crain’s New York Business and managing editor of The Trends Journal — decided to merge his award-winning public relations and marketing firm, Harrington Associates, into New Spirituality Communications after identifying the spiritual-revival trend.

      “There’s a profound spiritual ferment,” he says, “a growing hunger for spiritual wholeness, for what is real, in the fullest sense. People are increasingly finding that money, a house and all the other conventional markers of a good life, while nice, are no replacement for a sense of meaning and purpose in life.”

      To create a deeper meaning and purpose, Americans in many walks of life are looking to faith — “something they can believe in and use to help them experience life more authentically and with intrinsic satisfaction,” Harrington says.
      “People are examining religions, doctrine by doctrine, to see what makes sense and what doesn’t make sense,” he continues. “In doing this they’re finding new insights, adding new ideas, seeing new truths, and in many cases gently releasing what no longer fits for them.”

      This is revitalizing people’s faiths, Harrington says.

      In revitalizing their faiths, people are discovering — in some instances for the first time — a personal experience of the divine that their religions had always promised, Harrington says. They’re also expanding their sacred beliefs “to include larger possibilities than they may have been willing to consider before,” he says.

      This is what New Spirituality Communications seeks to foster, Harrington says: An awakening of the sacred, an experience of love and a connection to the world and to others.

      “We focus on communications that renew and restore our connection with God and with each other, allowing for many definitions and paths toward a spiritual truth and advocating that all religions regard each other in a positive light — not make believers of other faiths ‘wrong’ for the way they celebrate their impulse toward the divine.”

      Harrington points out that “the current fervor over Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’ is a perfect example of how important spirituality has become to people.”

      “This movie would not have received the same media attention and public controversy even a year ago that it’s received in the past few months because the spiritual-revival trend, which is emerging very quickly, had not yet reached a high-enough level of development,” Harrington says. “It was more nebulous — a little something here, a little something there. But it’s now evolved into a full-blown, growing trend.”

      He adds that before the spiritual revival reached trend status, Gibson would also not have been on track, as he is now, to reap at least $350 million in personal profits from the movie, which The Wall Street Journal reported Friday will be “one of the biggest individual windfalls in Hollywood’s long history of oversized payouts.”

      Other recent events that have fueled the spiritual-revival trend include the scandal in the Catholic Church stemming from child sexual abuse and the schism in the Episcopal Church over the election of an openly gay bishop, Harrington says. The events also include the ousting of Roy S. Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, from the bench last fall for refusing to remove a monument to the Ten Commandments from his courthouse.

      The trend is growing to include other social, economic and political issues, he says, including the sudden national debate over same-sex marriage.

      “The gay marriage arguments, pro and con, are ostensibly based on civil law,” Harrington says. “But they’re actually rooted in moral judgments that people have made — and those moral judgments come from people’s understanding of what we think God believes is right or wrong.”

      Invoking God evokes our spirituality, he says.

      He cites other examples of the spiritual revival in America:

·        The number of people who say they prayed to God in the past week rose to 83 percent this year from 77 percent in 1999, according to a new poll by the Barna Research Group, based in Ventura, Calif.

·        Three out of four juniors surveyed at 46 colleges and universities say their religious or spiritual beliefs help develop their identity, according to a new study by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles.

·        Religiously and spiritually oriented books are the fastest-growing category purchased by adults in the country, according to Publishers Weekly, a national book-industry publication.

·        The CBS spiritual drama “Joan of Arcadia” is among television’s highest-rated programs, according to A.C. Nielsen. A Jan. 24 TV Guide cover story about the proliferation of television shows about God declared that “spiritual matters suddenly matter.”

·        Movies in the “spiritual cinema” category — a growing film genre whose movies ask the eternal questions “Who are we and why are we here?” — are suddenly winning Audience Choice Awards at major U.S. film festivals.

·        Politicians are rapidly being defined by their spiritual positions. The first question Dan Rather of CBS News asked the Democratic presidential candidates in the final debate before the “Super Tuesday” primaries this month was, “in terms of your own spirituality,” please complete the sentence “This I believe…”

·        People across the country are recognizing, in the face of years of corporate scandals and executives on trial — most recently and notably Martha Stewart, but also the ousted heads of WorldCom, Tyco, Enron and HealthSouth — that the way people do business is their spirituality demonstrated.

      As the spiritual marketplace develops, Harrington sees significant growth and multiple opportunities for his firm within both the religious establishment and the broader culture.

      New Spirituality Communications offers a full range of strategic and tactical marketing and communications services for the spiritual marketplace. These services include branding strategies, organizational positioning, marketing of products and services, cause-related marketing, fund-raising services, integrated communications, media relations, guerrilla public relations, special-events management, editorial services, Web content development and trends research.

      For more information about New Spirituality Communications, call (845) 331-7136 or e-mail Harrington at gerryharrington@mindspring.com. The firm’s Web site will soon be available at http://www.newspiritualitycommunications.com.

 

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