Author Archives: Starting Point


*Sat, Sept 19th, 1 to 3PM ~ ONLINE Sound Healing Workshop ~ Music and Images to Restore Your Well-Being

Facilitators: Angelo Rizzo & Mark Jones, certified sound therapists.

How to attend: After you RSVP at bit.ly/sound-9-19-2020 or meetup.com/South-Jersey-Sound-Healing-Vibrational-Meetup/events/272811648/ ,
You will receive an email with the Zoom meeting link.

Sept 29th: The Starting Point Annual Brian Sullivan Memorial Golf Classic At ValleyBrook Country Club

To reserve your spot, download and print the event form* here and email the completed form to ldepka@startingpoint.org by Sept 25th, 2020. Alternatively, feel free to use our secure online web portal here.

(*To download a free PDF viewer for your computer or mobile device, click here.)

 

 

UPDATE: Vince’s LIVE ZOOM 2020 Lecture Series : Wed At 12 and 7

Updated Meeting Details

———————————————-

Wednesdays 12PM:

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84817848874
OR Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 848 1784 8874

———————————————-

Wednesdays 7PM:

Link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89253761873
OR Dial by location: +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
Meeting ID: 892 5376 1873


To the entire Starting Point Family, We miss you and hope that you are well and remaining safe.

Please join us for Vince’s weekly lectures live on ZOOM each Wednesday at noon and 7pm (Zoom links and topics listed below.)
Many of Vince’s previous lectures can be found on  Vince’s YouTube Page. Please take a few moments each day and visit Vince’s Facebook Page and The Starting Point’s Facebook Page for more of Vince’s content.


“SPIRITUAL JOURNEY THROUGH THE 12 STEPS OF SELF-PARENTING”

(*Click HERE to view a downloadable PDF of the “12 Steps Of Self-Parenting.” )
To download a free PDF viewer for your computer or mobile device, click here.

August
-19    Spirituality ~ Foundation of the Steps
-26    Step 1 ~ Powerless & Surrender

September
-2      Steps 2 & 3 ~ Let Go & Let God
-9      Steps 4 & 5 ~ Honesty & Sharing
-16    Steps 6 & 7 ~ Humanness & Humility
-23    Steps 8 & 9 ~ Amends, Direct or Indirect
-30    Steps 10, 11 & 12 ~ Gratitude, Prayer & Service

“RELATIONSHIPS”

October
-7      What is an Addictive Relationship?
-14    How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Self
-21    How to Have a Healthy Relationship with Others
-28    Relationships & Sexuality

 “PERSONAL GROWTH”

November
-4      Willingness to Change & Grow
-11    Service ~ The Gift of Giving & Receiving
-18    Spirit of Gratitude & Acceptance
-25    (NO LECTURE)

“HOLIDAY SERIES”

December
-2      Codependency & the Holidays
-9      Spirituality & the Holidays
-16    Relationships & the Holidays
-23    (No LECTURE)
-30    (NO LECTURE)

 

 

UPDATE: CODA 7:30PM Monday Meeting Is Now A Virtual Meeting Via Zoom (See Below For Details)

Below are the pertinent details about how-to access the virtual meetings for the Monday evening CoDA group:

Day:  Every week on Mon, until Dec 28, 2020, 17 occurrence(s)

Time: Sep 7, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 879 5532 1154 https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87955321154?pwd=Vk1ZNjlkTS8wQ1E2WTc5V0Y0WEJVZz09

Passcode: 898937

 

Thought Of The Month: September 2020 ~ “Patience Is A Virtue”…

By: Vince DiPasquale

In growing up as a small child, my Dad had some powerful lessons he tried to teach me that I’m finally beginning to understand. He used to say, ‘Have patience, little boy.” “Relax, take your time and enjoy the little things of life. Remember that everything happens in God’s time, not ours.” He would say, “enjoy each day, each moment as if it is your last”. He truly was a man of wisdom due to the struggles and experiences he had to endure in his life.

During the month of September, we reflect on the gift of Fall, the season of change and growth. It certainly does not mean we can do whatever we want. Patience is the gift that reminds us that true freedom only comes through struggle, sacrifice and just being open to a constant process of change. We live in a world that thrives on instant gratification. In many ways we have been spoiled by getting too much, too soon. Change and growth is a slow process. We have spent too much time blaming institutions and wanting them to legislate and solve everything. We are the architect of our own life. Change and growth come from each of us. Let us ask ourselves some simple questions. The ultimate question is, Who Are You? Have you taken time to look at yourself? You know that sometimes you have to lose things to truly appreciate them.

Life is short. When you are young you think you’re going to live forever. Today I am grateful for everything I had to struggle and work for. Today, as I write this, I am 80 years old. As I look back on my life’s journey, I’d like to share some key moments.

My childhood: We lived a simple life in a little row house in Camden, NJ. Our only heat was a coal stove in the kitchen. I was so excited in 1947 when we got radiators! We were also the first family to have a television. It only had one channel.

Seminary: In 1954 when I went away to the seminary in Connecticut, I was only fourteen and had to learn how to live on my own. I was scared and still learning how to grow up.  In 1957 I was uprooted and transferred to Mother of the Savior Seminary in Blackwood. It was time to start over again. Even though I didn’t know why I was being transferred, at least I was close to my family. My life was a constant process of change and adjustment. In 1962, I was transferred to Mt. St. Mary’s Seminary in Emmitsburg, Md., where I would finish college and do four years of training in theology. My father’s word of ‘patience’ was getting stronger. I realized that my life was not going to go through the normal process of growth. Everyday had so many expectations that I had to live up to. I had no idea ‘who I was’.

Ordination and Ministry: In 1966 I was ordained a priest and everybody, especially my family, was proud. I now had an identity. I was a priest with more expectations. Later I was sent to my first parish in Vineland, NJ. I went from the frying pan into the fire. The priest I was to live with was very sick. All of a sudden, I was running the parish alone. What a scary adjustment! Over night I was an administrator running the show. Thank God for my experience in the seminary of being the stage manager for some great plays. The next three years, I found myself playing so many roles – priest, administrator, youth program director, teacher. There was no time to sleep. The positive part of this is that my eyes were opened to where God would lead me. My ID was work and that I was always available. In 1969 I was sent to a poor inner-city parish in Atlantic City. My ‘Savior’ identity crisis went into high gear. I was becoming the rebel, going against society, running around & becoming a thorn in the side of all. From working in the prison system, the civil rights movement, to running the parish, I was a one man show.

The Starting Point is born: In 1977, I was tired and took a leave of absence. I went to Philadelphia and on October 17th opened a half-way house and soup kitchen for alcoholics. This was the birth of The Starting Point. It was also the beginning of a new journey, which would lead me to make some major decisions. In time, I would get married and start my life as ‘Vince’. It only took me forty-four years of not knowing who I was.

With Dad’s spirit, an open mind, and a lot of help from my wife’s family and the recovery community, I’m now on the journey of just being me. Now I understand that patience is a virtue. As Dad would say, everything in life will find its way. If you embrace patience and stay open to God’s will; all things will come. Thank you, Daddy, for your guidance and direction. I pray that I will continue on my journey.

May God bless and guide us in the spirit of gratitude, humility and love. Thank you, God, for each day.

~Vince D

NEW: “Rejuvenate” 10-Week Teacher Rejuvenation Program

Tuesdays on Zoom 7:00pm-8:00pm | September 15-November 17, 2020

Cost – $30 for the 10-week series

 

**Click HERE for downloadable program flyer.


Program Description:

Teachers are experts at planning and preparation.  During these challenging times of ongoing uncertainty and rapid changes, the importance of resilience, adaptability, and dealing with ambiguous loss is more important than ever. This rejuvenating series will focus on identifying strengths, gathering supports, encouraging self-care and providing resources that can uplift and relieve the daily challenges inherent to this upcoming (school) year.

This ten-week rejuvenation program (September 15-November 17, 2020) is designed to offer a respite for teachers. Although specifically geared for teachers, the program offers strategies applicable to individuals interested in rejuvenating their own journey during these unprecedented times and all are welcome.

While the program will not address specific restrictions and policy changes, it will provide ways to cultivate a personal environment conducive to dis-empowering negative and upsetting circumstances.


Cornerstones of the program…

  • Resilience Strategies
  • Impact of Ambiguous Loss
  • Power of Identifying Strengths
  • Importance of Adaptability
  • Guest Speakers on Mental, Emotional, & Physical Well Being

What the program is and is not…

  • The program will focus on positive psychology versus stressful and frustrating daily challenges.
  • The program will provide ways to cultivate an environment (internally and externally) conducive to growth versus becoming overwhelmed by resistance to dis-empowering (negative) circumstances.
  • The design of the program is to NOT allow daily frustrations, constant changes, restrictions, anxieties, and the unpredictability of future events to overwhelm and consume us.

Cost – $30.00 for the 10-week series*

* (*The $30 program fee is offered to make it attainable for all to attend. It is coupled with an opportunity to offer a donation to sustain the ongoing costs associated with running a comprehensive outreach program.)

For more information and to receive the program registration form, email teachers.rejuvenate.program@gmail.com. If you missed the Sept 1st Zoom Trailer live, please email us for the YouTube link.

(To download a free PDF viewer for your computer or mobile device, click here.)

About the Facilitators:

  • This program is presented by The Starting Point practitioners, Anna Marie Hrivnak, M.Ed. and Cort Hrivnak, MS, MA. Anna Marie’s 37 years in the teaching profession, her experience as an Assistant Principal and her work as a school counselor, provide a strong foundation for her work. Anna Marie’s profound understanding of the psychological effects of stress from everyday life and past traumas give her a wide range of connected experiences when working with her clients.
  • Cort’s work focuses on breaking unhealthy and unhelpful patterns.  He believes negative factors can be challenged and transformed into positive, life giving tools. Cort seeks to assist his clients in growing and developing their ideal self by cooperatively developing a therapeutic plan that suits the individual client’s strengths and needs.

Part of The Starting Point, Inc. of New Jersey Education Series | www.startingpoint.org

UPDATE: Meeting Change: Anorexia and Bulimia Anonymous (Open Zoom Meeting) Moves to Weds @ 5:30PM

ABA – Anorexia and Bulimia Anonymous

Now Every Wednesday at 5:30 pm (via Zoom.)

Anorexics and Bulimics Anonymous (ABA) is a fellowship of individuals whose primary purpose is to find and maintain recovery in our eating practices, and to help others gain recovery. The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop unhealthy eating practices.

Contacts:

Vince DiPasquale (856-854-3155 x102) and Anne Cavaliere (856-266-3487)


Below are the pertinent details about how-to access the “virtual meetings:”

Meeting:

  • Time: 5:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • Day:   Every week on Wednesday

Join Zoom Meeting

  1. Use the following link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89499038381?pwd=RU5QNlQ0U093YUVpRFFOcHlqM3BxQT09
  2. Meeting ID: 894 9903 8381
  3. Password: 988218
  4. Optionally, Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/tZ0pfuCorTMpEtW2TKY7xNFh-_WfFgZnWhV5/ics?icsToken=98tyKuGhqjIjGtedsxGGRpx5Bor4XfTztlxej7dqzivOOndLTCX-e911NJR4Ktbn

Thought Of The Month: August 2020 ~ Kick Back and Reflect …

By: Vince DiPasquale

August is a time to kick back and reflect. We have all been through so much these past months.

A friend of mine put together some quotes of mine from the lectures I do. I would like to share them with you as food for thought.


  • Look at people the way they are and not the way you want them to be.
  • Attitudes are learned so all attitudes can be changed.
  • Self-esteem is another form of spirituality.
  • We came into this world for a purpose.
  • Acceptance is facing the reality of what is.
  • Never deny anyone their pain and struggle. No pain, no gain.
  • If you keep it inside it becomes a mountain. Share it; let it out and it gets smaller.
  • Share with someone who won’t give advice, but just be there for you.
  • For every defect there is an asset. From the defects you discern your assets.
  • What you can do, you do. What you can’t do, don’t do.
  • Make peace with yourself.
  • The grieving process begins anytime you end something.
  • When you meet someone who is obnoxious remember they have come into your life to teach you what obnoxious is.
  • Sometimes you must wallow in the mud until you begin to realize, it’s “mud”.
  • We don’t want closure. We want to hang onto something that so we can place blame.
  • Self-esteem comes from the inside out.
  • Good healthy growth is 10 steps forward and 8 steps back. That’s progress!
  • You have no control over anyone else.
  • Nothing happens by accident.
  • The sun comes up even on a cloudy day.

I hope these quotes help you see how simple life really is. Enjoy these beautiful days. Make sure you always celebrate life in the spirit of gratitude for each day!

Vince D.

Thought Of The Month: July 2020 ~ Lessons Of Freedom …

By: Vince DiPasquale

The month of July teaches us the lessons of freedom. To be truly free we need to spend time learning to live in the spirit of awe and acceptance. In these two simple words we learn the special secret life. We have been given the gift of life from our Creator. When we stop and look at God’s creation we have to be in awe. Each day let’s learn not to take life for granted. Each of us has a purpose in this world. Each of God’s creatures are both teachers and pupils to us, if we can learn to face life’s journey with the gift of acceptance.

We are told not to limit the view of ourselves, remembering how special we are. Each one of us is a combination of talents, feelings and thoughts. Our spirit and energy give us the spark to look at life in a special way. Let’s use the words of the Tao to examine our spiritual journey though this world.

How you view yourself doesn’t limit what you can accomplish. The greatest gift we can give ourselves is to learn to embrace our history. Instead of trying to change our history, let’s learn to embrace it, accept it, and let it become our teacher. Our story, our history is the greatest book in the process of being written. Each day we write a new chapter. We are told in the Tao not to despise our history because it is the natural course of life. If we are to accept life on its terms it will pay us back a hundredfold. We are taught by the process that we will experience the real meaning of freedom. To be fully alive is to look at the world through the eyes of nature. The world we live in is a great adventure. It’s God’s gift to us and must be treated with respect. If we respect ourselves, if we honor our journey, we will be able to help others honor themselves.

The Tao teaches us that if we take time to do our work the energy of our journey will reach out to others. The 12th step of our program teaches us that if we have the courage to work on ourselves, to experience a spiritual awakening, then we will be able to carry this message of life to others by example. Remember, if we live in the spirit of life, try to look at all things through positive eyes and continue to be open to growth, we will be able to look at all things in the spirit of gratitude.

If we can face life with its struggles and joys and never lose the spirit of awe, life becomes an adventure. Let’s try to accept it on life’s terms. Try to look at all experiences with a positive attitude and life will show us the way. We are on God’s journey and our goal is to learn the lessons of life and one day hear our Creator say “Job well done. Welcome home.”

Being free is to be responsible for our life’s journey. This is the month of freedom. As you celebrate Independence Day take time to reflect on all the gifts we have. Don’t take life for granted. Get out there and live it.

God Bless you on your journey.

 

 

UPDATE: AA Words of Wisdom 7:00 Friday Meeting Is Now A Phone Meeting Via Zoom (See Below For Details)

The Friday Night 7:00 AA Words of Wisdom meeting will be a Zoom virtual meeting until further notice.


Virtual Meeting Details:

Link:

https://zoom.us/j/913976946

Pass Code:

0164

 

UPDATE: Emotions Anonymous, Monday, 7 PM : Now A Virtual Meeting (See Below For Details)

Meeting Update:

Meeting has gone virtual. If interested in participating in the virtual meeting, please contact Kim at 856-341-4252.

(Emotions Anonymous (EA) is a twelve-step program for recovery from mental and emotional illness.)

UPDATE: CODA 7PM Thursday Meeting Is Now A Phone Meeting Via Zoom (See Below For Details)

CODA 7PM Thursday Meeting Is Now A Phone Meeting Via Zoom


Below are the pertinent details about how-to access the virtual meetings for the Thursday evening all-women CoDA group:

  • Time: 7:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
  • Day:   Every week on Thu, until Apr 30, 2020, 7 occurrence(s)
  • Dates: Mar 19, 2020 07:00 PM, Mar 26, 2020 07:00 PM, Apr 2, 2020 07:00 PM, Apr 9, 2020 07:00 PM, Apr 16, 2020 07:00 PM, Apr 23, 2020 07:00 PM and  Apr 30, 2020 07:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

  1. Use the following link: https://zoom.us/j/181577084
  2. Meeting ID: 181 577 084
  3. Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system:  https://zoom.us/meeting/vJwscu6vrjMuDImapvV_UYbXGdkTmbjXdA/ics?icsToken=98tyKuigrz4tHdSdtF_9RbUqA9r7bPHMl1Vnp6JNiinaNhlRWiTyPdZPMLhHFPmB

 

 

UPDATE: Codependents Anonymous – CODA (Coed), Monday’s 7:30 PM : Virtual Zoom Meeting (See Below For Details)

Topic: CoDA* Zoom Meeting

(*Co-Dependents Anonymous (CoDA) is a twelve-step program for people who share a common desire to develop functional and healthy relationships.)

Day:  Every week on Mon, until Dec 28, 2020, 17 occurrence(s)

Time: Sep 7, 2020 07:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 879 5532 1154 , https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87955321154?pwd=Vk1ZNjlkTS8wQ1E2WTc5V0Y0WEJVZz09

Passcode: 898937

 

 

 

UPDATE: Course in Miracles Meeting Wednesday evening @ 6:30 pm: Virtual Zoom Meeting (See Below For Details)

Topic: ACIM* Zoom Meeting

(*A Course in Miracles (also referred to as ACIM or the Course) is a recovery group utilizing peer support and a 1976 book containing a curriculum which claims to assist its readers in achieving spiritual transformation.)

Time: Wednesday @ 06:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)   Every week on Wednesday until ended
Meeting ID: 375 3284 154
Password: Appraiser#1


 

 

 

 

Thought of the Month For June 2020 : “Life is such a beautiful process, let us learn how to trust it.”

By: Vince DiPasquale

As we begin the gateway into the summer months, we are asked to look at the difference between having trust in the process and controlling the process. Life is a journey which we are asked by a Higher Power to go on. Our Higher Power knows that each one of us has been given all that we need for the journey. We also have been given the gift of ‘free will’ which allows us to make choices and to be responsible for our choices. The journey we are told, will not be easy. Each one of us must face this dysfunctional world so that we can learn our lessons. The Higher Power has told us not to be afraid because God and his angels will travel with us. Many of us must choose between the external world and the spiritual one.

The external world is based on the ego (Ease God Out). We can so easily make external things into our gods such as money, greed, and riches. Remember the more toys we possess the more worry and fear of losing them will control our lives. Would you rather leave behind possessions for others, or the gift of your spirit which will live forever? God has created us to be spiritual beings. At times because of hurt, fear, shame and guilt we are stuck in looking at life in negative terms. We are reminded by all the great teachers that everything in life that is worthwhile must be worked for. Struggle is not a negative term; it is the pathway to new discoveries on life‘s journey. For every negative in life there is a positive.

Let’s reflect on different periods of history, from the Roman empire to all the great wars and armies. Imagine all the lives that were lost over the attitude of trying to control external things. Each of the empires in time died or will die because they are based on greed and possession.

We are taught in the recovery program to let go and let God. We are given the beautiful gifts of the 12 steps: powerless, acceptance, openness, willingness to change and grow, gratitude, sharing and service to others. These are all the spiritual gifts. What is our attitude towards life? Are we always trying to figure it out to make sure we are in charge or do we find it more challenging and rewarding to go with the flow? If we are open to God’s will for us, then no matter what happens, we will discover the rewards. God sends us teachers and messengers each day. We are being led. The 12 steps give us the gift of faith. Do your work and try to look at life through the eyes of such great teachers as Saint Francis, Theresa of Avila, Saint Augustine, Thomas Merton, Lao-Tzu, Dr. King and all the other recovery teachers like Bill W, Dr. Bob, Lois and the other founders of AA. They were great prophets who came into this world to carry a message of some simplicity and hope. Each one of us has been asked to be a prophet today. We are asked to look within, to be in touch with all the wonderful gifts we have and to have the courage once we have done our work, to share it in service to others knowing we will receive more gifts in return. Our prayer each day should be that we try to look at life as a simple journey to be enjoyed and to be shared. If we allow ourselves to grow spiritually and look at all the people in life as teachers, we will enjoy the simplicity of each day like a child. Each day when we awake and say a prayer of gratitude and openness, we are asked to look at life through these simple slogans:

One day at a time. We only have one day, and we must live it to the fullest. Remember, yesterday is over, face it, accept it and let it become our teacher. There is no tomorrow because when it comes, it is today.

Easy does it. Take your time, be patient, everything in life that is worthwhile takes time. Growth is a slow process. My dad would say pray for the slow steady rain to nurture the crops. The cloudburst destroys. Patience is a great spiritual gift.

But for the grace of God. Always remember that some of our greatest teachers are those who are worse off than we are. Everything in life can be dealt with if we approach it with a positive attitude.

Keep it simple. The formula for life. Simplicity is the ultimate spiritual word. The simpler our lives, the more serene they are. Life is a simple journey for complicated people. Remember less is more. Do one thing at a time and enjoy the journey of life.

Summer is a time to sit back, go slow and enjoy life. Remember life is to be lived and celebrated. Let’s make time to play, socialize and just enjoy each other. Have a simple, peaceful and restful summer. May God bless all of us on our journey.