2nd August I took the service at The Langside Spiritualist Church where well known medium Ann McCutcheon is president. There was a good turnout with several attending a Spiritualist Service for the first time.
A few people comment’s on my description of Eddie Docherty’s church being like an “oasis”. They said that they liked that description of a spiritualist church.
2. A situation or place preserved from surrounding unpleasantness; a refuge: an oasis of serenity amid chaos.
Is that not what we should aim for within our churches?
A peaceful little haven where we can leave our worries at the door… Create a relaxing atmosphere were the we can mingle for a short time, with Spirit.
It is easy to rent a hall, book a medium and advertise you are opening a Spiritualist Church. But if there is not going to be deep thought and good foundations laid down, then the evening can mean little more than entertainment. It may end up being little more than an enjoyable evening out rather than what should be taking place. It may in the end be looked upon by the regulars as a only a place for a laugh and a cup of tea once a week. Spiritualism the religion, will be sold short.
To proudly use the name Spiritualist Church, one has to adhere to the beliefs of Spiritualism – the religion. Aim for the church to be part of the community, to be there for those in the community, who may need help or understanding, not just to open the doors one night a week from 7pm, close them at 10pm and that is all to the following week. If that is what is happening then surely this is not truly fulfilling what a spiritualist church is all about?
To many Spiritualism is a whole new concept, one that can be so different from anything they have known in the past. .
So much to take in, it can seem like a fairytale or science- fiction. No one can take it all in at the first visit to a church but once that first seed is planted in our mind it will grow and grow. With each new root there will be a question and more questions after that. So the church that started all this must be there to cultivate this growth.
There will be those in the community who have just become aware of spirit and are frightened, and others who have had a spiritual experience maybe many years before and decided they finally need to confide in someone about it.
Where else to go than the local spiritualist church? Is a church being a good spiritualist church if it is only contactable once a week for a few hours?
A Spiritualist Church is only a heading for a large package of contents such as Philosophy, Healing, Clairvoyance, Education, Training, Compassion and Assistance.
A quote from “The Spiritualist National Union.
The Nature of Spiritualist...
Spiritualism helps to provide a personal philosophy for every Spiritualist, each continuously progressing and growing in their understanding and interpretation resulting in the consideration of many diverse views. However, in essence the underpinning ideas come from the same source of universal understanding, and within the SNU it is based on the 7 Principles of Spiritualism.
It is the acceptance of this diversity that makes Spiritualism free from creed or dogma as a religious philosophy. Though the SNU chooses to set down the principles behind SNU Spiritualism, they are not seen as binding they are just a foundation for that journey of understanding.
It is by applying personal philosophy in all compartments of day to day living and by progressing and learning through life’s experiences that Spiritualism becomes a living personal philosophy
I have heard it said often “They come for the clairvoyance – not for the address”. Yes, some only are interested in the clairvoyance but what of those who need a spiritual address to help them on their spiritual path, are they to be neglected? If a church is only on for one night then surely it must cater for all in that community who attend the church.
There should be qualified Spiritual Healers.
There should be those who can give education and training to members who wish it. And trainers in such positions must have a good deal of experience and training in the movement. In recent years too few churches supplied such training and this made people wishing to move forward in their spiritual path, to have to go here there and everywhere, on many occasions at considerable cost, to get the development that they wanted. This is no substitute to being with a church with good development circles and also taking a course at the spiritual colleges set up by the main Spiritual Organizations.
A church should also have in place someone that will attend to those who ask for help. It may not be the member of that particular church but someone they can call on to go out to people’s homes when the need arises. I feel that we could be doing better in this area.
I have said many times in the past that I have never had any intention to start up a church as I feel it is not for me. I realize that starting up and running a successful spiritualist church is not easy, it takes a lot of commitment. The real hard work comes before and after the service and that has to be done by the committee and willing helpers. A medium can just decide one night they cannot be bothered and cancel. If the committee just cannot be bothered two weeks in a row and the doors are not opened then the third week and thereafter the congregation will not turn up and the church will be no more.The person who gives you a genuine smile and greeting as you come in the door, the cheery tea lady or gentleman all play a part in making the congregation feel welcome.The booking secretary, not the easiest of jobs…
Finance of the church is a big headache whether the church own their own building or a hall is rented
Like all religions, internal politics can knock the gloss off what we are trying to achieve. I once thought that Spiritualism would be the one religion where there would be less bickering but that is not the case. I thought that we would be directed by spirit but so many individuals override spiritual advice and go their own way.
Maybe that is a negative way to look at it and an elderly lady I heard talking on this subject one day said “We are all human and we all think our way is right”. So maybe when there is conflict we should all stop and count to ten – then ask spirit for some guidance.
To get our churches to have the full package maybe it is time to think that amalgamation of some churches would be the right answer.
I am in no way getting at the small churches or certain individual churches, I am suggesting what we should aim for this in all our churches. Many small churches have fully intrigated with the local community with both the church and the community being all that much better for the close association.
Each community has different needs and if the local spiritualist church can give assistance to these needs without lowering its standards then it will be a welcome oasis in our stressful society.
There was an amazing story in the Daily Mail this week of two gorilla brothers hugging each other in delight at being reunited after three years. The affection is unmistakable. They react just as human brothers might.: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2189591/The-hug-says-theyre-just-like-As-gorilla-brothers-greet-like-old-friends-zoologist-says-share-EVERY-human-emotion.html#ixzz23ptbykEU