Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Was I being Petty?... A Pet's Blessing... God In His Goodness...


22nd 23rd and 24th September I was serving the Glasgow Central Spiritualist Church (SNU) Berkley Street, Glasgow... 26th – I went North-East to the Arbroath Spiritualist Centre (SNU)....

29th – I attended the Coatbridge Spiritualist Church where the music for the hymns is provided by  Robert on guitar.  This fairly lifts the atmosphere.

30th –A few miles south to the Cumnock Spiritualist Church.  As the town hall is being renovated the service took place in a hall close by.

1st October I travelled the short distance to the Shining Light Spiritualist Church Kilmarnock.

3rd – I was at ASK Dunfermline giving a talk on “How Spirit Work with Us”...

5th September – was my second last workshop of the year at The Glasgow Association of Spiritualists, Somerset Place, Glasgow. (SNU). The last workshop taking place on 9th November, 10am – 4pm...

6th – Although called the Friendship of Love and Light Spiritualist Church it will always be known as Eddie’s Church after the founder and well loved Spiritualist Medium Eddie Docherty.  This is in Foxbar, Paisley.

9th – A busy day in Edinburgh with a demonstration of Clairvoyance and sittings at the Parapsychology College in the afternoon and then again a demonstration of clairvoyance at the Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre (SNU) in the evening...

10th –Development Circle...

11th – 15th  A busy but enjoyable time at The Glasgow Association for Spiritualists, Somerset Place Glasgow taking an Open Circle, sittings and four services.
                                                     WAS I BEING PETTY?
 A few weeks ago I was stopped by a lady in the street and asked if I had time to fill in a questionnaire.
I agreed and we were met with a hurdle at the very first question – “What is your religion?”  I said “Spiritualist” and after a few seconds I heard the lady mutter “Other”.  “No” I said “Spiritualist”.  She told me that there was no box for “Spiritualist” and I would have to be entered under “others”.
I tried to go for a compromise in suggesting that “Spiritualist” was written at question-1 or that it would be mentioned in one of my answers.  No” she said “My job is only to tick boxes and I cannot write anything down”.  So as neither of us was prepared to budge I walked away without trying to be too impolite.
Was I being petty?
The early pioneers of Spiritualism struggled hard to get Spiritualism accepted as a religion and although our numbers are not near the same of the main religions I don’t feel we should be passed off as “others”.  I accept that it may be going over the top in expecting a box for all the smaller religions but surely a blank space where “Spiritualism” or another religion could be recorded?
          A Pet’s Blessing...  
A church in this area held its annual service ‘the blessing of pets’.  I cannot think of any Spiritualist Church with holds a service for pets, there may be some but I have not heard of one.  Surely this is something that we must rectify, as just think how often a pet is mentioned from the platform and that it is waiting to greet its owner/friend when it is their turn to move over to the higher side of life.  Often from the platform dog, cat horse, parrot etc is mentioned.  Not only that but the correct breed, colour markings, showing beyond doubt that like us our hairy/furry friends live on and will be sharing the Spirit World with us.
 We love our pets and that bond will not be broken by our little - and maybe not so little – friends when they reach the end of their life in this dimension.  The love between us will be as strong as ever and we all know that it is love that links us with the Spirit World.  Moving over to the Spirit World and finding our furry friends were not there waiting for us would be meaning part of the family was missing...
I have always found a great interest in visiting antique shops and fairs.  It is amazing the vibrations one can sense in such places – positive and negative.
 I try never to stop at objects that are pleasant to my eye. But at those which have great love coming from them.  Usually this is from items at the lower end of the price scale In fact, in a great many cases they are small pieces of paste jewellery costing only a few pounds.  I often wondered if this was  the only piece of jewellery the previous owner possessed.
It is an added bonus when you sense something from an item and then can quiz the dealer about it.  If they happen to know something about the item's history, it is amazing how often their information can correspond with what you have been sensing.
                                      God in His Goodness
God in his goodness has provided us with everything we need (not want) to survive.  Everything in our natural environment has a purpose.  All forms of life are inter=dependent on one another...
For instance, flowers and plants have very varied functions.  Flowers provide food and resting places for bees and other insects.  Have you ever watched an insect resting on a leaf washing its face?
Their beautiful colours and exquisite perfumes bring us such joy and upliftment of our spirits.  We use flowers to help us express our emotions such as love, gratitude, celebration and sorrow in bereavement.  Some flowers can be used for medicinal purposes e.g.; we get digitalis from foxgloves to make the drug  ‘digoxin’ used to reduce a patient's pulse rate.  Roses and many others are used in Bach Flower Remedies.  We can even eat some flowers e.g. nasturtiums in salads.  Many plants and trees are used as medicine as well as providing shelter for many birds, animals and insects.  Trees provide us with food fuel and timber for the construction of homes, furniture and a myriad of other things.  Trees also absorb the carbon dioxide from our environment.
Flowers plants and trees like us possess a spirit body.  Two men, Samuel Hahnemann, the founder of homoeopathic Medicine, and Rudolph Steiner. The founder of anthroposophy and founder of the Steiner Schools were spiritually developed enough to be able to see these spirit bodies and were able to determine which ailments the various flowers, plants and trees could be able to treat.
 We have a great deal to be thankful to God for.  The very best we can do to express our gratitude is to preserve and respect the whole of the natural world and to protect it for future generations to come, because all of nature, even the tiniest insect has a very important part to play in our eco system... 
Margaret Garrow - Inspired by Spirit..

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Keeping Our Religion A Religion...

3rd September saw me take a short journey along the A736 to take the service at ASK Neilston.  Sheila Caruthers founder and president of ASK is an excellent medium in her own right.  Sheila started attending a spiritualist church as a young girl and has accumulated a wealth of knowledge which she is willing to share with others.  So anyone wishing to dip their toe in the water so to speak and learn a little more about spiritualism and their psychic abilities could think of visiting the Glen Halls, Main Street,  Neilston at 7.30pm on a Wednesday where they will be made welcome.  The Divine Service is help in the same Halls on a Tuesday evening at 7.30.

4th – An interesting night being interviewed on Spiritualism.  My comments will not appear in the media but hopefully it will enlighten those of another religion on what our beliefs are.  This particular church is having nights during the winter looking into various other religions.  This church felt Spiritualism so far removed from their own beliefs, the clairvoyance, that they did not feel it appropriate to invite someone of our religion along to talk to them.  But that they were including Spiritualism in their winter discussions of “Other Religions” I felt was a big step forward form them and I agreed on this interview”.

5th - It was my pleasure once again to take a church’s development group.

8th – I let the train take the strain as I attended the Perth Spiritualist Church (SNU).  Often know as the “wee church with the big heart”.

11th –I was asked to be guest at a private circle which has been sitting for over two decades.

12th – I attended The White Dove Spiritualist Church, Toryglen, and Glasgow, where there was the usual big turnout....

16th – 20th... We took a few days away to Blackpool and took the opportunity to meet up with a few psychic researchers that I am often in contact with via the Internet.

                                            Keeping Our Religion – A Religion...

These days, many religions are hitting the headlines because of in-fighting and /or other misdemeanours.  So far spiritualism has escaped this kind of public scrutiny, probably because our numbers are small and few outside our organizations think of Spiritualism as a religion.  But are we helping ourselves to be looked upon as a religion? I do not think we are. Currently, because of our own actions, we are more like a money making entertainment business than a true religion. If we claim to be Spiritualists, then we should all look on ourselves as "Ambassadors for Spirit" and act accordingly.  We have to look at what others will think of Spiritualism and Spiritualists, by our actions.

Take social networks, they should be a shop window for our religion, but often if we look through the posts of Spiritualists, we see a messy little corner shop rather than the superstore which it should be.   Comments on social networks can be detrimental to our religion when Spiritualists condemn each other there.  Some of this condemnation may be justified, but should not be aired in such a public forum.  I have not noticed such behaviour taking place with other religions.  So what will non-spiritualists think of us? 

There have been comments on social networks that a child may have disrupted a service for a short time, what other religion would complain at than.  And further comments that children should not attend our services till they are a certain age.  This gives the impression that we are not a child friendly religion.  Yet the SNU is more than happy for children to attend churches, unless of course they are very disruptive in which case one would assume the parent would take them outside or perhaps into another room until they settle down”.  Common sense prevails...  And we have to remember we have Christian and non-Christian Spiritualist Churches... With the former – who said “Suffer little children and let them come to me?”  
I have noticed that some of our churches, when advertising on social media, the next medium to work for them, come out with comments which are more suited to advertising an entertainment, than a religious service.  And after the service, it can be even worse, when they describe the medium’s work.  There are religious organizations that have regular guest speakers and there avert in the local newspaper will go something like “The guest speaker for Sunday evening will be Mr Smith from ****” Is that not more professional and more akin to a religion?
The aim of Spiritualism is to affect an at-one-ment and unison of Humanity with God until every action and thought of Humanity is in perfect harmony with the Divine Will."
(Adapted from the Spiritualists' Lyceum Manual)
Maybe our church committees should aim for increased ‘at-one-ment with the congregation by an informal meeting once a year, for everyone to have their say.  As I mentioned in an earlier blog, use a suggestion box in an easily accessible place.  Some will say “We have our AGM and that is the place to comment on likes and dislikes about the church," but as we all know the “Any other business" is usually at the end of the AGM, when many want the meeting to finish. 
To put a more presentable face on our religion, there are other ways we could behave more professionally.  I have seen those new to Spiritualism look surprised after a service, as the medium takes their diary out and books people for non church related private sittings.  Is this using the church as a source for financial gain?  Then there is another way to look at it.  Many churches have monthly private sittings to help pay their expenses, as the freewill offering does not cover all the costs. So taking such a booking is taking much needed income away from the church.
Then there are high profile mediums who breeze into town with their name in lights outside a theatre, or posters all over the town about their show.  Do these mediums/psychics ever check if their display is going to clash with a local spiritualist church’s service?  They don’t have to do this if they do not serve churches but surely those who do, should be more considerate to the local churches. If they don’t maybe it is time for churches to think twice before booking such mediums in the future for their services.
Evenings of Clairvoyance for charity have always been, and always will be part and parcel of Spiritualism.  But there are many who think that the charity circuit is running out of control these days.  Should church mediums not stick to ‘charity nights’ run by spiritualist churches?   And churches limit charity nights to two a year? Another area for being more professional that we need to look at are evenings of clairvoyance taking place in pubs and clubs.  That may be fine for psychics or non church serving mediums but many, both within and out with Spiritualism, find it distasteful to a religion, when it involves a church serving medium or SNU award holder. H
The SNU policy about this is as follows;-
“SNU award holders are not prohibited from working in rooms in pubs and clubs.  The only stipulation is that they do not demonstrate mediumship in a room where alcohol is consumed”
On being asked if the Union would take action the reply was; -
Yes the Union would take action, and has done so, if any award holder is reported to them. I would expect award holders to uphold the dignity of Spiritualism, and maybe there are few feeling that way, but who administer Union affairs certainly think that way”.
But what of non SNU Award Holders – what is the Union's advice to their churches on those who do?
“Churches are autonomous and therefore have to make their own decisions on who they book to work on their platforms”
So the ball is in the court of church committees.
There need be no conflict if the churches make sure they are first and foremost representing a religion and those who take to their platforms think and act in the same way.  Those wishing to use their talents for entertainment or financial gain go their own way not hang on to the coat tails of Spiritualism which is a religion. 
If we are going to save Spiritualism as a religion, it is time for the splitting of the ways.  Spiritualism should let it be known that many of the ‘readings’ that have attached themselves on to us, are nothing to do with what we are about. We should think what Spirit’s view is on all this and also take into account the suffering that the pioneers of Spiritualism had to go though, to make Spiritualism a respectable religion. Also as a last word - what must Gordon Higginson, the longest serving President of the Spiritualists' National Union, over 23 years from 1970 to 1993 be thinking? He devoted much of his life to Spiritualism, becoming a Minister of the SNU as well as a teacher of mediumship and also Principal of the Arthur Findlay College at Stansted Hall.   Will all his work have been in vain?

My next workshop at the Glasgow Association of Spiritualists 7 Somerset Ave, Glasgow,  G3 7JT  Saturday 5th October at 10am