Thursday, 28 November 2013

Remembrance Service...More...Congregation Participation... Your Views... Good and Bad News... Cinderella...

27th / 28th October I was at the Glasgow Central Spiritualist Church, Berkley Street, G3 7DS.  There was a good turn-out on both evenings considering the atrocious weather.
31st – I had a short drive to ASK Dreghorn.  This church could be doing with a little more support so why not pop along at 7.30 on a Thursday evening to the Townend Community Centre, Townfoot, Dreghorn, Ayrshire, KA11 4EQ.
2nd November – It is always a pleasure to serve the Love and Friendship Spiritualist Church, The Couper Institute,  86 Clarkston Road, Cathcart, Glasgow G44 3DA.  President and excellent Spiritualist Medium in her own right Maureen Wisner (Land) still keeps the old-fashioned values of Spiritualism going.  More about that later... 
5th – I attended the Cambuslang Spiritualist Church which has recently returned to its home at the Cambuslang Institute, Greenlees Road after a major hall refurbishment....
9th – My workshop was postponed at the Glasgow Association and will now take place on the 16th November...
10th – It was a privilege to be asked to take the Remembrance Service at Largs Spiritualist Church, The Brisbane Centre, Bath Street, Largs,  KA30 8BL. (Sunday 2.30pm).
11th – It is always a pleasure to head north to the Smithton Hall,
Smithton, Inverness. IV2 7NP  The people of this region have great enthusiasm for Spiritualism.  I say once again as the churches in this area have many mediums from the central belt of Scotland taking their services – few of the churches down this way invite from the north is it not about time this changed?
14th – I attended the Pyramid Spiritualist Church, Leithland Neighbourhood Centre, Kempsthorn Road, Pollock, G53 5SR.  A friendly little church which gets good support from the local community.
16th – I take my final workshop of the year at the Glasgow Association.
17th - Family health problems meant I had to cancel my trip to Perth Spiritualist Church... I look forward to seeing you all next year.

In the past year or so there have been calls for changes to our Spiritualist services.  In some cases not just changes but demolishing what we have in our services at the moment.  There is always room for change but one step and a time with small tweaks here and there.  These alterations can add to congregation participation giving a more intimate and friendly atmosphere.  But we also have to remember we have more congregation participation during a divine service than most other religions. 

Attending the Love and Friendship Spiritualist Church and the Largs Spiritualist Church a week apart I saw little changes to the norm that other churches could adapt.

The Love and Friendship Spiritualist Church has stuck to a format that was used in the past and could be introduced again by many churches.  After the Service there is a get together with a cup of tea and then on to the healing.  After that those who have waited behind get the opportunity to say what they thought of the whole evening.  This gives those attending the chance to say how much they enjoyed or did not enjoy the evening, plus the chance ask a question about our religion.  I realise that it is not always possible with churches who rent premises to have time for this but where there is time it should at least be considered.

And what about the visiting medium staying behind for this part of the evening?  Distance to travel home, family and work commitments may mean that waiting that little bit longer is not possible but when they do stay on this is greatly appreciated by the congregation and the committee.  In the past I used always to try to stay on even though my alarm went off at 4am the following morning But
I have been neglecting this recently and hope to get back to staying on in situations like this in the future.
Often I hear Spiritualists complain that we don’t get to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph, by that I am sure they mean in London. But how many of our churches apply to be part of the local wreath laying service on Remembrance Day?  Or even hold a Spiritualist Remembrance Service in their church?  As far as the latter is concerned Largs Spiritualist Church does just that and I felt privileged to be asked to take the service.
For this special and important service a few changes to the norm was made.  Il Silenzio (The Silence) was played, there was not the normal address but that did not stop a few appropriate words just before the clairvoyance.  Something different for a very special day.  Well Done Largs Spiritualist Church!  So next time you hear a Spiritualist say to you “We never get to lay a wreath at the cenotaph” ask them if their church holds a Remembrance Service and if their church has asked for permission to be part of the local Wreath Laying Service?
And it is a myth that we are not allowed to take part in these services.  Stirling Spiritualist Church has been taking part in the local service for many years and Milngavie and Bearsden Spiritualist Sanctuary which has only been in existence for two years was laying a wreath the local cenotaph two months after they opened. 

Ben emails – “Tom – I enjoyed you posting the comments of others on what you had written in previous blog, as you printed the negative as well as the positive comments”.
Ben – I have had several similar comments so I will start them up again.
Plenty of comments on “Keep Spiritualism a Religion
R - “If all of those connected to spiritualism thought first and foremost that they were Ambassadors of Spirit and not trying to enhance their own ego then we would-be accepted more as a religion”.
Vera – “So many individuals within Spiritualism let us down – but we are no different from any of the mainstream religions, in fact we are better off in many respects”.
Tim – “Why bother about other religions we do our own thing and if you like us you join us, if you don’t, then you go elsewhere.  ...
David – “I hold my hands up to being a bit over the top on facebook in alerting members of mediums taking our service, yet I am more professional in the advert in our local newspaper.  I suppose I was not thinking what non-spiritualists will think of our religion”.  But will I change?  No.  after talking it over with other committee members we decide that one way is right for the local rag and the other way is more in line with those on facebook”.
? – “Tom – move into the modern world”.
Anne - “I was shocked that my church ran a coach to see a so-called big named medium in a theatre it just did not seem right”.
? – “It would only take action against one  award holder for giving a demonstration of clairvoyance where alcohol was consumed then the rest would think twice before doing such a thing.  I don’t think this is rife among award holders but if it does go on let us nip it in the bud immediately”.
Mav “Friends and work colleagues attend psychic and spiritual gatherings I don’t know the difference but I look upon it all as a sideshow”.
Lynn – “I agree with your comments 100%.  I get so embarrassed these days in what goes on in the name of SPIRITUALISM” on and off facebook. 
J Porter – “Face book has ruined so much of the good reputation Spiritualism has earned over the years”.
R Davies – “Two camps in the movement, those who are willing to serve spirit and those who look upon it as a money making venture”.
So a wide range of comment to what I wrote a few weeks ago.  It is good that we can feel free to comment but should our views not be directed towards our churches and district councils rather than on the Internet?  Give you churches and district councils your positive as well as negative comments. 

I spend much of my time TV switching between TV news channels and even with the foreign news channels a snippet of good news is hard to find.  This past week has been no exception with the reporting of; -
Our minds cannot take in the devastation in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan, destroyed everything in its path.  We moan when a few slates are blown off our roof in a gale and then reach for the phone to contact the insurance company.  We cannot begin to put ourselves in the position of those in the Philippines who have lost everything and their lives will be changed forever.
Then there was the horrific account of an Iranian gentleman falsely accused of being a paedophile.  He was beaten and burned to death on a British Street.  It is bad enough an innocent person being accused of a crime but to be killed by a mob in such a way is the most horrific thing that could happen to anyone.
By far the most uplifting news report was of Pope Francis hugging a badly disfigured man.  A truly great act of kindness and compassion.
A date for your diary...  Saturday, 11 January 2014 at 19:00   GAS Drama Group present “CINDERELLA” Glasgow Association of Spiritualists, 6/7 Somerset Place, Glasgow, G3 7JT.  Tickets are now on sale at £5.
Good to see the church branching out and I can see two benefits for the church and its members.  1... It will give fledglings good experience in standing up in front of a group of people.  2... Those members with no aspirations to become mediums will feel they are playing a bigger part in church activities.