2nd March I took the service at The Edinburgh Spiritualist Society (SNU) Albany Street, EG1 3HQ, where there was a good turnout. This is not far from both bus and railway station so if any Spiritualist is having a day in Edinburgh on a Sunday it may be a good idea to catch a later bus or train home. You could take in the service at 6.30pm in this wonderful old building. There is also an evening of mediumship on a Thursday at 7.30pm and an Open Awareness Circle at 7.30pm on a Friday evening.4th – I attended the Cambuslang Spiritualist Church at the Cambuslang Institute, G72 8JE.
6th – I only had a short journey to the Pyramid Spiritualist Church, Leithland Neighbourhood Centre, Kempsthorn Road, Pollock, G53 5SR.
10th – Pollockshaws and District Spiritualist Church, Langside Halls, Glasgow. G41 2QR. A church that has been on the go for many years and is always well supported
11th – I had an enjoyable afternoon giving a talk to Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church’s Tuesday Afternoon Group. (SNU).
12th – Taking part in debate on Spiritualism...
13th –I was taking the first Development Circle of 2014.
15th – I attended the SNU’s Scottish and Irish District Council’s AGM which was held in The Edinburgh Spiritualist Society (SNU) Albany Street, EG1 3HQ.
16th This was a busy day as first I was at the Glasgow Association’s AGM and then I was off on my longest journey of the week to take a service at to ASK Dunfermline... I was surprised to hear that ASK has been on the go for ten-years. How time flies as I took either the first or second service at this church and it does not seem like ten years since I first attended. ASK was founded by Jock McArthur and his sister Helen both now in Spirit.
17th – Psychic Research...
20th – I spend another enjoyable evening with the Development circle.
“All Things Bright and Beautiful”...
My mother’s favourite hymn, which was played at her funeral... I feel that these are the finest words ever put together. And the second line of the first verse “All Creatures Great and Small” was my favourite TV programme of all time.
I constantly get asked: “What is the Spirit World like?” Instantly when I hear this question my mind goes to the words of this hymn. The words create such an idyllic picture - this could easily be what the Spirit World is like;-
With everything bright and pleasing to the eye.
All of God’s creatures wandering about with no fear.
Flowers in abundance and blooming in every colour of the rainbow, even colours that we have not seen here on Earth.
Every species of birds known to man singing their hearts out.
All living things that have ever existed, still alive and thriving.
Magnificent purple headed mountains with peaceful rivers running by.
Marvellous sunrises and sunsets.
Will we have cold winds blowing? – I believe we will have the four seasons in the Spirit World as each season has its own beauty and grandeur.
Ripe fruits in abundance, there will be no one starving.
Plenty of tall trees and greenwoods providing homes and shelter for all species.
Lush meadows where animals graze and children play.
“We were given eyes to see and lips that that we might tell”. ... To tell our loved ones that a new world awaits them when their time on Earth is over. That on the ‘other-side’ we can still communicate with those whom we have left behind.
Those words by Cecil Francis Alexander were first published in 1884 for her “Hymns for Little Children”. It has become one of the most favourite hymns of all time. In days gone by Cecil could be a boy's or girl's name)
Yet – although I have said - the words paint a picture in my mind of what the Spirit World will be like; Ms Alexander was referring to Planet Earth. And her words would be a perfect description of our Planet if we add in the verse that so many hymnaries leave out;
The rich man in his castle,
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.
The poor man at his gate,
God made them, high or lowly,
And ordered their estate.
Now add this verse and you will see that it is not the Spirit World that Ms Alexander is describing, but here on Planet Earth. Our World has all that is mentioned in the popular version of this hymn, but when one adds the verse above it becomes abundantly clear that it is Our World that she is describing.
In the Spirit World there will be no rich or poor, no starvation and no illness, but it will be no five-star hotel. We will still have to work, work our way towards even another life, another dimension, but with fewer burdens than we have here on Earth.
I seldom mention reincarnation as it was a very touchy subject when I first came into Spiritualism. Now-a-days it is more freely debated. Some by the error of their ways may have another life, or several lives, back here on Earth. For those that have committed atrocities while in this life, well, it will be a long time before they enjoy the full benefits of the Spirit World.
But to those who ask me, “What is it like in the Spirit World? I try to get them to forget the Spirit World and look at all Planet Earth has to offer. There is so much around us that we take for granted or have never paid any real attention too.
Many of us in this life fail to notice the real beauty around us. We don’t need to be deep in the country to be enthralled by something that lightens up our day. Many a time we fail to notice the goodness in the hearts of many who do voluntary work to help those less fortunate than themselves. Not even voluntary work being part of an organization but a kind deed even as little as a smile to a lonely person...
Let us for the moment forget the Spirit World and concentrate on this life and making it a bit better for ourselves and in turn for others as well....
Spiritualists can have their say...
On the 15th I attended the SNU’s Scottish and Irish District Council’s AGM at The Edinburgh Spiritualist Society. I have attended this AGM for a good many years and the numbers attending have been steady for the past few years. This is extremely poor considering the number of members the SNU has in Scotland and Ireland. The numbers attending were the same or slightly less that the numbers attending the service in this church two weeks before when I took the service. There are excuses for our Irish members not attending because of the distance and the cost, but surely more Scottish members could make that little bit more effort to attend. No matter whether the AGM or half-yearly meetings are held in Edinburgh, Glasgow or Falkirk there is always a good turnout from the Aberdeen Churches. Surely it should be possible for all the SNU Churches in Scotland to sent at least one representative. Maybe the DC could think of fund or part funding at least one representative from Ireland to attend.
There are many who complain of SNU policies – myself included at times, but instead of complaining we should use the facilities open to us to make our points know. Attend these meetings and make your voice heard or write to the Secretary of the DC and your comments will be raised at their next meeting.
The following day I was at the Glasgow Association’s AGM and although there appeared to be good turnout there was only about one-third of the membership attending. Still... I suppose that a one-in-three members turning out in this day and age for such a meeting is not bad.
A friend connected to one of the major religions is envious that Spiritualists, have such avenues open to us to make our voices heard. He thinks is great that as individuals we can have our say on what is going on in our church and our religion. This is something we should not take for granted or abuse. Become a member of your church and an individual member of the SNU and you can have your say and vote on major issues. But if recent years is anything to go by we are not valuing the opportunities open to us. Spiritualism has become a place for infighting instead of harmony and open discussion.
If a Spiritualist has something they are not happy with then they should sleep on it for a few days, to rush in to any situation is usually fatal. Then to think “This may be what I would like to see happen – but what would Spirit’s views be on it?” If one still feels that their point of view is valid and it is about your church then talk to a committee member or send a letter to the secretary of the church. If it is on broader issues of Spiritualism then contact the Secretary of the DC.
But committees and church members all have to play a part...
Committees should hold at least one meeting a year apart from the AGM where members of the committee and church members can discuss what is going on within the church. We should not moan over a cup of tea after the service or on the doorstep of the church. Usually ongoing rumblings can be sorted out if both sides get the chance to quietly discuss the issues.
At the Church’s AGM it was suggested that a ‘suggestion box’ be put in place in the church, something I have mentioned many a time over the years and a few years ago GAS did have one. Every Spiritualist Church should have one. It was suggested that anyone putting a slip of paper in the ‘suggestion box’ need not sign it but this was turned down. I would agree with this in most cases but there maybe the odd time where someone wants to point out a situation without getting involved and I would say that in certain cases an unsigned comment should be discussed.
When I brought the ‘suggestion box’ in an earlier blog I had a lot of feedback and most said roughly the same thing – “We don’t need a ‘suggestion box’ our church as members all know they can approach a committee member with anything that they are not happy about”. It is precisely that way of thinking that makes me feel that we definitely need a ‘suggestion box’. Many may not want to speak to a committee member but put a few words on a piece of paper.
Martha comments on my “God’s Gift” from a previous blog.... “I certainly can take on board what you wrote about flowers all my adult life I worked with people in extremely poor health and nothing cheers them up more than a bunch of flowers”.
Maud; - “My mother worked all through the war in a hospital where injured soldiers from the front line were treated. The Matron had someone out every day summer and winter searching for flowers, so each ward had flowers for the patients to look at. Many a time during the winter is was one flower per ward, even a small branch with a few leaves on it. Your article brought back old memories to me.”
Bill; - “I read a quote once ‘Flowers are words that even a babe understands’. And that is spot-on as I make all my grandchildren aware of flowers from a very early age and their delight is plain for all to see’.
J. Frew “I keep a small part of my garden for what others may call weeds. I can see the beauty in the daisy, the dandelion and many more which other gardeners would be quick to destroy. I do not only get enjoyment from this small patch in the garden from the flowers but from the insects and birds that they attract.
Thanks to all who comment on the flowers...
And there were several comments on my comparing the Seven Principles, The Ten North American Commandments and the Bibles Ten Commandments...
Jake; - “You don’t need any of the three to lead a good life”.
Jock; -“The Ten Commandments are right to the point the other two are wishy-washy especially the 7 Principles”.
Ron; - I will stick with the Bible’s Ten Commandments if you don’t mind”.
Marie; - The Ten Commandments miss out the environment... I try to combine all three”.
. Photo by Stephanie Wilson...
My campaign for protection for the racehorse is never more needed than it has been this month. With March still not out there has been 22 horses breathed their last on British racecourses. And the total for 2014 so far if 41. 3 of the 41 fatalities saw horses collapsing while racing – raced till they dropped dead.