20th – 24th... I had a busy but enjoyable time at the Glasgow Association (SNU)...
6th – It is always a pleasure to attend Perth Spiritualist Church (SNU).
7th – A short journey this time to the Kilmarnock Spiritualist Church. (SNU)
13th – Again staying in Ayrshire I took the service at Ayr Spiritualist Church (SNU)
14th My last Service of the year was at the Pollockshaws and District Spiritualist Church, Glasgow.
A Survey on Spiritualism
The Two Worlds magazine has an interesting article connected with a survey on Spiritualism. The results were not far-off the results of a straw poll two mediums and I conducted early last year. The result of the latest survey is as follows: - To be with like-minded people - 65% / to understand my spirituality - 54% / to understand my spiritual experiences – 49% - Eventual mediumship - 40%
I have said until I am blue in the face, many attend our churches to be among others on the same wavelength as themselves. To be part of a friendly group and to make new friends. To find a little haven quiet, safe and away from the rat race we have around us today. To be encouraged to be yourself and not to be what others expected you to be. To be an equal part of the church/religion. That is why I am always trying to encourage greater participation by the congregation in the service.
Most of us at one time in our life will ask: -
“Who am I?”
“What is our true nature?”
“What is my purpose in life?”
This is where there is a need for discussion nights – now a thing of the past as far as spiritualism is concerned. Not to be in way out jargon to be in simple terms with all getting involved.
For many years now I have been trying to make sense of the spiritual experiences of others. I always start of by saying “Never believe anything any medium tells you – including myself – unless it makes sense to you. You are the one who has had the experience and the medium can to their best to explain what they feel has been happening. The final say is yours, whether you think the medium’s interpretation is right or not”.
If the questionnaire had only applied to those new to spiritualism evidential evidence would have received much more than 40%. That is very important to most of us until we get the evidence of survival of life after death. To keep getting this would get very boring and turn people away from doors. Once we can accept that we live on after death our thirst for knowledge increases. That is where we come up against a brick wall. There is little in our churches to whet our appetites. Spiritualism will progress as a religion when committees realise that the focal point of the church is a variety of different subjects not just the medium and the clairvoyance.
Sitting it Out
My last visit to a church in the old year and the first in the New Year I was not on the platform, but sitting in the congregation and I thoroughly enjoyed the change. The first service of the New Year I attended the Glasgow Association of Spiritualists and Spiritualism Medium Diane Mitchell was on the platform. Being only the third day into the New Year it was understandable numbers were down on a regular Sunday evening. Diane asked the congregation if they would sit on one side of the church and close to the front instead of sitting in ones and twos all over the church. This concentrated all energy and one area and it turned out to be a fantastic evening. Maybe it’s something other churches should try when numbers are low.
When I started out on the platform I promised myself that if I only lasted for a few months or many years I would still sit regularly in the congregation to get the view of spiritualism from both sides. I did this regularly for many years, but as my bookings increased I let the congregation side lapse. That I now feel was wrong and hope to correct that in 2016.
Glasgow Association of Spiritualists SNU has been in existence since 1866, and celebrates its 150th anniversary with a week of special events from 23rd – 30th January 2016.
Looking Back 2015 and Forward to 2016
My fears of previous years about churches may not be able to afford the rising rent for community centres and halls as once again not transpired. It looks like we have been looked after in that direction.
Spiritualism the religion drifting towards entertainment is not abated, but I don’t feel it has got any worse the last 12 months. That is maybe because the workshop and seminar side of things is proving to be more lucrative. Going to such venues can certainly help you as you travel along your spiritual path, but as an addition not a substitute for good structured development lasting for a few years.
Churches and organisations seem to forget those in there are those in their ranks who only want to know about our religion and their psychic abilities. Yet, most of the education is geared towards setting foot on the platform. I have tried in my own small way to redress this, taking workshops and dealing with individuals at no cost of almost any cost, from myself.
I still hear complaints about small children attending our services. There are those who suggest that the earliest age to be in our congregation should be twelve-years-old. This saddens me greatly as I am always pleased to see children of any age at our services.
Maybe I’m being a bit petty or old-fashioned when I feel that taking the divine service male mediums should wear a collar and tie.
Looking forward to 2016…
Churches will have more development circles of a structured nature without the plan of having anyone on the platform asap possible. That they will also cater for those only wanting to understand the basics of spiritualism and their psychic abilities. This can easily be taken by the local medium or long time member of the church in sharing their experiences. Hopefully at little or no cost to those attending.
Social media is now part of everyone’s life. It is also played a big part in the spiritualist movement good and bad. Let our churches think twice before they comment on this media. Informing who the forthcoming medium it opens up spiritualism to a lot of people who may never have known or thought about us. But let it be done in a sensible way – the medium is Jim Smith from such and such a place. If the medium has SNU or other qualifications by all means mention them after their name. Don’t make it all flowery as you are mentioning an entertainer about to appear on stage. Nor the ‘International Medium’ tag. You are representing a religion not a cabaret night.