Wednesday, 23 November 2016

My Diary … Absent Healing Hymn … The Baton of Spiritualism … Changes to Our Religion … The Day the Nation comes Together … Names that do not appear on the Cenotaph … From Auschwitz-Birkenau to the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium … Flowers of Hope

                                                     My Diary…


16th – Perth Spiritualist Church (SNU)

23rd – Largs Spiritualists Church.  Every night of the week there is a Spiritual Service somewhere in Scotland, but this is the only one of our churches that I know that has a service on a Sunday afternoon.

24th – Pollockshaws and District Spiritualist Church.

27th Arbroath Spiritualist Church (SNU)

30th – 1st November – Glasgow Central Spiritualist Church 64 Berkeley St, Glasgow G3 7DS

7th – Saltcoats Spiritualist Church.  A church that has been running for many years and going against the trend at the moment with close to a full house at every service.

13th – Ayr Spiritualist Church (SNU).  Probably my favourite hymn in the Spiritualist hymn book is sung at this church ever week and only at this church.  In almost quarter a century in Spiritualism this is the only church where I hear the;-

Absent Healing Hymn.

Enter in the Silence
Pause a while to Pray
Take the best that's in you
Give it all away
In our Healing Minute
Everyday we Blend
Loving thoughts We sent to
All our Absent Friends.

People tired and weary
Hurt by grief and pain
Sick in mind and body
All the World's the same
Father we would help them
Loving Thoughts, We send
Helping all Thy Children
With Thy Love to Blend

Father We are learning
How to live each day
Helping all Our Brothers
As We sit and Pray
There is much within us
We can always find
Willingly we give it
helping all Mankind.

Music:  In the Bleak Mid-Winter

Words Ron Bowers.

                                                        The Baton of Spiritualism

If only those in Spiritualism thought of their religion as President Obama though of his Presidency.  He considered himself as part of a team running in a relay race.  Being passed on a baton from the outgoing president, running a good race to make his team proud and then passing the baton of to the incoming president.  I urge spiritualists, mediums, healers, committee members and committed members of our churches to think in the same mode as President Obama.  For us to look on our time in our religion as being handed a baton from our pioneers and passing it on to future generations.  Not only passing our religion on, but passing it on stronger than it was when we are being handed the baton.  The thing about spiritualism today is that too many in the movement put themselves before our religion. Celebrity status and financial gain is their main aim.   Spiritualism must get back on track before it too late.  We owe it to the pioneers of Spiritualism.  



                                            Changes to Our Religion.

I’ve had several emails concerning the drop in numbers of those attending our services and asking what I think the solution is.  I have contacted several Spiritualists for their views and they vary greatly.  To do nothing and ride out the storm - to massive changes to our religion.  Spiritualism is not about numbers – it is about being loyal to God and Spirit and the pioneers of our religion.  Yes, there can be changes, but for the good of the religion and not just to increase number.  I will give my views in my next blog and they might not go down well with many in our religion.

                                         The Day the Nation comes Together

Remembrance Sunday, a day that the nation comes together to remember and honour those who have sacrificed themselves to secure and protect our freedom.  It is the only day of the year that the nation truly unites.  Then, the following day we are all back to normal in fighting our own corner and forgetting about the sacrifices made so we can live as we do. 
The effect of each war / armed conflict ripple outwards through several decades and for those that have been affected.    Those who have been injured the pain and disability can stay with them for the rest of their life, whether it be physical or mental.  Families have to carry on without a close loved-one.  There are those families who will mourn a loved one that gave up their life for their country, yet their names will never appear on a cenotaph.  They are the men and women who have not worn a uniform, but worked undercover behind enemy lines during war and in foreign lands during peace time giving their life for their country.  We must not forget them.


                                     Names that do not appear on the Cenotaph

Then we have a group that seldom gets a mention, but gave up their lives for the war effort.  In 1943 this country faced a crisis in coal production as there was only three weeks of coal stock available. This put the country’s ability to win the Second World War in jeopardy. The then Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, charged Ernest Bevin, Minister of Labour and National Service to increase coal production.  So, Mr Bevin decided that from all 18 to 24-year-old men conscripts drafted to serve in the armed forces one in ten were to be directed – on pain of imprisonment and irrespective of background or ability - to work underground in British coal mines.  Approximately 48,000 Bevin Boys (as they came to be known) undertook unskilled manual jobs to release more experienced miners to move on to coal production at the coal face.   There were many deaths and injuries in the mines, but there was little or no acknowledgement from the media (or officially) for their contribution to the war effort. Often, they received verbal abuse or were spat at in the street and asked, ‘Why are you not in uniform?  Coming from a mining family I always remember these men also on Remembrance Day.


               From Auschwitz-Birkenau to the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.  

Still on the subject of war…  If I had to mention the two places that I have visited that overwhelmed me, it would be Auschwitz-Birkenau Death Camp in Krakow in Poland and attending the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium.  Although not planned I was pleased that I visited Kracow before Ypres.  The former showed how barbaric and dark the human race can be - and the latter how we can overcome all the evil and return to the light.

I will not go into detail about Auschwitz-Birkenau as the displays were heart rendering and the atmosphere is eerie and silent.  It is often said that no birds sing or fly over Auschwitz.  I paid special attention to this and not a bird did I hear or see.   Isabel – my wife – said that as she turned away from the gas chambers as we were about to leave the camp she heard for a second a bird sing and into her head came the words “There is always hope.
Then the following year what an upliftment when we visited Ypres in Belgium and to the Menin Gate for the Last Post Ceremony that has become part of the daily life in the town. The Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing is a war memorial is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers who were killed in the area during WWI.  Every night since the end of WWII roads are closed as the people of Ypres take part in a moving ceremony.  The local people are proud of this simple but moving tribute to the courage and self-sacrifice of those who fell in defence of their town.

                                                   Flowers of Hope.

While talking to people of different nationalities after the service one old gentlemen said that on Remembrance Day he always plants bulbs and when they bloom in the spring to him is a sign of hope. The spring flowers show that even after the most severe winter or horrific war - brightness will always shine through in the end.  Since that day, I have always planted bulbs on Remembrance Day.