My blog is a little late tonight because I’ve been out most of the day. I have been to Harley St Spiritualist church in Barrow in Furness to do the services. With a warm welcome waiting for me it was a pleasure to connect with the Spirit World in this lovely church.
Driving home I started to think about all of the churches I have been to over the last 10 years. When I took my first tentative steps into doing church services I’m not sure I realised how many times I would be the one passing on messages to others. It was more about exploring a new ability I had discovered than being the medium on the platform. Yet over the years I have had many a warm welcome and the support of the people attending that evening.
However, I also thought about the churches where the welcome wasn’t so warm. Sometimes the church was struggling to stay open so people were stressed. Occasionally there were only a few stalwarts left to run the church so there was more stress. Now and again there was a distinct atmosphere. A sort of ‘this is how we do it here’ energy that cooled even the warmest smile. In some of these churches the welcome didn’t even include the congregation.
Of course I recognise that it’s not easy to run a church or centre. I’ve been involved in doing both and certainly at the start of this year was stressed about both. Creating a warm welcome is based on every one of the team focusing on the same things. Again not always easy.
So what are the churches doing right when I feel like I’ve had that welcome? I love it that people smile at me. Even better if they offer me a cup of tea. I might not have one until after my service but an offer is always a kindness. Also I love if the people running the church are smiling at everyone who comes in. I know there are jobs to do before a service but a ‘meeter and greeter’ kind of person can get everyone feeling relaxed. Especially if it’s the first time someone has been to a church.
A church is a family too. For someone who needs the connection to their loved ones feeling comfortable with the people at a church is important. Families do fall out. But I feel it’s best to save disagreements for later. Falling out creates low vibrational energy that can affect the medium, the Spirit visitors and the church congrgation. And as in any family disagreements need to be resolved with an eye on loyalty. Nothing is solved by trying to get people on one side or another. The church is much more welcoming if everyone strives to be loyal to the church not factions within it.
I also feel that the people running the church, the helpers, members, mediums and supporter have to remember something very important. The church represents the Spirit World.
When someone new to the Spiritualist movement steps over the threshold do the feel that the place they have stepped into is peaceful and loving? Do they find people who are there to serve on behalf of loved ones in Spirit? That is the only reason to offer mediumship demonstrations. So it is on all of us involved in churches and centres to take responsibility for creating that warm welcome no matter what. After all, spirituality is something lived, shown through action and behaviour. Not just talked about and then ignored.
I also feel that my thoughts about a warm welcome carry over into other aspects of my life. We seem to find it really hard to work together. To welcome the differences between us as a rich source of choice. I know I have rejected others because I didn’t value their abilities in connection with our joint work. But the Spirit people haven’t given up on me. They prompt my thoughts. They draw my attention to being of service. And they are helping me to change so that I can do better, serve better and live better with the people around me. Next time you are in disagreement with someone ask yourself if you are being loyal to your spiritual beliefs. The answer might surprise you ?
Day 378 of my blogging challenge.