FROM OUR MINISTER
By Wendy Deakin
By Wendy Deakin
It is with a little sadness that I recently made the decision to retire as Minister from our beautiful church. This came into effect on 20th October when I chaired my last afternoon church service at 2.30 pm. The ageing process comes to us all and with it the slowing down of one’s physical and mental abilities. I have been struggling with driving in Brisbane traffic for some time now and it is time for me to spend more time at home with my dog, catch up with pool maintenance and tackle acreage and gardening issues. I still hope to pop in on the train and co-ordinate the Tuesday morning sessions, as well as the last Thursday of the month’s spiritual development group at 10 am. The new Minister will be Helen Rees who has been a part of the church committee for many years and is well known to most church members and I have every confidence that all those elected on the committee at the AGM will continue to work in service to ensure the church remains, as it always has, as a beacon of light for spirit to help those in need to move forward in their lives.
I have been overwhelmed and touched by the many beautiful messages of thanks, cards, flowers and good wishes from so many people and I am grateful that spirit led me to become an active part of the spiritualist movement and in particular this special church in 1982 when I was in my late 30s. Many of the loving souls I worked with at that time have now passed to spirit and I count it as a special privilege that I was able to conduct their funeral and memorial services to ensure they had a great send-off and were given tangible acknowledgement for their valuable contributions to the church. As I look back at that time, I am aware that one of those people I used to sit in circle with, is still actively involved in the church and is our current long-serving President! Neil Davey is a stalwart of the church and I cannot thank him enough for his support and friendship for so many years. He brings stability, sense, logic, and diplomacy to this church and will be hard to replace when his time to retire arrives. Well done Neil! You deserve a medal!
I thought for my final magazine contribution I would, in a sense, precis my thoughts about the evolving journey of spiritualism and pathway of the church as I have observed it since I first became interested in this philosophy.
The early days of physical mediumship have moved on to the more mental form of mediumship that we see today which is safer for the medium. There are certainly still some physical mediums practising this form of mediumship but it is definitely not as common as it was. The whole purpose of proof of survival mediumship, on which spiritualism is founded, is to awaken people to the fact that life is eternal and their loved ones are not lost to them, but it should also trigger within them the urge to question the very purpose of their existence and so much more. There are often discussions about the validity of demonstrations of clairvoyance where both psychic and mediumship abilities are used. All forms of mediumship/clairvoyance should be to comfort and help the recipient as much as possible. Sometimes this comes through contact with a loved one who has passed to spirit and their personal reassurance or message to the recipient but sometimes a psychic message in regard to a relationship, employment or physical issue may be more in keeping with a recipient’s needs.
Many people who come to spiritualist churches have abilities that they haven’t been able to share with friends or family members because those souls would not have been able to understand what the person was experiencing without bringing judgement in some way. When those with special abilities understand the range of people experiencing the power of the spirit emerging within them and all it encompasses, they are finally able to share their own experiences and feel acceptance and understanding at last. When their special abilities can be channelled to help others they begin to experience a beautiful peace within which comes with service.
I attribute much of my knowledge and understanding to the wisdom I discovered in the range of “Silver Birch” books and above all the simplicity of the teachings. Everyone has the opportunity to evolve spiritually whether they consider themselves religious, agnostic or atheist. Spiritual progress revolves around the word ‘service’ and recognising the special abilities each one has that can be used to help souls in need who happen to cross one’s path in life. The beauty of spiritualism is that it has no creeds, dogmas, rites or rituals; is accessible to all searchers and seekers of truth and is, in reality, a way of life and not an orthodox religion as the mainstream churches profess to be. The only guides to life we have are our Seven Principles which are on the wall to the right of the rostrum. For new people coming to the church for the first time, do introduce yourself, have a chat to any of the people there who will refer you to whoever is the best person to suit your needs. Some people may think they have to be clairvoyant, clairaudient, clairsentient, or a great healer to participate in the activities of the church. This is totally wrong. If you are compassionate, open, helpful, a good listener or basically a kind person who cares about their fellow man, you can make a difference. Not everyone comes just for a “reading” or “message”, although this is always nice, but there are people who are lonely, worried or grieving who just want a few kind words of encouragement to help them on their way. This church always welcomes those in need but also the loving souls who using their own special abilities are drawn to helping others. The development groups and workshops held here encourage souls to explore all the different aspects relating to spiritualism and we have one of the best spiritual libraries in Queensland.
The church celebrated its centenary in 2013 and I am so happy to have been a part of those 100-year celebrations. There will always be periods of transition when changes happen, as they must, but I have absolute faith that this church with the help of spirit and the dedication of those who serve will continue with loving intent for many, many more years. I give thanks for the opportunities I have been given to make a difference in the lives of those suffering loss and I leave the Ministry in the safe hands of those who follow me.
Love and blessings,