How To Become A Spiritualist Minister
How To Become A Spiritualist Minister – Dr. Kenneth James stood behind the pulpit in the Church of the Spirit and smiled at the congregation. It was one of the first Sundays of the year when it felt like spring and there were few people; about 40 people had trickled in for the morning meditation. “When you talk to someone about spiritualism,” James began, “they often say, ‘Isn’t that just talking to dead people?’ He paused and let the audience laugh at his remark.He asked what was wrong with that question, and the answer quickly came from one of the chairs: It is impossible to talk to the dead because there is no death.
Spiritualism is based on the concept of “continuity of life”, where death is merely a transition to another state of being. Spiritualists believe that intuitive people, known as mediums, can receive messages from the spirit world and deliver them to people in this world. This idea fascinated Americans in the 19th century
How To Become A Spiritualist Minister
Century, when sisters Leah, Kate and Maggie Fox from Hydesville, New York traveled the country demonstrating their apparent ability to communicate with the dead through mysterious knocking sounds. The Fox Sisters fell into widespread disrepute during their lifetime, and for most people their legacy is an obscure historical footnote. But not everyone thinks they were frauds.
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“Today our lives are so busy and everything is so immediate. Everything has to be ‘now’ for us to become extroverted.” — Dr. Kenneth James
Today, in a society full of information and a rapidly increasing number of Americans leaving religion altogether, spiritualism survives. There are currently four Spiritualist churches in Chicago, according to the National Spiritualist Association of Churches. Chicagoans attend services to receive readings, connect with lost loved ones and become mediums (“We believe that everyone and everything is a medium,” says Cher Dyle, 64, associate pastor at Church of the Spirit.) Mediums perform in Chicago and elsewhere. organizes workshops on how to become more sensitive to the spirit world. These workshops encourage people to reflect and look inward for answers—a feat that was surely easier in the 1800s when multi-screen media wasn’t competing for their attention. For the people who faithfully attend these churches and events, the disruption of modern technology only shows how important the practice is. But it is unclear whether this belief is enough to sustain the religion through its third century.
The Church of the Holy Spirit is housed in a modest brick building no larger than the houses on either side of it in Logan Square. A passerby could mistake it for the house itself if it weren’t for the tall glass mosaic and the sign planted in the front garden. In the window stands Jesus Christ holding a lamb, a remnant from the building’s former life as an evangelical church. But the sign says what it is today: “Chicago’s Oldest Spiritist Church.” The church was founded in 1897 and has been in the Logan Square building since 1915.
“People recognize it in themselves. They have the experiences that make them think, ‘I want to know more,’ and here is a church that accepts that.” – Cher Dyle
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Spiritualism is its own religion, but a look at the Chapel of the Spirit Church reveals strong ties to Christianity. Churches are equipped with hymnals that include Christmas classics such as “Oh Holy Night,” and congregants recite the Lord’s Prayer during services. Not even Jesus is entirely out of place with the stained glass, as some believe he was a spiritist medium. “Jesus is an example for us. We call him our brother,” says Dyle, who, like many spiritualists today, was raised as a Christian. 22 years ago, Dyle was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and underwent surgery. On the recommendation of a friend, he went to the Church of the Spirit for a reading, which he says gave him the confidence to go into surgery without fear.. He became a member, took “expansion courses” to develop his mediumistic abilities, and six years ago began himself to teach them.
Many of the church’s 100 or so members converted to spiritism after an experience their previous religion could not explain. Some interpret intuition or inner knowing as a sign of budding clairvoyance and come looking for answers. “People recognize it in themselves,” says Dyle, “they have experiences that make them think, ‘I want to know more,’ and here’s a church that accepts that.”
“I realize there is something special about me. It’s a daily acceptance,” says Paloma Webster, 53, a hospice nurse who has attended the Church of the Spirit for 10 years. Webster says she started seeing visions at a young age, which scared her. sometimes. She says that being part of the Church of the Spirit community has helped her realize her own abilities, which in turn have helped in her chosen work. “You have to be a special person to work at a hospice,” she says. “You have to believe in something bigger than what you see.”
Outside spiritualist churches, respected mediums hold opening classes, as do entrepreneurs give motivational speeches. Pastor B. Anne Gehman is a medium and clairvoyant known for using her skills for mundane pursuits such as helping the police solve crimes and find missing children. He is the subject of the book
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, by Suzanne Geisemann, which opens with an anecdote in which a young Gehman predicts the assassination of JFK while working as a dental assistant.
On the weekend of April 18, Gehman, now a youthful 79, led a workshop on Developing Your Spiritual Potential at Unity Church on the North Shore in Evanston. About 100 people attended the event, some of them carrying worn copies
Hoping for an autograph. Gehman is poised and petite, with gray curls and tomato-red nail polish. He spent the first hour of the event asking an astonishing number of questions, most of which he answered as quickly and confidently as if he were asked his home address.
In fact, for 18 years Gehman had a pet poodle that he dyed pink by dousing its fur with beetroot juice. One day after her pet died, Gehman was lying in bed when she noticed small paw prints on the covers approaching her and felt a sudden warmth on her side.
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A woman asked why some people are born intuitive while others have to work for it. Gehman replied that it was like music, where everyone can develop their skills, but some people are natural prodigies. Dyle has a similar response when asked the same question: “Almost anyone can learn to play the piano. But most people aren’t Beethoven.”
In teaching spiritualism to non-Beethovens, Gehman turns to psychometry—the practice of reading objects. In Gehman’s workshop, participants were divided into pairs and asked to exchange personal belongings. They exchanged rings, watches, glasses and spent a few minutes in silence focusing on how they felt holding them. At the end of the exercise, some enthusiastically raised their hands and described how the vision of the landscape materialized before them, or how deep sorrow overwhelmed them when handling their partner’s trinkets. Others sheepishly admitted that they had seen nothing and felt nothing.
“We must constantly develop. At some point, the pastor might consider retiring, so we really need to work on leadership and development. – Cher Dyle
As a teacher, Gehman was good-natured but firm, warning his students to use their new abilities wisely. “You wouldn’t go looking in someone’s pocketbook. Don’t read their aura without asking,” he said. When someone dared to describe intuition as “weird,” he cautioned against the word. “It’s not strange. It’s wonderful.” Some participants seemed genuinely interested in developing their intellectual potential, diligently taking notes and questioning the logistics of reading. But others likely paid the $60 admission fee just to see Gehman at work. It was evident in the way the audience perked up. when it was time for him to show his skills. .
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Gehman gave readings from a podium, calling people from the crowd and describing the figures he claimed to see around them. These characters were typically family members or distant ancestors (Gehman depicted one woman in Victorian dress, another in traditional American Indian dress), but they always had an emotional connection to the recipient. Love, he explained, was like the force of gravity that binds the spirit world to our world.
Dyle gives messages in a similar fashion at the Church of the Spirit, calling them “platform readings.” On Spring Sunday, when James had finished speaking, he sat down in the pulpit, which was flanked on one side by an American flag and a flag bearing the spiritist symbol of the sunflower. He called upon the companions one by one to stand and receive their message. “I see three generations standing around you. They accept what you have done and want you to go further,” he said
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