You are on page 1of 5

SPIRITUALSISTAHS

Issue Two April 2009


SPIRITUALSISTAHS

Welcome to the
April issue of
‘Spiritual
Sistahs’, an
introduction to
Interfaith
spirituality for
women of the
spiritual path.

Many Paths - Valid and Equal


Promoting the understanding that no faith or belief system
is above or superior to any other!
Words By Rev. Anita McKenzie

Long before the birth of represented in Buddhist, cultural flavors wherever


organised religion, Sikh, Muslim, Hindu, in the world they have
religious scriptures and Christian, Bahai, Humanist, ascended to.
missionaries, African Rastafarian, Jewish
people had spiritual Kemetic, Shamanic and I think that in essence
practices developed over other indigenous all religious and spiritual
hundreds of years and traditions; they are also traditions have the same
based on a thorough Interfaith (to name a few). loving messages and
respect for divinity of the African people are values at their core, which
earth, its seasons and other traditionally a deeply means that we can just
gifts which they honored spiritual people and true get up the mountain in
and revered for their life- to their nature, are able different ways.
giving forces. to recognise that God is
called by different names; Often the way in which we
Although it is not widely and they have initiated and have been socialised into
acknowledged, today Black embraced many of the our values, beliefs and faith
people of African heritage globes spiritual and can promote a sense of
belong to many different religious traditions, separateness from others
faith groups and are contributing unique whose values, beliefs and

1 - © Spiritual Sistahs 2
Issue Two April 2009 faiths are different to our own.
When we think of our values, "Spread Love
beliefs or faith as being '’right'’
Spread love everywhere you
this can imply that the 'other' is
go: first of all in your own
'wrong' and this attitude can
house. Give love to your
keep us trapped, instead of children,to your wife or
enabling us to grasp that basic husband, to a next door
human need for divine neighbor . . .
connection to God through self Let no one ever come to you
and other. without leaving better and
happier.
Let us acknowledge there is a Be the living expression of
sad history and current reality of God's kindness;
kindness in your face,
SPIRITUALSISTAHS

deep conflicts within the human


family, many in the name of kindness in your eyes,
kindness in your smile,
different religions. For millennia,
kindness in your warm
precious teachings about love
greeting.
and unity that lie at the heart of — Mother Teresa."
every religion all too often have
been overshadowed by those
who preach intolerance and be approached as a potential names.
distrust of the other. How many source of enrichment.
have us felt dismissive another By believing there is One God, Dedicated to the Inner
persons faith based simply on or One Truth, and that different
what we’ve heard about that Journey
paths can and do lead to the
faith? True and loving acceptance — From Prayer At Night by Jim Cotter
Source of All, we are being
are also the lessons of inclusive and embracing of a “Give me a candle of the Spirit, O
compassion and humility. universal truth that lies at the God, as I go down into the deeps of my
heart of all religious spiritual being. Show me the hidden things, the
The great spiritual teachers as creatures of my dreams, the storehouse
traditions. Let us celebrate with
open-hearted men and women, of forgotten memories and hurts. Take
courage, the values of respect,
have been able to transcend the me down to the spring of my life, and
reconciliation, forgiveness and tell me my nature and my name. Give
perception of 'difference' and
fellowship that different faiths me freedom to grow, so that I may
demonstrate their divine gifts can offer to us, as we honor and become that self, the seed of which you
through embracing all of planted in me at my making. Out of the
support peace-making and the
humanity, regardless of values, deeps I cry to you, O God.”
awareness of our unity in the
beliefs or faith. Differences, can
Spirit of a God that has many

Words of Wisdom He may be clearing you out


for some new delight.
The Guest House
The dark thought, the shame,
This being human is a guest house. the malice, meet them at the
Every morning a new arrival. door laughing, and invite them in.

A joy, a depression, a meanness, Be grateful for whoever comes,


some momentary awareness because each has been sent
comes as an unexpected visitor. as a guide from beyond.

Welcome and entertain them all! ~ Rumi ~


Words of Wisdom
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
Please feel free to send your comments and
favourite quotes for this section to Anita by who violently sweep your house
email to; healingimageinterfaith@yahoo.co.uk empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.

2 - © Spiritual Sistahs 2
Issue Two April 2009
SPIRITUALSISTAHS

Be still
Listen to the stones of the wall.
Be silent, then try
To speak your
Name.
Listen
To the living walls.
Who are you?
Who
Are you? Whose
Silence are you?

What is Spirituality?
Ascending the steps of spiritual development - part 1
Words and photo (above) Rev. Anita McKenzie

Being spiritual can mean different things to compassion, by promoting justice and equality.
different people and is misunderstood by a good
many of us. So to offer clarity, here is one offering:To live one’s life in union with the Divine and to
“Spirit is the life of God within [and between] us" realise the freedom of one’s higher Self is the
ultimate gift available to us as human beings.
— Saint Teresa of Avila
This enables us to pay attention to God’s personal
Holiness or sacredness is not simply a matter of communication with us and to respond to this by
personal spirituality or prayer – it can be expressed personally communicating with God, to grow into
through a commitment to social justice and to an intimacy with God; and to live out the
supporting other people to connect with their consequences of that deepening relationship.
divine or higher self, to their ultimate connection
with a God that is known by many different names. We can therefore explore and apply a spirituality
to life that is less theoretical and more personal
Regardless of where a person is on their spiritual and practical; and which is reflected in the quality
path (to God), there is always an opportunity to of our relationship to all things around us in our
explore a deeper relationship with the spiritual everyday lives. We can choose to contemplate what
aspect of being human. Spiritual development this means for our lives by focusing on the
can help us to learn how to live in peace and with messages of scripture and through our spiritual
practice.
3 - © Spiritual Sistahs 2
Symbols of
faith...
April Faith Calendar
Issue Two April 2009

Photo (opposite) by Anita McKenzie

Friday 3 April
Hindu - Rama Navami -Birthday of
Lord Rama, an incarnation of Vishnu
and the hero of the Ramayana

Hindu - Swaminarayan Jayanti.


This day marks the birth of Bhagwan Every person is a
Swaminarayan for those of the microcosm of the
Swaminarayan tradition. entire Creation.
When a person
Sunday 5 April brings harmony
Christian - Palm Sunday - The sixth between his
SPIRITUALSISTAHS

and last Sunday of Lent. Marks the G-dly soul


and material life,
entry of Jesus into Jerusalem and the
he brings
start of Holy Week.
harmony
between the
Tuesday 7 April whole of heaven
Jain- Mahavira Jayanti - The birth and earth.
anniversary of Lord Mahavira, the 24th —Rebbe, Menachem
Schneerson
Tirthankar and the "founder" of
modern Jainism
Christian - Maundy Thursday. celebrated according to the Lunar
Wednesday 8 April Christians remember Maundy Calendar, but this may change.
Jewish - Fast of the Firstborn - Thursday as the day of the Last
Observed only by firstborn males, on Supper, when Jesus washed the feet Sikh - Hola Mohalla (Nanakshahi
the day before Passover. This fast of his disciples and established the Calendar) is currently celebrated
celebrates the survival of Jewish first ceremony known as the Eucharist. according to the Lunar Calendar,
born sons from the 10th Plague of but this may change.
Egypt. Friday 10 April
Christian - Good Friday is the Friday Thursday 16 April
Thursday 9 April Jewish - Passover (final day). The
before Easter. It commemorates the
Hindu - Hanuman Jayanti - This festival eighth and final day of Passover.
execution of Jesus by crucifixion.
marks the birth of Hanuman, the Note that Passover lasts for seven
Monkey God. days in Israel.
Sunday 12 April
Jehovah's Witnesses - Memorial of Christian -Easter Sunday (Western)
Christians celebrate the Resurrection Saturday 18 April
Christ's Death. The only religious
of Jesus Christ - his return from death Sikh - Birthday of Guru Tegh
festival marked by Jehovah's Bahadur (Nanakshahi calendar)
after the Crucifixion. The most
Witnesses.
important Christian festival. Most
years Orthodox Christians celebrate Guru Tegh Bahadur (1621-1675) was
Buddhist - Theravada New Year. New
Easter on a different date. the ninth of the Sikh Gurus.
Year festival for Theravada Buddhists,
celebrated for three days from the
Monday 13 April Sikh -Birthday of Guru Angad Dev
first full moon day in April.
Sikh - Vaisakhi. The Sikh New Year (Nanakshahi calendar)
Jewish -Passover (1st day). The start Festival, which also commemmorates
of the season of Passover when Jews the founding of the Khalsa by the Guru Angad Dev (1504-1552) was
commemorate the liberation of the tenth Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) in the second of the Sikh Gurus.
Children of Israel who were led out of 1699.
Egypt by Moses. Work is not permitted Sunday 19 April
Tuesday 14 April
on the first two and the last two days Christian -Easter (Orthodox)
Sikh - Birthday of Guru Nanak
of Passover. Orthodox Christians celebrate the
(Nanakshahi calendar)- The founder of
the Sikh religion was born on 14 April Resurrection of Jesus Christ
1469. This festival is also currently

4 - © Spiritual Sistahs 2. P.O. Box 50069, London SE6 9AY, England. +44 (0) 208 465 0027 E: healingimageinterfaith@yahoo.co.uk
Sharing this page with you...
Your comments about issue ONE!
Thank you all for taking the time to offer your positive thoughts
Issue Two April 2009

“Congratulations that read really well”

“Thank you so much for this most wonderful


'collection' of inspired thoughts, reflections and
insights to remind me of the magnificent wonder
of womaness and my inner soul that feeds my daily
thoughts and being”

“Thanks for the lovely newsletter”

“Love the newsletter. Simple to understand and


interestingly informative”
Your Page
“I love your newsletter - I really do! Thank You” Contact:
I’m always
SPIRITUALSISTAHS

“Thanks so much for the newsletter. I really found looking forward


it inspiring and so beautiful. I appreciate your to connecting
thoughts on meditation” with you. Please
feel free to
“I'd enjoy to continue to receive issues of Spiritual submit
Sistahs. Am pleased how your work is developing” comments, brief
insights and
news for sharing
“I found it inspiring and thought provoking and I
- by email ONLY.
think it is another of your really good ideas. I loved
the images too. I would love you to continue
sending them to me.”

“well done very impressed with the newsletter it


looks really good..”

www.spiritualminded.podcastpeople.co
Happenings m/posts/30981 UK Aware 09
Online Interfaith Resources
Black Peoples Ministries Fri/Sat 17th/18th April. Green and
On Facebook the following net- ethical lifestyle show 020 8842 7500.
...an inclusive and affirming e-ministry www.ukaware.com
working groups have been set up:
for people of African-Caribbean
African Interfaith, Spiritual Sistahs, descent; their friends & families. See:
and Global Interfaith Ministers. www.blackpeoplesministries.com Internet Resources

Mind Body Spirit Festival For Family Worship Resources see:


Free e-book http://www.familyworship.org.uk/
The UK's biggest personal
empowerment festival is now Download Free E-Book by Esther
Leaders in Interfaith
celebrating its 33rd year at Austin, Author, Soul Coach, Workshop
The Royal Horticultural Halls Facilitator, Talk Show Host. See: http://
(20th-25th May) in the heart A day to reflect on the characteristics
publishing.yudu.com/Freedom/Af426/
of London.Visit: and skills needed by interfaith leaders
ReflexionsSoulStirri
www.mindbodyspirit.co.uk in the 21st century, and to explore in
or call for a free programme more depth the interfaith spectrum.
0207 371 9191 The Incredible Veggie Show Thursday 30th April 10am-4.30pm, at
St. Ethelburgas.
Sat 18th April, 10am - 6pm. Royal
Spiritual Minded Radio Show www.stethelburgas.org/
Horticultural Halls, SW1 aainterfaithleadership_leadersininterfait
Check out Spiritual Minded Radio www.viva.org.uk/london h.html
Show da official debut, da urban
show with da sanctified swagga and Internet Resources
leave ya feedback in da comment
section. New shows posted every For Family Worship Resources see:
Friday at 8pm.Visit: http://www.familyworship.org.uk/

5 - © Spiritual Sistahs 2. P.O. Box 50069, London SE6 9AY, England. +44 (0) 208 465 0027 E: healingimageinterfaith@yahoo.co.uk