“We are on Earth to take care of life. We are on Earth to take care of each other.” – Xiye Bastida

What is the Month of Ministry?

February 2024 marks the launch of the #MonthOfMinistry by the OneSpirit community, a social media initiative originally conceived by Rev Jo Royle and Rev Sass Adams in 2023. This event calls upon all interfaith ministers and students to showcase their work, share their personal journeys, and connect with others. By participating, ministers have the opportunity to expand their networks, collaborate, and increase the visibility of their practices. OneSpirit will support participants by amplifying their messages on social media channels — with no strict obligation to follow daily prompts, but with a strong encouragement to engage actively. The #MonthOfMinistry serves as a platform for ministers to express their convictions, celebrate their community, and discover the enriching diversity of their peers’ work.

Who participates in the Month? Who exactly are the ‘OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers’?

OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers are exceptional spiritual guides who cater to individuals of diverse beliefs and backgrounds. Trained by OneSpirit, they dedicate themselves to celebrating life, fostering spiritual growth, and exploring life’s deeper mysteries. With a vast presence spanning the UK, Ireland, Europe, Australasia, and the Americas, these ministers are readily available through platforms like Skype, Zoom, or voice calls, accommodating any geographical location or time zone.

Juanna Grace Ladaga

This is me… 

The month of February is a general invitation for One Spirit Interfaith Ministers – an invitation to be seen and to see, to share some of the work which we call our ministry and to reach out and connect beyond geographical borders. Each day we are invited to post a response to a question l, and today’s invitation is, who are you? So, a quick scroll through my photos to find something that captures a happy moment, a true moment, and I came upon this one …
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I’m an Irish woman, a mother, a Waldorf teacher, an Interfaith Minister, legal wedding solenniser, funeral celebrant, artist…
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Posting publicly is a threshold for me to cross, so I’ll post some days and maybe not others, but I’m reaching out, connecting and opening in Imbolc fashion, trusting, bold and full of hope… HELLO world.

    Chris Booth

    What is an Interfaith Minister? 

    I’m one of a group of people called “interfaith ministers” who have trained with the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation. We’re all very different, and our spiritual practice, and what we do that we call “ministry” covers a very wide range. What we have in common, I think, is a motivation to look for and nuture that which fosters connection at the deepest level – connect with other human beings, but also with the non-human world in all its aspects. I think the word “interfaith” is maybe a little confusing. Personally, I don’t see it so much in terms of dialogue between the various faith paths or religious traditions (though whatever can be done to support trust and understanding in that area can only be helpful). Nor is it about trying to find commonalities between different faith paths. For me, it’s more about drawing on what is best in all these traditions and working towards an expression of authentic spirituality that helps support us all (including those who feel alienated from traditional spiritual paths) in the direction of connectedness and compassion. I think we as interfaith ministers are about helping all people (whether or not they identify with a conventional religion) connect with whatever in them makes the world a better place, touch in with their innate compassion, find and express the love that enables them to live the best lives they can in the world.

    “We are on Earth to take care of life. We are on Earth to take care of each other.” – Xiye Bastida

    Click here for Chris’ website.

      Monica Douglas

      What is your relationship with ceremony and ritual?

      I believe that ceremonies that mark the important transitions and turning points of life are essential for our health and well-being. I also believe that meaningful rituals that we repeat on a daily or regular basis also help us to anchor, ground and elevate our consciousness. I am deeply enamoured with experiencing, creating and conducting powerful ceremonies that support us as human beings to navigate the highs, lows, ups and downs of life. It’s a fascinating 20+ year journey that began with me commissioning Laurie Sue Brockway to co-create an interfaith marriage ceremony with me in 2003.
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      I continued my journey with this exploration of authentic and meaningful ceremony and this resulted in me beginning my training as an Interfaith Minister in 2013. This training led me to start integrating ceremony and ritual into my life as essential components in the way I live and work. This fascination and commitment to helping people integrate ceremony and ritual into their lives has continued and inspired me to take up a part-time role as a Tutor on the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation Interfaith Ministry Training course. In this role, I’m training future Interfaith Ministers how to create and conduct unique ceremonies for people of any faith or none from before birth to beyond death. We are also exploring how to support people to choose, adapt, develop and be inspired to use repeatable rituals in daily life.
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      I also integrate this work into my relationship coaching and I often incorporate ceremony and ritual into my client’s coaching packages. This can be a commitment, vow renewal or marriage ceremony to expand into a loving relationship. If the relationship has ended our ceremony may be a Conscious Uncoupling ceremony or a releasing ritual to lovingly let go and bring closure. The Wild Wisdom Oracle Cards and meditations that I’m launching are also another part of this journey with ceremony and ritual. The purpose of The Wild Wisdom Oracle Cards is to provide inspirational support and rituals for the body, heart, mind and soul. For example, in The Wild Wisdom Oracle 44 Day Meditation Circle we practice a daily ritual with the cards and have ceremonies and circle shares at key points in our time together. It’s such a blessing to be sharing this work. I’m so grateful for this journey and the work that I’m doing right now in service of The Spirit of Love. What’s your relationship with ceremony and ritual? Pop a comment below or if you want to join me in The Wild Wisdom join The Wild Wisdom Oracle Kickstarter Group.
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        Leti Hawthorn

        Do I believe in God? 

        God is as real to me as… the blueness of the sky today;
        a force greater than humanity brought – the bees to feed on snowdrops,
        the daisies to open wide to the sunlight, and the catkins to blossom in the hedges;
        holy realms of creativity made – the golden yellow crocus
        and the winter aconite; and surely angels rolled those layers
        of mossy bark into curls to shelter insects…
        Yes I believe in God, and sometimes
        I need a tangible sense of divine love,
        a feeling of being held, in comforting arms
        so God becomes an angel. And sometimes
        I am filled with joy, and can feel God in everything,
        can see, smell, and hear the divinity of all
        so God fills the air, the breath, the music, and the beasts
        And yet always I hold all this in my own heart
        and offer myself humbly to others
        in simple service, becoming a bridge,
        a stepping stone, a holding space
        for all beliefs and none, for all doubts, all hopes, all paths
        – or that at least is my intention… And so it is

          Tricia Hudson

          Happiness is… 

          Happiness is…..being fully present with Nature, rooting, canopied, webbed…..spinning on a balance wheel, loved by my dog, hiding from the wind whilst loving the rays, baking and being fed, swimming (always) and family (always omnipresent)….
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          Happiness is the little things that are actually so so big…feeling the world all around me, above me and below me, knowing that my ancestors are with me and inform my life…..
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          Happiness is what I make of life 💚

            Peter Findlay

            Reflections… 

            Thanks to Juanna Grace Ladaga for blessing my feed with this. I was trained by the then Interfaith Seminary by the deeply-rooted Fay Barratt and the ever tuneful Olivea Dewhurst Maddock in Manchester starting in 2006: a process which ended almost fifteen years of depression and the Black Dog’s not been back since.

            Since ordination in 2008 I’ve done a wedding or two, buried a few and even facilitated equine assisted spiritual counselling. These days I am mainly a storyteller, educator and drinker of tea but the gifts of the Seminary are still with me and I feel a more ministry-led path is somewhere up ahead of me!

            I’ve known darkness and doubt and I fully believe in the power of stories and artistic expression.

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            Click here for Peter’s website.

              Aine Moloney

              What is the difference between a celebrant and an interfaith minister?  

              I’ve read the posts on what’s the difference between a celebrant and an interfaith minister, and I couldn’t have explained it better myself! I’ve been a celebrant. What’s the same? I’m still me and did my best as a celebrant of ceremony. What’s different? The layers of enquiry and wisdom I carry from my training, and the fact that my life is consciously lived as an opportunity for service. My vow is “I will give of my best to be present to the energy of Great Love as my Anamchara, my teacher, and my gentlest of guides.” Last week Great Love took me to lead a ceremony, a living wake, for a little person. Next week, if the very ill spouse lives, I’ll be doing a legal wedding for this couple and definitely will need Great Love by my side and in my heart. Thank you Brian for your help.

              Today Great Loves whisper to me was awareness of the beauty, connection, and interconnection of all when I looked out of my kitchen window at the cherry blossom we planted in our little city garden two decades ago. May we all blossom into our unique greatness, in the bosom of great love, shelter in the sad days, and Glorious joy on the best days, that holds us and reminds us of our perfect imperfection as we journey on this path we call life. Maybe today our service may be smiling at a stranger, feeding a stray cat, or being kind to ourselves. It’s about going our way with all of our hearts, in awareness of Divinity’s spark in all. I meant to write a sentence or two, and I’ve gone a little over my intended wanderings. Hope it resonates with one person!!

                Davina McCluskie

                Where do you find peace?   

                Where do I find peace?

                Out in nature in particular the outer isles,

                In my home with candles lit and

                pets snoring gently around me…

                And amongst the trees…

                I find woods and forests esp peaceful and healing.

                  Helen James

                  What does your typical day as an Interfaith Minister look like?

                  It’s always different. But spending time in nature is my anchor each day. It grounds me, especially when I’m video editing. It helps me release all the electro-stress, be grateful and savour each magic moment. Today the rain has gone and the sun is rejuvenating me. This ancient yew is in the churchyard of St Bartholomew’s Church in Much Marcle, Herefordshire is one of 70 ancient trees across the country. I have a few sacred trees that help me centre. Their wisdom sustains me.

                  Today has been about being quiet, filled with self-care & contemplation. The dark moon helped me release things no longer needed, clearing & preparing for today’s new moon in Aquarius. So I’ve rested, had a salt bath, done a ritual of intention setting and manifested for the highest good. With so many solar flares the past few days, and cosmic energies ramping up, no wonder I’m tired – are you feeling it?

                  Have you managed to carve out time to stop today?

                  “Breathing in I calm body and mind. Breathing out, I smile. Dwelling in the present moment, I know this is the only moment.” – Thich Nhat Hanh, Being Peace

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                    Andrew Jones

                    What is your spiritual practice?

                    As someone who could probably be labelled an animist or a pantheist, I see the sacred, the Divine in all things.

                    As Yogi Bhajan says, “If you can’t see God in all, you can’t see God at all.”

                    As a result, I see lots of things as spiritual practice… walking in nature, writing poetry, baking a cake, filling the bird feeders, enjoying a delicious meal, and cuddling my partner. Anything done mindfully and as a way of connecting with that which gives life meaning, the mystery bigger than all of us is, to me, a spiritual practice. Mary Oliver beckons us to “Pay attention, be astonished, tell about it.” These words gave guided me for years in a life seeking to know the sacred in everyday life, to live in wonder. Things I do that may be considered more formal practices include meditation (I’m a trained mindfulness teacher) prayer (although my understanding of the word is very broad) spiritual reading and contemplation including poetry, and using various oracular methods of seeking wisdom such as The Tarot.

                    Do you do anything you consider a spiritual practice?

                      April Kling Meyer

                      What are your values?   

                      I have included a photo of my little baby self to impress upon anyone reading this how many of these values have been with me since the beginning, and are at the core of who I am. There’s at least one for every letter of the alphabet:

                      Adventure, Bravery, Curiosity
                      Creativity, Compassion, Determination
                      Delight, Encouragement, Enthusiasm
                      Excitement, Forbearance, Fascination
                      Fantasy, Generosity, Growth
                      Harmony, Honesty, Imperfection
                      Infinity, Imagination, Joy
                      Kindness, Loyalty, Mystery
                      Nonviolence, Nature, Nurturing
                      Openness, Patience, Persistence
                      Passion, Quantumness, Rapture,
                      Responsibility, Serendipity, Surrender
                      Serenity, Softness, Trust
                      Transformation, Uncertainty, Universality
                      Variety, Warmth, Xenophilia
                      Yoga, Zeal

                      What am I missing?

                      Click here for April’s website.

                        Jean Francis

                        How were you called to ministry?    

                        In a nutshell…

                        For many years I ran an outside catering business. A couple approached me to cater for their wedding, part of which was to take place in the groom’s grandmother’s rose garden; a very unusual happening back in the nineties). The choices the couple made and attention to detail were exceptionally thoughtful and truly beautiful. It was many years later that a dear OSIF minister friend invited me to an ordination ceremony in Oxford, there on the stage were Robert and Miranda Holden (the founders of OSIF) the penny dropped! They even recognised me in the crowd afterwards, it was a wonderful moment.

                         

                        With such synchronicity afoot why would I not sign up to the OSIF training, as soon as it became possible?
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                        Click here for Jean’s website.

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                          Peter Fairbrother

                          Reflections…

                          “Oh no I’ve said too much, I haven’t said enough…”

                          • I believe in the power of self-exploration to bring about inner healing and outer transformation in the world(s) we inhabit.
                          • I believe in self-care. I believe that our capacity to love others is directly related to our capacity to love ourselves.
                          • I believe in the sacred every day; that prayer can take many expressions, and that ‘God’ is manifest in whatever we hold with devotion and loving intention.
                          • I believe in calling out the bullshit that diminishes us from expressing our full potential, whether that be our own self-limiting beliefs or the negative projections of others.
                          • I believe in challenging poor leadership and the corrupted institutions in which it commonly prevails.
                          • I believe in speaking out against abuses of power, especially by those in positions of responsibility within religious/ spiritual communities.
                          • I believe in naming those abuses that are commonly ‘normalised’ in the everyday.
                          • I believe in the power of story; in particular honouring the stories of the forgotten and the marginalised, as the means to personal and collective liberation.
                          This is what I believe.
                          This is my ministry.
                          This is who I am.
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                          Click here for Peter’s website.

                            Barbara Campbell

                            My personal motto is… 

                            Life Smiles Within – Within Smiles Life… 

                            Click here for Barbara’s website.

                            Dinah Pemberton

                            What are the ethics you live by as an Interfaith Minister?

                            The Ethics that I am learning to live by and commit myself to for good working practice, integrity, personal and spiritual development are the Ananda 12 Precepts. Which is known as “Evening Hospice”. Evening Hospice are 12 precepts which were created by Swami Kriyananda to help people especially the Elderly to prepare for facing Death… I have chosen these precepts as I believe that they are of value now while we are still living. There has been so much family, friends and people that I have known that have died so suddenly and haven’t had this knowledge, guidance or support while they were dying.
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                            I believe that these 12 Ananda Precepts will help us to remember to not be afraid of death. But also teach us, lead us to transformation and change and help us to accept and honour the gift that we have been given called life.
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                            1. to face the past;
                            2. to relinquish attachments;
                            3. to accept past errors without regret as simple facts, trying to see that it was God, through their imperfect understanding, who did it all;
                            4. to release the grip of ego-consciousness;
                            5. to release, one by one, every desire and attachment into the Supreme Bliss;
                            6. to offer every regret into God’s love and Infinite Consciousness;
                            7. to forgive past hurts and betrayals;
                            8. to give out universal love to everyone, even to so-called enemies;
                            9. to help them see that everyone is motivated, however misguidedly, by the same soul-craving for Satchidananda;
                            10. to concentrate on infinity;
                            11. to practice devotion;
                            12. to learn to overcome fear by realizing that we are not this body.
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                            Blessings & Love, Rev Sushumna Dinah Pemberton 🙏🏾❤️
                            P.S I have included a picture of
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                            Click here for Dinah’s website.

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                              Jane Sheppard

                              Reflections… 

                              This month is #monthofministry.
                              Occasionally I’m asked how my ministry looks. It’s a question I ask myself frequently. As an Interfaith Minister, I don’t have a church or place of worship. I sit outside of that. I’ve slipped through funerals and end-of-life care to spiritual teaching and right back to ceramics. Working with clay brings me squarely and softly back to the heart of how I see life and my journey in it.

                              Clay is magical. Wild or manufactured, it’s an organic composite of every aspect of life, all squished in. It holds all the questions and all the answers. Working with it is a joy and a privilege. This past six months I’ve let it lead me to some deeper exploration of the themes I follow. After spending time in Orkney (returning to my home turf of the area around Stonehenge and Avebury) I let the anthropomorphic standing stones sink into my creativity. It’s been a journey.

                              Here’s just one of the investigations.

                              Thanks for your curiosity, instagram folk. The answer is that my ministry sits in my clay journey and I’ll happily share that with anyone. It’s a journey of constant observation and questioning. I call it deep listening. And it moves forward through touch. Sometimes I question whether that’s self-indulgent. But honestly, it’s far, far from easy. Not a day goes by when I don’t kick myself for not having a proper job! At the end of the day, though, it’s what I’m here to do. And in these times the examination of beauty (perception, prejudice and breaking into newness) feels actually extremely important. I’ll give myself just a little slack.

                              This piece differs a lot from my usual work, but if my work was static it would be a product, not a process. So here it is, a part of my journey into the mysteries.

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                              Click here for Jane’s website.

                                Noel Lockyer-Stevens

                                What or who ministers to you?  

                                A ‘what’ answer, rather than a ‘who’. I used to be inspired by many spiritual speakers and authors and by many “sacred” texts.
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                                I found the texts said pretty much the same thing:
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                                – live in the present
                                – don’t get too attached
                                – be loving and kind
                                – be peaceful and humble
                                – get on with life!
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                                Nowadays I read a lot less and do a lot more. Life is for living, and for me, I live it best in nature. I am not a city person. My
                                calm is found in places of natural beauty, whether I walk, run, cycle, scramble, swim or just sit, just give me nature.
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                                Click here for Noel’s website.

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                                  Deb Connor

                                  Do you believe in God? 

                                  Combining Month Of Ministry and Februllage 2024 is providing an interesting combination of prompts! For Month of Ministry today the prompt is…
                                  ‘Do you believe in god?’ And the Februllage prompt is ‘Escape’
                                  Here is my resulting collage made from items that were easily to hand… What does it say to you?
                                  I believe in LOVE
                                  I believe we all have PURPOSE
                                  I believe CREATIVITY is a gateway to deepening into SPIRITUALITY… Art is my ministry!
                                  I BELIEVE in something greater than myself, although I don’t use the label ‘god’
                                  I believe lots of things,
                                  And I believe we can (and do!) change our beliefs…
                                  What is a belief? A thought I repeatedly think.
                                  I believe in LOVE 💚☯️💚
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                                  Click here for Deb’s website.

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                                    Sass Adams

                                    What is an Interfaith Minister?

                                    It’s not generally clear what an Interfaith Minister is when you first come across one, read on for a brief rundown:
                                    ❤️ The OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation is a seminary within the UK that trains and ordains interfaith ministers. These ministers are entitled to use the prefix Reverend.
                                    🧡 We come from many different faith backgrounds and have different philosophies and personal theologies, yet we are well-versed in a multitude of religious traditions. We adhere to the Onespirit Code of Ethics.
                                    💛 We are trained in world religions and inter-spirituality and can assist people in identifying their own spiritual beliefs through a process of spiritual self-discovery.
                                    💚 We approach ‘religious duties’ from a more inter-spiritual angle. We perform the same or similar duties to members of other religious clergies such as weddings, funerals, baby naming, or any other ceremonies, spiritual development, spiritual counselling and pastoral care.
                                    💙 We share a commitment to serving individuals, couples and families in a very personal and respectful way, building ceremonies around the wishes, preferences, beliefs and practices of the clients we serve.
                                    💜 Like hospital chaplains, we generally do not proselytise on behalf of any one faith tradition, but respect and honour them all.
                                    🖤 Unlike faith-based reverends, we are generally self-employed!
                                    🤍 Interfaith Ministers are often found in the wild, carving out their own definition of what ministry means. It may not be spiritual counselling, it may not be ceremony, it could include social media (for example 😉), or art therapy.
                                    🤎 We have a reverence for all life, and we are called to serve.
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                                    Click here for Sass’ website.

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