“I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December.” ― Oliver Herford

Well, we’ve nearly made it! This is officially our final iConnect newsletter of 2023. It is a privilege to step into a new year together. In a world like ours, it’s essential to reflect on how much we’ve grown and learned from one another. From shared wisdom and thoughtful discussions to valuable insights and captivating stories, this past year has been a remarkable journey of discovery. This community has been a wonderful teacher, opening my world to different points of view, challenging my understanding, stretching my thinking, and enriching my spirit. I am endlessly thankful for this organisation, and for the support I have seen you all gift one another. My hope, as we say goodbye to 2023 and welcome the new year, is that we all continue to learn, grow, and honour not just ourselves, but each other. Every moment we spend as a part of this community is an opportunity for growth and transformation. May the coming year bring along enlightening conversations, challenging dialogues, and heartwarming connections. May it also foster understanding, compassion, and unity. May we all always remember that each person we encounter is deserving of love, kindness, and respect. We would also like to remind you that our office will be temporarily closing for the holiday season. Our team will be away starting from 1 pm on Friday 15th December and we will return on Tuesday 2nd January! We wish you a joyful December season!

Do you have an offering for our community? Have you recently published a book? Discover a podcast that inspired you? Want just to say hello? Drop an email below!

It brings us immense pleasure to welcome not one, but two new trustees to our Board, Marco Fernandez and Eleanor Tabi Haller-Jorden. Both these remarkable individuals bring a wealth of experience and fresh perspectives that align with the enduring values and goals that characterise our OneSpirit family.

Marco, with his 25 years of experience in the conference industry, has taken market-leading events to new heights, steering his company, Worldwide Business Research (WBR), successfully even during the most challenging times of the pandemic. Apart from his impressive business acumen, his spiritual journey is equally inspiring. Raised Catholic, Marco ventured into broader spiritual practices as an adult, now cherishing a daily spiritual programme that helps him stay centred and present. We’re sure his knowledge, leadership and faith will bring valuable insight to our community.

On the other hand, Eleanor is a renowned thought leader and CEO of The Paradigm Forum GmbH (TPF), a global consultancy operating at the fascinating intersection of talent innovation, social justice and workplace redesign. Over the years, Eleanor has occupied central roles in influential companies like Catalyst Inc., J.P. Morgan, HNC Consulting and The Learning Labs. Her commitment to social justice and her prowess in promoting organisational inclusion are aspects we eagerly anticipate incorporating into our OneSpirit community, to make it even more inclusive and diverse.

We believe that Marco and Eleanor’s unique spiritual journeys, underpinned by their vast professional expertise, shall enrich the OneSpirit community as we grow together on this path of interfaith understanding and unity. Please join us in extending a warm welcome to Marco and Eleanor! Learn more about them and meet our other trustees here.  

OneSpirit’s Professional & Personal Development Offerings

Manifesting: A Visioning Day for the Year Ahead

Embark on an empowering journey with OneSpirit Minister, Rev Malaika, in the inspiring course “Manifesting: A Visioning Day for the Year Ahead.”
This immersive in-person workshop, held at the Wesley Centre, Manchester Multifaith Centre, provides a serene atmosphere for self-reflection and
intention-setting for the upcoming year.

Taking place on Sunday, January 28th, 2024, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, attendees will have the opportunity to delve into the past year’s experiences and outline their aspirations for 2024. The intimate, supportive setting enables participants to use various methodologies such as arts and crafts, music, meditation, breathwork, and dance to set their intentions for the year. Together, we will also create captivating vision boards, a tangible and motivational representation of
your goals. These boards will serve as a guiding force and act as a constant physical reminder of your intentions.

In the spirit of fostering community, we will gather for a shared lunch during the workshop. We kindly request each participant to bring an item of food or drink, either homemade or purchased, to contribute to a collective meal. Learn more and sign up here! 

Participation Rates:

  • ROSIM: £32
  • Non-ROSIM: £40

Join us in embracing the upcoming year with renewed energy, clarity, and a vibrant sense of purpose!

    Spiritual Practice Circle

    Ignite your spiritual journey with our “Spiritual Practice Circle,” a special space for personal introspection and connection. Ideal for OneSpirit Ministers committed to ongoing spiritual growth and anyone in the OneSpirit community seeking to deepen their inner life. The Circle serves as a structured space to connect with like-minded individuals, aiding in the development and maintenance of your own regular spiritual practice. It provides a flexible plan allowing for drop-in participation whenever you find it most beneficial to your journey. Join us monthly on your own tempo for this unique journey from the comfort of your home! Guided by OneSpirit’s Guest Tutor, Christopher Marcus, you’ll delve into six central exercises and enrich your spiritual dimensions in our online sessions starting January 2024. Embrace this spiritual opportunity that awaits you on the last Tuesday of each month (30th January, 27th February, 26th March, 30th April, 28th May, & 25th June) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm over six transformative months.

    Discover the experiences of individuals who have previously collaborated with Christopher through their testimonials (more available on the course page!):

    • Mark: “A mind and heart-opening experience… One of the best things I have ever done for myself.”
    • Lindy: “This course demands dedication and promises immeasurable rewards… I wholeheartedly recommend.”
    • Patrick: “The course was equal parts challenging and enriching… The tools taught are for lifelong practice.”

    Participation Rates:

    The cost per session:

    • ROSIM members or OneSpirit students: £20 per session
    • Non-ROSIM members: £25 per session

    The cost for all 6 sessions: By booking all 6 sessions in advance, you can save £20!

    • ROSIM members or OneSpirit students: £100
    • Non-ROSIM members: £130

    Book your slot and embark on your spiritual journey today! Just click here. 

    The Return of Faith in Black Lives Matter

    We’re thrilled to invite you to the updated and revamped edition of our much-favoured workshop series. The updates we’ve
    made make our workshop series a living, breathing entity, growing, and enduring, just like the issues it addresses.
    Do you want to meaningfully walk alongside your neighbours, ensuring you are an active ally? Then come join the next offering of our
    engaging workshop series with Revs Malaika and Sue Cockerill from OneSpirit. Delve into the heart of the Black Lives Matter cause,
    and explore individual and collective actions. We are honoured to collaborate with the Faith Network 4 Manchester, a platform fostering
    unity and fostering community relationships. Our Zoom sessions run on 6th, 13th, 20th, and 27th Feb 2024, 7:30 to 9:00 pm (final
    session ends 9:30 pm)
    for maximum benefit, commitment to all sessions is recommended. Click here to register your interest! 

    You can view more testimonials here, but here are what a few of our past participants say:

    • Joy Gleeson: “I was inspired by the honesty and openness of the facilitators…
      I learned that it is important to stand up for the rights of others.”
    • Sylvia Robertson: “A very important topic… I was inspired by Malaika’s and Sue’s commitment.”
    • Lynne Davies: “I was inspired by the courage and compassion of both Malaika and Sue… This is the work to do with love and forgiveness,
      of self and other.”
    • Emily Ford: “Given I arrived in a state of overwhelm, I left the workshop with fire in my belly and an enthusiastic mindset to continue.”

    Participation Rates: The fee for this workshop series is £25, and the full fee will be donated to Windush Defenders: this group was created at the height of the Windrush scandal to support individuals apply for legal documentation, and today, they continue to work with and advocate for communities experiencing hostile immigration control.

    Join this transformative journey and shape the future together.

    Introducing… Sacred Activism: Living Non-Violence

    Embrace the power of peace and embark on a transformative journey to living non-violently. Join our 5-week online course, where you’ll discover the essence of Sacred Activism and the impact of non-violence in both your life and our world. Throughout this enriching experience, you will… examine the different structures of violence that exist; unfold the concept of non-violence as a sacred activism; and learn how to put your spiritual aspirations into practice effectively for peace and justice.

    Delve into thought-provoking weekly themes:

    1. What is violence?
    2. How am I violent towards myself and others?
    3. How am I violent towards the Earth?
    4. What’s the medicine for violence in myself and the world?
    5. Making commitments.

    Join us on this insightful journey, conducted via Zoom:

    • May 4th, 11th, 18th, and 25th, 2024 [10:00 am – 12:00 pm]
    • June 1st, 2024 [10:00 am – 12:00 pm]

    This course is open to OneSpirit Ministers and the wider public! We aim to foster a safe space, free from judgments, to increase understanding and challenge conditioned patterns of thinking and acting. Please note, that this is potentially challenging work requiring self-awareness and emotional resilience. Led by the experienced Sarah MacDonald, immerse yourself in this incredible opportunity to practice non-violence and create lasting change. Ready to embark on your journey towards Sacred Activism?

    SAFE. MEANINGFUL. TRANSFORMATIVE. Embrace Sacred Activism and shape a non-violent world!

    OneSpirit’s Community Offerings + Announcements

    *most sections below are ‘clickable’ links, meaning, if you click anywhere within the text or image, it will take you to a page where you can learn more! 

    Sonya Leite Supervisor Spotlight

    What year were you ordained? 2002

    What inspired you to pursue training with OneSpirit? I wanted to explore and deepen into the Mystical in Religious / Spiritual Paths, experientially, beyond dogma and the academic perspectives.

    Why do you believe supervision plays an essential role in developing and deepening a minister’s practices? The Supervision we offer is one of supporting the strengths and creativity of each person and providing a safe haven to explore anything that may be blocking their self-expression and confidence. We all need someone who can see us, hear us, champion and challenge not only our work but who we are being. Supervision is an outward manifestation of oneness – of seeing the other as one and a part of ourselves and guiding our Ministers/Students to integrate this understanding.

    What motivated you to expand your ministry by becoming a Supervisor? The need for Support and Supervision is necessary when navigating our connection to the Divine. The importance of being witnessed and held as others deepen their faith through trust and exploration. To offer a safe space to anchor our Spiritual Counselling Model and learn to use it wherever Ministry calls them to be.

    What services do you provide? Spiritual Counselling, Supervision. Head, Heart and Body Practices for the whole being, accessing your imagination (Mind) inspiration (Spirit) intuition (Body).

    How can clients get in touch with you? Through email and 15-minute exploratory phone calls.

    What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of being an ordained interfaith minister? To represent an organisation that trained me to live and work with my Spiritual beliefs.

    What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of being an accredited supervisor? Building the depth of intimacy that can be formed when two are gathered and focusing on finding our way back to love. We are both growing and accepting the inner authority of our Divine wisdom and building a sacred relationship with the God/Love of our understanding.

    How do you put your personal ministry into practice? I take care of myself so I can care and serve others. I use ritual and Spiritual practices in my daily routine. I commit to ongoing professional development, Supervision and yearly retreats. I use sound, music and movement to clear imbalances. I offer bedside singing for those in transition, silent retreats and holistic dance classes to activate our natural joy and peace.

    Read more from Sonya here & meet all of our Accredited Supervisors here. 

    Honouring Rev. Sarah Cox Rev Sarah Cox

    We would like to honour the life of Rev. Sarah Cox, our beloved graduate minister who passed away in March of this year. Sarah, a cherished member of our spiritual community from the graduating class of 2007, significantly contributed to promoting unity among diverse religions. She leaves behind an indelible mark on not only her classmates but everyone lucky enough to have known her. We would also like to celebrate her remarkable life and the enriching teachings she shared. May Sarah’s soul find tranquil peace, and may her teachings continue to guide us and light our ways. Our deepest condolences go out to her family, friends, and all those touched by her work.

    If you’d ever like to say words in honour of our fellow community members who have passed, send us a message and we’ll add your words to our next letter. Thank you for being with us.

    The Month of Ministry

    #MonthOfMinistry is making a comeback! This time around, it’s powered by not just OSMIC, but also by us! Dreamed up by Rev Jo Royle (revjoroyle.co.uk), and supported by Rev Sass Adams (Spiritunity), #MonthOfMinistry is a month-long campaign/online event to promote Interfaith Ministers and our work to the public as well as to network with one another. Humanists have #HuMayNist, which they post against in May, this is an equivalent for Interfaith Ministers.

    Leading up to the grand kickoff on 1st February, they’ve arranged for journaling sessions and a social media workshop. It is a chance for ministers to share and explain more about themselves, their beliefs, and their ministry with their followers. It gives you a chance to network with one another, making it easier to find and follow one another. Click here for more details and don’t forget to check your inbox!

    A reshare of Georgina's instagram message.

    I wanted to reshare this post, as it feels especially relevant today. The caption reads, “I blow out the candle. Smoke wafts. Billows. Floats like blossom in the stream. Moves like Martha Graham. I think of transformation and the beginnings and endings of things. The lives of those I have loved and lost. The turning cycle of seasons. The full moon that now already wanes. There is peace in the movement of smoke. A slow dance of memory and longing. I watch it and meditate on all that I am grateful for, hoping that by starting there, I can become the snuffed-out flame, sending the light of love out into the world.” Read more from Georgina here.

    OneSpirit Ministers in Connection Offerings
    • Monday Meditations

      • Led by OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers every Mon from 7.30-8pm GMT. Starting Dec., join us for meditations focused on healing and inner peace. Join the session here – absolutely FREE!
    • Free Tai Chi Classes

      • Directed by Rev Suzanne Abernathy. Join us for the TIGER Class (Thursdays 7-8pm GMT), CRANE Class (Thursdays 8-9pm GMT), or DRAGON Class (Saturdays 7-8pm GMT). Learn more about the benefits of Tai Chi and our online sessions here.
    • Upcoming Events

      • A 6-part series of interactive workshops on Interfaith exploration of Meditation with Rev Gary Dean, starting in the new year. Each session will focus on a new technique.
      • Join our #MonthOfMinistry (1 – 29 February 2024). OneSpirit Interfaith Ministers are invited to post on social media using the hashtag #MonthOfMinistry.
      • Register for our #MonthOfMinistry Journaling Session 2 with Rev Sass Adams on 15th December, 4-5pm GMT. We’ll explore how we show up in the world. Join us here.
      • Attend the Winter Solstice Online Ceremony for the Universal Christ with Rev Jenny Miller on 21st December, 6-7pm GMT. Join us on a journey into the heart of Winter Solstice, exploring the interfaith perspective of Universal Christ. Register for FREE here.

    Learn more here! 

    Did you catch this post on our social media this month?

    A message shared by OneSpirit on Facebook during November.

    Rev. TonyA Mc Callion

    Year of ordination/graduation: 2020Rev TonyA Mc Callion

    Tell us a little bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Dublin. I left when I was 20 years old. I lived in New York for 7 years returned briefly to Ireland for 3 years and now I am in living in London for the past 18 years.

    What inspired you to pursue training with OneSpirit? What inspires anyone to pursue training at OneSpirit is, I have no doubt, a combination of factors. I was encouraged and inspired (and still am) by my niece Rev Karen Dempsey who completed the training a few years prior. Also, during my time spent living in the US, I have been fortunate to travel the world and spent time for example living in Saudi Arabia transporting Muslims to and from Mecca during Hadj as well as transporting UN peacekeepers and military personnel to different parts of the world awell as refugees. This very much opened my eyes to religious and political conflicts throughout the world and the humanitarian aspect.

    What services do you provide? I am a work in progress!

    Read the entire Minister Spotlight on Rev TonyA here!

    A reminder about our community feature — Minister Spotlights!

    It’s hard for me to find specific ministers to spotlight each month, due to the size of our minister community. To make things smoother, I’ve created a form you can fill out for your profile. This form includes five essentials and eight optional questions to inspire you while creating your spotlight. Depending on participation, I’ll publish one or two spotlights each month.

    This is a fantastic chance to broadcast your talent, services, and distinctiveness to our wider community. The spotlight form will be available in every iConnect. There is also now a special page for Minister Spotlights… meaning, if you partake now, you’ll be one of the first to be showcased!

    Ready to participate? Just fill out the form below and I’ll handle the rest.

    Our newly designed website features spaces for fostering connections and uniting our community members. The Community Collection page is specially reserved for users to submit their blog posts. Every submission, be it a book, resource guide, diary entry, song, podcast, or nuggets of wisdom through Instagram, contributes to the collective wisdom available to all. This collective endeavour is especially significant for the ministers and students in our community. Their shared resources or inspiring elements can serve as guiding stars for those in the early days of their spiritual journey, or those who are just needing some inspiration wherever they are. Each piece of wisdom shared stands as a testament that no one is alone in their spiritual voyage. We invite you to submit contributions through the form below! We’ll collate these into a comprehensive post enriched with easily shareable links, data, and images. Additionally, a dedicated space will be created in the member forums for further discussion and resource sharing.

    Welcome to our Supervisors Form, designed to showcase your unique voice in our community. As a minister, supervisor, or both, your experience is precious, and we aim to share it. In the form, feel free to share stories, insights, and services. Complete as much as you wish, no field is mandatory, aside from basic information like contact info. If something is missing, add it!

    This form should be used to highlight you uniquely – complete it in a way that showcases you how you wish to be showcased.

    Upon submission, we’ll create a spotlight on you and your distinct services, akin to a supervisor’s page on our past site. Visitors will click your name, and access a dedicated page to learn about your contributions. What’s more, you will have a dual profile – one as a minister and one providing deeper insights into your role as a supervisor. We want it to be easy for our students and ministers to find help when needed.

    Awareness, Religious, and Spiritual Days

    *These days come from the Interfaith Network, if a day is missing it is not deliberate! More can be found here.

    01 Dec World AIDS Day
    02 Dec International Day for the Abolition of Slavery
    02 Dec – 08 Dec National Grief Awareness Week 2023
    03 Dec International Day of Persons with Disabilities
    05 Dec International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development / World Soil Day
    07 to 15 Dec – Hanukkah: A Jewish celebration honouring the Maccabean Revolt’s early recovery and rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the 2nd century BCE.
    08 Dec Feast of the Immaculate Conception: The day that Roman Catholics celebrate Mary’s conception without original sin.
    09 Dec International Day of Commemoration and Dignity of the Victims of the Crime of Genocide and of the Prevention of this Crime
    09 Dec International Anti-Corruption Day
    10 Dec Human Rights Day
    11 Dec International Mountain Day
    12 Dec International Day of Neutrality
    18 Dec International Migrants Day
    18 Dec Arabic Language Day
    20 Dec International Human Solidarity Day
    21 Dec to Jan 01 – Yule: Yule is a pagan celebration of the winter solstice, which marks the longest night of the year and therefore the sun’s return. On this day, the earth’s axis tilts away from the sun in the Northern Hemisphere and the sun reaches its greatest distance from the equatorial plane. Slowly but surely, the days start to get progressively longer. Because of this shift in seasons, Yule’s overall theme is rebirth and renewal.
    22 Dec – Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday: Guru Gobind Singh is the tenth Sikh Guru and spiritual master. This date commemorates the day he was born.
    25 Dec – Christmas: An important Christian holiday commemorating the birth of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ
    26 Dec – St. Stephen’s Feast Day: The day commemorating St. Stephen’s life and service as he became the first Christian to die for the faith.
    26 Dec to Jan 01 – Kwanzaa: This African American cultural observance, first held in 1966, spans seven days of celebrating each of the seven principles of Kwanzaa (Nguzo Saba) by lighting a candle daily.
    27 Dec International Day of Epidemic Preparedness

    Staff details:
    Executive Director: Alan Briscoe
    Head of Finance & Operations: Abi Aiyegbayo
    Finance Officer: Danielle Wilson
    Learning Design Specialist: Maddy Davies
    Communications & Marketing Lead: Kailee Smart
    Communications & Learning Design Assistant: Ava Dècage
    Our mailing address is:
    OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation
    The Gateway
    85-101 Sankey Street
    Warrington, Cheshire WA1 1SR
    United Kingdom
    Copyright (C) 2023 OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation. All rights reserved.
    If you have something you’d like for us to share, just pop it into an email and send it our way.
    Send it to us before the 25th of the month (latest) and we’ll do our best to include it in the next newsletter.
    Can’t wait to see what you have to share!