A Tribute and Call for Support for Helena Rose Kästner-Moss
We are reaching out to our kind and caring OneSpirit community in the wake of an unimaginable and heartbreaking loss. Our dear David, and his wife, Masha, are currently facing the devastating loss of their precious daughter, Helena Rose Kästner-Moss. Our hearts go out to their dear family. We firmly believe that we can make a tangible difference by coming together as a community, especially in times of loss. The simple act of giving, whether monetary or in kind, can alter their course, paving the way for comfort and healing. If there is an alternative means you wish to contribute, please reach out; a circle of practical support for them has also been created. In these sombre moments, every gift is more than a donation—it is an expression of compassion, a testament to the human spirit, and a beacon of hope in the darkest night. David and Masha have extended their heartfelt gratitude for any assistance offered. If you’re able and feeling called, you can donate here: https://gofund.me/b8925640
In respect and remembrance of Helena, we sign off: with love, always. If this situation is resonating, please remember you’re not alone. Reach out and talk. Love and help are always around.
“Let yourself be drawn by the stronger pull of that which you truly love.” ― Rumi
Hello Everyone, we hope that you can welcome February with open hearts! Embrace this new month as an invitation to replenish your energies and recognise the limitless opportunities waiting for you. We hope you are all in good health and good spirits, and if you’re not, please know that this community is always ready to help support you however we can. This month, our newsletter is brimming with updates and reflections – from celebrating our dear Maddy on the International Day of Education to paying our respects on International Holocaust Memorial Day. Not to forget an array of wonderful contributions from our cherished community. We’re also thrilled to present a range of both professional and personal development opportunities, some familiar yet updated, as well as exciting new and exclusive offerings. This month is also the start of the #MonthofMinistry (more below) – so there is truly a lot to share!
How about a little sneak peek for our wonderful community… I’m thrilled to announce that our next issue of iConnect will signal the start of enrolment for our Spiritual Development and Ministry Training! All the detailed information you’ll need can be found in the Training Menu sections on our website. But that’s not all; we have a host of informative, engaging activities lined up for you. These interactive sessions will enable you to explore and understand more about our offering. We’re also excited to share an abundance of enlightening content that delves into the immersive nature of our training and all the benefits it encompasses.
Stay tuned, further updates and exciting news are on their way! As always, we’re here for any queries or doubts – Don’t hesitate to connect with us!
Do you have an offering for our community? Have you recently published a book? Want to simply say hello? Drop an email below!
OneSpirit’s Professional & Personal Development Offerings
Dive Deeper with the “Spiritual Practice Circle”
Awaken your inner spirit with OneSpirit’s new initiative, the “Spiritual Practice Circle.” A sacred space designed for spiritual introspection and collective dialogue. Ideal for OneSpirit Ministers seeking ongoing spiritual growth, or any OneSpirit community member desiring a more connected internal life. Engage, inspire and build resilience as you mingle with fellow spiritual explorers and cultivate your spiritual practices. The Circle is moulded to accommodate drop-in participation – attend when it resonates best with your journey. Access this unique sanctuary remotely, and join our monthly gatherings starting in 2024!
Directed by our Guest Tutor, Christopher Marcus, delve into six core practices to deepen your spiritual understanding across our online sessions.
These enlightening sessions unfold every last Tuesday of each month (from 7 PM to 9 PM), spanning six months.
Participation Fees Per Session:
- ROSIM Members/OneSpirit Students: £20
- Non-ROSIM Members: £25
Step into your spiritual path today! Click here to join the journey.
Come join our free & enlightening Anti-Racism Reading Group
This is planned as a peer group. We will take turns holding the space. At the initial meeting, we’ll discuss the form the group might take, including some group agreements; how often we should meet; what kinds of resources we would like to use, & which readings we will start with.
The first session will run on Monday 12th February 7.15 – 8.30 pm, via Zoom.
The group intends to provide a safe and focused space for members to explore the impact of racism and white supremacy in their own lives. We recognise that racism and white supremacy affect us differently depending on our personal experience and our racialisation. For those of us with white privilege, that might mean becoming aware of racist ideas and behaviours that have been embedded within us, and learning about, coming to terms with and taking responsibility for the racialised harm we have caused and benefited from. For those of us without white privilege, it might mean sharing how racism and white privilege have impacted our lives.
Whatever our background and racialisation, we recognise that this is a profound enquiry that asks us to look at our lives from a different perspective, to share personal material and to be with difficult feelings. We will hold all our discussions within sacred space and use embodied practices and non-violent communication to support each other through the process of unpicking the influence of racism and racialisation in our lives and our work.
This group was dreamed up by OneSpirit Tutor, Sarah MacDonald. Sarah was ordained as a OneSpirit Minister in 2014 and has been working for OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation as a Group Tutor since 2019.
Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect and grow with your peers ~ this group is open to all OneSpirit Students & Ministers. Click here to access the Zoom link.
Please note, this is a completely free opportunity. There is no charge to participate in this Reading Group!
Dive into Social Justice: “The Sacred Work of Facing and Addressing Racism”
Kick off the new year with a powerful commitment to social justice through our revamped intensive course, “The Sacred Work of Facing and Addressing Racism.” Formerly known as the ‘Faith in Black Lives Matter’ Workshop Series, this updated version expands and enriches the conversation around racism.
Led by OneSpirit ministers, Revs Malaika and Sue Cockerill, the workshops examine the Black Lives Matter movement and share insights from their community activism. Additionally, collaboration with the Faith Network 4 Manchester offers fresh perspectives that foster interfaith unity. All sessions will be held online via Zoom. We ask that those who sign-up commit to all four sessions to experience the full depth of development offered by the course.
- Tuesday 6th February 2024, 7:30-9:00pm
- Tuesday 13th February 2024, 7:30-9:00pm
- Tuesday 20th February 2024, 7:30-9:00pm
- Tuesday 27th February 2024, 7:30-9:30pm
Take a stand and challenge the status quo by signing up on our course page. The £25 administrative fee is directly contributed to Windrush Defenders, supporting a meaningful cause.
Hear from participants who’ve been inspired by their experience:
- Joy: “I learned the importance of standing up for others’ rights.”
- Sylvia: “Inspired by Malaika’s and Sue’s commitment.”
- Lynne: “This work is done with love and forgiveness.”
- Emily: “I left the workshop with fire in my belly and an enthusiastic mindset.”
Embark on this transformative journey, sign up now, and become part of the solution!
Ignite Change with “Sacred Activism: Living Non-Violence”
Embrace personal transformation and global peace through non-violence with our 5-week online course. Unearth the principles of Sacred Activism and understand the power of non-violence in your life and beyond. Venture through weekly themes that examine the multi-faceted expressions of violence contrast non-violence as a force of sacred activism, and empower you to bring about peace and justice:
- Unmasking Violence
- Confronting Personal Violence
- Addressing Earthly Violence
- Exploring Non-Violence Solutions
- Crafting Commitments
Begin your journey through virtual meet-ups on May 4th, 11th, 18th, 25th and June 1st, 2024 (10 am-12 pm). Directed by Sarah MacDonald, this course welcomes the OneSpirit Ministers and curious minds alike, offering an open and safe forum that challenges deep-seated beliefs and behaviours. Expect intense self-reflection and emotional growth!
- ROSIM & OneSpirit Students: £32
- Non-ROSIM Members: £40
Ready for meaningful transformation? Click here to register. Enter the realm of Sacred Activism and build a non-violent future!
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!
Hot Teaser Alert! Community Development Role at OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation!
Ready to play a key role in weaving the fabric of our diverse and expansive community together? We’re in search of an enthusiast whose heart beats for community building, fostering connections, and creating bridges. As part of our mission to enhance our community and drive innovative, collaborative, and exciting projects, we’re scouting for talent right from within our own community— and remember, our community extends far and wide! So stay tuned as we unveil the full job specifications of the OneSpirit Community Development Role soon!
It’s not just a job; it’s a call for making passion your profession!
More information will be coming shortly! If this has piqued your interest, don’t hesitate to get in contact with us.
Participate in the Month of Ministry
The time has finally come! This February, we’re inviting all ministers and students to take part in the #MonthOfMinistry!
Originally kick-started by Rev Jo Royle and Rev Sass Adams in 2023, the #MonthOfMinistry is a month-long social media movement designed to highlight the work of Interfaith Ministers. Its goal is not only to bring your valuable work to the public’s attention but also to create a platform for networking and fostering a sense of community. It’s an opportunity to articulate more about your personal journey, convictions, and ministry to your audience. It enables us to build connections and collaborations, making it effortless to discover, follow, and learn more about each other’s work and approaches. Throughout February, OneSpirit will be amplifying your voice by sharing and reposting your content! In addition to this, we will be sharing our own content aligned with some of the prompts. After the month, a summary of all the ministers who participated will be published and a dedicated page for the month will be set up on our website, akin to the previous year’s.
- On Instagram:
- Click on the ‘New Post’ button to add a new photo or video.
- After choosing your photo or video, write a caption for your post.
- To tag OneSpirit, type ‘@BringItToTheAltar’ in the caption. As you type, Instagram will suggest profiles that match the text. Choose the correct profile from this list.
- Click on ‘Share’ to post your content with the tag.
- On Facebook:
- Click on the ‘What’s on your mind?’ box to create a new post.
- Write your post, and when you want to tag OneSpirit, type ‘@’ followed immediately by ‘OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation’. As you type, Facebook will suggest pages or people that match the text.
- Click on the correct page or person suggested to add them as a tag in your post.
- Click the ‘Post’ button to share your content with the tag.
- Remember, by tagging OneSpirit, you are not only helping contribute to our community’s engagement but also extending your reach to our diverse network.
- When you tag us in your posts, you strengthen our community even further! By networking and collaborating, we’re showing how far spread the OneSpirit community reaches. We’re not only spreading the message of ‘interfaith’ – we’re spreading the message of acceptance, inclusivity, and love. We’re showing that this community of open-hearted individuals is the norm, and it’s always ready to welcome more.
There’s absolutely no obligation to respond to each prompt, but we strongly encourage you to engage as much as you can. We are excited to see you get involved and cannot wait to learn more about you with your #MonthOfMinistry tags!
This is How it Starts, This is How it Ends… A White Man’s Response to BLM
We’re proud to highlight in this newsletter, an enlightening piece titled ‘This is How it Starts, This is How it Ends… A White Man’s Response to BLM.’ This insightful composition, penned by our very own OneSpirit Minister, Stephen Wright, is an earnest and perceptive exploration of racial discrimination. Delving unflinchingly into racial prejudice’s roots, Rev. Stephen traces its historical context, giving readers a nuanced understanding of how such deep-seated biases originate and persist in society. The piece employs a detailed investigation into racism’s overt and subtle forms worldwide. It throws light on the systemic discrimination institutionalised in our societies, as well as more covert microaggressions, unravelling the multiple ways racism manifests.
Rev. Stephen doesn’t shy away from tackling the profound impacts of these biases on both individuals and communities. He details the emotional, psychological, and socioeconomic fallout of racial prejudice, laying bare the multifaceted effects of this injustice. Crucially, ‘This is How it Starts, This is How it Ends…A White Man’s Response to BLM’ is not merely a diagnostic tool — it’s a guide for transformative action. Rev. Stephen lays out a comprehensive range of strategies and initiatives to confront and challenge racial discrimination head-on, actively calling readers to contribute towards cultivating an inclusive, equitable space for all, irrespective of race. This sincere narrative is indispensable for those seeking to play a constructive role in breaking down racial prejudice barriers and fostering awareness, empathy, and dialogue. Don’t miss out on this invaluable guide to understanding and combating racial discrimination, an essential read for our collective journey towards creating a more inclusive society.
“Northern men, Northern mothers, Northern Christians, have something more to do than denounce their brethren at the South:
they have to look at the evil among themselves.” – Harriet Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin.
International Day of Education ~ Meet Maddy, Our Learning Design Specialist
Greetings to all members of OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation! On this International Day of Education, we introduce you to a special member of our team, Maddy. Maddy is our Learning Design Specialist, and her life journey and beliefs play a pivotal role in the contributions she makes to our community.
A bit about Maddy
Maddy has had a deep-seated interest in spirituality from a young age. This interest led her to pursue a degree and a Master’s in Theology and Religious Studies. Maddy greatly treasures the visits she made to spiritually significant locations in Sri Lanka, India, and Nepal, experiencing first-hand how people across cultures find the sacred in everyday life. She resides in Birmingham with her husband, Mike, and their rescue dog, Lucy. Maddy and her family love basking in nature’s beauty by exploring the UK’s forests and beaches. It’s their favourite pastime over the weekends.
Journey to OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation
When asked about what led her to become the Learning Design Specialist at OneSpirit, Maddy shared her journey: “I completed a Theology and Religious Studies degree and trained as a secondary school RE teacher. I found my passion in teaching students with additional needs. Seeing the ways the mainstream school system was letting these students down led me to specialise in teaching students with a range of additional needs. This was a challenging but incredibly rewarding role. After a research master’s, I felt disillusioned with the school system and started to contemplate what I wanted from a job. That was when I found OneSpirit. The job was everything I loved about education and held a belief that education can change the world. Since joining in 2021, I’ve been learning and growing as the role and I evolved. It changed so much about how I see the world and myself in it. I’m excited about the future!”
Interfaith education: What it means to Maddy
For Maddy, interfaith education is crucial in our increasingly divided world: “Interfaith education can equip us to engage with others more compassionately and empathetically. It not only teaches us about different faiths’ beliefs and practices but also allows us to see the humanness in everyone.”
Announcing the Women’s Effortless Meditation & Wellbeing Retreat:
Are you longing for time… space… nourishment? Is your being crying out for creativity… nature… rest & play? Are you intrigued by meditation or searching for an accessible practice you can adopt in life? Are you yearning for the ocean… the mountains… some wildness? Then come retreat with us!
- Nourish your whole self with rest & play, meditation, nature & creativity. Just across Loch Alsh from the Isle of Skye in the stunning Scottish Highlands.
- 4 days, 3 nights, fully catered.
- Held from 21-24 March 2024
- Places limited.Learn an Effortless Meditation practice you can adopt in life and come out of the cave of Winter into the Spring at Ostara… the Spring Equinox… with Creativity in Nature and Forest Bathing workshops with the wonderful Ellis O’Connor & Isabel McLeish
Find out more and book your room now! www.revjoroyle.co.uk/retreat
~ From Rev Jo
Holocaust Memorial Day
On January 27th, OneSpirit commemorated International Holocaust Memorial Day (HMD) 2024, marking the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. As we recognise the profound impacts of the Holocaust, we also honour the courageous individuals who rose against the oppression. Two such individuals are Vali Rácz, a popular singer, who risked her life to hide Jewish people and a ‘deserter’ in her Budapest home, and Waldemar Nods, a grandson of Surinamese slaves, who provided a haven for Jews during the German occupation. Their heroic acts remind us of our collective resilience and the power of compassion. The Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT) reiterates that recollection paves the way for a safer, more compassionate and loving world. Especially in fragile times like these, we need to stand united against prejudice and hatred. Join us as we remember, reflect and stand together this Holocaust Memorial Day. Learn more about the remembrance here.
Mindfulness – A Path to Inner Peace and Spirituality
Check out our latest blog post: “Mindfulness – A Path to Inner Peace and Spirituality”. This piece offers an immersive dive into the world of mindfulness, stretching out its transformative influence on our mental landscape and the profound connection it bears with our spirituality. At a time when our lives are whirling rapidly in the vortex of modern chaos, the soul yearns for a sanctuary of peace, tranquillity, and spiritual connection. Enter mindfulness — a rejuvenating tool to navigate this labyrinth. Our new blog post unravels the essence of mindfulness, busts common myths and misconceptions, and hands out a practical guide for integrating mindfulness into your daily routine. Read through insights about why embracing mindfulness becomes pivotal in a booming world that draws us into a cyclone of distractions, leading to stress, anxiety, and emotional disruption. Learn how mindfulness can serve as an anchor, grounding us amidst tumultuous storms and rekindling the flame of our spiritual being. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned voyager on the path of mindfulness, this dynamic blog post ignited to serve as an exhilarating guide, is packed with actionable steps — meditation, mindful yoga, and the art of supreme presence — to seep mindfulness into the fabric of your everyday existence.
John Doherty Supervisor Spotlight
What year were you ordained? 2020
What inspired you to pursue training with OneSpirit? I wanted to integrate many years of exploring different faith paths and develop my spiritual counselling practice.
What motivated you to expand your ministry by becoming a Supervisor? I have been a Supervisor for 18 years, starting with a Masters degree in 2006. I wanted to support people in the caring professions as I had witnessed a lot of burnout and poor self-care. I also wanted to develop my own skills in this area.
What services do you provide? I offer a wide range of services, Supervision, Spiritual counselling, Mindfulness Retreats and courses and workshops on spirituality and Spiritual Wellbeing.
How do you personally interpret the words “interfaith” or “interfaith minister”? Interfaith isn’t a word that resonates with me as I am post-religious and consider myself spiritual, so I would go more with inter-spiritual.
Why do you believe supervision plays an essential role in developing and deepening a minister’s practices? I am a complete advocate for the role of supervision in a minister’s life as it provides a safe and sacred space to reflect, process the impact and learn from the “live” work of a minister.
What inspires you to do this work? I am inspired by my own experience of supervision as an essential tool for growth and all those who I have worked with over the years. My first impression was in 2004 when I attended a lecture by Michael Carroll who has written many books on supervision. I was so impressed I thought I wanted to be like him!
Did you catch these posts on our social media this past month?
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.
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 Feb Imbolc: Imbolc or Imbolg, also called Saint Brigid’s Day, is a Gaelic traditional festival. It marks the beginning of spring, and for Christians, it is the feast day of Saint Brigid, Ireland’s patroness saint. It is held on 1 February, which is about halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. Pagans and Wiccans celebrate this festival as the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox, which honours light, fire, and the return of life after a long winter.
- World Interfaith Harmony Week, 1-7 February: Recognising the need for dialogue among different faiths and religions to enhance mutual understanding, harmony and cooperation among people, the General Assembly encourages all States to spread the message of interfaith harmony and goodwill in the world’s churches, mosques, synagogues, temples and other places of worship during that week, on a voluntary basis and according to their own religious traditions or convictions.
- 02 Feb Candlemas: Occurring 40 days after Christmas, Candlemas celebrates the birth of light. It commemorates the presentation of Jesus at the Temple, which occurs in Luke 2:22-40. On this day, all candles to be used in the church for the next year are blessed. Also known as the Feast of the Holy Encounter, the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, or the Feast of the Presentation of Jesus Christ.
- 04 Feb International Day of Human Fraternity
- 06 Feb International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation
- 08 Feb Lailat al Miraj: Muslims remember Prophet Muhammad’s pilgrimage from Mecca to Jerusalem on this holy day. After his arrival, he ascended to Heaven.
- 10 Feb World Pulses Day
- 10 Feb Chinese New Year: This celebration of the new year on the lunisolar Chinese Calendar is one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture. It also influences the Lunar New Year celebrations of nearly 56 other ethnic groups, including Korea, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Malaysia.
- 11 Feb International Day of Women and Girls in Science
- 12 Feb International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and When Conducive to Terrorism
- 13 Feb World Radio Day
- 14 Feb Ash Wednesday: This day marks the start of Lent, 40 days of fasting and prayer for Christians before Easter.
- 15 Feb Parinirvana: Known as Nirvana Day in Mahãyãna Buddhism, this day honours the death of Buddha and his attainment of final nirvana.
- 17 Feb Global Tourism Resilience Day
- 20 Feb World Day of Social Justice
- 21 Feb International Mother Language Day
- 26-29* Feb Intercalary/Ayyam-i-ha: This celebration and period of fasting celebrate giving back to the community and giving gifts to loved ones, which honours the Divine Essence of God. This celebration marks the start of the fasting month, where Bahá’ís 15 years and older abstain from food and drink between sunrise and sunset.