Happy September everyone! I am probably biased because I was born in September, but this month always inspires me. Is it the leaves changing color? Is it the crisp air? Is it the fact that I can wear chunky turtlenecks and not feel like I’m back in Florida? Who knows, but I do know that I absolutely adore this time of year! I hope you’re all exactly where you need to be as well.
This September is also when enrolment for our much-loved Spiritual Development and Ministry Training wraps up, with a deadline of September 30th. If you’ve been curious, but unsure of your plans, which path you’d like to take, or even just if OneSpirit is right for you, we’ve got one final Intro Day on September 9th just for you! It’s not only the perfect time to get all your questions answered but also a fun chance to meet the friendly faces behind OneSpirit. You can find details for enrolment and the final Intro Day just below!
Do you have an offering for our community? Have you recently published a book you’d like to share? Discover a podcast that inspired you? Want to just say hello? Drop an email below!
Aside from these final days, one of the lovely perks of September is the International Day of Charity! To celebrate International Day of Charity on the 5th of September, I wanted to share my personal connection with OneSpirit, an organization that has become very dear to me. When I made the bold decision to first move to the UK, I found myself yearning for more than just a job – I was seeking a meaningful pursuit, something that would fill my heart and soul with purpose. It was during this time that I stumbled upon OneSpirit. Intrigued, I went straight to the ‘Our Story’ page, and I couldn’t help but be overcome with admiration. The incredible history of this educational charity instantly resonated with me, and I knew I wanted to be part of its ongoing journey. So, in honor of Charity Day, here is a little overview of the history of this little educational charity…
OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation’s Story
Half a century ago, on the other side of the Atlantic, an idea sparked into existence. That spark was the OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation – steadfast in its dedication to compassion, forgiveness, and building bridges of peace even after five transformative decades.
A Surprising Birth: How Different Religions United for Humanity
It was the 1970s that saw the birth of this venture. Amidst the global movements fostering compassion towards all beings, there was also the harrowing shadow of the Holocaust. It was this shadow that rallied a diverse group of religious leaders – Rabbi Gelberman among them – to wonder, ‘What can we accomplish together?’ The aim wasn’t diluted by theological debates but instead, they aimed to wield their collective influence to alleviate the world’s suffering.
The First Decade: Launching Interfaith Ministry in the UK
The roots of OneSpirit reach back to 1981 when the New Seminary was established in New York by Rabbi Joseph Gelberman. His vision was to help an array of religious and spiritual leaders to jointly address the world’s deepest needs. This New Seminary acted as a catalyst, allowing others to foster growth within this intention.
Fast forward a few years, Diane Berk, a New Seminary stalwart, founded the Interfaith Seminary, also in the Big Apple. Come to the mid-nineties, Miranda Macpherson (then Holden), who would become the driving force behind our UK chapter, underwent training in the States. Bolstered by this experience, she expanded the New Seminary’s reach to the United Kingdom in 1996. Under Miranda’s leadership over the first ten years, a brilliant team was assembled, new teaching strategies were devised, and the number of students steadily increased. After being her organisation’s linchpin, Miranda stepped back in 2006. She’s now Miranda Macpherson, a revered spiritual retreat leader across the world.
In 2002, we rebranded to The Interfaith Seminary, reflecting changes in our American counterparts. In 2004, we became an educational trust under English law…
The Next Decade: Evolution of ‘the Teacher’ & ‘the Ordination’
With the departure of the founder came an era of change and repositioning. Our organisation experienced a democratic shift, expanding its leadership and increasing its reach to Manchester, Edinburgh, and Gloucester. The essence of the teachings was no longer the monopoly of a single teacher; instead, a united faculty from across the UK could authentically and adaptively deliver it. The philosophy of ordination also experienced a profound transformation. It was no longer a conferred honour but an individual’s self-directed movement during a symbolic silence.
In 2011, halfway into our narrative, we embraced a new name, One Spirit Interfaith Foundation. Signifying our ongoing connection with our American colleagues and reflecting our evolution beyond just a seminary, this new name welcomed our rising community of graduate ministers.
The Present: Opening Our Doors & Marching Forward as One
Now, OneSpirit Interfaith Foundation is a living, breathing tapestry of circles within circles. With faculty, trustees, staff, supervisors, students, postgraduate scholars, ministers, and friends all connected, we are more than just an organisation.
Our relevance and the impact of our teachings echo louder today than ever before. As our world grapples with exquisite beauty, intense pain, and complicated challenges, OneSpirit aids in unearthing and embodying the honesty of heart through compassionate exploration.
Our story continues, along with the world’s, with hopes of bringing home those who are lost…
OneSpirit’s Professional & Personal Development Offerings
OneSpirit Intro Days
We are thrilled to invite you to our final Intro Day of 2023! This is your ultimate opportunity to explore our enriching Spiritual Development and Ministry Training programme. Our ministers, staff, and students are all geared up to welcome you aboard. Embark on a transformative journey that intertwines spirituality, self-discovery, and a robust sense of community.
Intrigued? This is the moment to delve in. This day is fully free of charge, with zero obligations. We’ve designed this session specifically to accommodate your schedule, address your queries, and assist you in determining if our courses are tailored to your personal development journey.
Don’t miss out, dear friend! We have one final date set aside for you: Sat. 9th September 9:30-12:30
Bear in mind, that this is the last organised Intro Day for 2023, but our door remains open for your enquiries beyond this date. Everyone is always welcome to reach out to us! Here’s to journeying together, every step of the way.
This is open to everyone.
Spiritual Development & Ministry Training
Our training unlocks the intriguing realm of spiritual guidance, sacred activism, ritual, and ceremony, all centred on our fundamental principle: “All faiths and none”. This accentuates our unyielding commitment to fostering inner leadership, peace, and respect, no matter your belief system.
We take pride in not only accepting differences but also utilising them as catalysts for growth and understanding.
Acknowledging the dynamic global context, we now provide two distinct, meticulously crafted pathways: the Sylvan Path and the Aspen Path, both leading to your ordination as an interfaith minister. We’re here to celebrate every stride you take towards spiritual growth.
Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any enquiries.
Please note, this is a two-year training. Enrolment and commencement are in 2023 and after completion, you will graduate in 2025.
This is open to everyone.
Faith in Black Lives Matter
Do you want to support the Black Lives Matter movement and understand its importance?
Dive into these workshops, led by OneSpirit ministers Revs Malaika and Sue Cockerill. Explore Black Lives Matter from an individual perspective and collectively strengthen your community’s understanding.
The workshops, staged in partnership with Faith Network 4 Manchester, aim to foster unity, address common concerns and encourage interfaith dialogue. Delve in and contribute to a harmonious community.
Tuesday 7th November 2023, 7:30-9:00pm,
Tuesday 14th November 2023, 7:30-9:00pm,
Tuesday 21st November 2023, 7:30-9:00pm,
Tuesday 28th November 2023, 7:30-9:30pm.
OneSpirit’s Community Offerings
*everything below is a ‘clickable’ link, meaning, if you click anywhere within the text or image, it will take you to a page where you can learn more!
On July 19th, our journey to enhance support for our devoted minister community began with the “Crafting Connections: The ROSIM Co-Creation Campaign.” Throughout the campaign, we’ve unveiled exciting updates, fresh initiatives, and vital information for ROSIM members. Excitingly, ROSIM has been officially recognised as a professional body by HMRC, permitting members to claim subscription fees as tax-deductible expenses. We are delighted by this milestone, as it reinforces the exceptional contributions of our minister community.
One of our most exciting initiatives is the introduction of Two Membership Options in the ‘OneSpirit Alumni Network’ – While more information will soon follow, here is a sneak peak:
We’re excited to announce two distinct memberships in the OneSpirit Alumni Network, each tailored to meet the varying needs of our diverse community. Regardless of the membership selected, our unified aim is to effect significant community-level change. These options, not ‘levels’, accommodate your unique needs and journey. Remember, every member plays a vital, appreciated role within our network, each contributing uniquely towards our shared mission.
Announcing OneSpirit Community Impact Fund: Empowering Advocates & Allies: Central to our initiative is the creation of a Restricted Fund. The membership fees contribute transparently and effectively towards this fund, exclusively intended to support projects led by our dedicated ministers. We plan to award grants between £500 and £2,500, based on accumulated funds, supporting ministers or minister-led groups in community projects.
Highlighting Success Stories in Our Annual Report: Minister-led projects will feature in OneSpirit’s annual report, showcasing stories of innovation and impact. This bolsters transparency and accountability, while celebrating our community’s work.
A Pivotal Change in OneSpirit’s Culture: This initiative marks a shift towards greater social action presence. It reflects our commitment to stand in solidarity with our ministers and community members. We hope this announcement heralds a new chapter for OneSpirit, fostering increased collaboration, powerful support, and impactful community service. Let’s shape a future embodying the spirit of OneSpirit in every action.
To learn more about what is in store for our ROSIM community… click here.
CPD Offering for our Community:
“Good Afternoon, My name is Rupesh Chauhan, and I am the Community Education Coordinator for the British Red Cross in Leicester, Coventry and Tamworth. I am pleased to offer our FREE face-to-face and digital workshops via Teams or Zoom to your club/centre. There is no cost to yourself, the students or the school and workshops are typically 60-90 minutes in length. Current topics include Everyday First Aid (Skills that could save a life), Coping with Challenges (Reflecting on our resilience and how it helps us face difficulties) and Empathy and Migration (Why people move and understand their experiences). An in-depth overview of each workshop available can be on our main webpage by clicking here. To book your face-to-face workshop, please click here where you can select your preferred date and time. Alternatively, please email me or call (07545926583) with any questions or to complete your booking. I look forward to working with you soon. Thank you, Kind Regards, Rupesh Chauhan.”
Help us Capture our Community
As integral members of the OneSpirit community, your help is needed to enhance our online presence. We lack sufficient images that capture the essence of our community – the special moments from our trainings, events, meetups, workshops, and courses. We need your photos to not only document our journey but to provide a lively illustration of our community to others. By uploading photos from these occasions, your unique moments could be featured on our online platforms, helping to showcase the real people behind OneSpirit. Please ensure you’re comfortable with your photos being public before submission.
Did you catch this post on our social media this month?
Rev. Leti Hawthorn
Year of ordination/graduation: 2021
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am a 54-year-old woman living in North Yorkshire. I would describe myself as Queer and neurodivergent. I am a skilled helper and wounded healer, working from an educated heart with intuitive, reflective practice founded on experience, and with a desire to meet people where they are. I live with my husband Tim, our wire-haired dachshund Frankie and semi-feral cat Charlie and I have a stepdaughter Hannah. As well as being an interfaith minister I am a yoga teacher and health & wellbeing consultant with over 26 years’ experience. I love walking, exploring nature, taking photographs, writing, researching, and helping people to flourish. I walk along the edges, helping people to repair their frays and to dive deeper in order to heal.
How do you put your personal ministry into practice? I have many years’ experience
in pastoral care, deep listening, and offering compassionate support. I hold an MPhil in Psychology, a Graduate Diploma in Theology and Pastoral Care, and am also trained to Master Level in Usui Reiki. I am a qualified and experienced exercise and yoga teacher, specialising in cancer care, trauma recovery, autism & ADHD, and a kindhearted approach to exercise. As my statement of intention says, I walk among religions and beyond, recognising the spirituality of all sentient beings. I walk along the frayed, torn edges of life, in the spaces between here and there, holding shadows as I guide souls towards the light. The relationship begins when I create a bridge between one set of beliefs and traditions and another, between certain faiths and the wide expanses of doubt. Often, particularly as death approaches, I cross the bridge to sit in another’s world with them; sometimes in life, we meet on the bridge; and always, whether in my role as a yoga teacher, minister, friend, or neighbour I aim to create space in my world and invite others in. I turn towards all, regardless of their beliefs or practices, with an open heart and mind, offering them a mirror to their own wholeness and their own sacredness.
What do you consider the most rewarding aspect of being an ordained interfaith minister? Being able to offer myself in sacred service to all with healthy boundaries but no dogma limiting where I go and what I offer!
Is there anything else that you’d like to share with our community? I feel deeply honoured to belong to a community such as OneSpirit, to be walking along the edges and through the depths of human experiences with such solid support and wisdom to hold me. I am open to receiving guidance, cooperation, and love always.
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. Thank you for helping us spread inspiration!