A Sunday Sermon from Rev. Beth Carter
Since we’re somewhat confined in our places, Rev. Beth Carter is sending out this talk for your perusal.
My earliest memories of Sunday were attending the Old South Congregational Church in Hallowell, Maine. On my first visit I was fascinated by the communion service cups, but what really caught my eye were all the people gathered around the minister, Rev. Gordon H. Washburn. I was 3 at the time and asked my mother who they were. I was promptly shushed and told no one was with the minister. I knew at that young age that with a certainty there were people there. I honored that 1st experience seeing spirit by putting a picture of Rev. Gordon Washburn on my ordination program and dedicating the ordination to him.
At the age of 11 my family moved to the country – Ripley, Maine. The Methodist Church was closed for lack of a minister. The summer I was 12 a Baptist Church held Sunday School Classes there. That did it! Mother was determined to have that church opened up complete with a minister so that my youngest sister could be christened there as I had been. Mother succeeded and it, with expansions, still is there and open today 68 years later. My aunt’s 100th birthday was celebrated there and when she passed at 106 yr. 6 mo. 11 days her life was celebrated there. That is where my dedication to religion began at 13 as the organist – old-fashioned pump organ- then Sunday school teacher and choir director. I read the Bible cover to cover twice in high school seeking answers I did not find. I was convinced, however, that somewhere there existed the religious path which would fit my beliefs and allow them to grow. I finally found the answer one Sunday night in South Portland, Maine in 1981 – the evening I attended the Portland Spiritualist Church for the first time.
I never accepted the idea that we died – the end. Spiritualism showed me what the death of Jesus truly represented: That our spirit lives on and can come back to communicate with loved ones. Jesus did. That after we pass to spirit we can be seen again by some people. Jesus was. Now there need not be the terror of death. It is simply another birth! It is a new life for us to live.
We all need to spend at least a moment each day giving thanks for our connection with Spirit – a moment to meditate and feel the presence of loved ones. A moment to reflect on our deeds that day. Did we give? Did we share? Did we aid another in need? Were kind words spoken? Were words of encouragement given?
There are seasons to our ages. In our youth we attend Sunday School or have prayers at our mother’s knee. We learn basics, foundations for our eventual path of choice. We learn the 10 commandments and know these are guidelines for righteous living. Then there is adulthood when we oft times stray. We leave religion behind for a time. We break commandments – a bit here, a bit there. We feel the punishment and guilt which comes as a result. We learn how we hurt others, without intent oft times, but the harm is done. We feel pain, Then come our mature years. Now we live our religion. We choose a pathway that fits our own basic beliefs. We dedicate ourselves to growing, developing, sharing and passing along the pain we experienced and what we learned from that pain. We know that now we prepare ourselves for the Beautiful Spirit World and that higher expression of our Spirituality.
We know now that we do not pray for foolish things like a new dress but instead for our health. We pray for the ability to bring out the good in others. We pray for the ability to guide our children to have wholesome, worthwhile lives. We pray to receive the wisdom to make good life choices on our own.
When we attended public schools our teachers watched over us, instructed us. In our spiritual pursuit our guides work with us. Spirit and our band of 5 guides is ever with us in our daily lives and in our spiritual development. As we progress we gain more guides and a Master Guide. Be grateful for the team of guides working with you. As you give so will you receive. In turn pass along what you learn to those just finding their own religious paths.
We are never too young – or old – to seek our Spiritual path. It is never too late to begin. Once you isolate your pathway, how within that pathway are you going to give to others? Will you be a medium sharing your gift or will you share your gift of healing? Or will you be a church leader? These are needed by all churches. Is your gift teaching? There is always a need for classes to be taught. My mother-in-law was a certified Methodist lay leader ( and very versed on Spiritualism). She gave her last sermon the day before she passed to spirit at 84.
I have observed something with my years in Spiritualism and it is that those who are active in the church with their mediumship particularly and healing live longer, healthier lives. Their brains are constantly being used and challenged. It has been proven that the elderly who are prolific readers tend to live longer, healthier existences. So, our gifts which are shared return to us 10-fold in the quality of life we have here on this plain of existence. This brings to mind Past NSAC President Joe Merrill and past President of the Morris Pratt Institute Joe Sax. A tip of the hat to them and I’m proud to have known them.
I live by a few maxims which are:
What ever happens to me at any given point in time happens for my ultimate good.
If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values: They’re hobbies. Jon Stewart
Spiritualist do not disperse negativity. Our pill is “Positive” thought.
Walk in front of me I may not follow, walk behind me I may not lead, just walk beside me and be my friend, and a journey of thousand miles starts with one step. Tim Stewart
In closing I say it is time for your beginning.