Every day I step into the world with a sense of wonderment and awe. I have been blessed with a physical life and yet I have also been blessed to know with certainty that I am Spirit. I have been blessed with opportunities to be of service both in my work and my vocation. Rev Sandi and I work long hours and we have forgotten what a day off is but we are filled with joy. At an early age we both recognized the value and worth of stepping out and following our passion. It was not always easy, as a matter of fact, there were time when it was really hard but we trusted our vision and the universe and stepped forward, took chances and learned. We have lived and laughed and cried. Every day we stepped into the world with a sense of joy and a desire to be engaged in life, to make a difference and to be of service.
Rev Sandi and myself became involved in the Interfaith Ministry over 30 years ago because we were called to celebrate the simple truth that we are all children of the one light and that all spiritual traditions have their foundations in that truth. We were also called to free people from the fear of death and guilt by sharing the absolute awareness that we are Spirit and that we are all eternal. When we began our journey, these truths were not popular and there was much fear and misconceptions associated with being interfaith in perspective. Today the interfaith perspective is much more acceptable but still little understood.
We continue to work to articulate what it means to be interfaith and to follow an interfaith faith-path. When we founded the PEI Interfaith Ministry and the Open International Interfaith Ministry we felt that it was important that those who embraced an interfaith perspective have a home – a ministry where they could feel safe and secure to explore their spiritually with reverence and love. There are those who believe that it is enough to just be spiritual and that religions have no relevance in today’s world. I cannot accept that. It has been my experience that people need community and that it is important that we have structures explore our spiritual natures with reverence and safety. The challenge is to create structures that will support diversity and self expression. As a community we celebrate all of the world’s diverse religious and spiritual traditions and reject fear and intolerance in spiritual practice. We understand that we are spiritual beings living a physical existence. We know that God is love and that there is not just one path to the divine source. We celebrate the fact that the God source – the ALL – is the foundation of all religions and spiritual paths.
Once we established the Ministry, the next step was to create a seminary to allow students to become Ordained Interfaith Ministers and follow a path of service. This was not a simple things to undertake but after several years of work the OIIM Seminary – the iNtuitive Times Institute ( NTI) was created. Through it, we offer a number of 4 year programs with the goal of creating a community of trained professional Interfaith Ministers and Spiritual Practitioners who have made a choice to be of service and celebrate diversity.
As we prepare for our upcoming 10 day NTI Spiritual Retreat, I am filled with great joy and optimism for the future. Our NTI students will attend from across the country to participate in the program. They will explore areas such as counseling, ministering, working with Spirit and the Interfaith movement. They are the foundation which will shape the future of the Interfaith faith-path. I see in them the presence of the God source, the joy of living, the passion for truth and the desire to make a difference which Rev Sandi and I felt years ago and still feel. We have been blessed to have had the privilege to help nurture a new generation of Interfaith truth-seekers who will continue to work to change the world one person at a time. In time, we will succeed.
A hundred years ago, each of us probably would have lived in a small geographical area for most of our lives. We would have had very little exposure to other cultures, other peoples or other ways. In fact, we would have probably been afraid of things that we did not understand or that were new and alien to us. Like many people of the time, we may have retreated to that which was familiar for safety and security. We lived in a small world. We rejected change and retreated to what we knew.
We can no longer live in the security of a small world. The world has changed. We are the children of a new world, and to live in it we must embrace new ways. We live in wondrous times. Unlike a hundred years ago, today we are connected to a global community - we are connected to the world. Unlike any other time in human history, we are blessed with the opportunity to experience the landscape, the cultures, the religions and the peoples of the world in ways that have never been possible before. We have gone beyond the limitations of mother earth and have seen the birth of stars and walked on other celestial bodies.
Yet we live in fear because we cannot let go of our small world ways. We do not understand that even though the world is filled with many cultures, many religions and many ways, we are one people. We still retreat from that which is different, and fear that which we do not understand. Even though the world has changed, and we see its myriad of forms, faiths and peoples, we have been afraid to embrace our new heritage - to free ourselves with a clearer view of the truth. The key to interfaith harmony is to focus on the essential oneness of all faiths, of all cultures, of all peoples.
In a complex world, accepting diversity allows us to experience a richer and more beautiful world. When we look at the beautiful, diverse world that God has created for us to live in, it is clear to us that God is a God of diversity. There is not just one type of tree, or one type of bird, or one type of flower, or one type of person. The world is populated with a multitude of forms which are trees, and birds, and flowers, and people in all shapes, sizes and colours. This diversity makes the world more beautiful.
If we believe that God is infinite and incomprehensible, then one place to begin to understand God is to embrace the knowledge that in this diverse and beautiful world created by God, it is only natural that God should manifest the message of unconditional love in many ways to many peoples. God is a God of many faces. We celebrate these many faces of God represented by different religious traditions and rejoice that we have been given such a beautiful and diverse world: “The paths are many, the truth is one. Love thy neighbour.”
The Interfaith Ministry affirms that God is love and that there are many paths to God. There are a number of common denominators which unite us. One is our desire to eliminate intolerance and prejudice in spiritual practice. Another is our readiness to testify in a reverend and respectful to the reality of the Spiritual world and the subtle faculties of psychic and Spiritual vision through which it may be perceived. Our activities help people find their own personal understanding and proofs as to the reality and nature of Spirit and the Spirit world. Central to the interfaith message is the certain
knowledge that we are eternal and that divine guidance is available to people of all traditions who sincerely open themselves to it.
Rev Barry King, PhD(TC) is President of the Prince Edward Island and the Open International Interfaith Ministry (OIIM) and the Educational
Director of its seminary program, the iNtuitive Times Institute
About the Author:
Rev. Dr. Barry King has worked with Spirit now for over 35 years and he has earned the designation through the OIIM and the iNtuitive Times Institute of master Spiritual Medium. He has a rich background with experience as a museum professional, educator, naturalist, artist, illustrator, author, editor, intuitive, counsellor and interfaith minister. He has worked with children and adults in both informal and formal settings as an educator and has developed curricula for a variety of audiences for over 35 years.
Having a strong connection to Spirit since birth, he has worked to develop his intuitive gifts over the last 35 years. In that time, He has dedicated himself to sharing the certain knowledge that there is no death and that we are Spirit. Barry has an active practice for readings and consultations. He is well known for his gentle & intuitive approach.
Rev. King has worked for 35 years as an interfaith pastoral / spiritual counsellor helping people develop their spiritual connections and guidance. Through the PEI Interfaith Ministry, he encourages people to embrace the knowledge that intuitive gifts are everyone's birth right.