How do we best serve families and loved ones as they face health challenges and translation? A non-ECKist recently asked, “What does your church do to help in these situations?” How do we stay clear vehicles for the ECK and not move into social consciousness?
Our loved ones facing health challenges would certainly appreciate help doing what they have difficulty with, or things they no longer can do for themselves.
Think laundry, cooking, or maybe shopping. In spring, planting a garden. In summer, weeding the garden or mowing the lawn. In fall, raking leaves. And winter, maybe shoveling the walks. Whatever time you can spare. Perhaps, too, they would love to have someone read to them, or tidy up.
Translation. Visit the very ill. Sing HU with them. Assure them of the Mahanta’s love and care. If of another religion, speak to them of God’s love and guidance.
What do other churches do for the health-challenged and those about to pass on? A cleric visits the ill and may worship with them. Individual ECKists may volunteer to offer the assistance listed above. In the future, when ECKANKAR is more established, it will also have aide societies.
We are here to serve others. For this reason, I cannot draw a hard line that would separate our service to God from the blurry boundaries of what is the social consciousness.
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Each year we try to find more opportunities to share the teachings of ECK through Vahana programs. It also seems important to strengthen the ECK community to help with these efforts and serve the newcomers that are interested in ECK book discussions and Satsang.
What proportion of our focus and energy as ECK Leaders should be placed on Vahana efforts and what proportion on strengthening the ECK community?
Love what you do, and do what you love.
Life runs on a sliding scale, as you’ve noticed. The goals and values of spiritual importance come to the fore; yet, then again, they slip into the background. And so goes the seesaw of life.
Once this, then that, then the other once again.
Yes, the Vahana efforts are of supreme importance. But so also is the need to strengthen the ECK community.
You mention the limited resources regarding volunteers. It is a considerable factor to consider in juggling priorities. The underlying principle is to work with those who love the ECK and recognize that their goal is to become Co-workers with God. Ask them to help you find people in the area who are ready to meet the Wayshower.
Logic and the heart say there can only be an ECK community if there are people. So find the people.
Once the people come, you’ll see the miracle of how some, enough, from the ECK community will step to the forefront, and volunteer to teach ECK Satsang classes and lead book discussions.
The September 11 disaster on the East Coast marked a turning point. People see the passing nature of material security, and now turn their faces to spiritual values.
And yes, among the many will be a few who are ready for the teachings of ECK.
Remember, too, that where you, the Vahana, go, the Master has gone before you. He’s prepared the way. So follow the trail that he points out to you, and you’ll see the miracle of revelation unfold before your eyes.
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You said that the cycle A Time for Reaching Out would include serving “pressing spiritual needs.” Can you now say more about how we can serve the “pressing spiritual needs”? And what these spiritual needs are?
Are the Souls who are ready to find ECKANKAR going to find it by the traditional Vahana methods we have been using for years, or are creativity and new methods a valuable element in our Vahana effort?
Let’s look first at “pressing spiritual needs.”
Very simply, it means serving life. Few among the many are spiritually prepared for the ECK teachings. Yet there are always those who are in need of encouragement, food, shelter, clothing, a sympathetic ear, friendship, and more.
Donate your time or goods to charitable organizations, if that is what your interest and heart say to do. Or be a friend to the friendless. Some youths want Big Brothers or Big Sisters.
Live, love, and serve. This is your individual way to serve ECK, apart from the ECKANKAR organization.
On to your second question.
It will be through a combination of both old and new methods that spiritually ready Souls will find the teachings of ECK. But please run your ideas past your RESA, who will share them with the ECKANKAR Spiritual Center for approval. The ECK staff can adjust them to meet spiritual, legal, or societal benchmarks, as applicable.
Today’s Vahana methods were once new too. It reminds me of a slogan that airs on a local classical-music radio station: “Reminding you that all music was once new.”
Yes, new methods are needed. The ideas exist among you, so let’s hear about them.
–Sri Harold Klemp
The Mahanta will reveal new ways for you to enjoy being his channel to all life.