The Power of Service to Community

I attended an unusual graduation ceremony this weekend. Two of my Pagan friends were ordained as Interfaith Ministers after going through an intensive two-year course (which, as an aside, I’m putting on my vision board as something I really want to do myself, in a few years). There were 14 graduates, along with probably 50 alumni of the program, and several faculty members and staff, involved in the ceremony. The vast majority of them were my age (mid 40s) and older. It was cool seeing so many sparkling eyes and shiny auras among them.

The school has a strong emphasis on community service, and in the program there was a list of the various places where the graduates served: primarily prisons, hospice facilities, UU churches, and an organization helping grieving children. Each graduate had two minutes to speak to the attendees, and many of them talked of how they plan to be of service, told stories of their callings, and shared their chosen vows as they became ordained.

I was most struck by how the graduates combined a very personal spiritual journey, that which led them to this work, with a desire to reach out and share their wisdom with others.

As we each walk our own spiritual path, we become more aware of our own particular gifts in this lifetime. Sooner or later, we feel the calling to share those gifts, perhaps in ways that we wouldn’t have been ready for earlier in life.

I’ve long combined my passion for spirituality with service to my community, but recently I’ve felt the urge for expansion. Besides writing and volunteering as a leader in various Pagan organizations, I’m drawn to a more personal form of service. From my experiences helping people in my circle of family and friends, I’m envisioning a combination of Reiki, listening, and pastoral care (for lack of a better term) for those in hospice care. I know I have a lot yet to learn in this regard, but I’m aware of many resources where I can add to my skills. What’s most important is the calling, the desire to offer my aid.

Serving your community from the heart is an amazingly fulfilling experience. You’re able to offer tangible help that comes from deep within. It helps you feel more connected and alive. When you see a need and know that you can help to alleviate suffering, you’re more aware of your part in the web of life.

How do you serve your community? How might you take that work deeper, or shift to a new means of service? What talents and skills do you possess? What are you called to do to help make the world a better place? Take some time to listen to your inner self. And know that when you do this work, you’re in good company. This is a time of awakening consciousness. There are more and more people who are willing to listen to their heart’s wisdom and then share themselves with the universe. Join the peaceful revolution!

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