Spiritualist Church of the Comforter

Church: Spiritualist Church of the Comforter, 1028 Garden St.

Service Attended: Sunday, 10:30 a.m. Hands-On Healing and 11:00 a.m. Regular Service

Minister: Reverend Sandra Cook

Denomination: National Spiritualist Association of Churches

Congregation Size: 40

Special Offerings: Wednesday night all-reading service, with mediums available for questions, at 6:30 p.m.; education on Spiritualist principles for adults, Sundays at 1:00 p.m.

Contact: Call 965-4474 or visit churchofthecomforter.org

The Spiritualist Church of the Comforter is not your usual place of worship. To begin with, the church itself is very small, intimate, and not unlike a living room with extra chairs. Far from detracting from the religious quality of the service, this provides a pleasant, relaxing place for this small congregation to gather.

The 10:30 service was one half hour of hands-on healing. The healing itself mostly resembles a massage, only given to an invisible layer of spirit, perhaps, just outside the skin. The healers, who seemed to see what they were touching by the precision with which they moved, appeared very intent. A few minutes of group healing, in which the group meditated on the Spiritualist followed individual healing, opened the service proper. Both the individual healing and the group healing emphasized achieving physical and spiritual health through focus and prayer, as a supplement to any medial treatments being administered by a doctor.

One of the major tenets of the Spiritualist Church is the idea that souls retain their individual personalities, even after they’ve ceased to inhabit physical bodies. Mediums, generally ordained in the church, are able to communicate with the spirits of those who have died, passing their messages on to members of the group. More than half of the congregation received a spirit greeting during the service the messages were frequently symbolic, rather than direct, but each was received with appreciation.

Interspersed with Spiritualist hymns, the service also included a brief talk on the idea of perspective, given by a candidate for ordination. She gave out pennies, each in a small gauze bag, as a token of seeing both sides of an issue before judging. Certainly, a good philosophy for any group of people in any situation.

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