I serve as the pastor at the Summerland Spiritualist Church of the Comforter on Garden Street in Santa Barbara, and I am writing regarding Charles Donelan’s article “The Talking Dead — Spiritualism in Summerland and Beyond.” I am curious as to why Donelan did not reach out to our church as part of his research on Summerland Spiritualism? The Summerland Spiritualist Church of the Comforter has been chartered through our national organization, National Spiritualist Association of Churches, since the 1890s. It is over 125 years old.
Liberty Hall in Summerland was the original home of the Summerland Spiritualist Church of the Comforter, which relocated in 1951 to its current location at 1028 Garden Street when the 101 freeway went through.
Spiritualism is a science, a religion, and a philosophy. Spiritualists believe that we are spirit, both in physical form and in spirit form after the change called death. We affirm individual responsibility and are guided by the Golden Rule and our principles. Education, growth, and learning are of utmost importance as we continue to unfold our spiritual natures.
Donelan seems to lump psychic mediums and Spiritualist mediums together. I can only speak for the Certified Spiritualist Mediums who serve at our church. Educational coursework and specific requirements and testing are required before they are granted certification through our national organization. Our dedicated Certified Spiritualist Mediums and student mediums serve to bring comfort in the knowledge that love and life never die. I hope Mr. Donelan will attend one of our Sunday services.