Monday, January 6, 2014

Returning to the Circle

Over a year ago, I asked myself how I, an interfaith minister, might help young women to gain access to the wisdom that once was shared around the kitchen table, at the quilting bee or by the campfire. I pondered the question, praying and meditating on it for several weeks.  Then, in the wee hours of the morning while still dreaming, it came to me.  Gather women together and write a book!

The answer was so simple!  Of course write a book, this is what I do - (besides teaching and ministering) - I write.  So, I began with gathering quotes for 30 days of affirmations.  The quotes were from women around the world from as many cultures as I could find.  Then, I called upon some of my "Sisters of the Soul" to write a essay for each of the sections in the book.

The essays are amazing tidbits of true wisdom, written from the heart.  After editing, arranging and re-editing, I finally decided the manuscript was ready.  One problem, who would publish such a tome?

Once again, I did what we ministers do, I prayed and meditated, waiting for an answer from the Divine.  Sure enough, a few days later, it came to me to self-publish an e-book. 

Researching how to do that was a bit of a task, but with help from some knowledgeable friends, it happened.

So, what does this have to do with interfaith ministry?  

My answer is - a lot!  As interfaith ministers, we are called to minister to the world around us.  Individuals come from all faith-paths or none at all.  Meeting them where they are is key to our ministry.  What better way to meet girls and young women today than through the World Wide Web and e-technology?

Returning to the Circle is not about getting back to the kitchen or the quilting or the fire.  This book is a call to join the circle of women in the virtual space of e-books, blogs, Twitter and Facebook. 

We have so much we can share!  Healing begins with reaching out and sometimes reaching out happens across the World Wide Web, because that is where we find those in pain.

As I say in the introduction of Returning to the Circle, “I pray that those who read and use this book will be blessed by the words - the wisdom - of the women who appear on these pages. May they help to guide, inspire and affirm who you are and why you are in this life.” 

Rev. Linda M. Rhinehart Neas is a graduate of The New Seminary (2013).  She is a writer/poet and educator.  Returning to the Circle can be found on Amazon.