There is a diaphanous shining
about and within everything.
Wandering this path now,
I carry only what is essential.
When overcome by any doubt,
I retire into the Nothing of Only One.
Between this and that,
What did you expect: a price?
Whew! Stripping can be difficult:
It's getting past the skin that hurts.
Love is waiting: isn't that enough?
Why this need for the rope of definition?
Wild fields are abandoned: here
There are grapes and every pleasure.
Let every face that you meet
Be adored as the Holy One you love.
(There is a diaphanous shining
From behind the curtain of your eyes.)
Here, where the Mystery of Love is cooked with Justice, it is best to give much time to life on your knees: this Mystery would unfold within you, but requires reverence, adoration, and surrender. As if you could lay hands upon the Holy One, you treat faith as a test you have "mastered"... but until your weaknesses are embraced as your greatest truth, you are just another felon in the prison of self-respect. The Breath of Love, which flows where and when it will, will eventually nudge you into the heart of the matter and of the entire mysterious cosmos: unless you revere every single "other" as your very, most sacred, self, you are failing your one purpose...
Everything is One: this is the soup you are in: you bump this chickpea or that, somehow thinking you are exempt from the cooking: but steadily, you are softening: pretty soon you'll start falling apart: what then? I know, I've heard it all before: you will blame the corn, or the beans, or perhaps even the stirring spoon...
But in this case it really is all about you: all the way until you are done! You might be tempted into thinking you'll just jump out of the soup pot and go join in some tea party -- but be assured, everyone is destined for the cooking! There is no escape! So you might just as well accept your fate and undergo this radical change of heart...
Everything is One: there is no religion, no economics, and no politics deeper than this truth. We all, and everything, exist in one gigantic web of inter-being. While in space, Astronaut Ed Mitchell, experienced the revelation of Consciousness: "In one moment I realized that this universe is intelligent. Consciousness itself is what is fundamental." American mystic, Thomas Merton, put it this way: "There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness. This mysterious Unity and Integrity is Wisdom, the Mother of all." In your breaking, is your liberation into your possibilities: this is good! The Mysterious Unity of "Only One" is who is behind the wheel driving the rEvolution! The way things are is not working: evidence is all around. "Only One" is turning up the heat on the soup! When the soup is done, you will recognize the liberation movement in the heat and in the jumping: in the end is a new paradigm better reflecting the harmony, balance, radiance, and justice of all that is Good and Holy: including you...
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes."
-- Marcel Proust
The Holy One, the One Love Consciousness, dwells within us: within everyone and within everything! More: our secret identity and the secret identity of everyone and everything, is One with this very same One Love Consciousness! The Sufis and Yogis are especially fond of focusing their devotional practices on this truth, "God is the Only Reality": everyone and everything is a "particular" revelation of The Unity: through us knowing Herself... To live then, within this ever-expanding awareness, is to become "living prayers": like blessing rivers flowing everywhere, touching everyone, holding up everyone, embracing everyone...
There is an old story told of Yeshua the Poet: he was attending a wedding and after-celebration and was told that the wine was running low... asking for help in filling large pitchers with water... he sent them into the party: changed into wine, for the delight of all... Traditionally, this is a favorite story for many, and supposedly "proving" his humanity and compassion... Truly it does, but it is much more: it is a mystic call to remembrance... Life itself is our essential wedding feast: alive is our temporal condition, with all that life means: and our tendency is to stop right there: to cling to form and time... and later, of course, regretting the passing of both... But as "particular revelations" of the One Love Consciousness, we were created for remembrance: for the transfiguration of water into wine. Through forgetfulness, we settle for "being water". Through remembrance, we may instead "become wine: for the delight and service of all life and creation.
Yeshua the Poet become Winemaker -- is yet sitting on the bench in the side-room of our lives: he sits with his friends and his poems... there is a soft glow of firelight, the reading of words, and an occasional long, tonguing, kiss from one to another... with the reflecting light in his eyes, Yeshua twists and curls his moustache around a finger while looking directly through the group and settling upon: you: are you ready for the path of remembrance? Are you ready for the rEvolution promised before form and time? Are you ready for your becoming wine? Are you ready to be poured into the cup of Yeshua, and to be poured out again upon a suffering world -- in mercy and compassion?
Water and wine: vehicles of transmission: but the essence, the very fine essence, is your invitation to the party and your sacred opportunity to see with new eyes, and to love, oh to love! with a heart that holds within its embrace every living being and the mysterious all of creation! "Take, and drink! This cup was made for you!"
"Unless you transform
yourself back into a child,
you will be too proud
to enter the Garden
of Eternal Delight..."
"What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take 'everyone on Earth' to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale." -- Clarissa Pinkola Estes
It is a passion for possibilities that will be all the difference in the world! It is a passion for transformation -- not a willy-nilly personal change -- but a radical, to the roots, total change that includes everyone and everything! It is a passion for praxis: the will to accept personal responsibility for both intention and action: Now, who is "in" your circle of community? And even more importantly, who or what is "out"? This "now" is the very point at which possibilities may incarnate, or discorporate... this is the very point in which possibilities will liberate or suffocate...
Along with our very first breath, came the possibility of the beginning of a brand new humanity: in which being replaces gender, and Sophia-Wisdom, the Divine Feminine, is again given access to the dance of soul... the Mystery of This is the unification of the masculine and the feminine in the new solidarity of an awakened soul, body, and consciousness: this expansive consciousness is the Divine Breath breathing body into ecstasy, mind into wisdom, and soul into the One Love-without-Limits... this is the glory of human being... this is the mystic initiation that is every human's birthright: this is what we have been "made for", and what our brains have been "wired for"...
That we forget our Divine Inheritance is our single greatest problem / opportunity: our forgetfulness is the secret message we have knowingly, or unknowingly, been seeking: knowing that we have forgotten is our opportunity to enter upon the path of remembrance. It is here that intention has its powerful role to play: it is by sincere, activated, intention that we may begin the process of mystic transformation. Praxis is the daily work. Aware of "having forgotten", your intention is remembrance: you enter upon the way of praxis: you begin to live in such a way that there is less and less difference between what you believe, how you think, how you speak, and what you do: "One Love" is your intention, practice, and your goal: so now, who is in and who is out of the circle of your community?
Transformation will never happen "out there": transformation is always, always, right here, right now: transformation is the person right in front of you: no one and nowhere else! Transformation is the radical activation of mercy and compassion, right here, right now! There is absolutely no "enlightenment", no "realization", and no "liberation" other than the person right in front of you, right here, right now! [This is either a blessed relief because it is seen for exactly what it is: simple and clear. Or, this is sufficient cause for slipping back into forgetfulness: because there are no loop-holes, and no exceptions.] Too many "mystics" have given their lives over to loving in theory: too many sutras and scriptures have been written to expound upon theory... but the mysticism of love-in-action is the liberation of "good ideas" into energy: early Judeo-Christian-Islamic mystics would greet their sisters and brothers with, "Die before your death"... and the sister or brother would respond, "Resurrect before the resurrection." In other words, they knew that praxis was all the difference...
So again: who is in and who, or what is out? Draw a circle in the sand, or upon a piece of paper (intentional communities can do this exercise together): write within the circle those whom you know to be "in"... now honestly (who the hell ever really wants to be honest?), write the names of those persons, creatures, or things whom you know to be "out" side of your circle: now, if you are serious about transformation, draw lines and arrows, from the inside to the out, and just above the lines, write the names of those who will take personal responsibility for trying to "pull" the folks or things on the out side to the in side: this exercise of remembrance is what Yeshua meant by his challenge of transforming into a child: this exercise is only for the brave: this exercise is your personal / communal "battle plan" for saving this precious blue Planet!With no one and nothing left behind, the Garden of Eternal Delight will be discovered: "Look! Love is all around! Love is within you! Welcome Home to the Garden of Eternal Delight!" (Yeshua, New Gospel).
"Everything would change if only we could treat every single being we meet, human or animal, as who they really are -- a disguise of God." -- Fr. Bede Griffiths
The essential reality for the mystic-activist is a metaphysics which affirms that a "One Love Consciousness" permeates the entire world: and that it is by "attraction" to "This" that atoms cohere and people aspire to the good. Our "drunken" attraction to Love convinces us -- despite every bit of evidence to the contrary -- that we live in a universe that is benevolent and conscious both: when everything is overflowing with Love, then a sort of "divine intoxication" pervades ones life (of course this is assuming that one is genuinely tending towards a "Solidarity Paradigm" and not masking for the Dominator Paradigm)...
This "divine intoxication" will have one not only working in a Soup Kitchen (one example from among many), but living in such a way that those served in fact know themselves to be one's sister or brother: this "divine intoxication" will have one engaging in the daily competition of trying to love more than Love Itself: "Okay, Holy One, you think you've got mercy down, well let me show you some real mercy!" Or, "So, You think You are compassion, well I'll show You the real face of compassion!" [These examples are NOT an exercise in ridiculousness: rather, they are indicators of what thrills Love!]
Of course, no single person can actually love more than the One Love: Who is Love-Without-Limits: but that is what lovers want to do for and with their Beloved... But, but, there is a "but" to everything: we are "only human" (a very bad excuse because we are equally divine, but anyway...): we do get tired. We do begin to run out of "gas": so then we begin to justify our limitations: we begin to increase our expectations upon those whom we used to simply serve with love and devotion: we used to be enthused with the challenge of a hospitality that would say "Welcome Home": and mean it: we never used to think that we could "foreclose" on compassion: we never used to think that the vision of "I am my brother's keeper" came with term limits: maybe our house even becomes a corporation: maybe our corporation then institutes a commitment to certain business models of "success" and eventually sheds the Folly of the Cross... [Perhaps following the dominant corporations, our CEO's get raises, while the lowest workers become expendable...]
"But" this is precisely where love gets interesting! "Beginners enthusiasm" is like the newlyweds marriage bed: everything is exciting: this unveiling, that caress, this kiss, that massage... but when schedules collide or anything else that comes along to erect barriers instead of flooding passions, the kisses fade and the dreams can be forgotten. So it is for a life of mysticism and action! We do get tired! We are tempted to say "I have loved enough!" It is at this precise moment that the wisdom of one such as Dorothy Day can be most helpful: listen to her in your mind's ear quoting Dostoevsky: "Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared to love in dreams." You see, "beginners enthusiasm", like a dream, is a great and wonderful thing, like the newlyweds honeymoon. But for the mystic lover, when the dishes pile up and the laundry needs attention: it is no longer "her job": in the "holy competition" of love, it becomes the competition of "my gift" for my Beloved. That "harsh and dreadful part" in the Dostoevsky quote, is about the shedding of all the ego reasons for "doing good" and pursuing justice, equality, and peace. Meanwhile, "our dreams" will find their renewal in "Love Loudly": and maintaining the vision of "Welcome Home": and practice, practice, practice -- until the Earth is renewed in Solidarity...
Here's the radical essence of "Franciscan" theology:
We have come into existence, as "individualized units of the One Love Consciousness" -- the Holy One, our Beloved Friend, Companion, and Divine Lover...
We live, move, breathe, love, and have our being within the Radiance of the One Love Consciousness...
And here, next, is the saddest of facts, from which originates every suffering and injustice: most of us give away most of our time and our consciousness into forgetting who we are: though we are offspring of the Divine, which has imparted a share of divinity to each and every one of us: and though we are meant to live as "mirrors" of the Sacred, it is in forgetfulness instead that we choose to live -- on just the "other side" of the fog that clouds our "mirrors"... Hence, the one essential task of the awakening human is that of remembrance and the "polishing of our mirrors": know that it is possible to purely and truly reflect the Radiance of the Beloved through our very own face -- and being!
In this cosmic "game of tag" in which we are supposed to live and love in pursuit of "gottcha moments" with Love, our Beloved has never abandoned us: remembrance is meant to be actively cultivated by practices such as meditation, mindfulness trainings, the use of intention and affirmation, an activated compassion extended to every "other", and a radical engagement with life for the purpose of personal and global transformation... Remembrance is to live in the spirit of St. Teresa of Avila who taught her sisters and students the essential spiritual attitude of "O Christ, may I be your hands, your feet, and your voice on this precious Earth"...
Remembrance is our spiritual transformation into "identification" and "solidarity", perhaps best exemplified by St. Francis of Assisi. As the story goes, the young Francis was horrified at the thought of the merest possibility that he one day would catch the foul and dreaded disease of leprosy. Yet, in the mystery of things, the gentle promptings of Spirit became increasingly active in his heart: and so one day, while out riding his horse and pondering his desire to identify completely with his Divine Beloved, Yeshua the Poor Man of Nazareth, Francis heard the sounding bell of a leper in the distance: he turned his mount away and rushed into a gallop... yet more persistently, the Spirit kept caressing his heart, so much so, that he had to turn around and seek out that leper...
Francis then dismounted in front of the startled leper -- who was a putrid, rotting, remnant of a human being... Francis, dizzy with revulsion and fear, followed the requirements of his now shattered mind and heart: he embraced the leper, gave the Kiss of Peace -- in the luscious way of total abandonment -- and then turning, he mounted his horse again and walked away: but with each breath that he took, thereafter, his heart rose in ecstasy: he had done it! Not only had he cast his fears aside, but he also found himself awakening into his birthright splendor as a child of the Holy One: he turned to look back to the one who was now "his" leper: and to his utter amazement, he saw the being who had been in the form of his leprous sister, mystically transfigured into the Flaming Radiance of Yeshua, the Cosmic Christ...
This primary mystic event awakened Francis into the "franciscan" whom we know and revere. What was the essence of his transformation, and of the Franciscan spirituality that followed, and what does it mean for us today? Simply put, identification and solidarity. First, identification: the essence of franciscanism is identification with the Beloved: for Francis, the words and example of Yeshua were a pathway into liberation. Francis found the new life radiance of intimacy with the Beloved: the love words of Yeshua became his words: the love acts of Yeshua became his acts: with as little difference as possible! Secondly, solidarity: for Francis, his awakening into Yeshua was an insistence that every human, and every creature, and finally, that every thing was "Only One" within the One Love of the Beloved: and that there was an intensive practicality of praxis to this awakening: the poor deserved the very best -- equal to the rich! Every suffering was an invitation to service -- not in order for the server to "feel good", but instead to serve the suffering all the way into the discovery of a mutual liberation! Finally, for Francis, this included every creature: he famously preached to the birds and converted a wolf from doing harm: he sang of the beauty of Mother Earth, Sister Moon, Cloud, Water, and Wind, and Brother Sun, Fire, and Peace: Solidarity means that every "other" is one's "other" or truest, "self": requiring the goodness of kindness, compassion, justice, equality, and peace as daily actions: including the collective actions of Neighbors, Faith Communities, and State. In this elemental franciscanism, we are all the same: in some mysterious way, the sum total of every being who exists at any given "now" of time, along with every being who has ever existed, and every thing all the way down into sub-atomic particles, completes the Body of the Cosmic Christ.
The radical essence of St. Francis is an awakening call into the unity of mysticism and action. There are both practical and political ramifications to identification and solidarity, as there is also an economics of cooperation awaiting our implementation. So too, there is in franciscanism a new world attitude of tolerance and reverence that recognizes the essential unity of spirit animating each of the world religions and proclaiming that we are all sisters and brothers and must not, in any way, harm one another. And in this 21st century, Franciscan reverence for the Earth and the creatures urges us forward into new lifestyles of a simple-abundance for all and an ever-increasing harmlessness... All together, the spirit and life that has continued to flow from that first encounter of Francis, his sister, the leper, and Yeshua, the Cosmic Christ, is meant to make of each one of us: franciscan workers: about the sacred task of remembrance and of "polishing our mirrors", that we might awaken into "identification" and "solidarity": and finally, begin to live: putting our "toe to the line" in the Holy Competition of trying to love more than the One, Who-Is- Love-Without-Limits... That is the "game" of life as it was meant to be lived!
It has been reported that Peter once complained to Yeshua, "Let us go get our guns to defend you!" To which Yeshua replied, "If you take up the gun, you will thereby die by the gun." And then, others in the group, muttered amongst themselves about the effectiveness of love versus bullets... (which led some of their descendants to found the National Rifle Association with the promise of defending gun rights -- at least until their guns were peeled from their cold, dead, hands...) But that is not really the end of the story, because the living spirit of this fellow, Yeshua, has not completely disappeared: the margins of this world still resonate with his delicious words... words that literally drip with multiple dimensions of passion, like: "Love one another just like I love you!" And, "Welcome home you peace builders, the Garden of Eternal Delight welcomes you!" And again, "You have heard the NRA say, 'An eye for an eye', but I say to you: don't be fooled! I can't heal that many blind persons! You've got to trust me when I say, love your enemies! Love them all! If you give them bread and roses: surprise! You will touch their hearts and they will come to work with you for justice!"
The NRA seems to exist within some sort of very curious "devotional fold" that I have difficulty comprehending: it's as if their guns are some sort of mystical extensions to their penises: their devotion must somehow "make good" some other sort of lack on their part... Is it really all about a perception of power, or a lack thereof? It was really weird listening to their utter-religious bliss in recalling two legislators in Colorado who had worked to put in place a few barriers to the possibility of other mass shootings in their state: for this they were recalled!
In the midst of the NRA's fanatical devotion to guns, is a little overlooked fact: by far, most of the shootings in this country are folks shooting unarmed citizens! Now, if gun worshippers were only shooting other gun worshippers, perhaps civilized society could just let them have their toys -- but like naughty little boys, they just can't play in the sandbox without hurting others! And a really, really, weird thing in all of this is that most of these NRA fanatics, claim to also be devoted followers of that ultimate radical, Yeshua the Poet of Nazareth! For the NRA, "Love one another" has come to mean, "Oh, love so much that you just go ahead and massage the interior of people with bullets! They're gonna die eventually anyway, so you're not really killing: you're only opening the door to Paradise for them a little bit early..."
As for me, well, I've never washed a hog, but the worship of guns seems to qualify as "hogwash". I for one have read the words of Yeshua...
What are the burdens that you carry?
Most folks lug around monuments to yesterday.
Me? I had skyscrapers of suffering
Each one with its own sweet inscription!
I was so proud to have survived!
Then my teacher called my number:
Give it up. Chuck it all. Go back to No Thing.
(From "Sevens In The Rain", by RS)
Of all the struggles an honest person has upon entrance to the mystic-activist path, perhaps there are none more challenging than the deconstruction of every monument to yesterday -- erected in our consciousness by a lifetime of, well, life... and the culture that surrounds and pervades absolutely everything. Here in the West, there is no more pernicious monument to yesterday than the concept of "original sin" (sorry if I can't thank you, Augustine): while the theory was convenient for oppressing women and controlling the masses, it was also an unnecessary add-on to the simple Way of Yeshua that only served to further alienate the person from his / her truly sacred being. Not only did Yeshua never have anything to say on the subject, one would -- if applying honesty to the subject -- actually find it impossible to imagine that he would agree with the theory, let alone advocate that nearly two thousand years of such garbage were not enough already!
Consider next the reality of war: endlessly, war after war: with evermore efficient methods of destruction: along with the added bonus of the elimination of every line between civilian and soldier, between the innocent and the bomb. And after the survivors have buried the dead, monuments are built to enshrine forever the harvests of death: parks, highways, buildings, and museums: movies are made, books are written: and t-shirts are sold, along with buttons, magnets, and all sorts of doolie-bobs in gift shops... But where are the pendants for the tears? Where are the earrings that have captured the terrors of the children? And where are the prison letters from the few who chose resistance to war above the ideology of tribe, religion, or country?
Consider, too, the spiritual and psychological pain of "normal" life: of loving and of loss: of hoping and of rejection: of good work and a pink slip: of a home and a notice to vacate: and perhaps of a bucket full of dreams that gets up-ended by agendas of domination. Of course, the monuments to each and all of these "yesterdays" are internal: spiritual and psychological: isn't this precisely where the theory of original sin becomes "helpful"? Sure, I can blame a snake, Eve, or women in general: I can blame anyone I might choose (especially "them"): I can blame myself (I'm a lousy good-for-nothing -- unworthy of both true love and certainly unworthy of the very best)... Maybe I actually deserve my life of pain, rejection, and limitations! Talk about erecting monuments to yesterday -- we've all got skyscrapers galore!
Contrary to the thinking of the theologian, the politician, and the businessman, we were not created for any of our monuments to yesterday! We were not created for any sort of oppression, rather, we were created to explore every possible avenue and dimension of love and liberation! Go ahead, search the words of Yeshua: virtually every word and action of his focused on the Way that he lived: and that if we followed suit, we could experience love and liberation as well: now isn't this the essence of Yeshua: Love one another. Pass no judgment. Live simply and share generously. Forgive as often and as easy as you breathe. Act toward others as you want them to act towards you. And in living this way, we can honestly turn our face towards the Holy One...?
There are no monuments to any yesterday proposed by Yeshua. Instead, there is just a simple pathway of possibilities, along with the promise of an ever new beginning... For the mystic-activist, we are not building a monument but a movement: a movement with curves (there are no straight lines pointing to any place worth getting to -- R. Buckminster Fuller)... a movement of inclusion, a celebration of differences, and a delight in kindness and beauty... a movement that cherishes every "other" and eliminates barriers... a movement of service and mutual-aid... a movement of inter-being in reverence of the Earth and all life... a movement of solidarity and cooperation... a movement of equality, justice, land, and everyone's liberation in peace... and a movement with the feminine face of always being "good enough". Understand Yeshua: we are all worthy of our bread and our roses...
Before the beginning,
there was "Only One".
In the surprise of wild thought:
"What if?" and "Why not?"
Became the Mother of All Things.
And whoa! Here we all are
And everything else besides!
Doesn't this knowing make you want to worship or kiss?
(from "Sevens In The Rain" by RS)
Perhaps the one essential revelation is this from the Bhagavad Gita: "You are my beloved"! Perhaps too, the icing on this mystic cake, is the realization that these words are spoken by the Holy One to each and every one of us! Of course, there is a pathway, from either our habitual worship of our egos or the conviction of our utter worthlessness, into the "promised land" of "Only One" with the Lord: but our "arrival" in fact happened before our very first breath in the Imagination of the Lord... Humankind is holy and sacred beyond measure and everything exists within the "One Love" of Ecstatic Consciousness: everyone and everything: period: or rather, exclamation point!
This essential truth is the basis for our human quest for justice, equality, liberation, and peace. We: all of us: are worth the very best! Not "some of us". Not only heterosexuals. Not only men. Not only white men. Not only Americans. Not only wealthy people. Not only any other "sub-division" anyone can think up or create. Everyone is worth justice! Everyone is worth equality! Everyone is worth liberation and every opportunity to fully develop their possibilities! Everyone is worth mercy and compassion! Everyone is worth kindness and beauty! This "being worth the very best" is also an obligation: those with the power and the capability of moving us forward into justice, equality, and peace are obligated to live lives of radical solidarity with every "other" and working to build the New Creation: right here, right now...
"One Love" is a mystic passion unleashed and activated for a truly meaningful human life. Meaning doesn't come from "outside" of anyone: meaning is our core identity applied to our here and now. "One Love" is who we are: released from the confines of our habituated "little minds" and "fragile egos": and liberated into the awakened sanctity of "lovers exploring the unlimited nature of Love": for everyone and for everything. This shift of identity: from the self-hood of a single mind dwelling within the confines of a single body, to the divinity of a soul-awakened-person expanding into "One Love" without limits, is the great mystic adventure of our human purpose...
Two key words for the mystic-activist which serve as our pole-star are "solidarity" and "rEvolution". It is essential to fully embrace the radical truth of our oneness: the bliss of awakened union with the Divine requires that everyone else awaken as well. No one is so special that he or she can somehow "squeeze through the doors of heaven" without everyone else getting through those same doors as well. This is it: we are all, with all of creation, from distant star to floating green algae, "Only One": we are all in this together: we live, work, suffer, play, laugh, scream, cry, kiss, bleed, pray, sex, dance, adore, and die together: our religion, our economics, our politics, and our cultures are supposed to mirror this awakened realization: this is "solidarity" and this is "rEvolution"... Sure it's hard work: but it can be so much fun as well!
Robert Daniel Smith was privileged to serve the homeless and marginalized for 30 years in Salinas, California. Together with his wife, Michelle, they founded an intentional community called the 'Companions of the Way', also in Salinas. Robert and Michelle are community organizers, Catholic Worker renegades, sacred activists, writers, poets, artists, Divine Mother devotees, and practitioners of Kriya Yoga as taught by Rev. Ellen Grace O'Brian of the Center for Spiritual Enlightenment. Michelle is also a Montessori public school teacher. Robert is also an ordained Interfaith Minister.