Letters from our readers.
Starting Our Church
I just wanted to thank Stephen Kiesling for the wonderful article about starting a church in the January/February 2019 issue. I’ve never fit in traditional work/social circles, so hearing about Pastor Wilkes’s creating a church was so inspiring. Along with the Church of the Woods article, it has given me some great ideas on starting a nondenominational women’s group centered on our connection with nature. Please thank everyone who works so hard on this magazine—I love it!
Thank you so much for your consistently inspiring articles. Relative to one of the January issue’s great articles, I had a new awareness recently I would like to share. As one of my friends noted, the #MeToo movement is making us all more conscious of what has been unconscious.
I was recently in a situation where there was frequent use of the F word during expressions of anger. As I reflected on my gut response to that as a MeToo-er, I came to realize what that gut turmoil was about. The word connotes the hierarchical abuse of power sexually, just like other violent sexual words (screw, hump, bang, etc.). These words are used to describe what should be a loving, egalitarian, respectful, playful, joyful, or sacred experience. I think using such words around MeToo folks is further abuse. It reminds us very graphically of the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual violence we experienced.
—Ellen Swanson Edina, Minnesota
The Next 20 Years
I have been getting and recommending your magazine for years! I absolutely love it! It is part of what I do for my spiritual health. I want to thank you. I have watched the magazine grow and mature over the years. I must say that the January issue is outstanding! The articles have such depth, and I have read many several times. I appreciate your sharing the process that your leadership team went through to strategize the future of the magazine (“The Next 20 Years of Spirituality and Health”). Lots of things to reflect upon. Keep up the good work!
—Geri Day, Rochester, Michigan
I am a regular reader of your magazine and will often turn to Rabbi Shapiro’s column for a refreshing view on a variety of spiritual topics. But I was disappointed by the Rabbi’s opening comment in your January/February 2019 issue, where he writes, “While it’s true that our president’s rhetoric stokes anti-Semitism, racism, xenophobia, and misogyny . . .” He of all people should realize that such criticism is neither spiritual nor healthy. If you continue to print such politically biased remarks, I will withdraw my subscription.
I think I’ve enjoyed the November/December 2018 issue of Spirituality & Health more than any other issue so far. “The Real Life of Life Coaching” by Sharon Shelton felt like she had climbed into my skin and was speaking exactly what I was feeling through a very difficult situation. It is so affirming to know we’re not alone in times of crisis and sadness. The piece on Marianne Williamson was superb and so enormously uplifting that it brightened my day just knowing she—and others like her—are in this world. If she doesn’t get the Democratic nomination, wouldn’t she make an amazing head of the Department of Compassion and Unity?
Mark Nepo always touches my heart with his spirit and words and educates me in the process. But my favorite article was Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s “Answers to Life’s 5 Biggest Questions.” I didn’t know it was possible that a man of the cloth could think the way I think, but who can better articulate complex concepts in the simplest and most succinct way, using humor! I love this man, his philosophy, his humanity, and his joy.
—Susan James Listowel, Ontario, Canada