2017 Services



Reflections on Tradition


The end of the year is a gathering up of all the old bits and pieces, sorting out the special memories to keep, balancing the sorrows with the joys, counting our blessings, our narrow escapes, our days in the sun, and all the while we celebrate, in secular and spiritual ways, the coming of the light.  This is one part of Tradition.
Tradition, like a cut and polished diamond, is a multi-faceted creature.  As it turns and catches the light, so it is seen by some of us.  Others of us see only the dark side.  In between the light and the dark live all the other shades.  All are equal and at any turn could be dark or light depending on the captured moment.

Tradition is sensory.  It appeals to our mouths, our minds, our ears and eyes which in turn direct our imagination.  Tradition is ritual, asking us to follow paths already laid and those that are yet to be imagined.

Tradition is transitory and yet indelible, it is ours to bend or break, to use, abuse or make new.

Tradition is one of the gifts of Christmas

–  by D. Joan Thomas, Spiritual Directions Committee


December 3       Faith in Action

Coordinator:                Jane Warren Campbell
Moderator:                 Bob Winkenhower
Speaker:                      Marilyn Smando
Meditation:                 Laurence Beal
Greeter:                      Louisa

December 10           Hope And A Pinprick Of Light Makes The Darkness Flee.

Coordinator:                D. Joan Thomas
Moderator:                 Lorna Rennie
Speaker:                      Rev. Joan Hopper
Meditation:                 Maria Escude
Greeter:                      Bob Winkenhower

December 17     

Coordinator:                Marilyn Smando
Moderator:                 Frances Litman
Meditation :                April Hambly
Speaker:                      Troi Lenard
Greeter :                     Joyanna Wilkinson

December 24              Special Musical Christmas Service

Come and enjoy music and songs focused on Peace and Love.

Details:  TBA

Coordinated by Linda Chan and Louise Taylor

December 31              Community Service – What are the RESOLUTIONS we seek?

Coordinator:                Laurence Beal
Moderator:                 Laurence Beal
Meditation:                 Music
Greeter:                      TBD


November drifts in with intentional fog on its breath and the wail of lost sight. Season of wind and colour, brisk mornings and rainy afternoons: a time to hold on to core values perhaps, as winds perverse enough to widow the trees leave a trail of past glories at our feet. Like Shakespeare’s Lear, it is also a time to strip down to the essence of who we are, to sip the wine of knowledge and prepare for the darkness of the day and the coldness of the night. Like the trees, we can “raise naked arms to the sky, while sighing, pining for the loss” OR we can take heart and sing, dance and write poetry.

—- D. Joan Thomas (quote from “Autumn Leaves”)

November 5        Aspiring to Be a Game Changing Leader:    An exploration in core values

Linda Chan has recently completed Pachamama Alliance’s 8 week on-line course “Game Changer Intensive” which prepares people to effectively be game changing leaders in the world.  Linda sincere belief is that we can all be game changing leaders and in this presentation, she will explore this through core values.

Coordinator:    Linda Chan

Moderator:     Louisa Fiander

Meditation:    Colin Lee

Speaker:   Linda Chan

Greeter:     Jean Gregson


November 12             Essence of Self

We will explore the ‘essence of self’ with a water ceremony. John Vanden Heuvel will join Jane Warren Campbell as we gather to learn about the essence of water and how it makes up the essence of self. We will discuss new discoveries about water’s transformative abilities and healing effects. Then we will join as a group to bless and tone to water, filling it with love and healing, through our intentions. Please bring a small bottle to take some of the blessed water with you for your personal use or to offer to the ocean for healing.

Coordinator:      Jane Warren Campbell

Moderators:     John Vanden Heuvel and Jane Warren Campbell

Meditation:    Included in ceremony

Greeter: TBA


November 19       Take Heart – Music and Poetry

The Heart’s ache rocks the baby of creativity within the Soul and enables the artist in all of us to be born.

Coordinator:    D. Joan Thomas

Moderator:     Marvelous Trudeau

Meditation:    TBA

Speaker:    Frances Litman and D. Joan Thomas

Greeter:   TBA


November 26     Winds of Change – Dragonfly Transformation/ Transition

Coordinator:    Marilyn Smando

Moderator:    Linda Chan

Meditation:   Elsie Poliquin

Speaker:   Jennifer Sager

Greeter:   TBA

The dragonfly in almost every part of the world symbolizes change and change in the perspective of self realization and the kind of change that has its source in mental and emotional maturity and the understanding of the deeper meaning of life.




October 1       Social Inspiration for Creativity

Moderator:    Pat Miller

Meditation:   Marilyn Smando

Facilitation:  Laurence Beal

Greeter:         Marvelous Trudeau

Coordinators: Linda Chan and Laurence Beal

We are having a playful service breaking down into small groups for co-creating stories of the journey. All settings and all actors invited. Expressions welcome: Rap, Improv, Mime & Interplay.


October 8         Gratitude

Moderator:        Marilyn Smando

Meditation:      Linda Chan

Speaker:           Sanjara Omoniyi

Greeter:           Laurence Beal

Post Service, there will be a Thanksgiving Potluck Lunch.

Sanjara is a dedicated member of our community. 7 years ago she emigrated from Germany to Canada and soon after found her spiritual family at the Church of Truth. This unique community has helped her to grow roots here on beautiful Vancouver Island. She is grateful that the CoT community has given her the opportunity to grow and allowed her to explore creative expressions of her spirituality. Sanjara has experienced many life transitions, from marriage and motherhood in Nigeria, to re-integration into German culture and now, as someone creating a new life for herself in Canada. As she travelled the path of self-discovery, Sanjara opened her Self to being fully alive and developed her understanding of Heart -Centered Awareness. The depth and the brilliant simplicity of her teachings come from her compassionate heart and her longing to explore the depths of her own soul.

October 15        The Great Transition of Death

Various roles:   The Men’s Group

Greeter:             TBA

Co-ordinator:    Jane Warren Campbell

The Men’s Group will be leading the service, sharing their experiences from their recent retreat where they explored the great transition of death.


October 22        Harvest of the Soul

Moderator:         Marie Logan

Meditation:        Norm Smookler or D.Joan Thomas

Speaker:             Chris Bullock

Co-ordinator:      D.Joan Thomas


October 29           DAY OF THE DEAD Celebration     (A “community-like” service)

Moderator:         Bill Israel

Meditation:       You Tube Music (Mexican)

Greeter:             TBA

Plan for the following: Come in Halloween costume of your choice – perhaps in a favorite garb of your deceased beloved. Bring a “relic or memento” of a loved one who is departed (for display on centre table) Prepare to speak to your “memento of deceased loved one” in a small group Bring a favourite food of your “dearly departed” for sharing in a common meal after the service.



September 3          “The Art of Healing’’

Moderator:  Marvelous Trudeau

Meditator:   Marilyn Smando

Facilitator:  Bill Israel

Greeter:  TBA

Coordinator:   Bill Israel

For this Sunday’s service Bill will illustrate how the use of imagination and somatic (body) awareness enables healing from trauma, depression and other debilitating somatic experiences and situations. There will be an emphasis in the service on the healing potential of sensory experience – sight, sound, taste,smell and touch. Own and love your body.
As a Certified Facilitator for the INTENSIVE JOURNAL program of Dr.Ira Progoff, Bill Israel does public workshops and is a Volunteer with the Restorative Justice Coalition at William Head Institution, a federal penitentiary on Vancouver Island.  Utilizing the structured writing process of the Intensive Journal, Bill facilitates a 12 week Restorative Justice Course for inmates at William Head.

September 10      “Journey into the Heart of Consciousness: Redefining Everything You Thought You Were”

Moderator: Frances Litman

Speaker:    Ramana

Meditation: Ramana

Greeter:   John Vanden Heuvel

Coordinator:   Linda Chan

Together we can directly explore the depths of love and consciousness” — Ramana

About Ramana:  Named “Ramana” after Sri Ramana Maharshi in 1993, Papaji asked him to share the message of awakening to Heart, Consciousness and Truth to groups and individuals. In 1997, Ramana combined his years as a Transpersonal psychotherapist, hypnosis, NLP, biofeedback, Taoist philosophy, creative visualization with his studies of ancient Indian teachings (from masters throughout India) to create “Radical Awakening and the Opening to Heart Consciousness’ which precipitates an opening into the true self of Being. He has found that when Being is in alignment with the true self, the space of unbounded of love and energy emerges, which sometimes opens deep healings at a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level.

He now resides in both New York and India. Since 1997, he has traveled throughout the United States, Canada and the East sharing his work, Radical Awakening and the Opening to Heart Consciousness, and has trained hundreds of practitioners to continue his work. His Amazon best-selling book, Radical Awakening: Finding the Calm in the Storm of Overwhelm, on Kindle, at its launch went to #1 on Amazon and was chosen as the ‘hot pick of the week’.  There is now a print version of the book.

Ramana continues to share his work of awakening and heart world-wide, and holds the holy mountain in India, Arunachala dear to his heart. Each year, he takes individuals on a 21 day pilgrimage to Arunachala. For more info, please visit: http://radicalawakening.org/ or email:ramana.awakening@gmail.com

Ramana’s Victoria Event Poster:  Ramana Event Poster (11 X 17)


September 17      Journey of a Healthy Soul


Moderator:   Lorna Rennie

Meditation:    Jennifer Sager

Speaker:    Reverend Joan Hopper

Greeter:    TBA

Coordinator:    D. Joan Thomas

About Rev. Joan Hopper:    Shortly after joining the Church of Truth in 1987, Joan was asked by the resident minister, Rev. Richard Di Castri, if she would consider applying to the Mother Church in Pasadena, for ordination.

Because Joan had already studied for eight years and had qualified as a Healing Practitioner with The Church of Religious Science, she was allowed to challenge the Ordination Examination Requirements, and was subsequently ordained in this Church, in 1988.

Joan became an assistant minister to Rev. Di Castri, and held regular Meditation Services every Monday evening. Her Ministerial duties also included Spiritual Counselling and making visitations to Church members who were temporarily too sick to attend Church.

Joan eventually retired from her Ministerial services and membership, but is still, very much, a constant and continuous – Student of Spiritual Studies. She has recently completed two advanced Courses in ‘Way of Mastery’ and continues to offer Spiritual Healing and Counselling whenever she is called upon.


September 24       Journey to the Heart

Moderator:    Louisa Fiander

Speaker:   Sherry Morgan

Meditation:   Jane Campbell

Greeter:  TBA

Coordinator:    Jane Campbell

About Sherry Morgan: In 1982, a special calling experience set Sherry’s life on a spiritual path. In 1995, she left on a two-year quest to find her teacher. This teacher, Don David Wiley, has supported her learning ever since.

Following a vision quest in 1997, Sherry began to receive messages to teach people about prayer. Don David transmitted teachings to her the following year and she began teaching in 2000. She has since taught in 5 countries: Canada, USA, Mexico, England and Wales. Sherry has also learned much about prayer from Ojibway and Náhuatl elders, from her initiation as a quiatlzques (a person who works to establish relationship with the weather to benefit her village), from her sacred mountain work since 2001, from her students and from her own daily prayer practice.

Sherry greets the weather in beautiful Victoria, BC



In the last of the summer months, we have a series of four topical explorations, each having something to do with the dynamics between fluidity and stability. First, the stability in view would be the reliability of the spirit to be compelling positive change. Then, on the second look, we’ll be allowing for stillness in its appropriate phase of growth processes. Week three; the stable community is a support for each to emerge, flow into expression. Last and fourth week in August, we’ll continue the way we’ve been going. Right-on into a community service, with talk devoted to exploring the value in aiming toward a fluid meeting of minds when each has the most stable of a subjective view.
– Laurence Beal, SDC

August 6    Deeper Connection in the Flow of the Spirit

Moderator:   TBD
Meditation:  Bill Israel
Speaker: Adam Yaghi
Greeter: Colin Lee
Co-ordinator: Bill Israel

Adam Yaghi is the Resettlement Assistance Program Housing Coordinator at the Intercultural Association of Greater Victoria. Adam is a Palestinian refugee himself and has just completed his PhD at the University of Victoria on Ethnic American Literature.)

August 13 Summer Fallow: Allowing Stillness while Maintaining Growth

Moderator: D. Joan Thomas
Meditation: Norm Smookler
Speaker: Anna Lachmuth
Greeter: Moneca Gabriel
Coordinator: Jane Warren Campbell

Anna Lachmuth is an Ayurvedic Health Practitioner and a student intern at the California College of Ayurveda, working toward becoming a Certified Ayurvedic Specialist (doctor). She is also a certified yoga teacher and Thai yoga massage practitioner. She studied Buddhism and yoga in India. Anna now spends her summers in Victoria and practices out of the Villa Ananda Retreat Centre in Mexico in the winter.

August 20 Opening to Unity and Harmony

Coloured mandalas will provide an entry point to explore our relationships to each other and to the world, cosmos or universe.

Moderator:   TBA
Meditation:   Reflective Meditation: You and your chosen coloured mandala
Sharing of reflections:    Individual and group
Greeter:   Colin Lee
Coordinators:   Linda Chan and Marilyn Smando

It is Linda Chan’s Birthday and she will bring a cake to share with others.

August 27 What is a meeting of minds when we’re all subjective?

Coordinator/Moderator: Laurence Beal
Meditation: TBA
Greeters: TBA

The discussion topic will be the title question, “What is a meeting of minds when we are all subjective in our perspectives. We’ll be sitting around tables in small groups, discussions can be ongoing during a mandala making exercise.



For starts, most of us have a subjective context of feelings which need to be re-contextualized with greater perspective, and often then acted upon.  With practice and perseverance we may temper ourselves with spiritual and self disciplinary routines and the formation of habits which leave our feeling natures more free.  In such lifestyles, integration of our identities with greater wholes brings greater interconnection with other members of this experiential playground.  — Laurence Beal

July 2 – From the Personal View, Moving Into Compassion

As we grow spiritually and have love and compassion for ourselves and remove the ego,  we are more open naturally to transcend into a spiritual love, being compassionate for others without judgement and embracing everyone for their true self.

Moderator:  Marilyn Smando
Meditation:  Jean Gregson
Speaker:  Eileen Curteis
Greeter:  Linda Chan
Coordinator:  Marilyn Smando


As one grows to love and have compassion for oneself devoid of ego . Life flows into a spiritual love and true sense of loving and being compassionate to others in a non judgmental way.

Eileen Curteis, a Sister of Saint Ann, is a Reiki Master teacher and practitioner, who has treated and taught numerous people over the last twenty-four years. After the closure of Queenswood Retreat and Spirituality Centre where she had worked for seventeen years, Eileen carried on the legacy of the former Queenswood by obtaining a fifteen year trademark for Queenswood School of Reiki. She then went on to co-found with Sharon Burkmar and other dedicated women, Queenswood Holistic Healing and Spirituality Society. Preceding this, Sister Eileen was a teacher, principal and educator for twenty-seven years. Her greatest passion lies in her healing ministry and in the literary arts. She has authored eleven books to date and has become an accomplished poet, artist and writer, as well as being a producer of six CDs and three films.

July 9th –  The balance between Masculine and Feminine. Can it be achieved with ONE?

Moderator:   Chris Porter
Meditation:   Radhika Devi
Retha Zaffino and Chris Porter Lead of Interactive Group Discussion Groups
Greeter:   Colin Lee
Coordinator:   Chris Porter

A discussion from a male and female perspective on the balance of the traits of the other within themselves. An open dialogue and interactive sharing session for all participants to learn more about masculine and feminine traits and how best to balance the power of it all within ONE, yourself!

July 16 – Plumbing the Depths of Summer Sunshine 

Moderator:   Marie Logan
Meditation:  Lou Hammond
Speaker:   Carlie Kilduff
Greeter:   TBA
Coordinator:  D.Joan Thomas

Carlie Kilduff is writer, speaker, spoken word artist, spiritual  health practitioner, mother of two beautiful boys and
wife of awesome husband.  Five years ago she resigned from teaching high-school in order to pursue her calling – she
shares powerful and passionate messages of love, joy, peace, healing, self value, mental health and spirituality.

July 23 –  As Within So Without:  How One’s Outer Experience is a Reflection of the Inner Self

Moderator: Frances Litman
Speaker: Troi Leonard
Meditator: you ????????????

Greeter:   Toni Bennett
Coordinator:   Jane Warren Campbell

July 30th:   Community Service:   Being and Doing

At the Community Service on Sunday, July 30, we will be exploring a time in our lives when we experienced a significant shift in consciousness that led us to embody a new way of being and doing in the world. Two members of from our community + a special guest will share briefly on this topic and the microphone will be passed around so that others  will have the opportunity to share as well on this topic.  Please see Catherine Denison’s article in the Lighthouse Newsletter for a longer description of  this topic.

Moderator:   Catherine Denison
Meditation:   Chris Porter
Panel:   Ella Brown, Hendrik de Pagter  + Michael Whelan
Greeter:  Linda Chan
Coordinator:  Linda Chan

About Michael Whelan:  Whelan is one of those few fortunate people who have written their life stories in a compact and portable form. In his case, it is a book of sequential poetry, After God, narrating his life as a De La Salle Christian Brother–not to be confused with the militants depicted in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man–who left the order of educators [“no priest:s, no mass”] to rejoin secular society in the sixties.

Following this Community Service there will be a finger food potluck.



The coalescence of seeming opposites comes through this month.  As many marriages and other outdoor celebrations come rolling in, even the ongoing celebratory vacation time itself brings opportunities for both outer connection and inner development.  The impulse to reach out beyond the habitual boundaries of ones personal domain seems to come in large with the social scenarios opening up in the hotter summer.  While on the other hand, we each find other opportunities to tune in to some of the finer and subtler aspects, within and sometimes in relations.  So a few different kinds of new spiritual connection might be found.

In the first service for June 4th, we’ll be looking at collaboration, social insight, teamwork, and practical innovation.  In the second service for June 11th, we’ll be looking at imagination of mystical connection, how can it serve us, and visualization feeding connection.  In the third service for June 18th, we’ll be seeing how family-clan-fellowship supports personhood, or the security base supports outer world expression.  In the last service on June 25th, we’ll be  in all relations – healing through outreach for spirit connection

Submitted by Laurence Beal

June 4th: COMMUNITY – The Importance of Being a Pod

A Pod is defined as a social group of whales. Wild whales journey through the vastness of the oceans as much as we do in the vastness of life. A Pod’s purpose is in all ways to show the requirement of the collective to attain the needs of the individual, through the strengths of the individuals working as a collective.

Moderator:   Christopher Porter
Star Sharing:   Lawrence Beal – Many Lights Make it Bright
Meditation:   Retha Zaffino – The Three Treasures of Heaven
Speaker:   Sväminé R.Devé ~ Sanskrit The Origin of ONE
Greeter:   Colin Lee – One Flower Makes a Bouquet
Coordinator:  Christopher Porter

Sväminé Rädhikä Devé is a Dutch born multi-lingual painter, poet, exponent and indeed ‘professor’ of Sanskrit Sutra Philosophy and Applied Yoga.   In the late sixties,  Sväminé encountered the teachings of the Trika School of Kashmir through Paul Reps’ classic text- Zen Flesh/ Zen Bones. Ever since then the latter, which comprised both Buddhists and Kashmir Shaiva teachings,  have been celebrated by her as an invitation to become an aspiring attendee at the ‘Kumbha -Mela’ of the World-Wide Enlightenment Crowd.

SPECIAL REQUEST: To help showcase the strength of the collective in the Church of Truth Pod , please participate in this service by bringing ONE of the following items:


“If you are not participating in LIFE , you are spectating your life.”

After this service, there will be a  finger food potluck in celebration of our pod.

June 11th:   Mystical Journey and Connections.

Moderator:   Stephan Kinsella
Meditation:   Toni Bennett
Speaker:   Lulu Love Rose
Greeter:  Linda Chan
Coordinator:  Marilyn Smando

Lulu Love Rose is motivated by Love, unconditional Love, and the power of Forgiveness.  Her interests including but not limited to joy of Tea, having studied with tea masters from the disciplines of herbal energetics to that of the ceremonial tea practices for over a period of twenty years. She refers to herself as “A student of the Leaf”.

Then aromatherapy bewitched her senses, she married with this the Art of Perfumery. Witnessing that with the intelligence of essential oils can actually transcend ones own health, enhancing a sense of wellness within us all. Her studies included that mystical realms of weaving many forms of energy, its medicine and modalities through the primary practice of Chi Gong, Tai Chi (Ying & Yang Forms) during her past 30 years. Now she practices the Five Tibetans daily, does Zumba weekly.

In 2010 a BIG shift in consciousness changed Lulu forever.  A vegan and raw foodie brought Lulu to pursue this topic and become and Raw Food Chef.  She accepted a metaphysical invitation to dissolve who she had been. A deeper sense of her own Dharma or purpose emerged.

Changing the way she viewed what was food and not, brought about a deepening, reflected in her original writings. Lulu is a writer, poetess and spoken word artist. She considers herself as a Truth Seeker. Several of her original collection of writings will be featured in her yet to be published book “POETIC CONSCIOUSNESS — Illuminations of an Awakening Heart, by Lulu Love Rose”.

June 18th:   Love’s Creation ~The Cycle of Life 

As we explore the topics for the month of June, the ‘coming together’ and ‘meeting of opposites’, we find ourselves mid-month celebrating Father’s Day. After the fertility of May comes the fullness – the pregnancy – the expression of the Divine in form.

As couples move into loving relationships, often it leads to the desire to create and bring new life into the world. This begins one of the most challenging, and rewarding, experiences of adult life – the responsibility of parenting. It is indeed a journey filled with hope, and the creation of a secure foundation for the child as it learns to navigate the world. It is the full blossoming of life as it expands into the ever-changing expression of love unfolding.

Moderator:   Jane Warren Campbell
Meditation:   Laura Lane
Speaker:  Brian Martin
Greeter:  Bliss
Coordinator:  D. Joan Thomas and Jane Warren Campbell

Brian Martin is well loved in this church for many reasons. He is the father of a son who, according to my secret sources, was just about born at the church. His son is now 28 so that speaks to Brian’s long years of dedication to this church.

For those who don’t know, he serves as President of the Board, is involved in the men’s group that supports the church in many ways, for example, the garage sale to not only clear out the basement of unneeded items, but also raise funds for the church.

And, he is most loved for the music that he brings to the church. Many of the songs we sing are composed by Brian and serve to join our hearts with his touching lyrics and the joy of song.

You know the saying if you want something done ask someone who’s busy? That was invented for Brian. I don’t know how he does it but he manages to fit his love and service for this community into a very busy life. We’re delighted that Brian will speak to us today of what it means to be a father and whatever fonts of wisdom flow through him.

June 25     Community Service:   Spiritual Connection and Healing Through Outreach

Organized by:  The C of T Men’s Group.   Details currently are TBA
Coordinator:  Linda Chan

This Community Service will be followed by a Finger Food Potluck.  Contributions to this would be much appreciated.

Sunday Services in May:


For summer is a come in today,
And whither we are going, let us all unite
In the merry morning of May.

So runs an old English song, highlighting one of the themes of this month. May Day was the time villagers got together to celebrate the coming of summer. Internationally, it is also the day when workers celebrate their unity and need to stand together for social and economic justice. Behind every coming together of this kind is a story, a story of what is shared and what is possible, and so we could identify May as one of the months where storytelling is important. It is also the month where fertility, as symbolised by the maypole and many flower festivals, comes to the centre of attention. If we combine these themes, we can ask: what stories promise a fertile future for us and the world, and which are locked in the past? And we can also ask: what other ways can we celebrate the coming of summer by moving toward fertility in spirit, heart and body?

Submitted by Laurence Beal, SDC

May 7   Building Unity through Telling and Performing Stories

Will Weigler will use story prompt cards from his latest book, The Alchemy of Astonishment, in order to give us a direct experience of how storytelling creates community.

Moderator:      Junie Swadron
Meditation:     Will Weigler
Speaker:           Will Weigler
Greeter:            TBA
Coordinator:  Chris Bullock

Will Weigler is an all-around theatre artist. He directs, produces, and writes plays, and is also a storyteller, a sculptor, an acting coach, and the author of several books on theatre. In 2013, Will brought together an inter-cultural, inter-generational group of 100 people from the Victoria area to create and perform the award-winning play, From the Heart: enter into the journey of reconciliation. From the Heart was about the need for non-Indigenous Canadians to step up and share responsibility in the work of building reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. This unconventional show was performed inside a 14,000 square foot indoor labyrinth at Uptown Mall. An audience of eight people at a time saw 17 scenes and songs performed as they made their way through the corridors of the labyrinth.


May 14     Fertility of the Mind, Body and Spirit

A special Mothers’ Day Presentation Featuring, music, poetry and dance by C of T community.

Coordinator:    D. Joan Thomas


May 21     The ZEN of Life With Trees and Orcas

Panel members will talk about their direct intuitive experiences with the living earth partners.   Jane Campbell has experience with creatures of the forest and Chris Porter has experience with aquatic beings.

Moderator:      Laurence Beal
Meditation:     Jennifer Sager
Panel:                Jane Campbell and Chris Porter
Greeter:            TBA
Coordinator:  Laurence Beal

Jane Warren Campbell is the author of the upcoming book Conversations with a Tree, which is her third book. She is also the founder of Rashana Sound Essences and the Freedom Release Technique. Jane has been working as an alternative therapist for the last fifteen years and has also worked in the Human Services/Family Services field. Jane’s ability to connect with the unseen realm began to awaken twenty years ago. Despite this, being invited into conversation with a tree came as a complete surprise, expanding her connection with the natural world. Jane is joyfully living her soul purpose, touching people around the globe, being of service through her work. Many are moved by the clarity of what she offers and the energy of love that comes through her. Jane’s website is www.empoweredplanet.ca


Christopher Porter spent 25 years working around the world in the captive aquarium industry. In Blackfish the Movie, he shares his connection with Tilikum the Killer Whale and how it began his change of heart to support an alternative to captivity. In 2014 he founded WildVision Edutainment, creating public exhibits showcasing the wild using technology, not captivity. OceanWalls , featured at Hillside Shopping Centre has edutained hundreds of thousands of guests and received an International Award for Cause Related Marketing. . In July 2017 an expansion of his WIldVision continues with whale size replicas honoring individual wild killer whales will be installed in City of Victoria’s Centennial Square. His spiritual journey has been as trans-formative as his work with marine mammals. From days as an altar boy to years of living with tribes in the South Pacific, all leading up to “Conversations Thru the Eye of An Orca”.   For more information on Chris:   Founder


May 28     Community Service: Opening Up To New Possibilities Welcoming the new Spiritual Directions Committee

Moderator:       Bill Israel
Meditation:      Marilyn Smando
Invocation:      Jane Campbell
Candle Lighter:    Laurence Beal
Introduction to the SDC and Panel Facilitator:   Laurence Beal
Panel:               Members of the new SDC
Greeter:           Chris Porter
Coordinator:  Linda Chan

At the April 23rd AGM, we ratified a new team of COT-CCL members to serve on the Spiritual Directions Committee (SDC).   Members of this new SDC team will take on the task of fulfilling the roles of this Community Service.  In  addition during the panel discussion, they will each briefly share some aspect of their spiritual journey with us.  Come and celebrate with us!

This Community Service will be followed by a Finger Food Potluck.  Contributions to this would be much appreciated.


Sunday Services in April:

The playfulness of April, with its new growth and changing weather, contains a challenge within it; are we up for the challenge? April is the month that starts with April Fool’s Day, and moves through Good Friday and Easter Monday in its journey towards Earth Day and Shakespeare’s birth and death days.  In Shakespeare’s plays, the Fool is usually a character whose playfulness and apparent craziness contains deep wisdom, offering new paths to those not wedded to authority and the traditional ways of doing things. In a universalist perspective, Christ’s death and resurrection conveys the same message: the death of an old life allows the possibility of new life coming forth from the tombstone of the old. From the old life, the possibility of rebirth of the body seems as unlikely as the returning of a dead man to life, and yet the Christian story suggests this possibility is real, and the source of salvation.


April 2   What is Spirituality:  A Time for Renewal

We put a lot of energy into our spiritual pursuits, with a goal in mind: happiness, joy, love, the end of suffering.  How are we doing?  Have we achieved these goals or are we still searching?  With Laura, we will explore some of the barriers that stand in the way.

Moderator:  Bill Israel
Meditation: Laura Fellman
Speaker:   Laura Fellman
Greeter:   Jean Gregson
Coordinator:   Linda Chan

Laura Fellman, has had a life of adventure: as a nomad, living in a tent while exploring all of North America.  She has built a house on her own, learned to fly airplanes, was a shepherdess to a flock of goats, lived in an ashram, was a movie editor, taught vegetarian cooking and yoga, had a fitness business, and worked as a social worker.  If you were to ask her which or these was the greatest adventure, she would answer, “the voyage within.”  She will share with us some of her inner journey and how she sorted out the confusion that spiritual seeking brings.

April 9 –  Breaking Free: Releasing the Wisdom of the Fool

Moderator:  Jennifer Sagar
Meditation:  Jane (Rashana) Campbell
Speaker:  Jane (Rashana) Campbell
Greeter:  Laurence Beal
Coordinator:  Jennifer Sagar

Jane  Campbell (formerly Rashana) lived most of her life in Atlantic Canada in her native province of Nova Scotia. She has now made her way to the Pacific coast, living on Vancouver Island, BC.  Earlier in her journey (1990s) she trained as a  Reiki Master, Certified Hypnotherapist, Sound Healer and a variety of alternative therapies.  She has studied Human Services, Community Services, Family Services and has a diploma in counselling.  She has been channeling the Higher Beings of Light for 20 years and was asked by The Council of Nine in 2012 to be their scribe which led to her book The Spiritual Seeker’s Guide to Happiness.  During that time she also found herself writing Conversations with a Tree after another invitation to gather wisdom from a stately hemlock tree.

April 16 –  Rebirth into Community

Moderator:  Lorna Rennie
Meditation:  Marie Logan
Speaker:  Troi Leonard
Coordinator:  D. Joan Thomas

Troi Leonard is a “seeker” after answers all his life”……what is God, Purpose of Living, Love, Light, Peace, and Truth..and most important… his “reason for being”.  And he says when you are earnest and sincere, you are shown the way to travel.  Dreams, knowledge and study, meditation with intense desire and aspiration opened the door to “Seeing, Hearing and Knowing”.  The magic of living such a reality guided him towards partnership, directing an Esoteric School and providing the means whereby he has traveled for over 30 years internationally, stimulating and catalyzing individuals and groups working with Sound, Colour and Vibration as keys for personal transformation and soul evolution.

April 23 – The Body and the Dance of Life

In this session, Will Weigler will use the reading of a series of poems by poets writing about their own spiritual experiences brought on by their time in nature to explore the interweaving of nature, body and spiritual renewal.  Audience discussion will be part of the presentation.

Moderator:  Chris Bullock
Meditation:   Lynn Gordon
Speaker:   Will Weigler
Greeter:  Marvelous Trudeau
Coordinator:   Chris Bullock

Will Weigler is an all-around theatre artist. He directs, produces, and writes plays, and is also a storyteller, a sculptor, an acting coach, and the author of several books on theatre. In 2013, Will brought together an inter-cultural, inter-generational group of 100 people from the Victoria area to create and perform the award-winning play, From the Heart: enter into the journey of reconciliationFrom the Heart was about the need for non-Indigenous Canadians to step up and share responsibility in the work of building reconciliation with First Nations, Métis and Inuit people. This unconventional show was performed inside a 14,000 square foot indoor labyrinth at Uptown Mall. An audience of eight people at a time saw 17 scenes and songs performed as they made their way through the corridors of the labyrinth.



April 30:  Community Service – Insights into Community

At the Community Service on January 29th,  we explored Community: (Reflections:   A look at what community means to us.)  More specifically we reflected on the following questions:  What draws you to being part of a Community and more specifically our Community?   How can this relationship (community to you, you to the community) strengthen and flow both ways?   How might you further contribute to our community?  What is your vision of our Community’s connection and service to the larger community.  Do you agree with our Mission: (We are a spiritual community supporting each other in exploration of personal journeys regardless of spiritual path or belief)?  During the Meditation, attendees were invited to complete a questionnaire which addressed the above questions and after the service, others were also invited to submit their responses as well.  The responses are included at this link:  http://cotvictoria.ca/welcome/reflections-on-community-responses/

For the Community Service on April 30th, a summary of responses has been done (Gratitude to both John Vanden Heuvel and Bill Israel for their work on this) and will be handed out to attendees for discussion in small groups with the opportunity of also sharing in the larger group.  Come prepared to share your views and thoughts!

After this service, there will be a finger food potluck.  Contributions to this would be much appreciated!

Moderator:  Bill Israel
Meditation:  Marvelous Trudeau
Facilitator:  Bill Israel
Greeter:  Gino
Coordinator:  Linda Chan

Sunday Services in March:

Theme:  The Flowering of Heart and Mind

In March, Spring officially arrives. In Victoria, flowers associated with Spring usually appear well before March, (though our Smug List of early bloomers has changed a little because of our frozen January). Nonetheless, the official arrival of Spring has an archetypal significance. The equal daylight and night have a direct effect on the circadian rhythms of the biosphere. In our experiences and personal navigations of the life journey, moving forward has taken resolution and effort in January and February. Emerging in March, our resolution and community connections are now reflected by the flowering and flowing of life. Creeks frozen in the earlier part of the year are now flowing freely, and river of life is gaining momentum. Spring cleanup of the dead wood fall brings fire to the brook side scenario.

-Submitted by Chris Bullock and Laurence Beal, SDC

March 5:     Focus and Vision

“If… thine eye be single, thy body will be filled with light” Matthew, 6:22 Our ability to focus helps the flowering of life and light in us. If our focus is in a spiritual direction, then the access to Spirit becomes stronger in us.

Moderator:  Marvelous Trudeau

Meditation:   Linda Duarte (and Aidan Duarte-Enns)

Speaker:   Jacob Enns

Greeter:   Chris Bullock

Coordinator:  Chris Bullock

Linda Duarte has over 20 years of experience as a therapist. She graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Masters in Counselling Psychology. Along with traditional counselling approaches she has helped clients by utilizing EMDR, energy healing and mindfulness techniques. She is currently working in Student Services at the University of Victoria and working on a PhD in “servant leadership.”

Aidan Duarte-Enns (age 6) will assist in the meditation.

Jacob Enns trained for 4 years to be a pastor in a church and kept expanding his ‘family’ according to love. When graduation finally arrived he realised he was too inclusive for the fundamentalist church system he trained under. Instead of proceeding as a pastor, he went on to spread his appreciation for a conscious life to a more transitory congregation for over 15 years. Since coming to Victoria he has joined the Spiritual Care team at Our Place. Jacob and Linda collaborate in private counselling and energy healing and can be contacted at transformativecounsellingandcoaching.com. They and Aidan first attended the Church of Truth on March 5, 2010.

March 12:   Intuition

The inner voice calling the heart to open, the seed to germinate and the mind/body to replace contemplation with action.

Moderator:  Bob Winkenhower

Meditation:  Norm Smookler

Speaker:   Laura Lane

Greeter:  Jennifer Sager

Coordinators:   D.Joan Thomas and Jennifer Sagar


March 19:   Season of Sprouting Intentions

Moderator: Laurence Beal

Meditation: TBA

Greeter: TBA

Coordinator:   Laurence Beal


March 26    Community Service

A very interesting opportunity has come to this community. Richard DiCastri, the founding minister of our church will be speaking about the history of our church and where we’re heading.

Moderator:   Brian Martin

Meditation:   Laura Lane

Speaker:   Rev. Richard J. DiCastri

Sunday Services in February:


“We seek fulfillment in our lives through heart connection with others. This is our soul’s essence of joy, which spontaneously pulses through us, longing to share itself with another.” — John Friend


Once the month of January is over and new resolutions made, then the question arises of how to carry these resolutions of the heart out into the larger world. For this, community building needs to occur.

In February, we will explore multiple perspectives on community building, ways in which the heart can connect with the hearts of others in a practical and socially valuable way. February, heart connection month brings renewed awareness of how important our heart connections are, with ourselves, each other and the wider community.

Such connections, whether with self, COT or the larger community are enriched by contact with others. In the end all connections serve to awaken us to greater unity consciousness. Submitted by Laurence Beal, SDC

February 5     The Pachamama Alliance: For an Environmentally Sustainable, Spiritually Fulfilling, and Socially Just Presence on the Planet.
Moderator:  Sanjara Omoniyi
Presenters:   Michael Tacon and Chris Bullock
Meditation:    Michael Tacon
Greeter:    D. Joan Thomas
Coordinator:   Chris Bullock

Michael Tacon: In addition to his 14 year sojourn in an ashram community, Micael has lived a varied life working as a land surveyor, college teacher, and a psychotherapist. For much of his life he has sought to bring together a spiritual perspective and his working career along with his involvement in various kinds of social activism of the kind expressed by the Pachamama Alliance. He is currently living in the Harbourside Senior Cohousing community in Sooke.

Chris Bullock, currently a member of the COT Spiritual Directions Committee, retired from an academic career teaching English to follow a more interesting and varied path involving writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction, grandparenting, community activism, hiking and spiritual seeking. From 20012 to 2014, Michael and he presented the Pachamama “Awakening the Dreamer” program in a number of venues, including the COT Oneness Wednesday series.

February 12      The Transformative Power of Community Connections

February, heart connection month brings renewed awareness of how important our heart connections are, with ourselves ,each other and the wider community. Such connections, whether with self, COT or the larger community are enriched by contact with others. In the end all connections serve to awaken us to greater unity consciousness. Our speaker today, Jack Meredith, has experienced this powerful transforming effect and is happy to share his experiences with us today

Moderator:   Brian Martin
Meditation:   Elsie Mary Poliquin
Speaker:   Jack Meredith
Greeter:   Ella Brown
Coordinator:   Leonard Thornton

Jack Meredith lives in Victoria West with his wife Lori and has been active with arranging community building events with the Vic West Community Association, Transition Victoria, Resilient Neighbourhoods and the Gorge Swim Fest Society.

One initiative that Jack was involved with, that he will be speaking about, is a Transition Victoria initiative called Transition Streets. This initiative had a transformational impact on Jack and his neighbors on McCaskill Street. The initiative not only brought the neighbors closer together but also enabled them to reduce their impact on the environment through reduced water use, reduced energy use, more thoughtful decisions about consumption, food choices, transportation and waste generation.

One area that is of particular pride and interest to Jack is Net Zero Energy. He and Lori with the help of his friends and neighbors installed 4.2 kilowatts of Photo Voltaic panels on their house and are now closely monitoring their energy use to see if they have indeed achieved Net Zero Energy.

February 19     From the Heart Theatrical Project

Moderator:   Lorna Rennie
Meditation:   Laura Lane
Speaker:   Will Weigler
Greeter:   Jennifer Sagar
Coordinator:  Jennifer Sagar

Will Weigler is an award-winning community-based theatre director, playwright, and storyteller. He has written several books including From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation; The Alchemy of Astonishment: Engaging the Power of Theatre; Strategies for Playbuilding: Helping Groups Translate Issues into Theatre; and Laughing Allowed! – A How-to Guide for Making a Physical Comedy Show to Build Neighbourhood Resilience (co-authored with Rob Wipond and Michelle Colussi)

February 26      Community Service: Heart Work and Our Community

At the Community Service this month, we will have the opportunity of sharing the heart work our Community does in the wider community. Brian Martin, who is a facilitator of our Meditation Circle will share what happen in our weekly Oneness Wednesdays evening Meditation Circle and will also lead us in a meditation. Bill Israel will share our new Community Outreach Program and then introduce Lucy Price who tell us more about Cedars Recovery House and the services that they provide to the wider community. Cedars Recovery House is one of our community’s designated recipients. After Lucy’s short presentation, there will be an opportunity of a Q + A facilitated by Bill Israel.

Moderator:    Marvelous Trudeau
Introduction to Meditation Circle + Meditation:   Brian Martin
Introduction to Community Outreach Program:    Bill Israel
Short Presentation on Cedar Recovery House:   Lucy Price (with Q + A facilitated by Bill Israel)
Greeter:   John Vanden Heuvel
Coordinator:   Linda Chan with the assistance of Bill Israel

Lucy Price is the counselor and house manager at Cedars Victoria, a second stage recovery house in James Bay. Lucy has been counseling for over a decade and has been with Cedars since 2012, working in primary care in Cobble Hill for three years and then transferring to the recovery house. Lucy studied social work at the University of Victoria and found her passion working with recovering addicts; she was honored as the You Unlimited Woman of Mentorship and Leadership in 2016 for her work in the recovery community. Lucy is committed to assisting individuals to reintegrate into society and to live their best lives by helping them to walk a path based on spiritual principles.

Sunday Services in January…..


In the Christian tradition, early in January comes the Feast of the Epiphany, the time when the Three Kings were lead to the stable by a star and found the Christ Child. In the Greek and Eastern churches, this time is known at the “Day of Light.” This day signals the carrying of Light into the world. The tradition is that the Three Kings went back to their native lands and started spreading the word about what they had seen. In a more universalist perspective, the Three Kings and the different gifts they gave the Christ Child can be seen as three aspects of the self, three qualities needed to bring into the world the light of whatever revelation is birthing at the beginning of the New Year. Generally, frankincense is taken to symbolise holiness or a devotion to the sacred, myrrh to symbolise sacrifice, or the willingness to go into the depths, and gold to symbolise earthly power.   Gold , in a modern interpretation, represents the skill of finding the strategies to bring vision into practical existence. Without these three Kingly gifts, revelation, however powerful, will have no impact in the world. The astrological influences in this month suggest there is a fourth Kingly gift, the gift of transcending boundaries, and breaking open fixed concepts. As Leonard Cohen puts it, the “crack in everything” is “where the light comes in.” — Chris Bullock, for SDC


January 1:   Fool’s Gold: The Crack in Conceptualized Values.

I have often found myself looking back, with enough distance in time, to regard a past event in which my part could only, so much later, be seen to be the part of a fool. Yes, in time, with gained wisdom from the trail of living, we all have seen things from later perspectives which throw a spin of humor into the recollection.  Monica says she gets the jist or gest or jest of the theme along with the …just jest and jist of the necessary adjustments which might go bump in the night.  —- Laurence Beal

Moderator:   Marvelous Trudeau
Troi Leonard
Monica Gabriel
Bill Israel
Laurence Beal

Moneca Gabriel is a multi-faceted member of our Community who is passionate about life…..  For 40 years, she taught school and loved it;  she was a teacher-trainer and leadership facilitator and has led workshops since 1975.  She has been on the international staff with Landmark Education,  is a Certified Purposeful Life Coach and continues to dedicate herself towards bringing positive shifts in the mind, the heart and the soul of people’s lives.

Moneca is committed to making  a difference in this world ….. Currently she is actively involved with two projects which are near and dear to her heart.—  Raising funds to directly support Kenyan student education.   She has started fundraising for building interlocking blocks for housing which will also provide work for Kenyan students.   —  Having available Empress Splendor Trees bare roots that businesses and individuals can purchase.  These are the fastest growing hardwood trees which will absorb at least 11Xs more carbon dioxide than other types of trees.

For more info – Landmark Education:  http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/;  Kenyan Education Endowment Fund:  http://www.kenyaeducation.org/ ;  and The Empress Splendor Tree:  http://worldtreecop.com/empress-tree/


January 8:     Frankincense: Awakening Devotion to the Sacred

Frankincense, one of the gifts of the Magi, is a unique fragrance distilled from the resinous bark of shrubby trees, grown mainly in Lebanon, Yemen and N. Africa. In Hebrew, frankincense means pure or white as the drops of resin were milky white. and were used in many types of sacred ceremonies.  It is thought frankincense was given as a gift to Jesus to symbolize his stature as a spiritual leader, bringing to mankind the message of the indwelling light of spirit. In His life and teaching Christ Jesus embodied and demonstrated the power of that Great Light for all men.

This week we focus on the power expressed through frankincense to help ground spirit into matter and awaken in mankind greater spiritual aspiration, helping to inspire devotion to the indwelling spiritual light and the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven within. In what ways has this Christmas awakened deeper devotion to the spirit of light and truth within ourselves and how is that appearing in our outer lives?

Moderator:     Peggy Muncaster
Meditation:     Troi Leonard
Speaker:         Eileen Curteis
Greeter:           Marie Logan
Coordinator:   Leonard Thornton

Eileen Curteis, a Sister of Saint Ann, is a Reiki Master teacher and practitioner, who has treated and taught  numerous people over the last twenty-four years.  After the closure of Queenswood Retreat and Spirituality Centre where she had worked for seventeen years, Eileen carried on the legacy of the former Queenswood by obtaining a fifteen year trademark for Queenswood School of Reiki. She then went on to co-found with Sharon Burkmar and other dedicated women, Queenswood Holistic Healing and Spirituality Society.  Preceding this, Sister Eileen was a teacher, principal and educator for twenty-seven years.  Her greatest passion lies in her healing ministry and in the literary arts. She has authored eleven books to date and has become an accomplished poet, artist and writer, as well as being a producer of six CDs and three films.


January 15: Myrrh:  The Light Inside the Dark.

Moderator:   Chris Bullock
Meditation:   Ariel Lade
Speaker:   Junie Swadron
Coordinator:   Chris Bullock
Greeter:   TBA

Junie Swadron is an author, playwright, psychotherapist, teacher and writing coach.  Her book, Re-Write Your Life: A Transformational Guide to Writing and Healing the Stories of Our Lives (2009), is based on 21 years of guiding literally thousands of students to write their life stories. Earlier, in 2002, she co-wrote and produced a play to help dispel myths and stigmas about mental illness entitled, Madness, Masks and Miracles. It’s about the madness or the dark night of the soul that she believes most, if not all, of us go through as we walk our human journey, the masks we wear to hide the madness, shame, pain, grief and fear and the miracles that allow us to finally remove the masks and find freedom.


January 22:   Gold:  “An Incredibly Profound Talk.”

Be inspired! Be entertained!

Be awakened to the spiritual gold in your everyday stories!

  • Do you want to be renewed by soulful stories?
  • Do you want to awaken your inner story-teller?
  •  Do you want free snacks?

If you answered “yes” to one or more questions, this talk is for you.

In this Incredibly Profound Talk, acclaimed comedian, Diana Kuch weaves personal stories, comedic tales, and ancient truths, into a luminous tapestry that demonstrates what our ancestors have always known; stories infuse matter with spirit, uncover the spirit in matter, and show us what matters.

This talk encourages you to tap into your own stories. As you connect with all the tales you hold, you grow in an understanding of your deepest values. In addition, you become aware of the golden treasure-house of your own wisdom and creativity.

Our narratives, even the mundane and ordinary, hold many gifts. Stories provide insights when making decisions. Stories move us through transitions. Stories infuse our lives with energy and restore our spirit.

The power of our simple, everyday stories connects us to each other, and to what teachers like Marianne Williamson, and the Dali Lama, name, as one of the most important spiritual truths, “We are all the same.”

Moderator:    Troi Leonard
Meditation:    Leonard Thornton
Speaker:  Diana Kuch
Greeter:     Jennifer Sager
Coordinator:  Jennifer Sager


Diana Kuch is a comedian, host, story-teller, and wild food forager.

Ever-devoted, she strives to cure two modern ailments, C.S.D. (Chronic Seriousness Disorder), and N.D.D. (Nature Deprivation Disorder.) Diana also wrestles with a personal eating disorder, O.C.N. (Out of Control Nibbling.) She was recently banned from an Oak Bay Potluck.

Diana is best known for her trilogy of sold out comedy specials: How to Lick a Vegetarian, Celebrating Imperfection, and Potluck Universe. In 2016, she premiered her new show: Laugh More, Stress Less, at the Victoria Conference Centre. The standing-room only crowd laughed, pounded their chests, and rolled in the aisles.

When not writing, performing, or eating, Diana can be found in her gumboots roaming the magical rainforests.  She has a favorite mossy perch, where she stands and tells jokes to giant cedars.


January 29th- Community Service – Reflections:   A look at what community means to us. 


At this community service, we’ll be exploring Community — Some questions to reflect on….. What draws you to being part of a Community and more specifically our Community?   How can this relationship (community to you, you to the community) strengthen and flow both ways?   How might you further contribute to our community?…………

Moderator:    Francis Litman
Panel Speakers:   Diana Kuch, Ella Brown and Stephen Kinsella
Open Mic Facilitator:  John Vanden Heuvel
Reflective Meditation: Brian Martin
Greeter:   Laurence Beal
Coordinators:  Linda Chan and John Vanden Heuvel

*** Please note this service will be a departure from our usual service and will be followed by a Finger Food Potluck. Contributions to this would be much appreciated…  A vegan gluten-free soup will be prepared by Linda Chan.