What do we need to hold firm to? What needs to change? What unites us? What divides us? What are our shared values? These are questions that are critical for us, as Ministers, to explore, so that we may remain relevant and responsive to the demands of these times.
What is keeping us from moving forward? Perhaps one factor is the growing polarization that is showing up in many of our communities around the world. When “holding a position” takes precedence over sharing one’s particular point of view, we end up in a power struggle—an “us and them” environment that fosters separation rather than cooperation. In such an environment we lose the opportunity to appreciate our diversity and understanding of each other. If we keep focusing on our differences, we will grow further apart. Perhaps it’s time to focus on what brings us together.
The underlying theme at the heart of all four issues of the 2022 newsletter is Unity. For the current issue, authors were asked to reflect on the core values that unify us as Ministers. They were also invited to offer their thoughts on what needs to change, both personally and collectively, within the Ministry. The latter request stimulated a wide range of frank, honest, thought-provoking, and deeply-considered responses. In gathering Ministers’ experiences of both the gifts and the challenges to our unity, we may see the beginning of a foundation upon which to shape the future of our Ministry.
Through all of the current turmoil, there also exists a quiet group of Ministers who simply are continuing to serve in ways that utilize their God-given gifts. We can find them in every sangat, around the globe. We don’t hear a lot from them. However, if you step back, you will see them continuing, in humility, to deliver. Clearly, they too are playing a part in the collective whole. Their contribution is greatly appreciated.
It is a time of reflection, contemplation, and assessment of where we are and what we need to address in order to be united, relevant, and responsive to the changing times while maintaining our integrity. May God and Guru ever bless you in your service.
SS Dr. Sat-Kaur Khalsa
Secretary of Religion
THE SECRETARY OF RELIGION
SS Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa has served as Secretary of Religion since 1991 and was ordained as a Sikh Dharma Minister in 1975. As Secretary of Religion, Dr. Sat Kaur oversees and is ultimately responsible for the delivery of the functions of this Office. Dr. Sat Kaur is a long-time member of the International Khalsa Council and the Khalsa Council Executive Committee. She maintains a full-time psychotherapy private practice in Santa Monica, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico, counseling individuals, couples, and families to support their personal and spiritual growth. She is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, a facilitator of White Tantric Yoga®, and a published author.