Your voice counts. Yes, it really does. As your Secretary of Religion, I have said over and over again that I look to our Ministers to help create the future of our Ministry and our Dharma. I am not in favor of top-down administration—rather, a more distributive style of management with real empowerment. The question is, how do we create this? Yes, we have Minister gatherings at Winter and Summer Solstices and the European Yoga Festival.
As yoga festivals grow globally, there will be a need for Minister gatherings at these events as well. The gatherings are purposely not intended to be “meetings”; instead they are an opportunity for Ministers to come together, share, give input, build a sense of community and take away resources to support our work as Ministers in our communities. It is often a challenge for many of our Ministers to attend these gatherings, since many of you are involved in helping to run the various events.
Yes, we also have our Minister e-newsletter as a communication tool. It is a great way for us to share information, inspiration and global perspectives on a variety of topics. However, there is still a need for more direct input and co-creation of our Ministry. How can our voices be more effectively heard?
Global Grassoots Ministry
In response to this growing need, the Assistant Secretary of Religion, our Administrative Assistant and I began envisioning a grassroots, global infrastructure to facilitate better communication within our worldwide Ministry. Out of our brainstorming came the idea of having Regional Minister Coordinators (RMCs).
We looked at the original designation of regions and domains as stipulated by the Siri Singh Sahib in a February 13, 1979 proclamation regarding Amended Bylaws and Restated Articles of Organization. It was in this document that he designated various states and countries into regions and domains.
In seeing how our Dharma has spread since that time, we used this information as a template and added or changed some areas to reflect and accommodate the needs of today. We are still very much in the formative stages of this project.
The main idea behind the RMCs is to create a grassroots “brain trust” for gathering ideas, concerns and feedback from you as a Sikh Dharma Minister, and for this office to utilize that input to better serve the Ministry.
It is also intended for Ministers to have more effective communication and support with each other and further embrace their roles as Ministers. We seek collaboration to generate a sense of unity among our global Ministry so that we can better serve humanity.
Our Ministry represents a cross-section of our Dharma. This diversification is essential to the vitality and relevance of our Ministry. At the same time it presents a challenge: how to speak to the variety of wants, needs and desires of the Ministers. It is my hope that this new infrastructure will provide a platform for meaningful discussion and co-creation of our future.
We are still waiting for confirmation from some of the Ministers we have asked to serve as RMCs. We hope to have that finalized by the end of this year; at that point we will let you know the name of your RMC. After meeting virtually as a group to help define this role, your RMC will coordinate a meeting (either in person or virtually depending on how large a geographic area s/he is responsible for) with you and we can move forward to the best of our abilities. I am excited by the possibilities that this program might foster. Many thanks to each and every one of you.
ABOUT 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. Dr. Sat Kaur maintains a full-time psychotherapy private practice in Santa Monica, California and Santa Fe, New Mexico. She counsels individuals, couples, and families to support their personal and spiritual growth. She is a certified Kundalini Yoga teacher, facilitates White Tantric Yoga®, and is a published author.