Someone recently asked me the following question: “Where does the Ministry fit in the Dharma?” I replied, “It is the leadership body the Siri Singh Sahib established for the Dharma.”
Not everyone is destined to be a Sikh Dharma Minister. However, for those who were appointed by the Siri Singh Sahib (while he was alive) and for those who have felt a calling to serve in this capacity both in their heart and soul, there is a responsibility to step forward in a leadership capacity. What does that look like? It comes in many forms.
There are Ministers helping in crisis and disasters, serving langar, counseling, participating in interfaith groups, serving on boards, organizing Dharmic events, reaching out to the communities in which they live to assist with community challenges, playing Kirtan, running Akhand Paaths, serving Gurdwaras and the Guru, and the list goes on and on.
What is the difference between a Minister and a sangat member? There is a difference on a very subtle level: it’s really in the Minister’s psyche. There is a shift that happens when someone takes Minister vows. Perhaps it has to do with destiny (or karma). Perhaps it is about what that individual needs to deliver in this lifetime.
I certainly don’t claim to know the inner workings of the universe. I just know that becoming a Minister creates a change on a subtle level. Candidate after candidate has affirmed this truth.
What someone does with their Ministership after taking vows (besides upholding the vows) becomes their personal journey and responsibility. The Siri Singh Sahib said, “To be a Minister means we are the first to step forward, the first to offer whatever is needed, the last to eat, and the last to sleep.”
Answering the Call
Part of the responsibility to serve in this capacity is to be current in one’s annual Minister credentials as set forth by the Siri Singh Sahib. Why? Besides being able to answer the call whenever it arises, maintaining your Good Standing as a Sikh Dharma Minister allows you to help shape the future of the Dharma.
We are moving into a different phase of our religion, exploring how we can maintain the spirit, the joy, the “juice” of our lifestyle and at the same time help to create a solid organizational foundation that can serve the future. Ministers do this by serving the organization in a number of ways, because the Siri Singh Sahib entrusted us to be leaders, helping to carry the banner on, and stepping forward to serve.
Leading the Dharma
In the present organizational system, all Sikh Dharma Ministers in Good Standing have an opportunity to have a voice in how our Dharma is run.
The election of the individuals who will serve on the Siri Singh Sahib Corporation board that oversees both our profit and non-profit entities is primarily the responsibility of this leadership group of Ministers.
If you are Current in your Minister credentials and in Good Standing, you are eligible to vote and if you aren’t, you forfeit this important charge to assure the conscious direction for the future of our organizations.
If you are not caught up in your Minister credentials, you have until December 10, 2019 to become current by contacting the Office of the Secretary of Religion at [email protected] and completing your annual renewals. This is our Dharma. Let’s serve it to the best of our ability.
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.