Weekly Spiritual Services
I’ve been leading services here since the year 2000. But this is a phenomenon that has been transpiring long before I arrived.
Every Sunday morning for 77 years, a community of people who live at Sunrise Ranch and in the surrounding area has been attending spiritual services here. We gather to share a sacred space for prayer and reflection, and to receive divine guidance from the source of wisdom and love within ourselves.
For a long time, people around the world have connected to our weekly services. They have participated by teleconference, read transcripts of them, watched videos, and listened to audios.
Today, our spiritual services are available in-person, by Zoom, and on Facebook. You can also read my weekly blog, The Pulse of Spirit. It is based on themes from our services.
What Happens in the Weekly Services I Lead?
Developing the services I lead, I think about what I, myself, enjoy about a weekly spiritual service—and what I don’t like. Of course, I notice what appeals to other people too, and what works for them. But I begin with the brazen assumption that we are all made essentially the same, especially those of us who are interested in conscious awakening. So here is my short list of what is important to me in the services I lead.
I like a conscious, intelligent approach to spirituality. Yes, I want to feel it deeply. Yes, I want to feel inspiration, motivation, and upliftment. But there has to be wisdom in it. Leaving room for intuition and emotion, it has to make sense, maybe not all at once, but unfolding over time.
I desire a spirituality that makes me wiser in the practical living of my life, and that helps me bring compassion and understanding to other people and the world in which I live.
Yes, I love experiences of transcendental awareness. But I also want experiences of penetrating self-awareness and understanding. I want to relate to other people with a deep intelligence about who they are and why they do what they do.
This is what I mean by spiritual intelligence. I want the way I think about the most important things in my life to be challenged. I want my consciousness to be expanded. And every once in a while, I like to have my mind blown by a revolutionary idea.
So that’s what we do at the services at Sunrise Ranch. We spark an enlightened understanding of the world and our own human psychology. We bring spiritual intelligence to our life experience.
I really don’t like dogma, whether it comes from religion or elsewhere. I enjoy hearing someone’s deeply held beliefs or faith. But where dogma begins, spiritual intelligence ends. People stop thinking and buy into a reality fashioned by someone else, not always with the best motivation in mind.
I love considering fundamental principles of life, especially if they are presented by someone who is insightful, open, and deeply thoughtful. And I love sharing an insight with people, especially if it can liberate them in some way. But that’s different than dogma. It is critical existential thinking that can help us all know a deeper truth.
The services I lead don’t attempt to make people believe any dogma. They assist people to see and know themselves and the reality in which they live.
Our primal spirituality is the spirituality we were born with. Every baby born into the world is deeply spiritual. The point of life is to let that spirituality flourish so that we grow strong and wise. But not that we replace our primal spirituality with religious belief or dogma.
Presence is a hard thing to define. But when it is there, it brings an experience of sacred meaning and value.
I have had profound experiences of Presence in spiritual services I have attended. However it happened, those who conducted the service brought Presence into the room—an intangible, ineffable quality. And even though I couldn’t put my finger on just what was happening, it split my heart open and left me in a state of profound appreciation and awe.
I believe that all spiritual Presence originates from our Higher Self, however we might name it. It is Divine Presence. I have come to know and understand that Divine Presence is real and reliable. We can call upon it and it is always there. It is the foundation for creation in our own life and in the world.
The team of people who conduct services at Sunrise Ranch are all about invoking Divine Presence, honoring it, and welcoming it into the space.
To some, faith is blind belief. It is an attempt to trust something you don’t see, know, or understand.
For me—and I believe for all people—real faith is fundamental to a creative life. But faith in what?
For me, the faith that has meaning is in something I have the opportunity to touch, feel, embrace, and know. It is faith in something that is real to me, something I experience.
That kind of faith is not hard. When you touch Divine Presence, it evokes trust. When you feel it, it becomes real. When you embrace it, it embraces you. And when it does, you live in it, and emanate Presence to the world. And then you know it.
That kind of faith is not hard to achieve. It is a natural process. It is faith in life itself.
Our services are filled with this kind of faith.
What would you say has more influence on our experience, especially our spirituality? Our mind, or our emotions?
Of course, we need both. But for those of us who might be inclined to over-think our life, it is good to remember the importance of our feelings, and the significance of emotional intelligence—how we wisely allow the human heart to give its gifts.
Do you know how many times the word mind is used in the Bible? 221. And do you know how many times the word heart is used? 1,155. That’s more than 5 times more. Perhaps that reflects the significance of emotional intelligence in our life.
The services I lead are Attunement Services. They are an opportunity to attune to Divine Presence and the power of Love that is born from it. And through our Attunement, they are an opportunity to be guided by a Higher Wisdom.
Week-by-week, as that happens, Divine Presence, Love, and Wisdom reverberate through all of us who participate.
This world has plenty of conflict and darkness. We don’t have to go to a weekly spiritual service to find that out. Here is what I believe we all do need. We need to equip ourselves to face whatever is in our life and in our world with the highest creativity possible. We need a download of love and joy if we are going to bring possibility and hope to other people—and if we are to live creatively ourselves.
I believe we are built to live in joy through all that transpires in the life of a human being. And I don’t want to put it off for tomorrow, when the world gets better, or when I die. Joy is meant for now.
Our emotional perception is a conduit for the compassion, love, and empathy that is at our core. And yes, it empowers us to act wisely and effectively in our world.
David Karchere, Author
Do you need a download of joy now? I believe we all do. The services I lead are a download of joy.
Music, Poetry, Readings, Speaking, Ritual, and Dance
I love a good talk. But I believe spirituality is far more than talking. Each week, a great team of friends offers a variety of activities that appeal to the heart and soul of everyone there. It is a collective meditation and celebration of life.
We are reinventing worship. We are calling on ancient modes of being together using contemporary technology in the culture of today.
Does this sound like it might bring peace to your soul and joy to your heart? Might it be part of your path of service in this life?
If so, I welcome you to join us, either in person or online.