Spirit Matters First Column and Introduction by Shirley Barr – May 6, 2012 Cornwall Ontario

CFN – This is the first Column of Spirit Matters being published by CFN for the community of Stormont Dundas & Glengarry, it is an honour to have you as a reader, welcome!

The Cornwall Free News impresses me as a community building exercise which I want to participate in. It has an engaged audience that is obviously thinking and wrestling with all the local and big issues. You strike me as a group of people I really want to get to know.


I am a generalist and interested in everything!  I want to grow as a human being and I need your input. I invite you to help me to choose the topics that are of interest to you and see if I can provide some dimensions of spirituality, moral, ethical, and principal based approaches. I want to us to work together to figure out the difference between what is ideology, belief, tradition and how to determine the truth. We could look at different models and see what would work in Cornwall and S D & G. Let’s look at models that are healthy, vibrant and sustainable.

It’s time people realized that there are other ways of  thinking- thinking like they are a congregation, a gang, a tribe, a clique or a club limits our ability to grow as a community.  Perhaps if we started realizing that we are a family- the entire human race is a family, then we could start moving forward as one. Let’s explore a vision of the process that the human race is going through rather than the usual doom and gloom. The hope is that people will become engaged, empowered, enlightened and become more conscious of the strength and agency they possess in order to become agents for change.

Spiritual matters are vitally important to our development and we have lagged behind since we can witness for ourselves that we about to run out of ability to take from the Earth, we now need to learn to give back and to dive deep within ourselves and explore the mysteries within. These are mines with no end in sight of truths, insights, gifts and capacities. With humility I offer to explore these gems with you in the hope that you will choose to respond.


The word “choose” is very important word because it asks you to consider, to ponder, to reflect, to pray, to meditate, to walk, to serve. This column hopes to provide a structured forum for helping guide the people to a more coordinated approach to religion, science and spirituality and its practical application to everyday life and issues of importance. It hopes to build the capacity of the community to improve its own ability to be sustainable. My hidden agenda, just so you know, is world peace, it’s pretty simple! I want to get to know you intimately. We need to focus on building unity of thought, not uniformity of belief.

Have a listen to John Lennon and Yoko Ono (1969)- the Plastic Ono Band at the Bed-In in Montreal Quebec when they had to escape the United States because they were expressing sentiments contrary to the prevailing ideology:

You can reach me at spiritmatters9@gmail.com

 Shirley Barr lives and works in Cornwall Ontario since May 2010 and is a member of the Baha’i community.

(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of this site, their staff, or sponsors.)

KAV Productions


  1. What a wonderful start!! Wishing you all the success in the world!! Such an appropriate song at the end!!

  2. Congratulations Shirley! What a bounty to have such a column. May it always be what the readers look for and add to their spiritual growth.

  3. Wonderful Shirley. I look forward to your words for thought.

  4. O my! Just in time we have a column that will discuss bounty, angels, inner children, chakras and a bunch of other BS. Where’s my drum circle when I need it Spirit?

  5. Oh no! CFN has gotten religion! Question – How many people has the Baha’i Saviour raised from the dead? Is he in fact a live? Is He risen? Exalted on high, at the right hand of God Almighty?

  6. Thanks to all of you for your comments so far, that is just great, am up for the challenge! And Wow! you’re playing like a silly little puppy, very entertaining…hope y’all enjoy your day.

  7. To answer Pastor Tom’s question with respect to raising the dead, scientifically this is unlikely given that if a corpse has been buried for any length of time it is pretty well impossible for them to come back to life. Why would you even want then to, picture all these messy zombies around, I wouldn’t want one showing up in my back yard. Reminds of that great movie Shawn of the Dead, but I digress.

    This is a very profound question though when you look at it from a spiritual perspective and it is addressed by the `Abdu’l-Bahá, who was the son of Bahá’u’lláh in the book Some Answered Questions, please follow this link:


    The explanation is illuminating and gives you plenty of new material to ponder.

    Regarding whether Bahá’u’lláh is at the right Hand of God- yes sir, there is no doubt in my mind that He is. What I believe does not matter one iota though because it is your responsibility- yours alone to investigate reality for yourself. Take care and good day to you.

  8. I am baffled at the comment made by Pastor Tom Newton…. why not have religion? There are so many diverse religions, but I do believe that most all religions (in a general context) are based on good intentions of good moral standards and basic good humanistic values to do good with the ultimate goal and intention of doing good for the betterment of all. So I find it rather offensive that one religious sector would look down on another faith in condescention…. Please correct me if I have taken his/your remarks out of context.

  9. “Regarding whether Bahá’u’lláh is at the right Hand of God- yes sir, there is no doubt in my mind that He is”. – I wonder how he got there? There is only ONE that has been risen from the dead – The Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God. By the way, miracles are outside the realm of science. To deny the literal,l bodily resurrection of Messiah Jesus is nothing but unbelief. You can’t spiritualize that away, no matter how hard you try. And no unbeliever knows God, nor has eternal life dwelling them. “He that hath the Son hath life…”.

  10. Tom did you ever think that the Baha’i religion’ Jesus is actually called Baha’u’llah in their interpretation? And Wow! get a life!

  11. As an ordained minister myself, I’m calling on Pastor Tom to give us what credentials he has to be a pastor other than the hateful vitriol he spews wherever he can get someone’s attention.
    Stan needs a strong sedative.

  12. A bit airy fairy for me. Interestingly, you mention science but I have the feeling you’re not centred on science(s), or theology or even world religions. Doesn’t mean you don’t have something good to share, I just pray it’s not about angels. (PLEASE, can’t this be an angel free zone?…please!) Since you mention “the whole world is a family,” I’m thrilled. I agree. I do not use the word race, and prefer (though you do not) TRIBES. A good starting point might be to discuss the “out of Africa” theory and mitochondrial DNA…a message that transcends celebrities – even our beloved John and Yoko.

  13. Message to Wow! Thank you! Inner children, indeed. Phewww…

  14. “credentials” – The Holy, Inspired, inerrant Word of God is all the authority any sinner needs to confound the worldly religious!

  15. Stan -“Tom did you ever think that the Baha’i religion’ Jesus is actually called Baha’u’llah in their interpretation?” No Stan they do not believe that Baha’u’llah is the risen Lord Jesus Christ. Any search will show you that.

  16. I am not only baffled but very offended that a man of the cloth would have and show such disrespect of another who in their minds are preaching good practices. We on this earth are not of ONE religion, but to downgrade and denegrate another’s faith in what they beleive and how they chose to worship is nothing short of sacrilegious. A basic element of all religions is based on respect…. respect of one another. We DO NOT all practice the same religion, or the same God. Pastor, with all due respect, you are breaking the laws of the commandments by generating such intolerance of another’s way of life and beliefs. Again…please correct me if you feel I am wrong or I have misunderstood you.

  17. Nora Ford – what does this verse mean? Joh 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. Or this one – 1Ti 2:5 “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus”.

  18. It means…to me, that there is one God, ULTIMATELY, whether we term Him God, Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, Baha’u’llah, whatever we choose to call Him, there is only one…..we just have different meanings and terms for Him, but in the end he is one, and of the same entity. Who are we to determine and judge another’s faith and beliefs? That is my question to you. Tolerance of another’s beliefs goes a long ways in practicing our own faith.

  19. Such a statement that “…whether we term Him God, Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, Baha’u’llah…” – is not found, nor can it be proven to be true at all from the Holy Scriptures, therefore you greatly error, and yes, you are deceived too! My authority and bases for such a statement is from the clear declarations of the Bible, you speak your own opinion. Even a Muslim would not agree with such a statement. God cares about truth first, rather than your humanistic god of tolerance.

  20. Pastor Tom….Obviously you are a superior being and no matter what anyone says, it will not matter…. I am decieved? Into believeing the goodness of all humanity ? not putting myself above others ?…. then I thank God Almighty for blessing me with this and I hope he does the same for you. It truly is a blessing to accept and tolerate others for who and what they are. My opinions are my own beliefs as are yours and I would hope that you would show more tolerance and respect to your congregation. The truth is… NO MAN IS ABOVE ANOTHER, not even you.

    Religion certainly can be open for a lot of debate, however, like politics, in the end you have to agree to disagree and no one is right or wrong until the time comes when you are reminded of the mistakes you made by the decisions you made. In God’s eyes we are one, lets work towards that.

  21. Nora, no I am not a “superior being”, I am just a sinner saved by His grace. I choose to lay aside my worthless opinion and wisdom and joyfully submit to the inspired, preserved Word of God. What ever I teach, or preach, and declare can be supported by the Scriptures, by sound biblical theology, and by church history. I am out to exalt God by the person and work of His only begotten Son- the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only One that is worthy!

    “In God’s eyes we are one…” this is a true statement. The Scriptures declares that we are all sinners, not one righteous, not one that doeth good (Rom.3:10-12). Sinners in need of the Saviour!

  22. I will be the first to say I am a sinner and in need of salvation…even though |I have my own religion – Moravian, I want to learn more about other faiths and understand, or at least try to see how all religions are intertwined. Are they? Why must we fight needless religious wars and condemn other religions who feel their ways are right…and others are wrong? Personally I think that is a very self righteous approach and damaging. I respect you for your beleifs even though I don’t agree with all of them…that is your God given right. Thank you for the insight and I hope to learn more as I go, I have much to learn.

  23. Insight from Pastor Newton? That would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

  24. Nora asked -“all religions are intertwined. Are they?” – yes they are. First of all, Biblical Christianity is not a religion. 2ndly, One must not think that Roman Catholicism is Christian, it’s not! The intertwining factor for all man made religions is their origin in what is called Mystery Babylon religion – Satan’s counterfeit religion from Babel. This would include the Baha’i religion. Note how Roman Catholicism is filled with mystery Babylon’s meanings and symbols. See link – http://amos37.com/2012/02/21/the-islamic-connection-to-rome/

  25. Tolerance is too easy; acceptance is our real challenge.

  26. Maybe if Pastor Newton stopped trashing the religion of others, he’d be taken more seriously. With each comment, he drives people further away from his god.

  27. Further to Tom Newton’s words, “God cares about truth first”

    “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling (1 Peter 4:8-9).”

  28. Jacqueline Milner – is that the only verse in the Bible on love? How about this – Php 1:9 -10 “And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ”.

    A love without truth is what the Bible calls “lust”. God’s love doesn’t overlook our sin, but removes it, so that we can live holy, godly lives. The love that the Apostle Peter speaks of is the love that God Holy Spirit gives and reproduces in a saved individual heart. The lost, the religious, the unregenerate knows not, nor can produce such love. God’s love is, as the Scriptures declare, – “the fruit of the Spirit is love, peace, joy….”

Leave a Reply