Saturday, August 24, 2013

Unique Spirituality, Unity Consciousness, Independent Practice and Interconnected

Rev. Tim Miner OUnI

What is the foundation of all inclusive practices and theologies and spiritualties?  On August 23, 2013, I created a meme for the "Spiritual But Not Religious" that actually was the foundation for the creation of the Order of Universal Interfaith back in 2008. 

With the recent proclamation by the board of the Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States ( and the Order of Universal Interfaith ( that the movement we are part of comes from multiple teachings and teachers, we explored the essence of what being SBNR means.  We used the writings of many spiritual authors.  The results are pretty simple.

All individuals are "Unique in their spirituality."

All individuals should have a sense of a "Unity Consciousness" that unites them with all people and forms of spirituality in the world.

All individuals are "Independent in their spiritual practices" with the freedom to choose from all the practices of the world's religions as their heart and head allows.

All individuals are "Interconnected with all other living beings" in the world.

These four simple statements lay the groundwork for every individual to explore and grow as they see fit and yet remain part of the entire spectrum of human spirituality and to remain connected and dependent on others and other life and the planet that sustains them.


Thursday, July 11, 2013


Rev. Tim Miner OUnI

As the interfaith-interspiritual-integral movements continue to grow, it is critical that all clergy, regardless of the source of their ordination, be recognized as equal partners in the greater "family of human spirituality" which is the scope and domain of the movement.... On 10 July 2013, the Board of Directors of the Order of Universal Interfaith (OUnI) followed the lead of the board of directors of the Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States (CIC-USA) in ratifying the following statement of universal acceptance of clergy stature.

TITLE: A Policy of Universal Recognition for all CIC-USA associated Ordained Interfaith-Interspiritual-Integral Ministers

Whereas, the interfaith-interspiritual-Integral movement is now made up of multiple organizations and multiple congregations that include a majority of lay leaders and lay members that far outnumber the clergy ordained as “Interfaith Ministers” from all the seminaries of the world.

Whereas, the Interfaith-Interspiritual-Integral movement seeks to recognize a universal access to the many forms of human spirituality around the world, it is incumbent upon the movement to “walk its own talk” of inclusive organization.

Therefore, the umbrella organizations of the movement seek to insure that all spiritual leaders are recognized and welcomed and recognize that all ordained clergy within the CIC-USA communities are of equal legal stature by the movement.  Consistent with United States law and CIC-USA policy, every legally constituted congregation has the right to select its own leadership and have that congregational leader be accepted into the greater movement.  Some congregations may ordain.  Others may use the model of the Quaker and Baha’I spiritual paths with no clergy but only community leadership.   

While individual seminary programs, for spiritual leaders who have come through that path, have their own personalities and curriculum, it is important that all ordained clergy within the movement be considered part of a greater movement that extends beyond their own seminary community.  Again, this is consistent with the interfaith community’s belief that all clergy of the world’s religions are, in fact, equal partners in the greater universal family of human spirituality which is the scope and domain of all Interfaith-Interspiritual-Integral Ministers.

Consistent with these statements, the board of directors of the participating organizations to this motion encourage all seminary graduates and OUnI direct-equivalent clergy to partake of the post-graduation education from all CIC interfaith seminaries.   It is in the best interest of the movement that every ordained minister and community leader be exposed to the teachings of multiple seminaries.  No clergy or congregational leader should be denied education and training based on the original source of ordination.

Consistent with its treatment of the world’s religions and forms of spirituality, it is in the best interest of the movement that all organizations recognize that the movement is best served by multiple teachers, multiple teachings, multiple curriculums, multiple books of wisdom, and multiple communities working together as a single spiritual home.  

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Co-Ordination: Yes, The Pun Was Intended!

“Co-Ordination”—An Increasingly Popular Outgrowth of the Interfaith/Interspiritual Movement

This article is a re-post of the new (and now second) article on OUnI in the newly revised 300-page ezine, "The Coming Interspiritual Age," published by Namaste Publishing on page 171 at:

Rev. Tim Miner OUnI and Rev. Dr. Kurt Johnson CMH

As the Interfaith and Interspiritual movements have grown worldwide, the idea of clergy becoming ordained in more than one tradition and/or also being ordained with the additional “tag” of Interfaith or Interspiritual Minister has become more and more popular.  What has resulted is an interwoven tapestry of clergy whose ministries reflect the increasingly fewer and fewer boundaries among and across traditional religious denominations.  Further, co-ordination has allowed anyone who may have run into difficulty with purely denominational ministry, especially because of their own interfaith or interspiritual activities, to find a new community if unfortunately they have been forced to leave the community of their original roots. 

One path of co-ordination has grown from the work of the Order of Universal Interfaith (OUnI) ( which is organized as a religious order in the District of Columbia and has a charter for such ordinations.  It formed a partnership with the interspiritual constituency of Brother Wayne Teasdale ( early in 2010 and the idea of co-ordination has grown ever since.  On a cold January evening in 2010, over 50 clergy from a wide variety of faith traditions descended upon Washington, D.C., USA, to take part in the first co-ordination ceremony of OUnI that would provide a dual stature to serve all people of all faiths through the interfaith and interspiritual ecclesiastic religious society of OUnI.  After almost 40 months and a dozen ceremonies all over the world, OUnI co-ordained clergy are actively meeting the spiritual needs of the world in many different ways and venues.  Seven different subcommunities allow for a variety of expressions of the inclusive theology, spirituality and consciousness that defines the movement.  They have created a theology conference to serve as the apologetic and publish on the movement.  This event is the “Big I” (Interfaith, Interspiritual, Integral) conference, to date hosted by OUnI at the Scarritt-Bennett Conference Center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee ( and in 2014 in Arizona.   These conferences have further breathed a synergy into the entire interfaith, interspiritual and integral enterprises.

The association of multifaith clergy facilitated by OUnI, now on five continents and in twenty countries, has become a living embodiment of the vision that all forms of human spirituality are diverse expressions of the same spiritual goal—which is to be connected with higher callings and community beyond one’s own self or one’s conventional ethnic, national or religious identities.  The idea of a universal order was envisioned in the creation of the Universal Third Order in the 1980’s (and now part of OUnI) and throughout the seminal interspiritual writings of Brother Wayne Teasdale.  How that process is beginning to play out through the diverse constituencies now emerging across the interfaith, interspiritual and integral landscapes is an interesting phenomenon to watch. 

OUnI has also provided recognition to “clergy level” leadership across traditions that are outside the conventional western boundaries of ministry.  Through OUnI’s “Wisdom Keeper” status, the Order has been able to give recognition to the leaders of a myriad forms of human spirituality, many having no other legal recognition.  This recognition is important for community and ministry building.  Further, it has developed ordination specifically tailored for the diverse need of hospice and chaplaincy ministry.  Further, OUnI has provided clerical status for community building, especially for community action-related programs, to communities who desire to use the terms “Brother” or “Sister” in their ministries. 

At a September 2010 co-ordination in Sedona, Arizona, OUnI gave a seminal recognition to “integral ministry” with an ordination of integral teachers supported by philosopher Ken Wilber, author of another important book for our time-- Integral Spirituality.   Ken Wilber is one of nine “Sages” recognized by OUnI, all of whose works have helped define the emerging universal spiritual path.  We understand now that communities within the wider international integral community are also looking to co-ordination as a way to create and expand viable integral communities.  OUnI has continued to offer its resources in those directions, realizing that its own seminal actions across the co-ordination phenomenon may lead many constituencies across the interfaith, interspiritual and integral landscape to now further think through what educations programs, and ordination, may mean for their uniquely emerging communities.  As Brother Teasdale himself said “there are many paths to the tree-top but the ultimate view is the same”. 

We have written this short article in response to many inquiries and responses that we have had speaking to how popular the vision of “co-ordination” has become.  Anyone further interested in co-ordination as envisioned by The Order of Universal Interfaith is welcome to write to Rev. Miner at

Monday, March 4, 2013

Re-post from "State of Formation" on Nones and SBNR

This post appeared for 24 hours from March 3-4, 2013, on the State of Formation blogs....

The Nones, the Unaffiliated, the SBNR and Those Who Serve Them

Reverend Tim Miner OUnI

Okay, it is now time to stop referring to the collective numbers that Pew Research is so famous for when we talk about the “nones.”   Yes, on January 9th, the USAToday did run a graphic on the front page that showed that the “religiously unaffiliated” were now the third largest spiritual group in the world at 16 percent.  So the unaffiliated, as a group, now surpass the Hindus and Buddhists and Jews and every other spiritual community except for Christians and Muslims.  Yes, that is a significant number, but what does the number mean?  Like every other spiritual community identified by the Pew numbers, there is such a wide variety of spiritual practices and expressions within the cohort that it is time to look at the individuals that make up that group, and then, as clergy (or aspiring clergy), find ways to support their individual needs.

For over a year now, I’ve been the principal content provider for the virtual community.   “SBNR” stands for the ‘spiritual-but-not-religious.”  We’ve used Facebook as the medium to connect to these widely scattered and varied individual souls.  They come from over 20 countries around the world and they self-identify on all continents.  I’ve had the privilege to get to know many of these participants on an individual level.  It is now time to tell their story—one at a time.

Meeting One SBNR Couple

Let me introduce to you one SBNR couple today.  That couple is Ezekiel and Vanessa and they allowed me to talk about them.  They live near Charlottesville, Virginia and met while in college at the University of Virginia.  I met them during a Yoga retreat along the shores of the James River at an ashram called “Yogaville.”  He is 28 years old and has a Master’s degree in chemical engineering.  She is 32 years old.  Both are currently teachers, and they rent a large plot of land where they raise a few farm animals.  They have just made a down payment on a farm of their own near the rural area on the Virginia and Tennessee boarder.   While they will keep their hands in teaching part-time, they plan to be farmers.  Before I met them, they never heard of the terms of “SBNR,” or “Nones” or any other label we have been using.  They are just being true to themselves.

Unlike most of the participants on the SBNR virtual community, neither come from a “religious background.”  He grew up in the rural Virginia area they are moving back to which is steeped in Protestant Christianity.  His family did not own a farm.  They did allow him to be a spiritual seeker from his youth and to explore his own calling without pressure to conform to one faith or another.  He uses the term “seeker” to describe his path.  Her family, more urban than his, never talked about religion at all that she can remember.  They were at the ashram together for a yoga retreat.  It was obvious during the sessions that they have done yoga for a number of years together.  They chose to meditate with the rest of the ashram’s visitors and staff in the Temple during formal meditations.  Their postures were flawless and if you looked at them during meditation you could see the quiet devotion in their spirituality.  During the meals I had time to ask them about their backgrounds and their spiritual path.  He knew little about Hinduism and never read any of the classic writings associated with that path.  He knew more about Buddhism than any other religion, except for some background in Christianity from his youth.  They were content on their path of quiet spiritual reflections together, and being tied to the animals they nurtured and to the land they were called to work.

What most caught my attention about this couple, and why they are important for you to meet, is that Vanessa is now pregnant with their first child.  At the time of the retreat, she had just finished her first rough trimester of pregnancy.  During the yoga classes her poses were appropriate for a mother-to-be. As I explored their spirituality during our mealtime conversations, I couldn’t help but ask them how they planned to teach spirituality to their child.  At that point, they hadn’t even considered the question yet.   They didn’t know if they could look for a local “spiritual community” that would support them and their child with traditional teachings.  They didn’t know if they were going to just let the child become a seeker if the calling was there.  This question, of how to raise the next generation, puts Ezekiel and Vanessa at an important place for all of us who are interested in the future of human spirituality.  They will let me share with you their entire journey together over the next year.   They, and all their fellow seekers, have a decision to make that could potentially shape the future of human spirituality.

Those Who Serve the SBNR and Seeking

It is significant that I met this couple at Yogaville—a place that honors all the world’s religions.  The ashram was the product of the late Swami Satchidananda in the 1970’s.  He was the guru at the Woodstock Music Festival in the 1960’s and he attracted a wide following of music stars that provided the material resources to allow his teachings to flourish.  His most important teaching was simply that “Truth is One, Paths are Many.”  Ezekiel and Vanessa meditated in the LOTUS which is a giant lotus-shaped temple that has alters dedicated to all the world’s religions including those that “haven’t been revealed yet.”    Swami Satchidananda also helped Rabbi Joseph Gelberman create the first interfaith seminary, The New Seminary, in New York City in the early 1980’s. From that seminary and all the ones that have been created from its graduates, over 4500 “interfaith ministers” have emerged to support seekers and the SBNR community.  

Interfaith Ministers represent a commitment from an evolving clergy that it is possible to spiritually serve all people of all faiths, and those with no faith path at all.  We have reached a point in the United States where over one-third of all weddings are performed for people of different faith paths.  The ceremonies can be a synthesis of different rituals or something unique depending on the desires of the couple.  This is a clergy that believes that interfaith is no longer just a dialogue between the religions, but also an actual attempt to meet the needs of every unique spiritual being that walks the planet.  The goal is to be a living example of “walking the talk of interfaith.”

This is not a new religion.  However, there is a single religious order that can hold everyone and every practice, called the Order of Universal Interfaith (  Besides Interfaith Ministers, the order accepts former clergy who have felt restricted by the scope of spiritual service that traditional paths allow.  There is an annual conference of the best practices and examples of interfaith which serves as an apologetic for the movement.  The conference is called the “BIG I Conference for Inclusive Theology, Spirituality and Consciousness” (  This is only a movement since there is nothing “new” created by any of this.  It is a worldview that accepts diversity in spirituality as a given for all of humanity. 

Many of those who have come together have started to name this mystic place between the formal religions as “interspirituality” which is a term coined by the late Brother Dr. Wayne Teasdale.  Right now, one of the top 10 books on is “The Coming Interspiritual Age” which was co-authored by Rev. Dr. Kurt Johnson and David Ord.  The book is a broad historic overview of the evolution of humans and their spirituality, which leads the reader to look at interspirituality as the next step.

Ezekiel, Vanessa and all Interfaith Ministers represent a growing body of spiritual people that casts aside labels and seeks to see the wide variety of spiritual paths and practices as part of a continuum of human spirituality.  Their story continues to evolve and unfold before our eyes.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The 2nd Annual BIG I Conference

The second annual BIG I Conference on Inclusive Theology, Spirituality and Consciousness is now over and we are already looking forward to the next event.  However, before there is too much planning, a recap of the second conference is in order.

More structured with fewer speakers than the first event in February 2012, and offering formal question and answer time after each presentation, the second annual event was considered a better program that really created what Rabbi Rami Shapiro and I hoped this event could become--a place for the thinkers and vision-givers for the "interfaith, interspiritual and integral movement" to meet with clergy and lay-members of the communities to provide a chance to share and interact over the "best ideas" and the "visions for the way-ahead." 

Here was the final program:

Friday, February 1, 2013

The BIG Picture

   Rev. JoAnn Barrett MSC CASAC, Chair, Council of Interfaith Communities of the USA
   “Building Interfaith Communities”
   Huston Smith Interfaith Educator of the Year Presentation
   Rev. Diane Berke  Ph.D. L.M.H.C., Director, OneSpirit Interfaith Seminary
   “The View from 25 Years: Looking Back, Looking Forward”
   Rev. Paul Chaffee, Founder and editor, The Interfaith Observer
   “The Interfaith Movement – the First 120 Years”

Sacred Art: Movement
   Rev. Kathy S. Gracenin OUnI cmh MFA, Director, Chalice of the Heart
   “Body of Prayer...a moving experience”

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Ideas in Interfaith

   Rev. Dr. Andrea Mathews, LPC, DD, Director of Academics at the       American Institute of Holistic Theology
   ” Creating an Interfaith Theology”
   Paul McKenna, Interfaith Programs, Scarboro Missions, Ontario, Canada
   “How the Golden Rule, the Golden Rule Poster and the Golden Rule educational resources    produced by Scarboro Missions can be used to promote interfaith dialogue”

   Rev. Karen Baldwin, Author and American Ambassador to the Rural Women's Movement of South Africa
   “When Cultures Clash: Doing Interfaith Work in South Africa”

   Rabbi Rami Shapiro OUnI Ph.D., Middle Tennessee State University and author
   “Five Questions: Deepening Interfaith Conversation”

Ideas in Interspirituality

   Rev. Dr. Kurt Johnson CMH, Administrator of Community of The Mystic Heart and author
   “The Coming Interspiritual Age”

   Rev. T.S. Pennington OUnI, Board, Order of Universal Interfaith
   “Interspirituality and the Five Spheres of Interconnectedness”

   Adam Bucko, Activist, Spiritual Director to many NYC homeless youth
   “The New Monasticism”
Ideas in Integral and Integral Spirituality

   Rev. Tom Thresher ISN, UCC Minister and author
   “Building Integral Community and Resistance to Change”

   Cindy Wigglesworth, Author and Founder of Deep Change
   “Spiritual Intelligence”

7:00-8:00 pm Sacred Art: Interspiritual Education In Film
   Adam Bucko, Activist, Spiritual Director to many NYC homeless youth

Sunday, February 3, 2013

New Ideas and Programs for the Future
   The New Chaplaincy: Energy and Chaplaincy

   Dr. Sonya Jones (Sw. Shraddhananda), University of Kentucky
   “Sacred Energies”

   Rev. Frances Bagdasarian OUnI M.Div., M.P.S., R.N., Chaplaincy      Institute of Maine
   “Energy Healing and the New Chaplaincy”

   …. With a panel of clergy who are scientists as well (Rev. Tim Miner OUnI and Rev. Dr. Kurt Johnson, CMH)

Throughout the conference there were placed three calls to interfaith leaders from around the world lead by Rev. Tom Lynch OUnI, Director, International Academy for Interfaith Studies, Texas and Mexico.  The countries are: India, Uganda, and Australia/New Zealand.

The event was designed and co-hosted by Reverend Tim Miner OUnI and Rabbi Dr. Rami Shapiro OUnI.  The conference is already discussed by the leading interfaith newsletter in North America:


Rev. JoAnn Barrett MSC CASAC is the Senior Minister of the Gathering of Light Multifaith Spiritual Fellowship on Long Island, New York.  She is a founding board member of the Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States.  In 2012 she assumed the chair position of the Board of Directors for CIC-USA.

Rev. Diane Berke Ph.D. L.M.H.C. is the Spiritual Director and a Founder of OneSpirit Interfaith Seminary and the OneSpirit Learning Alliance. Since its beginning in 2002 over 750 students have graduated to ordination in Interfaith ministry.  Between 1988 and 2002, she was on the faculty of The New Seminary where she served as its Director between 1998 and 2002.  Much of the curriculum she developed during this time is still used in several Interfaith seminaries around the world. She is a founding board member of CIC-USA and is on the Leadership Circle of the Community of The Mystic Heart.  She is a core member of the faculty for the Institute for Sacred Activism.  She has an active psychotherapy and spiritual counseling practice in New York City.

Rev. Paul Chaffee  is a United Church of Christ clergyman and was the founding executive director of the Interfaith Center at the Presidio, serving for 17 years. A trustee on United Religions Initiative’s original board for six years and the North American Interfaith Network board for ten, he led the planning teams for the initial URI-North America summit in 2001 and NAIN’s 20th anniversary conference in 2008. Paul founded The Interfaith Observer (TIO), which he edits, in 2011.

Rev. Kathy S. Gracenin OUnI cmh MFA is OUnI’s artist-in-residence.  She has produced art displays of her interfaith-interspiritual photography and poetry gathered around the world for hospitals, chapels, airports and next-month in the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.  She has taught “sacred dance and movement” in the National Cathedral. She is a board member of OUnI and in 2012 founded the Chalice of the Heart ministry for interfaith-interspiritual art.

Rev. Dr. Andrea Mathews, LPC, DD the Director of Academics at the American Institute of Holistic Theology, is the author of two books, Restoring My Soul: A Workbook for Finding and Living the Authentic Self (2007), The Law of Attraction: The Soul’s Answer To Why It Isn’t Working And How It Can (2011, John Hunt Publishing, O Books). A third book, entitled Inhabiting Heaven NOW, The Answer to Every Moral Dilemma Ever Posed is set for publication in the spring of 2013, also by John Hunt Publishing. A published poet, with several magazine articles also published, Mathews has also served as the Editor of two small literary presses and won several literary awards. She is a psychotherapist with a thriving private practice where she uses both Cognitive and Transpersonal therapy to assist a diverse population with many different issues. And she offers Corporate Training, Motivational and Inspirational presentations to corporations, groups and the public. Mathews hosts the highly successful radio show, Authentic Living on, the 7th Wave Network, on which she has interviewed some of the world’s most profound and prolific bestselling authors in order to assist listeners in finding and living the authentic Self. You can learn more about Andrea’s books, articles, practice and more at and more about her trainings and speaking at

Paul McKenna teaches, writes and consults in the field of interfaith dialogue. Over his 35-year interfaith career, he has received a number of awards and honors for his interreligious work. Paul collaborated with a number of individuals in creating the Golden Rule multifaith poster which has achieved international renown as an educational and interfaith resource. To accompany the poster, he has produced educational resources for youth and adults. Currently Paul functions as the Director of the Scarboro Missions Interfaith Dept. in Toronto, Canada.

Rev.  Karen Baldwin is the American Ambassador to the Rural Women's Movement of South Africa, Interfaith Minister, Inspirational Speaker and author of "Ruby’s World," a memoir of her experience as the first white teacher in a rural Zulu school. There she had first-hand encounters with the AIDS crisis, strong Zulu traditions of infant scarification and female genital mutilation, witch doctor supremacy, and the Zulus’ desire for westernization. Karen is a graduate of the Chaplaincy Institute for Arts and Interfaith Ministry and holds a certificate in Spiritual Psychology from the West Coast Kabbalah School.

Rabbi Rami Shapiro OUnI Ph.D.  is an award winning poet and essayist, whose liturgical writings are used in prayer services throughout North America. He has written over a dozen works of translation, biblical commentary, and nonfiction. Rabbi Rami is a graduate of the Hebrew Union College–Jewish Institute of Religion and hold a doctoral degree in Judaic studies from Union Graduate School. A congregational rabbi for 20 years, Rami is currently Adjunt Professor of Religious Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, and directs One River (, a not-for-profit educational foundation devoted to building community through contemplative conversation. His most recent books are The Sacred Art of Lovingkindness, The Divine Feminine, and Ethics of the Sages. He is a board member of OUnI.

Rev. Dr. Kurt Johnson CMH has worked in science and spirituality for over 40 years. In spirituality Kurt is co-author of the recently published book THE COMING INTERSPIRITUAL AGE with David Robert Ord. As a New Release the book has been in Amazon's Top Ten in Spirituality. In science Kurt is the co-author of the best-selling NABOKOV's BLUES, with Steve Coates of The New York Times, which was a Top Ten Book in science in 2000. Kurt founded, with Br. Wayne Teasdale and others, the InterSpiritual Dialogue ( association for discussion of contemplative experience across traditions. Ordained in three spiritual traditions, he works also with The Contemplative Alliance ( and the Community of The Mystic Heart.  In science Kurt's PhD is in evolution, ecology, systematics and comparative biology. Associated with the American Museum of Natural History (30 yrs.) he published 200+ articles on evolution and ecology.  He is a board member of OUnI.

Rev. Thomas “TS” Pennington OUnI  is an Interfaith-Interspiritual Minister in North Carolina.  He is currently working on his Ph.D. in interspirituality from Wisdom University.  TS is a board member of OUnI and on the Leadership Circle of the Community of The Mystic Heart.  He is a graduate of the OneSpirit Interfaith Seminary in New York City.

Adam Bucko is an Activist and the Spiritual Guide for homeless youth in New York City.  He is an advocate for a contemplative approach to social change. He grew up in Poland behind the Iron Curtain and spent his early years exploring the anarchist youth movement as a force for social and political change. At the age of 17, Adam immigrated to America where his desire to find his path towards a meaningful life led him to monasteries in the US and India. His life-defining experience took place in India, where on his way to a Himalayan hermitage he met a homeless child who lived on the streets of Delhi. This brief encounter led him to the “Ashram of the Poor” where he began his work with homeless youth. After returning to the US, he worked on the streets of various American cities with young people struggling against homelessness and prostitution. In 2004, Adam co-founded (with Taz Tagore) the Reciprocity Foundation, an award winning nonprofit that empowers homeless and at-risk youth to break the cycle of poverty. The Foundation offers programs that combine contemplative, therapeutic, and creative tools for personal transformation with business skills.

Rev. Tom Thresher ISN Ph.D. is currently the pastor of a nascent Integral Church (UCC) in western Washington.  Long a student of consciousness and spirituality, Tom’s exploration was inspired by eight years of intensive transformational work in a small group setting nearly 40 years ago. Ironically, that experience led him into economics. After completing a Masters in Economics and a Doctorate in Education at Stanford University, Tom taught economics for a decade. He is now an ordained minister and spiritual teacher in the emerging field of Evolutionary Christianity. He has studied and taught Integral Theory for over 15 years. In addition to pastoring, Tom teaches Leadership and Personal Development at Bainbridge Graduate Institute, an MBA program in sustainable business.  For the past seven years Tom has led groups exploring the interface of religion, spirituality, and science. He continues to develop and lead workshops in Transformational Inquiry and Integral philosophy.  He is the author of “Reverent Irreverence: Integral Church for the 21st Century.” He does his best not to take any of this seriously.

Cindy Wigglesworth has 20 years of experience in human resources management with ExxonMobil. She founded her business, now called Deep Change, in 2000. Cindy is certified in Emotional Intelligence and has created, validated and researched the first skills-based Spiritual Intelligence Assessment instrument for business and personal use.  This instrument is both faith-neutral and faith-friendly.  It allows business people to talk about Spiritual Intelligence skills and how to develop them without using the language of religion – while still making the connection to beliefs and practices that are of deep personal importance for each person.   She is a gifted speaker and well known author.

Dr. Sonya L. Jones (Swami  Shraddhananda) earned a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies from Emory University. She rose through the ranks to senior professor of English and interdisciplinary studies at Allegheny College from which she took early retirement in the year 2000 to return to her native Kentucky. She currently teaches in the Honors Program at the University of Kentucky and serves as Trustee and Distinguished Alumni Scholar at Union College. Dr. Jones also serves as Retreat Master at Slate Branch Retreat Ashram, home of Adishraddha or Sacred Feet Yoga.

Rev. Frances Bagdasarian OUnI, M.Div., M.P.S., R.N. is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, Bangor Theological Seminary, Loyola University of New Orleans and the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine. She is the chair of the OUnI Energy Healing Committee.  She is a board member and Treasurer of A World Alliance of Interfaith Clergy, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Chaplaincy Institutue of Maine, a member of the American Association of Holistic Nursing.  She is a Reki Healing Master and holds a current RN license in the state of Maine. She has developed a private spiritual care practice that supports holistic health. Her ministry includes interreligious and interspritual consultation/education and dialog, as well as, community organizing in areas of awareness, meditation, energy healing, personal empowerment, emotional intelligence, women's health. 

Rev. Timothy Miner OUnI cmh M.Div. M.A. CBC is a co-creater of the conference and its co-host for the first two years.  He is a chaplain for federal and local law-enforcement in Virginia and a former chaplain for hospice care.  He is the co-founder of the Order of Universal Interfaith (OUnI) and the founding Executive Director of the Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States.  With an extensive background in meteorology and weather/physical geography studies, he is active in the American Meteorological Society's Aviation, Range and Aerospace Committee. 

Thursday, January 31, 2013

The 2nd Annual BIG I Conference on Inclusive Theology, Spirituality and Consciousness

by Rev. Tim Miner OUnI

The second annual BIG I Conference for Inclusive Theology, Spirituality and Consciousness takes place in February 1-3, 2013 back at the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Nashville.  It is designed to be a TED-style format to highlight ”the best” in interfaith, interspirituality and integral spirituality ideas and vision.  Dialogue with clergy and lay members of interfaith organizations and communities in a collaborative environment for visioning the future of human spirituality. Speakers list for the BIG I Conference 2013 …

THEME: “Building Community with Spiritual Vision”
Co-hosts: Rabbi Dr. Rami Shapiro OUnI and Rev. Tim Miner OUnI M.Div

Rabbi Dr. Rami Shapiro OUnI
 Author and Professor of World Religions, Middle Tennessee State University
 “Five Questions: Deepening Interfaith Conversation”
Adam Bucko
 Interspiritual Activist and Spiritual Director for NYC Homeless Youth
 “The New Monasticism”
Rev. Dr. Kurt Johnson CMH
 Author of “The Coming Interspiritual Age”
 “The Coming Interspiritual Age”
 Rev. Paul Chaffee
 UCC Clergy and founder and editor of “The Interfaith Observer”
 “The First 120 Years of Interfaith”
Rev.  Dr. Tom Thresher ISN
 UCC Minister and Author of “Reverent Irreverence: Integral Church for the 21st Century”
 “Building Integral Community”
Cindy Wigglesworth
 Integral speaker and coach
 “Spiritual Intelligence”
Paul McKenna
 Interfaith Outreach, Scarboro Missions, Toronto Canada
 “The Golden Rule and Interfaith Dialogue”
Rev JoAnn Barrett
 Chair, Board of Directors, Council of Interfaith Communities of the United States
 “Building Interfaith Communities”
Rev. Dr. Andrea Matthews
 American Institute of Holistic Theology
 “Creating an Interfaith Theology”
Dr. Sonya L. Jones
 Professor of World Religions, U of Kentucky
 “Interfaith Perspective of Divine Energy”
Rev. Frances Bagdasarian OUnI  M.Div. MPS RN
 Chair, OUnI Energy Chaplaincy Committee
 “Energy Work and the New Chaplaincy”
Rev. Kathy S. Gracenin OUnI MFA
 Director, Chalice of the Heart
 “Bodies in Motion: Sacred Dance”
Rev. Jay Speights OUnI
 Director, The New Seminary
 “Interfaith Worship”
Rev. Diane Berke
 Director, One Spirit Interfaith Seminary
"Interfaith: 25 Years of Perspective"
 Rev. Karen Baldwin
 American Ambassador to the Rural Women’s Movement of South Africa
 “A Jouney with the Zulu”
Rev. T.S. Pennington OUnI cmh
 Community of The Mystic Heart
 “Interspirituality and the Five Spheres of Interconnectedness”

The venue is the Scarritt-Bennett Center in Downtown Nashville, Tennessee USA. Official events begin at 3 pm on Friday with the last session ending at noon on Sunday.  Details and the history of this conference are on the website at: