The next session of the School of Sacred Ministries interfaith program at Pebble Hill Interfaith Church, originally planned for this spring, has been rescheduled to September as the group continues to conduct interviews and accept new applications. The delay may seem like a setback, but according to the Reverend Brian Weis, it’s the nature of the program.
“We always say the class forms when it forms,” says Weis. “We’re looking for people that are adventurous and open to new ideas. If you’re a student with us, you will encounter people that weren’t raised like you, or see the world as you do.”
Through weekend classes and retreats over 27 months, students learn about as many different religious and spiritual traditions as possible. They’re also introduced to topics such as spiritual counseling, public speaking, group facilitation, forms of prayer, ceremonial work and interpersonal exploration.
“You’re not just studying. You’re working on your own path. It’s a transformational rather than an academic experience,” says Weis. The question posed to students is, essentially, “How can I use what’s in my heart to bring more healing into the world?”
For Marianne Lane-Noreika, who was ordained through the school in 2016, her answer was to become a yogi. It wasn’t what she anticipated. As a person in long-term recovery, she expected to help others battling addiction. “I didn’t see a lot of options for those of us that didn’t follow a typical religion. I felt that people that were interfaith were people I could relate to,” says Lane-Noreika. Now, she laughs, “I’m a yoga teacher. People tell me everything. It’s the new hairdresser.”
Lane-Noreika’s classes include prayer and meditation, and her role gives her the opportunity to speak with people seeking their own spiritual paths. “I knew I was with seekers on the spiritual path,” she says of her introduction to the interfaith classes. “I knew in the deepest of my soul I was in the right place.”
Location: 320 Edison-Furlong Rd., Doylestown. For more information, call 215-348-3428, email Contact@ssmInfo.org or visit SchoolOfSacredMinistries.org or Facebook.com/School-of-Sacred-Ministries-152453390909.