Participants relationship with religion

For those who don’t espouse religion and/or have rejected it, GV can offer them the opportunity to (re)claim their spirituality.  This process often starts with the recognition that they’ve “come home”. This was the case, for example, in this person’s experience:

“…[a particular song] helped me realise that as a small child, I’d wished I’d died.  It would have been the end to all my pain and suffering.  I’ve been looking for a way to ‘get back home to the universe’ all my life.  I could have chosen extreme sports and finished the job off!  Thank God for GV.  It enables me to be at home here in the world with my family and friends.  Hopefully now I won't have to create any more illnesses in order to ‘come home’.”   (Dossier, 2004)

Some participants carry cynicism and distrust in relation to organised religion, and even towards anything ‘spiritual’.  This may cloud how they perceive their experiences in GV, as indeed it clouded Jill’s own perceptions initially.

A first-time participant described how a song “reminded me of the insincerity I’ve experienced in [organised religion]”(verbal response to hour’s session 2004).

In contrast, a mental health course participant, who had had time to digest her experiences in GV said:  “Giving Voice has made me closer to ‘god’.  Normally I don’t ‘do’ god!” (Dossier 2003).

For those who have suffered from the attitudes of fellow-adherents, GV can be a welcome refuge:  “GV provided me with a ‘holding space’ – something I realised I’d only rarely experienced through church, and not for a long time” (Residential participant 2004).

Some comments from people who are part of a faith community:-

“Following the residential I’m able to connect with my prayers more than I’ve ever done before.  And now in the [Sikh] Temple I can actually listen!” (Dossier 2004)

“GV is re-birthing me - healing me alongside and entwined with my Christian faith and daily work, bringing a new joy, peace and creativity …” (Dossier 2003)

“I wouldn’t have thought anything other than what I was doing at church could influence how I feel about church.  I am so much more connected and involved, + giving better lessons.  People have commented … I’ve always imagined myself as a spiritual person, but through GV I’ve found a way of actually being spiritual (I now realise I hadn’t actually been connecting with my spirituality before).  GV is totally to do with my Christianity.  I think it’s compatible with spirituality of all kinds, which is one of its incredible strengths”. (ibid)