Maggie Oman Shannon has been a spiritual seeker since the age of 15, and with the good fortune of having attended a high school with a Christian Youth Group organization, as well as her pursuit of college courses in religion, she was on the way to a spiritual life although not directly into the ministry. She was acknowledged by one of her teachers for her ability to write, so it is no surprise that a pre-ministry career was as a magazine editor and writer.
It was not until 2010 that she became a minister, serving as spiritual director of Unity Spiritual Center of SF. Unity is an interesting denomination in that it is uniquely American, having been founded by Charles and Myrtle Fillmore in the 1800s. The Fillmore’s, who had exciting experiences healing themselves, wanted to share what they had learned. Unity began as a publishing and prayer ministry and not designed to be a denomination, but it soon became clear that they needed to be organized to reach the people who needed them.
Unity Spiritual Centers are now worldwide serving people of all religions. Reverend Shannon points out that there is no need to give up a faith tradition, that Unity, based on shared principals, adds but does not need to be an “instead of.”
Maggie Oman Shannon is the author of six books, the most recent of which is Crafting Calm. The very look of the book evokes calm. This is a very personal book for Reverend Shannon, written in the first person and includes 40 different craft practices she has tried with her own hands. Why is this a spiritual practice? She says, with a smile, “to paraphrase Freud, sometimes a craft is just a craft. The difference here is intention. Do we intend for it to be a spiritual practice?” Listen to Reverend Shannon talk about how we can intertwine creativity with spirituality.
The book is divided into 8 crafting sections to serve different intentions; calm, clarity, comfort, contemplation, creation, community, connection with others and connection with spirit. Her message is that we are inherently creative, and the book is permission to explore, play and discover your own creativity. It is encouraging to hear the difference between which craft is hers and which one she could not do to save her life. She acknowledges that no one is good at every craft, but the important thing is to remember that what we make can be a reminder of what is our highest and best and with the hope that we can integrate the mundane and sacred so that a spiritual life can be a daily life.
Although her books are an important legacy, and it can be said that surely they are her encouraging and optimistic love letters to humankind, find out who would get her love letter and what her message would be. There are so many options for a woman who has been able to act on two powerful abilities, writing and spiritual leadership. Calm, at any time of year, is a welcome gift so soothingly delivered by Maggie Oman Shannon.
From me to you with love in the air,
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