First Spiritualist Church of Erie

So many have asked me for the highlights from my talk that I figured it was an important talk to write down since I had the outline in index cards, I can recreate it.

I have had a few firsts at this church.  My first lecture was here so it seems fitting the first lecture after being Ordained that I would first speak as Rev. Colleen Kulikowski.

Nobody will ever deprave the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves; and the only way they do this is by not voting. 
Franklin D. Roosevelt

I stand here today compelled to share with you the importance of voting and the part we play in the world around us.  It wasn’t all that long ago that women gained the right to vote.   I am struck by those that stood before me giving equality to all of us.   Their sacrifices ensure we today are equal.   Around the world it is not necessarily so.

I have to share with you my first talk at the Lily Dale Assembly.   It was a day that I was going to support my mentor, Jack Rudy who was the Medium for the 2:30 service.   The Speaker did not show up, it is ten minutes before the service to begin.  Jack looks at the chairperson and says Colleen can do it; and I did.   I have no real memory of that talk other than what other have told me.   The only memory I have from that day was as I stood on the platform all I could think was “OMG! Susan B. Anthony stood here and spoke for women’s rights, my shoes stand where she did now what?”   I had no idea what I was going to say today I believe the woman that put her hand on my shoulder and said “it is ok dear, just begin” was Susan B. Anthony.

Wow!  These shoes I am wearing today stood at the same place Susan B. Anthony did.   Last week while I was being ordained I was wearing them again.  Dan Chesboro just before he ordained me made a comment about them.   At the time it struck me as strange.   As time goes by I get it.   He was pointing me in the direction I needed to focus.

That moment set me up to really explore equal rights, not only the women’s rights but going back to the abolition of slavery.   November 8th is Election day.   I encourage each and everyone one of you to get out and vote.   You still have time; in PA you can register to vote until October 11th and in NY you have until October 14th.

So for you that are frustrated by the current noise; and the emphasis is on noise, each and every vote matters.  I am not telling you who to vote for.   What I want is you to respect the efforts of these people that fought for our right to vote.   And if you think your ONE vote doesn’t matter I want you to think about this:
  • One vote decided that we speak English instead of German
  • One vote brought Texas into the Union
  • One vote put Hitler in power
  • One vote per precinct elected JFK
This is a generational problem, not the biological (parent, child, grandchild) but a Cultural generational problem.   In this room I don’t think we have anyone that came of age during WWI that was the lost generation.   The end of the Edwardian period of history.  The next generation was those that came of age during the depression we call them the greatest generation.   The generation after that was the silent generation which was the late 1920’s to the mid to late 1940’s.   The Baby boomers followed and they are characterized between 1946-1964.
These generations are the ones that fought for the rights.   The following generations are the beneficiaries of these struggles.   My generation GenX 1965-1976, Millennials 1977-1998 and the youngest members of this congregation the iGeneration born after 1999.
Let me give you historical perceptive, the following rights were gained:
  • January 1, 1863 was the Emancipation Proclamation which abolished slavery in this country
  • In 1880 the age of consent was 10-12 — 7 in Delaware
  • Prior to 1965 it was illegal in this country for married couples to use contraception
    • It was 1972 that this right was given to single women
    • 1973 was Roe v. Wade
  • Prior to 1974 women needed the signature of their husband or father to obtain a credit card
  • Prior to 1977 Sexual Harassment was not recognized in the courts
  • Prior to 1978 married women could be fired from their jobs without recourse
    • God forbid you were unmarried
  • Prior to 1993 Spousal rape was not criminalized in all 50 states
  • Same sex marriage was not allowed until 2004 and not all 50 states until 2015
  • Prior to 2010 is was legal to charge women more for health insurance
  • Prior to 2013 Women could not fight on the front lines
    • Prior to 1973 women in the military could only be nurses or support staff
  • In 2016 women still do not earn the same as men
  • In 2016 if you have a husband (an ex or even a significant other) that is convicted of domestic violence you can finally keep them from owning a gun

Pretty amazing the rights we have towards equal rights.   What if Coretta Scott King had discouraged her husband Martin all those years ago from going to Washington and he had not given the “I have a dream” speech?   What if Susan B. Anthony decided it was not her business to fight for the rights of women?

We owe it to those that fought for these rights to vote.  Be part of the process.

So this got me thinking of past lives and who I was in a past life and what it is that I am learning from this life.   How that past life is giving me what I need to do what it is that I am to do?  What if we can pick and choose who we reincarnate as.  I want to play a game with you right now.   What if…

  • Susan B. Anthony reincarnated to Coretta Scott King
    • or even more fantastical what if she reincarnated as Janice Joplin and then into Emma Watson?
    • what if after those experiences she decided to reincarnate as Pocahontas?
  • Mary Woostonecraft who started the fight for women’s rights in the late 1700’s reincarnated to Annie Edison Taylor and then into Margaret Thatcher.   I can totally see the hutzpah that the Iron Lady had coming from those two women.
  • Lisa here, what if in a past life she was Laura Ingalls Wilder and prior to that she was Marie Antionette?
  • Bobbi who is the President of this church what if in a past life she was Eleanor Roosevelt and prior to that was Grandma Moses
  • myself what if I was Helena Rubenstein and Emma Willer who fought for women’s rights in the late 1800’s
  • Last example: Maylala Yousafzai the young Pakistani girl that dared to go to school and advocacy has since grown into an international movement.
    • what if she is the reincarnation of Indira Gandhi and Florence Nightengale?

Pretty powerful right?   These are examples of women affecting women.   There are women around the world that are fighting for the basic rights that we have.   Equality.   There is a rebirth of the new Divine Feminine Energy.   To be present in the moment.  That there is interconnections and that everything affects the whole.   It is time we pay attention.

So on November 8th please go out and vote.  Learn about the candidates and make the best decision you can based on the information you have.   Vote not only for yourself, but to honor those that have fought for your right to do so and for those that still aspire to have that right.  In closing I want you to think about this quote from John Quincy Adams:


Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone,
and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.


Rev. Colleen Irwin
Reverend Colleen Irwin is a Spiritual being having a human experience as a Blogger, Wife, Mother, Mentor, Healer and Public Speaker living in Rochester New York. Colleen, a Natural Born Medium, teaches, lectures and serves Spirit when called upon. She remembers speaking with Spirit as a child and learning how to share this knowledge with others has been an adventure that she captured in her book “Discovering Your Stream”. Colleen has been mentored by Reverend Jack Rudy, and ordained as a Priest in the Order of Melchizedek by the Reverend Dan Chesboro through the Sanctuary of the Beloved. When she is not doing her Spiritual work she is a volunteer docent sharing Susan B. Anthony's history to visitors of the Susan B. Anthony House in Rochester. Her trust in Spirit gave her a new title – PREVIVOR. She now uses her platform to educate others about the BRCA genetic mutation and how one can take control of their health and well-being.
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