By Dr. Sat Kaur Khalsa
Secretary of Religion for Sikh Dharma International
In the early 1970's, the Siri Singh Sahib, Bhai Sahib Harbhajan Singh Khalsa Yogiji, established the Sikh Dharma Ministry in the Western Hemisphere, to serve the spread of the mission and establish a vehicle for trained and emerging leadership, based on the concept of seva, service, and leadership. He was very clear right from the beginning that Sikh Dharma ministers were always to be financially self-supporting, rather than serving a sangat and, in return, being supported by that sangat.
In Sikhism, to perform any rites and prayers, it is not necessary to have an "intercessor". One has a direct relationship with God and Guru. The Sikh Dharma Ministry in the Western Hemisphere is established to serve the unique Western Society structure, develop leadership responsibility and accountability, and serve the growing mission of Sikh Dharma.
Today, the Ministry is a vibrant, richly diversified body of leaders. In addition to completing training and annual re-certification to be knoweldgeable to perform weddings and last rites and other duties of service, including interface with local interfaith clergy, each Minister brings his and her God-given gifts to serve the needs of our communities and the world. It is as if every Minister is a unique "patch," all of which, when sewn together with Guru's word, produce a quilt that covers our needs and those of the world. Seva - selfless service - is the theme and code by which Sikh Dharma Ministers aspire to live. Service is what this Ministry was founded upon and is the bedrock of the Sikh Ministry.
We have Ministers serving in hospitals, healing centers, universities, airports, the United Nations, Interfaith Organizations, the World Parliament of Religions, Gurdwaras, inner cities, shelters, among many other areas of service. There are Sikh Ministers involved in teaching people, feeding people, helping with substance abuse recovery, and in serving to uplift people and communities around the world in a variety of ways. To find a Sikh Dharma Minister in your geographical area, please contact SS Sarb Nam Kaur Khalsa in the Sikh Dharma Ministry's Office in Espanola, NM at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please visit our Sikh Dharma Minister website at www.sdministry.org.