We asked Lori Matson, MSIA Minister of the Year 2022, about her ministry. This is what she shared:
When I was ordained in 1973, I didn’t know what being a minister was at the time. All I knew was that it was something MSIA was offering and that was good enough for me. I wanted to take advantage of anything that would bring me closer to J-R. In those days, he performed all the ordinations. After I became a minister, I learned little by little what the ministry is all about.
In the early days, J-R admonished us to use our ministerial energy, or it would back up on us. So, at first my ministry was about doing. That meant volunteering for MSIA. I worked on the Movement Newspaper (predecessor to the New Day Herald), assisted at fundraisers, classes, lived at PRANA and helped to transform it from a nursing home for retired doctors into an ashram, the home of the Traveler. Most of my service was laboring in the PRANA garden or the kitchen or working downstairs at PRANA in the basement offices.
It was a joyful experience even though the tasks on their own may not have been challenging, creative, or fun. Serving without expecting anything in return is a joy and giving of myself, when I have the energy to give, is a blessing. When I am not engaged in doing an active ministry, there is something missing in my life.
Sometimes saying, “Yes” to serving has led me into areas of person expansion, like facilitating PTS classes and chairing the LA Ministerial Board. By doing the Traveler’s ministry, which I think we are all doing as minsters in MSIA, I have been rewarded 100-fold by learning new skills, growing in my awareness of who I am, and developing loving, supportive relationships.
As I get older, I am seeing that the ministry is much bigger than doing a volunteer task. It’s a state of being. Whatever I do or say can be a ministry if I do it in a consciousness of loving service. For example, I used to think that serving my family didn’t “count” as a ministry because I would do it anyway. I had compartmentalized my ministry and didn’t think it applied to the people I loved most in my life. I learned ministry is not about the form it takes, it’s about the consciousness with which it’s done. I remember J-R saying that he never forgets he’s the Mystical Traveler. I’m learning to become more conscious of being a minister in every part of my life.
I did not realize consciously at the start of my ministry that I was fulfilling a spiritual directive. More recently, I am awakening to the spiritual power and authority of the ministry. The discord and challenges in the world have inspired me to use that authority when I send the Light. We all have the backing of the Melchizedek priesthood, the Christ, the Mystical Traveler and Preceptor consciousness. The reality of what that means is astounding, and the awareness of it is something I am still growing into. As J-R has said in many seminars, ministers, especially when they come together, have the potential to be a powerhouse of change on the planet. I’m learning how to reach into that power and support.
It’s been a slow dawning for me about what my ministry means. I am still growing as a minister and learning not to forget I am one.