Cherags (what?)

“Cherag” is a Persian and Arabic word meaning, “lamp.” It is the title Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan used to indicate an ordained minister.

In the Sufi Ruhaniat, Cherags are trained and ordained, empowered and blessed to facilitate the Universal Worship Service, Service of Universal Peace, weddings, funerals, memorial services, and other spiritual support for the community.

As the Sufi Ruhaniat is a lineage of “spiritual liberty” and the “unity of religious ideals,” it is inclusive and honors all faith traditions. Cherags celebrate all wisdom paths and religions, cultivating respect, tolerance and appreciation for the message of Truth and the Divine Light as manifested in myriad forms throughout human history.

Sára is a member of the Siraj Circle, a group of senior ministers in the Sufi Ruhaniat that oversees the training, ordination and ongoing work of cherags worldwide.

Below, please see the most recent invitation and explanation of the cherag training program Sára facilitates. Contact her for more information: rain@trigoddess.org

October, 2021

Dear Community,
For those of you on the Sufi path, I’ll be offering a new Cherag Training Program starting in January. If you are curious and/or interested in participating, please read through this entire message. Lots of information and instructions.

A Cherag is an ordained minister in the Sufi Ruhaniat. This is the title Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan used for people trained and empowered to perform the Universal Worship Service, officiate weddings and funerals, do house blessings and other spiritual services. The word “cherag” means “lamp,” which indicates the function of a minister, to convey the spiritual light for the benefit of the community and humanity.

The Sufi Ruhaniat and the message of Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan are based on “spiritual liberty,” honoring, welcoming and celebrating all the faith traditions of humanity. Cherags are multi-faith ministers, initiated mureeds in the lineage of Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan, empowered and blessed to bring spiritual support to their communities in a way that respects and upholds the diverse spiritual and religious practices of all.

Individuals who feel called to be Cherags bring their own passion, background, intentions, experience and wisdom. While this training program covers many specific units of study and practice, it is understood that the actual work of each Cherag is unique. Some Cherags lead “formal Universal Worship Service” and nothing else. Other Cherags never lead the formal service, but officiate rites of passage in their communities. Cherag training provides an opportunity for education, experience, and a solid foundation in the teachings and practices of the Sufi Ruhaniat.

This training does not guarantee ordination.

Individuals who complete the training and who wish to be ordained as Cherags will engage in a self-assessment process including an ongoing active discernment with Sára. Along with the core competencies in the training program, individuals are expected to demonstrate psychological and emotional maturity, integrity, alignment of values and intentions congruous with the Sufi Ruhaniat and the real world responsibilities of being a Cherag.

This training program will explore several faith traditions, work with the Universal Worship Service as given by Hazrat Pir-O-Murshid Inayat Khan, and prepare individuals for the functions of community ministry.

The training is a group process and includes: 
– A monthly meeting with Sára, which includes reflections on the assignments and instructions for each unit.
– The monthly meeting will be the 2nd Saturday of each month. 
– Semi-monthly optional group meetings with Sára, for those who wish for a more frequent engagement. 
– Online group forum for conversation and sharing resources, personal experience and reflections. 
– Some independent practices along with some group collaborations.
– Two years of study and preparation, one unit per month beginning January, 2022. 
– The fee is $30/month per participant for the duration of the program, $720 total. This fee is negotiable. Please talk with Sára for alternate arrangements.
– Individual conversation and ongoing discernment with Sára at least every 6 months throughout the program. 

EXPECTATIONS
– Earnest engagement in monthly assignments
– Monthly reading and/or exploration of relevant resources
– Monthly experiential activity individual and/or group
– Written summaries of experience and reflection (not formal, no academic essays, just casual communication style) 
– Monthly meeting with group and Sára
– Ongoing honest self-assessment
– Payments in good standing according to your individual agreement with Sára

If reading through all of this, you feel called to the path of the Cherag and this training program, please contact me with the following information:
1. Why do you want to participate in this program?
2. What do you think your form of ministry might be?
3. What is your ministry background and previous training?
4. What are your skills and passions related to spiritual service?
5. How do you feel this training and/or ordination will influence your work in the world?
6. Do you feel you have the time, energy and resources available to engage in this program at this time?
7. What else would you like to share or ask as you consider participating in this Cherag training?

TIMING
•    Please indicate your interest and submit your answers to the above questions no later than November 30th. 
•    Upon receiving your letter of interest, Sára will schedule a personal conversation with you to discuss your interest, answer questions, and determine together whether the program is a good fit for you at this time. 
•    All participants will be confirmed by December 21st.
•    The program will begin Saturday, January 8th.

Thank you, dear friends, for taking the time to read through this. I hope several of you will consider participating in this program. This is the second time I’m offering this training and I’m excited to welcome a new group onto the path. 
All love,
Sára