HARTFORD — Rupert Sigurdsson comes from a long line of spiritualists, beginning with his grandmother in England and followed by his mother, who was a minister in the faith.
Sigurdsson, 93, founder of the Pinpoint of Light Spiritualist Center in Hartford, is retiring as a pastor of the National Spiritualist Association.
From his home in the bucolic countryside he continues his research into the philosophy of the spiritualist movement that began in 1848 in upstate New York. He founded the Hartford church in 1996, but his research showed that another spiritualist church had sprouted in this small town more than a century ago.
He’s a firm believer in one of the major tenets of the spiritualist faith: responsibility for one’s actions.
“Everything you think and do, you are responsible for,” he said Friday afternoon while seated at the kitchen table with current minister of the church, Penny Frobese, and member and medium Robert Foster.
The church is going through a third rejuvenation, with Frobese as its leader.
“I’ve loved spiritualism since the 1970s,” Frobese said. “Everything in my life pushes me back to this — the spirit, the God force from the spiritual side of life.”
The newly reorganized group of almost a dozen began meeting again this past September.
Among the many spiritualist beliefs is one of mediums intervening between the spirit of those who have gone to the spirit world and those living on the earth.
The spiritualist faith believes that life does not end, but continues on another level. A medium, such as Foster, can receive the energy from the spirit world and pass it on to the living.
And although Sigurdsson believes in reincarnation, a belief that many spiritualists don’t adhere to, he believes the life on earth is the important one.
Spiritualism believes in an impersonal God, referred to as Infinite Intelligence.
“There is a creative spirit we see all around us in nature and in communication between spirits and people,” Frobese said. “We acknowledge Jesus as a great teacher and leader.”
“Jesus taught us that we can do things on a positive level. Mediumship and healing look on the positive side,” Foster said.
Spiritualists also believe that all religions have value and, like virtually all religions, in the golden rule of doing unto others as you would have someone do to you.
The church also operates a camp in Hartford in July and August, offering classes on shamanism, theta healing, crystals and other similar topics.
The symbol of the National Spiritualism Association is the sunflower and its motto is — “As the sunflower turns its face to the light of the sun, so spiritualism turns the heart of humanity to the light of truth.”
Dozens of chartered spiritualist churches are scattered throughout the United States with the home base in Lily Dale, N.Y.
The newly rejuvenated Pinpoint of Light Spiritualist Center meets at 10:30 a.m. Sundays, followed by a potluck lunch and a class in some aspect of spiritualism at the Hartford Town Hall.
“We emphasize spiritual development of the individual soul, to live the best life possible here on earth, and to serve others with the spirit of love, compassion and joy,” Frobese said.
For more information, Frobese may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org