Sathya Sai Center of Columbia, Missouri Celebrates 25 Years
On October 19th, 2019, members of the Sathya Sai Center of Columbia celebrated 25 Years of Sathya Sai Sadhana. The mini retreat with the theme “Community Outreach and Engagement through Service”, was held at the Fairview United Methodist Church in Columbia, Missouri.
Dr. William Harvey of the Prashanti Council, shared a meaningful message about the beauty and unity of recognizing and appreciating the multi-facets of humanity. He also reminded us of the importance of living Sathya Sai’s teachings on Truth and Love and using the tools of spiritual practice to experience our inner divinity.
The two keynote speakers for the event were Dr. Bharat Datt and Dr. Joe Phaneuf, National Young Adult Advisor.
Dr. Bharat Datt’s two-part presentation took us through his Journey to God and gave us insight into the mysticism and innovation of bhajans (devotional singing). Dr. Datt’s story included lessons learned during his studies at the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, Puttaparthi. The entertaining stories were interwoven with beautiful songs that helped illustrate Sathya Sai’s teachings and took us back in time. He also shared the history of Shruti (what is heard), music, and bhajans.
Dr. Joe Phaneuf’’s interactive presentation focused on the spiritual journey and stimulated thought by daring us to be divine and happy. He shared the importance of prayer and the reading of Sathya Sai’s discourses. He encouraged us to see divinity in everyone by looking at how to improve ourselves, before looking at how to improve others and always remembering to serve with a smile. He reminded us that we must engage in the practice of gratitude for everything given to us in the present moment. Dr. Joe gave food for thought for our Region 4 Retreat, May 2020, with the theme “Dare to be Divine”. The history of the center in service projects was shared during the celebration with a creative interactive session lead by the Young Adults. The Sathya Sai Center of Columbia is one of only two centers in the USA, where all officers are Young Adults.
Sathya Sai Free Health Fair, St. Ann, Missouri, Oct 12, 2019: Introducing Planetary Health & Gun Safety
None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful. Mother Teresa.
YES! WE CAN DO SOMETHING WONDERFUL AS A TEAM:
On October 12, 2019, a total of 160 attendees including 58 children were benefitted by the loving health screen service rendered by 152 participants consisting of 35 Medical and Paramedical Professionals (18 medical doctors, 2 dentists, 1 audiologist, 1 nurse practioner.1 psychologist, 1 social worker, 1 nurse, 1 pharmacist, 2 nutritionists, 3 lab techs, 2 respiratory therapy techs, 1 physical therapy doctor, 1 optometrist), 69 general volunteers and 48 bilingual interpreters.
PRACTICING UNITY- COMMUNITY CENTERS PARTICIPATION:
Several community centers participated in providing health care services and bilingual interpreters. A representative from Casa de Salud, a sliding scale clinic that also helps the uninsured, was present to answer the attendees’ concerns.
INTRODUCING PLANETARY HEALTH FOR HUMAN HEALTH & GUN SAFETY TO PROTECT CHILDREN:
This year’s new focus targeted health education booths on Planetary Health for Human Health emphasizing what we could do at house hold level to prevent air, water and earth pollution to remain in good health, Be S.M.A.R. T for kids on Gun safety (S - Secure guns in homes and cars - with ammunition separate; M - Model responsible behavior; A - Ask about the presence of unsecured guns in homes where children may play; R - Recognize the role of guns in suicide; T- Tell your peers) and education on preventing alcohol and substance abuse prevalent in high school. We provided 38 bicycle helmets to kids and replaced four defective infant car seats. Poison control education to children & their parents was interactive with games.
Health Check was very comprehensive as always providing free flu shots, Blood Pressure & BMI check, blood tests, Asthma Screen, Ankle Scan for osteoporosis, women’s health focusing on self-breast exam & eligibility questionnaire for mammogram registration, eye refraction test giving free reading glasses as needed, dental health check, free dental hygiene kits , hearing test, nutrition advice, exercises for posture and physical fitness, sports balls to kids to encourage physical activity, behavioral health and relaxation training by breath awareness and hand gestures of yoga practice. The two dogs, Juba and Portia, brought by the St. Louis County pet adoption Center were delightful, bonding with attendees, seeking love & kindness. Additionally, school supplies with recycled pencils & crayons and meal pack with vegetarian subway sandwich, apple, chips and water bottle were given to the attendees, before they exited the venue.
COMMENTS BY PARTICIPANTS:
“The entire community was filled with a sense of contentment that was reflected through their smiling faces.” “I was touched not only by their beautiful smiles, but also their grateful hearts for what this one Saturday in October means to them!” “It was heartwarming to see so many ‘smiles’… Every single individual and elements of weather favored to make it happen with the invisible hand at work.” COMMENTS BY ATTENDEES: “Very happy; I like everything here.”
Region 4 SSIO Members Participate in America’s Largest Service Project, 9/11 Day Meal Pack
September 11 is America’s National Day of Service & Unity. 9/11 Day was established with the mission of turning a day of tragedy into a day of service, unity and peace. For 2019, the national service project was to help combat hunger in America, with the theme of “Tomorrow Together” (911Day.org) . A Meal Pack opportunity was planned in 8 cities across the nation including, Phoenix, San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and St. Louis. A small group of SSIO members from St. Louis, registered as support staff and were trained as Team Leaders for the event. On this day around the country, 10,000 volunteers joined together to pack meals for the hungry. The diverse volunteers came forth from the community representing corporations, universities, service organizations and faith based groups. Volunteers from the St. Louis area filled Chaifetz Arena, Saint Louis University’s Midtown campus, with the goal of packing at least, 275,000 meals for the hungry. To be there representing the SSIO, was a truly remarkable experience. The volunteers were a representation of the diversity of America and all were working together in happiness and joy. Leaders of the faith community were invited to offer prayers and devotional songs from their faith and were welcomed to wear their religious attire. The goal was to go beyond outer differences and to unite in selfless service. To be there, side by side with the community, and to experience the unity in diversity and loving spirit of at least 1,000 members of the St. Louis metro community was exhilarating. Nationally, 9/11 Day volunteers packed 3,149,186 meals for people in need, with over 150,000 meals going to Hurricane Dorian Relief.
Sai Spiritual Education Teacher Training in Nashville, Tennessee
On July 20, 2019, a Sai Spiritual Education Teacher Training was conducted in Nashville, Tennessee to properly prepare SSE teachers from the Sathya Sai Centers of Memphis and Nashville, including Young Adults and interested SSE Group 4 students.
The Sai Spiritual Education Program helps bring forth the human values that are within children and youth. This spiritual education program is based on the development of character, the unity of religions, includes the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man, and stories about the life of Sathya Sai Baba. In the United States, SSE classes are held once a week from September until the end of the school year. SSE classes are associated with Sathya Sai Baba Centers with volunteers, teachers, and coordinators who dedicate their time and energy to create a vibrant program for children.
Sathya Sai Baba has fostered a unique approach to education called educare, drawing out divine qualities of truth, right-conduct, peace, love and non-violence, which are latent within the individual. Educare aligns the heart, head, and hands. True education must in Sai Baba’s words, “broaden the heart and expand one’s love. ’True education is “that which fosters the sense of oneness, draws out one’s divine qualities and promotes the blossoming of human personality.’ “
“Sai Spiritual Education (Bal Vikas) is the primary basis of the great movement to restore righteousness (dharma) in the world. The ideal of the program is to raise a generation of boys and girls who have a clean and a clear conscience.” Sathya Sai Baba
Community Outreach - Festival of Nations St. Louis, Religions of the World Tent
On August 24 & 25, 2019, members of Region 4 of the SSIO, among members of other faith based communities and spiritual organizations of Metro St. Louis, MO, participated in the Religions of the World Tent at the Festival of Nations in Tower Grove Park. The tent is sponsored by the Interfaith Partnership of St. Louis and the Festival of Nations attracts more than 125,000 visitors annually. The Religions of World tent provides an opportunity for faith groups to share with the public, information about the teachings of their faith and place of worship. A table display with handouts was offered on the Sathya Sai International Organization with information on the life and teachings of Sathya Sai. Visitors would express interest, acknowledge that they were spiritual seekers and sometimes say, “I know about Sathya Sai”. To our delight, one such visitor was a graduate of the Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in India and another person jubilantly walked along the outside of the tent and gleefully shouted “Sai Baba!”. A visitor shared that he attended a Sathya Sai Center in California. We replied, “Oh there is a Sathya Sai Center in St. Louis with a special program unfolding right now” and he immediately left to attend. Participation in this event provides not only an opportunity for Community Outreach, but is a wonderful venue to truly experience the Brotherhood of Man and the Fatherhood of God, for all are feeling kinship regards of faith, for they are united in the belief of divinity.
Member of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust Dr. V. Mohan Speaker for Guru Poornima Celebrations at Sathya Sai Center of Greater St. Louis on July 7, 2019
The speaker for the Guru Poornima Celebrations for the Sathya Sai Center of Greater St. Louis on July 7th, was Dr. V. Mohan.
Dr. V. Mohan is the Chair and Chief of Diabetology at Dr. Mohan’s Diabetes Specialties Center, Chennai, South India, a WHO Collaborating Center for Non-communicable Diseases Prevention and Control and IDF Center of Excellence in Diabetes Care. Dr. Mohan oversees a chain of 48 diabetes centers across 10 states, with over 450,000 registered diabetes patients. He is President and Director of the Madras Diabetes Research Foundation, which is Asia’s largest stand alone diabetes research center. He presently serves as Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, Prasanthi Nilayam.
Dr. Mohan shared inspirational stories of faith and devotion to the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba and shared the many miracles he has witnessed during his life long service of providing treatment to thousands of poor patients through free diabetic clinics and camps (3000+), including several with the Sri Sathya Sai Seva Organizations and Trusts. Dr. Mohan owes all his success to the Blessings of Bhagawan Sathya Sai Baba & considers his position as Member of the Board of Trustees of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust, as the highest honour he has ever received. His book “Sathya Sai Baba Lives On”, is extremely popular among members of the Sathya Sai International Organization.
Region 4’s Walk for Values, Awarded Second Place in Bridgeton, Missouri’s Independence Day Parade
July 4, 2019
For the past four years, members of Region 4 have been conducting a “Walk for Values” as part of Bridgeton, Missouri’s Independence Day Parade. The city’s theme for the parade in 2019, was based on the celebration of great Americans who have made contributions to society. With human values in mind, contact was made with a faculty member of the Institute of Sathya Education in Human Values, to help identify a few great Americans that should be recognized because of the values they incorporated into their life’s work.
Region 4’s “VALUE TRUCK” was enthusiastically decorated, highlighting the great Americans that were a culturally inclusive representation of the USA. In the parade, “The Value Truck” was supported by the enthusiastic members of Region 4 by holding value signs and banners promoting the unity of faiths and the importance of loving service. With the joy and happiness that comes with the belief and faith in living a life based on human values, all who marched, experienced joy and love from the community.
For the past 4 years, parade judges and members of the community, have seen members of the SSIO carry their value signs with their joyful presentation of peace and happiness as they “Walked for Values”. This year, as we passed the City of Bridgeton’s judging stand, some participants were motivated to share with great joy that, “We are walking for family values”.
Out of the many entries, and to the great surprise of members of Region 4, our heart felt offering to the community was awarded Second Place Trophy by the judges from the city of Bridgeton. This year, the Mayor of Bridgeton, Mr. Terry Briggs, joined us during parade line-up and acknowledged the positive message that the SSIO delivers. Sathya Sai’s message of love and peace was communicated clearly as seen in the beaming faces of families along the parade route as we connected heart to heart. The smiles on the faces of the community lived on in the hearts, of the participants, for we had been united with the community through the values that reside within.
National Sai Women's Conference was held in New Jersey on June 29th and 30th, 2019
The first, National Sai Women's Conference was held in New Jersey on June 29th & 30th, 2019. The theme of the conference was, “Lights of Love:
Shining brighter in SAI” (SAI -Service, Adoration and Illumination).
The core objectives of Sai Women’s Conference 2019:
- Recognizing our inner strength and empowerment
- Connecting with other women who are on the spiritual path
For details: https://sathyasai.us/SWC2019
Prity Bhatt- https://youtu.be/Sf3FhJIW5hc
Doris Hampton- https://youtu.be/TvjRp8sNyg4 (Region 4)
Anila Narayana- https://youtu.be/2Sjbxd8VSHk
Love in Action- https://youtu.be/tcslx5HPnT8
Cultural Program- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10TmyaSdo2A (Region 4 with Joshna Sridharan Bhatt)
Aparna Murali- https://youtu.be/721Onycm7WI
Connecting the Dots- https://youtu.be/SNzl1Mvavw4 Region 4 with Niyanta Gopal
For details: https://sathyasai.us/swc2019/recordings
SSIO-USA Region 4 Mid Central Region 42nd Retreat, Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26, 2019
Mid Central Region members of the SSIO-USA and guests came together for the 42nd Annual Retreat in the beautiful foothills of the Ozarks at Camp Wyman, Eureka, Missouri, on Memorial Day Weekend, May 24-26, 2019. The theme for the retreat was “Surrender to God through Devotion”. All in attendance were blessed with inspirational talks by speakers Mr. Narayan Sethuraman and Dr. Hari Conjeevaram.
Mr. Narayan Sethuraman shared wonderful stories about his life since childhood, with Sathya Sai Baba. His father was the late Sri. V. Srinivasan, member of the Sri Sathya Sai Central Trust and All India President. His mother was the late Mrs. Vidya Srinivasan, India’s National Bal Vikas Coordinator. The family stories were beautiful examples of devotion to the life mission and teachings of Sathya Sai Baba.
Dr. Hari Conjeevaram is the Medical Director for Region 5, Vice-Chairman, USA Medical Committee and Medical Director Zone 1 (USA-Canada-West Indies), SSIO. He is also a member of the International Medical Committee and the Disaster Relief Committee. Dr. Conjeevaram has coordinated multiple local and international medical and educational missions in India, Kazakhstan and Russia, and disaster relief missions in Sri Lanka, Haiti, Philippines, and Ecuador. Dr. Conjeevaram shared stories full of miracles and how his devotion allowed him to surrender to the Lord, through service to those in need.
To further explore the theme and to allow reflection on the spiritual practices of devotion, Sathya Sai Center members made presentations on the 9 Paths of Devotion.
The regional service project for the retreat, was the gathering of much-needed supplies for Region 4’s Adopted Community, the World Bird Sanctuary in Valley Park, Missouri. The World Bird Sanctuary’s Facilities Coordinator, along with a couple of featherly friends, made an educational presentation on the important role birds play in a biodiverse environment. The Coordinator led all at the retreat, in an educational value “Walk for Birds” with the purpose of promoting their welfare in the delicate ecological balance of Mother Earth.
A regional update was provided covering Community Outreach activities including a panel discussion on the Cultural Inclusion & Expansion national initiative. The Young Adults inspired all with a musical rendition and an interactive session that united one and all in feelings of love and brotherhood. All are looking forward to the retreat in 2020 where the theme will be “Dare to Be Divine”.
The Inauguration of a New Prayer Hall for the Sathya Sai Center of Greater St. Louis
The Sathya Sai Center of Greater Saint Louis inaugurated a new prayer hall on March 16, 2019.
The program began with a ribbon-cutting and a candle-lighting ceremony at the altar. The event also featured a brief ceremony celebrating the Unity of Faiths with blessings offered by a Christian Chaplain, a Jewish Priestess, a Buddhist Master, a Muslim Faith Leader, a Sikh Giani and a Hindu Priest. The presence of these leaders of diverse faiths in the ceremony reinforced one of the key purposes of the prayer hall: to unite people of all faiths with a common message of love and service.
The ceremony was also graced by the presence of prominent members of the SSIO leadership including Dr. Narendranath Reddy, Chairman of the Prasanthi Council; his wife, Dr. Hyma Reddy; Dr. William Harvey, Member of the Prasanthi Council; and USA National Council President Dr. Jack Feely. Also in attendance were Dr. Venkat Sadanand, Chair SSIO IT Committee and Dr. Hari Conjeevaram, SSIO Zone 1 Medical Director.
A participant remarked, “The interfaith prayers demonstrated Sathya Sai Baba’s universal teachings with clarity and simplicity and elevated the spirit and the mood of the congregation. As one attendee put it, “It is a moment of awakening for all of us to spread Sathya Sai Baba’s message of “Love all; Serve all” with great enthusiasm, to bring about transformation within ourselves and within society”!
Earth Day Booth in Honor of World Human Values Day
April 27-28, 2019
Region 4’s World Human Day activity was participating in the 30th Annual Earth Day Festival, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri, April 27 & 28, one of the largest Earth Day Celebration in the USA with thousands from the community in attendance. The theme of the booth was “Going Green with Human Values” . Festival goers viewed value based Go Green posters on living human values, honoring the 5 elements and practicing “Ceiling on Desires” along with information on the organization and the life and teachings of Sathya Sai Baba. The most amazing conversations took place with festival goers. Visitors were sharing the positive impact that knowing about the life and teachings of Sathya Sai Baba has had on their lives and how they were looking forward to further contact with the organization. Visitors to the booth were invited to join Region 4 & the Sai Center of Greater St. Louis for their annual “Walk for Values” as part of Bridgeton’s Missouri, 4th of July Parade..
Earth Day, 2019
Sathya Sai Center of Memphis
The Sathya Sai Center of Memphis, Tennessee, participated in Earth Day festivities organized by Shelby Farms. There were approximately 100 booths promoting earth-saving concepts such as the using of solar power, tree and flower planning, vegetable gardening, mulching, worm aided composting, recycling, tree-destroying insects and pests and pet care.
SSE students from the Center prepared various posters explaining the importance of saving the earth, recycling of cans, paper and water bottles, conserving water and electricity, and reducing pollution of rivers and ocean. Approximately 10 SSE students and parents participated. SSE students shared information about their posters with visitors to their booth. This was a great experience for the SSE students and adults learned principles of recycling. The members of the Sathya Sai Center of Memphis are inspired to conduct similar events in the future.
Happy Maha Shivarathri
March, 4, 2019
We wish you a Holy and Blissful Maha Shivarathri.
The Sathya Sai International Organisation is happy to share a video message about the spiritual significance of Maha Shivarathri, as taught by Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.
The video and the transcript can be viewed and/or downloaded here. Subtitles in several languages are available by clicking on CC in the bottom right corner of the video.
Sathya Sai Free Health Fair
October 6, 2018, St. Ann, MO
On October 6, 2018, a Sathya Free Health Fair was held at Holy Trinity Church in St. Ann, MO. A total of 185 attendees, including 79 children, were served by 165 volunteers. Thirty-two medical and paramedical professionals provided services which included 13 M.D.s, Dentists, Psychologists, Audiologist, Nurse Practitioner, Nurses, Physical Therapist, Respiratory Techs, Pharmacist, Nutritionists, Lab Techs, Optometrist, 58 Interpreters and 75 non- medical volunteers. Cardinal Glennon Hospital for Children, St. Louis University Cancer Center, St. Louis University Hospital, De Paul Health Center, St. Louis Eye Clinic, St. Louis County Public Health, Maryville University, Casa de Salud, Walgreens Pharmacy, Community Action Agency of St. Louis County and the American Red Cross participated. University students attended with their faculty and SSE students served as volunteers. Monsanto Latin Network, All Access Interpreters, LAMP and Latino Medical Students Association in Washington University, provided interpreters.
The comprehensive health check extended beyond basic tests to include relaxation training, exercises for physical fitness, behavioral health for depression and addictions, physical therapy for posture, back pain, fall prevention and preventive practices to promote physical and mental health by living a life based on human values. The St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center also shared information on household pet care and adoption.
click on the first image to start a slide show
Health & Human Values Booth at Sathya Sai Free Health Fair
October 6, 2018, St. Ann, MO
On Saturday, October 6, a Sathya Sai Free Health Fair was conducted in Region 4 at the Holy Trinity Church, St. Ann, MO, serving 185 adults and children, who were mainly members of the Hispanic community. Helpful translators of the Spanish language were available to provide effective communication at every booth. Many professional medical services and resources were provided, which also included a booth featuring Sai Human Values and Health. The message of the booth was that good health can be fostered by viewing the world with the vision of love, which is the result of practicing purity in thought, word and deed. Head, Heart and Hands united in love, can promote good health by living a life that is based on human values and reinforced with positive thinking and prayer, good nutrition and exercise as part of one’s weekly schedule. The question is how to remember to practice this positive approach to life. Reminders that were shared are: positive thinking and prayer, listening to inspirational music and song , managing stress and sustaining a sense of well-being through silent reflection, joyfully do service within the home and community and filling your mind with inspirational stories about good works, accomplishments and role models of human excellence. This preventive health perspective was presented in such a simple and easy manner, that the assigned translator upon hearing this message of love from the SSIO member managing the booth, connected instantly and took upon himself without any further direction, to proceed to share this message of love with simplicity, enthusiasm and dedication to all who visited the booth. The translator was so inspired that he stated , “Please contact me for I want to be involved in any future events that promote this message of love and well-being.”
2018 National Young Adult Leadership Retreat Hosted by Region 4
September 29-30, 2018, St. Louis, MO
Region 4 hosted the 3rd National Young Adult Leadership Retreat at the Sai Center of Greater St. Louis on the weekend of September 29th & 30th. The regional and center leadership teams and host families, were very grateful to have the opportunity to be an intricate part of helping to make this leadership retreat for the nation’s SSIO Young Adults, a great success. The theme for the retreat was “Connect, Inspire & Unite”. Presentations on Young Adult activities in all 10 Regions of the SSIO-USA were made, followed by workshops that provided connection with inspiration, so that Young Adult Representatives & Advisors could be united and energized, upon returning home to their local regions. The speakers were Dr. William Harvey of the Prashanti Council, who was the keynote speaker and was instrumental in the formation of the Young Adults program in the USA, the National Council President, Dr. Jack Feely and Regional President, Creta Schiermann. The Region 4 Young Adult team worked diligently with the National Yong Adult team, to make sure this was a memorable event for all in attendance.
Medical Camp Memphis, Tennessee
September 22, 2018
Over 30 medical professional participated in the medical camp organized by the Sai Center of Memphis. The camp was organized in association with BAPS Charities. Medical professionals volunteered their services and came from varying backgrounds including physicians, dentists, pharmacists and specialists in the fields of internal and family medicine, cardiology, endocrinology, and gynecology. The health fair offered a variety of screenings which included blood pressure, BMI, and dental exams. Health professionals educated over 127 attendees on various health topics and provided advice on the importance of regular health checkups and other health related issues. Over 90 participants were administered a free flu vaccine. Many attendees participated in health lectures on pranayama (breathing exercises), meditation, and diet.
The attendees were very happy to learn about maintaining their health and well-being, and the medical professionals expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to be of service to those in need.
Region 4 Represents SSIO-USA at “Beliefs of the World “ Tent at the Festival of Nations
August 25-26, 2018, St. Louis, MO
Members of Region 4 represented the SSIO at the “Beliefs of the World” tent at the Festival of Nations in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 25th and 26th. SSIO members joined together in love and fellowship with the representatives of 19 communities of faith from the metropolitan area, which included representatives of all the major world religions, to share information, answer the questions of festival attendees and to promote unity and understanding among the faiths and beliefs represented. As Festival attendees would stop at the Sathya Sai booth, SSIO members would share about the teachings of Sathya Sai, including the goal of the organization, Sathya Sai’s message on the Unity of Faiths, the Five Universal Human Values, the importance of Service and that the End of Education is Character.
Regional Sai Spiritual Education Teacher Training
August 4-5 2018, St. Louis, MO
Region 4 conducted a Regional Sai Spiritual Education Teacher Training on August 4 and 5 at the Sai Center of Greater St. Louis, covering the Sai Spiritual Education Fundamentals and the Updated Sai Spiritual Education Framework Initiative. Implementation of the Updated SSE Framework Initiative in all Sai Center SSE programs in the USA, is the goal nationwide. This SSE training was attended by members from the Sai Center of Greater Kansas City and the Sai Center of Greater St. Louis, which included center SSE coordinators, center officers, members and interested Group 4 students.
The training of SSE Teachers in SSE Fundamentals and the Updated SSE Framework Initiative is a national requirement. If a Sai Center in Region 4 is in need of the required SSE Teacher Training, please contact the Regional Education Coordinator at email@example.com.
Region 4 Annual Walk for Values as Part of the Independence Day Parade
July 4, 2018, Bridgeton, MO
This was the 3rd year that Region 4 conducted an enthusiastic “Walk for Values”, as part of the City of Bridgeton, Missouri’s Independence Day Parade on the Fourth of July. Around 30 members of the SSIO walked for values in this annual community parade that routes pass the Sai Center of Greater St. Louis through the local neighborhoods and past the City Hall of Bridgeton. Hundreds of people from the community lined the streets to watch this annual parade. Numerous parade attendees applauded or shared supporting comments when they saw the message of love, peace and non-violence that the “Walk for Values” delivered. This year, the walk included a lead “Walk for Values” banner, Human Values signs, a Sathya Sai Education in Human Values banner, “a Value Truck” decorated with messages on the benefits of living a life based on human values, followed by a “Help Ever Hurt Never” banner with the symbols of the world religions of Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and Bahai’ and ending with an inspirational banner to inspire all to be the change they want to see. Sai Spiritual Education students lovingly interacted with parade attendees and shared their joy by lovingly passing out treats to children along the parade route.
41st Annual Retreat, Midwest Region 4
May 25-27 2018, Eureka, MO
The theme of the 41st Annual Retreat of the Mid-Central Region in St. Louis, Missouri, on Memorial Day weekend was “Transformation of the Mind Through Service.” The guest speakers were Dr. Surendra Upadhyay, from the U.K. who spoke about service to man and his phenomenal experiences at SSIO medical camps worldwide and Dr. Meera Narasimhan, from the University of South Carolina, who shared insights and strategies for the transformation of the mind. The concept of service was extended to the environment with each Sai Center in the region planting a tree at the retreat camp site. Prior to the tree planting, retreat attendees were inspired by a Young Adult play based on the environmental program, “Serve the Planet”. Members of the region organized an “Animal Shelter Supplies Drive” as a regional service project, which included SSE children making pet toys. All items collected for the drive were delivered to the St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center, Saint Louis County Department of Public Health. The adults and the children also participated in a “Walk for Animals and the Planet” on Family Value Night, an event that was recently introduced at the regional retreat. The participants carried hand-made posters and banners and wore animal masks and T-Shirts with logos reflecting the theme of love for animals and the planet.