By Bill Sheets Herald Writer
EVERETT – A few years ago, the Rev. Mary Ellen Flora was invited to conduct a healing ceremony at the now-closed Anchor Tavern for the 1916 Everett Massacre, which occurred nearby.
The well-attended ceremony turned out to be more of a healing for the people there, Flora said.
“Some of the people there had actually been involved in that particular event,” she said, referring to her belief in reincarnation.
While this might sound strange to some, for Flora and other members of Everett’s Church of Divine Man perception of this type is an everyday occurrence.
Flora, the church’s presiding minister, and her late first husband founded the organization in Seattle in 1976. While Christianity based, Flora said the church focuses on how to help people heighten their ability to feel, know and use the non-material aspect of their nature — their spirit — for good.
The church’s primary teachings in meditation, healing and clairvoyance can further any spiritual practice regardless of faith, she said.
“It helps you be more in touch with your spiritual self, it helps you be more in touch with your God, to be a kinder person, to be more of what your religion teaches, whatever that religion is,” said Flora, 69.
The church offers beginning classes in meditation, spiritual healing, clairvoyance and kundalini, with a donation requested. Techniques in these practices also are shared on line, free, at eSpirit.info.
“There isn’t anything new under the sun,” Flora said. “All these practices are ancient. The seeds of this spiritual information were planted before written history.”
In healing, the group teaches ways to focus healing energy, Flora said.
“We’re spiritual healers. And we go to doctors, and dentists and chiropractors and all kinds of great people because they’re all healers, too,” Flora said.
Two open events are held weekly, a Sunday morning meditation and a Wednesday evening spiritual “demonstration” in which visitors may receive readings from Church of Divine Man members.
More advanced classes are available to registered members, who number about 100. The church has four paid staff members and many volunteers.
Flora grew up Methodist in Virginia.
“When I was about 12 years old I realized I was supposed to work for God,” she said. “I went to my minister and had questions that couldn’t be answered.”
After growing up, Flora moved to California in the late ‘60s. She met her husband in Berkeley and they attended a church called the Church of Divine Man.
“It was like coming home,” she said.
Eventually, she and her husband retired from their careers in social work and dentistry, respectively, and moved to the Northwest. He was a native of Quincy, in Eastern Washington.
With the blessing of the Berkeley church, the couple founded their own unaffiliated Church of Divine Man in Seattle and later expanded to a total of eight cities west of the mountains, including Everett. The California church is now called the Berkeley Psychic Institute.
Eventually, Flora said, the burden of maintaining all the Northwest locations became too great and the church gradually downsized to just the one location in Everett.
The Everett church is located at 2402 Summit Ave., in an older church building that had been home to other denominations before.
Lead minister Pamela Lynn has been a member since 1989.
“I would say that here, I’ve learned spiritual techniques that I use in my everyday life, and it’s made my life more full and complete,” said Lynn, 52, of Everett.
“Before I found the church I was all stressed out, and learning the techniques and using them here has totally changed my life.”
Regarding Flora, Lynn said, “I would say that she’s one of the most inspiring leaders I’ve ever met and she truly walks her talk. She does what she teaches and she role-models it.”
Flora, who lost her husband several years ago and has remarried, formerly conducted many workshops and events for businesses and other groups but has scaled back to focus on writing and developing the eSpirit.info website.
Flora, who lives near Stanwood, has written 13 books, on the aforementioned topics and more.
She was a regular presence at the church’s Sunday meditations but lately has been handing off those duties to Lynn and others.
“I’m 69, and at a certain point you think, if this is going to continue, other people have to step in and do these things and it’s best while I’m here, so if they need help, I’m here.”
Flora’s latest passion is the website, with the group developing a following around the world, she said.
The techniques are available on the website for free to help spread the word, she said. Learning meditation, clairvoyance and healing powers helps people live better lives, which in turn enables them to help others, she said.
“If you want to heal the world,” she said, “heal yourself.”
The Rev. Mary Ellen Flora is planning a public presentation titled “Chakras — Key to Spiritual Opening” at 1 p.m. May 31 at the Church of Divine Man, 2402 Summit Ave.
For more information call the church at 425-258-1449 or visit c-d-m.org/.