Right Hand of Fellowship

Members of the Spiritualist Society of Reno commit to pursuing the Spiritualist ideals while actively supporting the Society. There is no cost for membership in the Society, but there is an annual renewal of commitment.

May 2017: Society President Jannet Caywood conducts the Right Hand of Fellowship ceremony with new members Adriana and Lindarae (right)
April 2016 Right Hand of Fellowship
April 2017: Society President Jannet Caywood conducts the Right Hand of Fellowship ceremony with new members Alissa, Pam, Rita and Carol (Right).

New members are asked to join in a ceremony marking their membership. Part of the ceremony includes five questions:

  1. Have you tested to your own satisfaction the truth of spirit communication and accepted it as a means for the upliftment of humanity?
  2. Do you promise in your life to conform to your highest conception of right, honor and truth?
  3. Will you aid and assist those who are in need of help by supplying their physical need, in so far as you can without injury to yourself or family, and give them such spiritual consolation as may be appropriate whenever the opportunity offers?
  4. Will you cheerfully contribute your just share toward the support of this church and do all that you can reasonably to promote harmony among its friends and members and to help it be a positive influence in the community?
  5. Do you affirm your acceptance of and belief in the Declaration of Principles of the National Spiritualist Association of Churches and will you conform to the Bylaws of that Association and to those of this Church?

Annual Potluck

Most summers, members and friends of the Society gathered for a potluck. The conversations are lively and uplifting, there was lots and lots of great food, the weather is perfect, and everyone has a wonderful time!

2017 Potluck

These are pictures from past potlucks:




Mediumship Development Circle

Spiritualist Society President, Jannet Caywood, hosts a mediumship development circle in her home Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. The circle is for Society members but the public is invited. Meeting days are shown on the Calendar. Please contact the Society for details.

jannet-caywoodJannet Caywood

What you can expect

Currently, around fifteen people gather before the door is locked at 6:30 p.m. Sitters are arranged in a circle and the lights are dimmed. Quiet meditative music is plaid in the background.

Jannet opens with an invocation and may introduce a short exercise designed to hone mediumistic ability. This is followed by a period of quiet in which sitters are invited to sense information from loved ones for other sitters.

Rather than a mediumistic reading, this mode of mediumship is described as a “spirit greeting.” The messages are short, and as the sitters gain in ability, increasingly evidential. In NSAC Spiritualism, ethics require that a medium avoid predictive messages that might result in a “self-fulfilling prophesy” such as health or danger messages. As such, sitters can be comfortable knowing that the spirit greetings will be positive and helpful.

It is not necessary to give spirit greetings to others, but the idea of the circle is to develop what is a latent mediumistic ability in all of us, so it is good to take advantage of this very safe situation to learn.

The session ends around 8:00 p.m. Jannet offers a closing benediction, and then there may be five or ten minutes of discussion before people leave for home.

There is no cost for what is really a valuable opportunity for personal development; however, there is always an offering basket on the table and all of the money goes to the Society’s Facility Fund.

Ghost Walk – 2010

Members Arline and and Jeadene put together a very successful fundraiser for the Spiritualist Society. Arline is a historical researcher who researches old buildings and old cemeteries headstones. She provided the history for the Ghosts of Buildings Past walking tour of Virginia City. It made money for the society and was a big hit with members.


Shown on the walk (left to right) Joyce, Mary Beth, Jo Ann, Priscillia, Keith and Arline.


Hallway of the Silver Queen Hotel built in the 1800s
Photographs by Chris Arends

Virginia City is just a thirty minute drive from Reno/Sparks and its historical buildings continue to reflect the wealth of this 19th century mining town. The mines of the Comstock Lode yielded more than $400 million in gold and silver. These riches were so great that they actually funded the building of San Francisco.

In its heyday, Virginia City was the place for arts and culture, visiting celebrities, Shakespearean theater, two newspapers (one of which is where Mark Twain began his famous writing career) and a cultured opera house. In 2009 The National Trust for Historic Preservation named Virginia City one of America’s twelve most distinctive destinations.

Poetry Important to Members

These poems have either been written by members or their loved ones, or have special meaning to them.

Painting by transitioned member, Mary Aken – Lighthouse

Offered by Homer Goddard


What is this mystery called death?

I asked in a pensive mood.

The aged and weary say it is rest

after life’s long work is through.

The troubled in spirit call it peace,

release from the world’s care.

The broken hearted think it comfort,

escape from all despair.

And the faithless call it nothing,

A blackness without end.

I would call it a beacon

on a path to a friend.

Mary A. Written at age 16

Offered by Janet Caywood


Our heavy hearts hold us down to this earth.

I feel the wind of young wings brush my face.

There is flight of newborn spirit.

A freedom from physical pain and limitations

that bring lifting breezes under her feathers.

Our eyes will not witness, our own spirit knows.

Soar high and happy.

It will lift our hearts.

I love you Mom,

We will meet again when you bring me my wings.

Ed Shaver
Janet’s brother
August 8, 2013

Written by Zan Overall

Till death do you part

Sounds so sad

But you’ll rejoice

If you’ll just add

These words

From the other side of the coin:

Yes, Death do you part,

But in God’s good time,

Death doth also you rejoin.

The Ordination of Jane and Rick Seybold


The Reverend Lisa Butler (right) ordained Rick and Jane Seybold (left)
Members of the Spiritualist Society congratulates the Reverends Rick and Jane Seybold!

(From 2012) We are happy to announce that Spiritualist Society of Reno members Rick and Jane Seybold have successfully completed all requirements for National Spiritualist Association of Churches ordination.

Requirements for NSAC ordination include completion of the Morris Pratt Course on Modern Spiritualism, numerous instances of serving the church and affidavits to the effect that the candidate is qualified to serve the church. Qualification for ordination can take years and does take considerable ability.

All of us in the Spiritualist High Desert Church of Reno very proudly congratulate Rick and Jane for their completion of these requirements, and offer a heart-felt thanks to them for being willing to undergo such an arduous process in support of our spiritual growth.

Spiritualist Society Facility Fund

The Spiritualist Society of Reno has established a bank account to manage money for a dedicated facility for the Society’s services, classes and activities.

How the Fund Will be Managed and Used


Offerings from the members and classes are just covering the Society’s obligations for telephone, insurance space and other necessary costs.

We are fortunate to have an average of 20 people in attendance each week. On occasion, we have had 50 in attendance, and experience has shown that more would become difficult to serve in the room.


The need for Spiritualism in the Reno area has been demonstrated by how well the Society has been received by the community. This support continues to grow. At the same time, it is important that no member of the Society is turned away because of lack of space for seating.

The next step is to find a new meeting room that will support our growth for the next few years. This is something that clearly must be prepared for so that we can act when growth requires more room.

The Facilities Fund described here is money set aside for rent of a new place. You are invited to take part in growing this fund.

Estimated Costs


Our assumption is that the next move for us will be either to share a space with another Society or social club, or to rent a building or commercial space. Here is an estimate of the cost we are likely to face if we were to lease our own space:

Monthly Rent

Strip-mall space of 1,500 Sq. Ft. at $1.00/sf $1,500/ mo

(Conservative estimate.)

Move in costs

Deposit $2,000
Last month rent $1,500
100 chairs folding chairs at $30 each $3,000
Utility deposits $1,000
Misc. furnishing $1,000
Total move in cost $8,500
Monthly Costs
Rent $1,500
Monthly obligations $375
Sustaining income $1,875/mo or $22,500/yr

Yearly Costs

Current income

(25 members)

$500/mo or $6,000/yr
Year 1: rent from savings average 30 members $15,300
Year 2: rent from savings average 50 members $10,500
Savings to start and sustain for two years $34,300

Sustainable Income

The Society should be able to guarantee a minimum of two years rent before committing to a leased space. It is currently averaging 20 attendees and average offering per month is about $500. At that rate, the Society would need to average 94 attendees per week or have alternative income: fund raising activities, special donations, etc.

Using a two-year target to estimate required start-up funds, and assuming that there will be an average of 30 members in year one and 50 in year two, $34,300 should be available before signing a $1,500/mo lease.

For this to work, the Society should have an average of 94 members in year three or alternative, supplemental funding.

Recognition Program

A permanent panel will be prominently displayed with engraved plaques with the names of major donors or a memorial if the donation is in memory of a loved one. Minimum

perpetual_pledge-plackWays of Giving

The Church Community

Spiritualism does not begin and end with Sunday service. It is part of your community and can be part of your way of life. How much of a part it plays is up to you. It all depends on the effort you are willing to put into the Society. It also depends on whether or not the Society has the financial support necessary to serve.

Your offering is an important way to support the Society, and it is the weekly offering that pays the rent. No one receives compensation for their work, and virtually all of the money you give the Society is used in service to the community. If you want a strong Spiritualist presence in the Reno/Sparks area, then we need your strong support.

Having a dedicated meeting facility offers many benefits beyond the Sunday meeting. An important objective is to have space for a children’s meeting area aside from the main service. A library provides many hidden benefits to the Spiritualist community and it is very helpful to have room for a refrigerator and coffeepot.

A dedicated space means that more classes in mediumship, healing and Spiritualist principles can be offered, and it is even possible that a weekly meditation can become part of the community service—if only we had a dedicate space.

Supporting The Church Community

There are a number of effective ways for you to help assure the success of the Spiritualist Society of Reno. It is a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt organization, and as such, your donations are tax deductible. This fact can offer you a way to support the long-time service of the Society even as you continue to benefit from your assets. Besides cash contributions, the four most common vehicles for contributing to the Society are:

A bequest provision for the Society is added to your will or revocable trust.

Charitable Trust
An account is established with a financial institution in the name of the Society.

Real Estate
You can give property to the Society and avoid capital gains taxes on the appreciation.

By making a contribution of highly appreciated stock to the Society, you can claim a tax deduction for the fair market value of the stock and not pay capital gains tax on the appreciated value

Information about donating to the Spiritualist Society of Reno can be found at the on the Donation page.