Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Thinking about Sanctuary

I’ve been thinking about “sanctuary” recently. For some of my thoughts and to share yours, pop over to my other Sanctuary Without Walls blog.

Now is the time.

ArtsWalk! Opens this evening!

This is the big weekend!

This year, ArtsWalk is in Chatham as well as in Hudson, NY. The Opening Party is from 6 to 9 PM at the Columbia County Fairgrounds on October 8th, with events and exhibits happening in many places throughout Chatham over the weekend. Shops on Main Street have donated their window space to local artists. My feathery work may be found in the window of Cow Jones Industrials, on Main Street in Chatham.

 

"With These Wings" Feather Vest by Katharine Houk

 

The event is sponsored by the Columbia County Council on the Arts. I will be at Opening Night, where I have an Otherworldly piece. I hope to see you there!

Sunday, Sunday…

Big day at church tomorrow. A new pastor will be offering his message, and because we operate via congregational polity, we will then vote about whether he will henceforth be the pastor of our little church.

Then in the afternoon, at 2 PM, Marian will be at the Real Food Co-op to speak with us about GreenSpirit and living lightly. And maybe about Elderwoman, as well. I hope to see you there.

Marian With Flowers

Wild Flowers

After several days in the woods with more than a dozen women, I’m slowly adjusting to the indoor world. The rooms seem cramped and stuffy, but I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising, after living outdoors for a few days.

There were many memorable moments. One of my favorites was watching a huge flock of hundreds of birds encircling the clearing in which I was sitting ( a little freaky, in that it reminded me of the Hitchcock movie). They were silent except for the sound of their wings.

The photos show the back of the stone fireplace, where some flat surfaces provided spaces for small “altars” to be created by the women present.

On one evening, we lay on our backs near the coals of the fire and watched for meteors. There were many, but one was absolutely spectacular as it streaked across the sky, leaving a long trail which looked almost double. Later that night I took the rain-fly off my tent so I could continue to watch the stars through the night.

On the last evening, a friend and I created a “dusk walk,” a liminal experience on the paths in the woods, which were lit with candles. The experience left me with the desire to create more outdoor magical experiences for others.

I’m already dreaming about next year’s Wild Flowers event. It is sponsored each summer by the organization Wellspring Haven.

To Stay or Go ~ Spiritual Communities & Community Ministry

Brace yourselves; here comes the C-word and the J-word, not to mention the R-word.

Popular author Anne Rice has “quit” Christianity. On her Facebook page last week she wrote:

“Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out…I remain committed to Christ as always, but not to being ‘Christian’ or to being part of Christianity. It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

And this morning in my inbox I discovered a stunning response in the form of an article in Salon magazine, from Lily Burana, who has chosen to stay and fight. She wrote:

“Religion can be freighted with heartache, disappointment, uncomfortable adjustment and the dreary slog through the vale of tears. But I believe we can fashion the pieces of a broken heart into a new shape of belief. I’d rather endure the contortions of worship than suffer the bone-dry refuge of refusal or a spiritual life half-lived.”

Here’s the link to the article.

Some time ago, with the blessing of The Center for Progressive Christianity, I created a Facebook page, wanting to spread the word about this group’s work and resources. If you are one of those, like me, hanging in there with Christianity, you may wish to check it out. This month’s articles at www.tcpc.org are about Anne Rice’s decision, people who consider themselves SBNR (spiritual but not religious), the new atheists, interfaith – innerfaith, and more.

As an infant, I was baptized in the Universalist Church (in the 1960s it merged with the Unitarian Church, to form Unitarian Universalism). Although I trained as a UU minister, I am not firmly planted in a UU church, nor am I a free-floating follower of Jesus, but rather someone with more than one spiritual home. This is distasteful (bordering on heretical) to many people calling themselves Christians, but my religious experience is not a “spiritual life half-lived;” it is expansive and broad, as well as deeply rooted. I like to think it’s the way Jesus lived, breaking bread with all kinds of people, while intimately knowing his Source. Community is important to me; if I cannot find it, I gather with others and  help it grow. And I see this happening all around me. Community ministry. Yup. That’s what I do.

Registration Brochures at last!

On the sanctuarywithoutwalls events blog you will find a post which includes the registration brochures for events which will be facilitated by my friend Phoebe and me:

Growing Older, Growing Wiser: Becoming an Elderwoman ~ For women 55 and older, on the second Tuesday of each month, September 14, 2010  –  March 8, 2011  ~ 7-9 PM

To download the registration brochure with all the details, click on the following link:

Elderwoman registration brochure

________________________

After being away and entertaining guests, I’ve had many little details to attend to here. It feels great to make these available, at last! Check out the events site for details and other happenings.

Summer Gatherings

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

After spending a week at a science and religion conference with more than 100 people,

IRAS on Star Island 2010

I came home to my husband’s college reunion at our home, with about twenty of his college friends, some of whom he hadn’t seen for forty years.

Photo by Art Nager

This morning I was on a radio show about the upcoming series for women Growing Older, Growing Wiser: Becoming an Elderwoman –

and now I’m planning for the annual campout of Wellspring Haven.

Photo by Sharon Lips

The weekend after that, I’ll be attending a college reunion of my own.

Reunion, Callicoon 2009

It’s been an intense summer of gathering in communities of diverse people. And it will continue into September, when I’ll be attending a Céile Dé gathering.

So much richness, and so little time to blog about it!