Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Archive for the ‘SWW’ Category

Sense of the Sacred ~ Please help me spread the word!

Only by understanding the Universe as a vast, holistic system and Earth as a unit within it can we help restore balance to that unit.

Only by placing Earth and its ecosystems – about which we now understand so much – at the centre of all our thinking can we avert ecological disaster .

Only by bringing our thinking back into balance with feeling, intuition and awareness and by grounding ourselves in a sense of the sacred in all things can we achieve a new level of consciousness.

Thus says the website of the book GreenSpirit: Path to a new Consciousness. In a couple of weeks the author, Marian Van Eyk McCain, will be speaking about this book upstairs in the Community Room at the Real Food Co-op in Chatham. (Please note that the Co-op is not open for business on Sundays.) I’m very happy that Marian will be here, and I’d like you all to meet her. She is also author of the book Elderwoman: Reap the Wisdom – Feel the Power – Embrace the Joy, which ties in with Growing Older, Growing Wiser: Becoming an Elderwoman, a seven-part series beginning in Chatham on September 14th.

Please help me spread the message about her talk at the Co-op on September 12, 2 PM. Thanks!

Here is a poster with the details:

GreenSpirit Poster

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

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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.

Marian Van Eyk McCain

This morning, before the granddaughters awaken, I am updating this blog a bit. On the “Gatherings and Services” page here, I added the meeting with author Marian Van Eyk McCain who, visiting this country from England in September, has graciously agreed to meet with people in this area. She wrote the book Elderwoman: Reap the Wisdom – Feel the Power – Embrace the Joy, and edited the newly released book GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness. She has also written on living simply.

Last year I met Marian at a women’s conference, after getting to know her virtually through Elderwomanspace, the social network she created. Marian’s blog is listed at the right.  I hope you’ll be able to attend this gathering with Marian at 2 PM on Sunday afternoon, September 12, upstairs in the Community Room at Real Food Market Co-op, 15 Church Street, Chatham, NY. (Please note: the Co-op is not open for business on Sundays.)

Contact me for more information.

Sun & Solstice, Mead & Marigold

Still glowing from the Sanctuary Without Walls gathering this afternoon, which focused on the Summer Solstice.

A restful, peaceful time that included meditation, laughter, talk of spiritual practices and their relationship to light and dark, the warmth of friendship ~ and the sweet, solar glow of mead.

Our mead communion included first fruits: cherries and strawberries.

Blessings of peace, friendship, sustenance, summer, and sunlight to all!

Eight Alternative Spiritual Paths

At the moment I’m reading a book which was mentioned on the blog called Urban Mystic (thanks, Tim). The title of the book is Beyond Religion: 8 Alternative Paths to the Sacred, by David N. Elkins. Because I haven’t finished it, I’ve not decided whether to add it to my list of recommended books.

“Buried deep in the heart of every adult is a longing for a life that matters.  We want to drink deeply from the stream of existence and know the passion of being truly alive.  The purpose of this book is to say that such a life is possible, and that it all begins by learning how to nurture and care for the soul.”

OK. Nurturing the soul is what Elkins considers the spiritual life to be about. But I’m trying to understand exactly what he means by soul, since it is basic to what he is putting forth. He does claim that one doesn’t need religion in order to nurture one’s soul. Should be interesting to see what moves he makes to define soul in non-religious ways. More after I’ve read more.

Meanwhile, some of the ideas I’ve already come across in this book may be fun to play with at the Sanctuary Without Walls  monthly gathering tomorrow. Please come if you are interested! 4 PM.

info@sanctuarywithoutwalls.org

By the way, the eight paths are: The Feminine, The Arts, The Body, Psychology, Mythology, Nature, Relationships, and Dark Nights of the Soul.

‘GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness’

My friend Marian Van Eyk McCain has edited a new book, GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness.  Because the topics in it are related to my work on Temple of the Cosmos and my interest in our spiritual responses to our world, I intend to read it as soon as I can get my hands on a copy.  Marian also wrote The Lilypad List: 7 Steps to the Simple Life.

8/17/10 News Flash! Marian Van Eyk McCain, editor of and contributor to GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness, will be in Chatham, NY on Sunday, September 12. 2010, 2 PM to speak about the book and about living simply. The Real Food Network Co-op, 15 Church Street, Chatham, NY. This event is sponsored by Sanctuary Without Walls.