Spiritual sustenance, naturally.

Posts tagged ‘Connections’

afternoon with a soul mate

Today my friend Gail stopped by on her way traveling from West Hartford, CT to Syracuse, NY. Reconnecting with old friends is heartwarming. We told each other stories about our lives and caught up. With such a soul friend, even though time had passed, it was as though we had seen each other yesterday; the conversation was immediate, free, deep, and easy.

In our past, we shared raising and home-educating our children; we found we embraced similar spiritual interests; we were both involved in creative pursuits  involving textiles, and we’ve shared the joys and challenges of life.

Gail reminded me that, no matter the time and distance between friends, we are never far apart. For this I am grateful.

At the end of our visit, we enjoyed a Japanese meal together. All in all, it was a very satisfying day.

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.

Summer Gatherings

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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!

To all lurkers and silent types

A blog I read this morning sparked the idea (thank you, Meadowsweet & Myrrh) to ask the many readers  and visitors of this blog to come out of hiding. I invite you to leave a comment, say hello — even if you’re just a lurker, even if you’ve never left a comment here before, why not share a little bit about yourself?

1) Tell me about yourself. Who are you?  What was it that drew you to this blog? What does its title, Sanctuary Without Walls, mean to you? Have you visited the sanctuarywithoutwalls.org site?

2) Tell someone else about this blog.  Send them a link to your favorite post, and let’s see what they say!

3.) Visit again, to see who has made an appearance here!

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!

Four thousand. Wow.

Reached the 4000 hit mark sometime during the night.

Wow.