Jan/Feb 2021 Newsletter

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Reflections on our 2021 Creation Spirituality Community Gathering
by Sid Hall, CSC Board President
 
I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling way more in love with Earth and each other than I was just a few weeks ago. To all those who shared in the Gathering and Matt’s birthday celebration as leaders or participants, thank you!

A little over a year ago, the CSC board met for a three-day planning retreat in St. Petersburg, Florida to begin imagining an international CSC Gathering that would accomplish several objectives:

  • Be interfaith/interspiritual (celebrate Deep Ecumenism)
  • Be held on MLK weekend to symbolize the connection between spirituality and activism, directly addressing the original sin of America and Western Culture, and have a diversity of ethnicities as leaders
  • Celebrate Matt’s 80th Birthday and his legacy of Creation Spirituality
  • Bring together some of the great teachers and ritual leaders in Creation Spirituality
  • Address the intersectionality of global warming, racism, and economic inequality in the world
  • Make the gathering more multigenerational than past gatherings
  • Be aware that we would be meeting a few days before the U.S. Presidential inauguration, which increased the probability of a heightened need to draw together in love and support
  • And finally, fall more in love with Earth and with each other

Of course, what we couldn’t imagine at the time is that we were already in the first wave of a worldwide health pandemic due to the COVID-19 Sars Virus. Furthermore, America and the world would see up close that the older and persistent pandemic of racism and white supremacy would remind us that people of color still can’t breathe because of what Obama called “the original sin of America.” Please indulge me a few moments as I recount a brief litany of some of what happened before our eyes in those coming months of 2020:

  • In February, Ahmed Arberry, an unarmed black man out for a jog in Brunswick, Georgia, was shot and killed in the back by a police officer.
  • In March, Breonna Taylor was killed in her own home from a botched raid by Louisville police officers.
  • In May, a white woman would call the police on a black man bird-watching in Central Park.
  • Just hours later on the same day, George Floyd would be murdered by Minneapolis police while he cried out “I can’t breathe.” This resulted in the largest nationwide and worldwide protest in history against racism, white supremacy, and police brutality.
  • Still on the heels of BLM demonstrations, in June, a Jefferson Davis statue was torn down in Richmond, Virginia.
  • That same month Rayshard Brooks was killed by police outside of an Atlanta Wendy’s restaurant after failing a sobriety test.
  • Also in June, a noose was found in the Talladega Superspeedway garage of black driver Bubba Wallace just weeks after NASCAR banned the Confederate flag at their races.
  • In August, Jacob Blake was shot and killed by police in Kenosha, Wisconsin.
  • In October, Jonathan Price was shot dead by police in Wolfe City, Texas.
  • Also in October, a mass grave was unearthed by archeologists in Tulsa confirming what the black community already knew but white history books ignored about the 1921 Tulsa race massacre.

So (deep breath), if there was ever a need to fall in love again with Earth and each other, it was now.

Since we wanted to invite West Coast speakers and ritual leaders like Brian Swimme, Joanna Macy, Starhawk, Yeye Luisah Teish (among others), as well as make it easier for Matt to be present, we decided last January that we would hold the Gathering in San Francisco. By late spring, it was obvious that even if the pandemic ended sometime in 2020, many of us would be skittish about traveling or coming together in a large gathering. Even though we were mostly inexperienced with internet streaming tools, we made the decision to go completely virtual hoping we would still be able to meet some of our initial goals for the Gathering. Fortunately, over the ensuing months, we all became much more proficient with conducting virtual meetings in just about every aspect of our worldwide quarantined lives.

I’d like to thank our amazing CSC board: Mel Bricker, Deidre Combs, Seth Longacre, Jerry Maynard, Carolyn Million, Judy Shook, and Dave Summers. Joran Slane Oppelt was also part of our board at the beginning of 2020 and was integral to our visioning and planning. Everyone had a part and we all worked hard. Judy and Jerry were our co-conveners, even as Judy was recovering from Covid herself. Mel organized and beautifully led Matt’s birthday celebration, the rest of us were involved in leading breakout sessions and other behind the scenes tasks, former board member Roxanne Whitelight led the closing worship as well helped lead one of the tracks, and of course, Seth was the glue that held it all together by organizing and leading all things virtual. I am just so proud of each of these CSC board members. We do this because we love Creation Spirituality, and it has transformed each of us in our personal lives. Then there were our keynote leaders mentioned above, as well as the diverse panel led by Jerry for Path 4, our music leaders, body prayer leaders, art-as-mediation instructors, all the participants, and of course Matthew Fox. All amazing. Each exceeding even our greatest expectations.

There were definitely some things we missed by not being face-to-face, especially the informal conversations, nature walks, and time to simply chill together. However, meeting virtually provided some unexpected gifts, too. We were able to gather without the extra cost of travel, food, and lodging. We had ritual and Gathering leaders across all four time zones in the continental U.S., as well as Hawaii—leading us live! We had participants from the U.S., Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany. We had the intimacy of our plenary speakers, ritual leaders, workshop leaders, etc. coming to us from their own homes and offices. I had more than one self-proclaimed introvert tell me that meeting virtually allowed them to recharge in a way they couldn’t if we’d been meeting face-to-face. I suppose the thing that I liked most was the close-up conversations we could have on Zoom, especially the conversations between Matt and the plenary speakers and ritual leaders. And, while I yearn for being face-to-face the next time, I feel like we received the gift of seeing and hearing from Matt himself much more than we would have if we’d met in person.

I also feel renewed in my own convictions that the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality are not only a powerful way to fall in the love with Earth and each other, but it turns out that it’s also an incredibly healing and liberating path to come together in the midst of a global health pandemic and a global reckoning of how to interrupt racism and white supremacy. Thanks to Matt’s creative vision and his persistent conviction to “make good trouble” over the last half a century, we each have a language and template for mysticism and justice-making through Creation Spirituality. The Gathering gave us a chance to celebrate that and to thank Matt personally. And it did much more than that: It reminded us that our work continues; that we will be called on again and again and again to fall in love with Earth and each other.
Ode to Matthew Fox
by Catherine Browning
 
Matt, oh Matt, you brought Creation Spirituality into our daily life.
So too now we lift you up way, way high.
Not to worry, though, our celebration is not just about you as an enduring mystic.
It is also about the ancient CS tradition surviving the racist and misogynistic.
For so long we humans saw ourselves as Garden-of-Eden, tainted sinners. 
Now we see ourselves as originally-blessed, diverse sacred winners. 
Such a wondrous moment to be free from inevitable sin, 
When we realize our gratitude and choices lead us to win.
How can we not celebrate the greatness of your legendary being?
Without your writings and lectures CS would never have been seen.
So, too, just as the powerful ancient truths led you to speak out,                                       
May we embody those bold truths without any doubt.   
May we share our stories, our messages and our meanings, 
Just as you modeled for us courage in the face of theological screamings.
You humbly submitted to a year of externally imposed silence.                                         
Emerging even more vocally regarding creation’s guidance.
Just as the Divine speaks even more awesomely now through you, 
So too the Divine is speaking more powerfully through us too!  
Yes, we celebrate your legacy greatness with love and cosmic truths so bright. 
We also recognize that you are passing on to us the torch of creation’s light.
We vow to be faithful to all that you have taught us, 
And to pass on Creation Spirituality Communities’ wisdom thus.                                    
Yes, creation-centered truth and wisdom you brought to modern-day light.
Now we go forward with your blessing filled with joy and delight. 
We are truly originally-blessed by the Divine you helped us to know. 
May you forever feel our gratitude for the Four Paths through which we now flow. 
 
January 19, 2021
A Blast from the Past

Celebrating the Holidays: Solstice Centered
by Carolyn Million

Many of you have joined our worship team on Sundays at 4 pm PST for the Creation Spirituality Interfaith Worship Experience. This year on December 20th, Roxanne Whitelight, who was first inspired to begin the offering in July, challenged us to celebrate the holidays with an Earth centered focus while highlighting the Winter Solstice and the turning it represents.

Roxanne and her wife, Ruth, have celebrated Winter Solstice every year now with intent for more than 15 years, imagining different themes and formats for creating ritual and space to intersect more intimately with Spirit. She and Ruth typically will chose a direction for their rituals. They chose different topics and may randomly select them as a prompt for poetry or other creative works. They create a different altar each year. This practice has served to meet the need they’ve felt to deepen the meaning of the holidays beyond a materialistic, social or even religious venture.

When Roxanne recommended this practice to those of us participating in the service, I was reluctant to commit. Life is so hectic! Even with Covid, do I have time, energy? But I decided that even if I didn’t follow through exactly as may be envisioned, I can still find usefulness in taking it as far as I am able. You can see the very simple altar I made out of a heart shaped fabric, candles and a cross. Very simple. You can also see more involved altars Roxanne has included from her examples and others.

Roxanne recommended two different poetry formats for our use. The cinquain is a stanza of five lines. Typically she recommends a single noun as title or first line beyond title if desired. The next line is typically two adjectives to describe. Then three verbs. Then a line with a freer format. Finally a single word to close which is another word to describe. She also used a zip code format. Using your own home zip code, write a poem with the same number of syllables. If you have a zero, use that as a skip or to fill in as you desire. I used this with my zip codes. Roxanne uses it using Bethelem’s zip code or other important zip codes.

I was so surprised at the little delights that emerged from the 15 minutes I would spend preparing myself, lighting the altar and setting intention. One of my favorite experiences to emerge came out of the zip code format. I decided to write an “inspired” poem and then see where the five line format would lead to in terms of a zip code. This added a whole additional level of fun and opportunities for Spirit to connect.

In my experience, the via negativa at play in my life certainly came to the fore! My theme for the twelve day practice was on Surrender. Each day I focused on Surrender into a different aspect of being. We began the service on the 20th with an initial offering during an Art-as-Meditation for writing in which I tried the cinquain format:

Longing
Bitter, Sweet
Burning, Consuming, Transmuting I Remain Yours
Dusted

Firmly in the negativa (VN), this general tone persisted.
December 23 cinquain:

Surrender Into the Night
Negativa
Toxic, enlivened
Split, Emetic, Absorptive
Tossing me like a Pearl of Wisdom
Disemboweled.

December 26 zip code poem:

Surrender Into Time
“Time is Life” I heard today
Life Continues
to Evolve and Create
Newness,
Ever Newness.

Finally! A Via Positiva poem! Granted, the surrender theme tends towards the VN, but I found it completely hilarious that when I wrote this “inspired”poem and then checked the zip code to see where it landed...73624...this is a zip code to BURNS FLAT, Oklahoma! Well, if Burns Flat isn’t a Via Negativa image then I reckon I don’t know a Via Negativa image when I see one! Too funny! Humor is an important aspect of care for grieving and sadness (grieving is a big part of my holidays having lost parents and three sibs).

As we were winding up the twelve days, the tone became more tender, more gentle: Dec 30. Day 10 of Turning (Cinquain)

Surrender into the Moment
Present
Gift, Challenge
Weaving, Living, Loving
The Eternal Now
Unfolds

Finally, we wind up our Twelve Days of Turning with the New Year: January 1, 2021 HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Back to Zip code methodology and subsequent searching for inspired location based on zip code (again use form to fit your own inspiration).

Surrender into the New
Surrender into the New.
See Yourself Today
Gazing back, stripped of facade,
Eyes bright with Joy’s Delight.
Surrender, My Friend, Surrender!

Zip code: 75768 Libertad, Puerbla in Tehuacan, Mexico SE of Mexico City
This meditation combines the Old—the Mayan peoples from Tehuacan—with the New.

Libertad or Liberty is what we are proclaiming for all people, for all creation.

It is especially important in the USA to honor people of Mexican heritage because of the great dishonoring done to persons of this heritage and other peoples from Central Americans countries seeking relief from oppression and/or poverty. We proclaim a new world, a new way of being for all peoples.

In the end, the meditation led me into a proclamation of Liberty for all Peoples and all Creation. I am happy to Surrender to this most cherished and sacred Vision! Thank you, Roxanne, for your work and the stimulus for this amazing journey. I will definitely be integrating this practice in my holidays! 
Matt Fox calls new book, Evolutionary Dancer - Out, In, and on the fringe of the Church, “A genuine contribution from the march from stale religion to lively spirituality.”
 
Part of our Creation Spirituality Community, Carol Kilby, says it has taken her almost a decade to write the book. However, she jokes, “some might suggest, it’s taken 13.8 billion years.” Being introduced to the Universe story in a course taught by Larry Edwards, Kilby says, was a turning point in her lifework. The book is written in three sections.

Out of the Pulpit and into the Woods These chapters tell how only after retiring from ministry in the United Church of Canada, founding the Gaia Centre for Eco-Spirituality and Sustainable Work, hosting artists, mystics, Shamans, Buddhists, ecologists, Deep Time storytellers, poets, nuns and teachers like Matt Fox, Brian Swimme, and Barbara Marx Hubbard, does she recognize life as a Mirror Dance. We read how her identity, shaped and formed in a Christian culture, shifts and expands.

About the second section, Out of the Woods and Back in the Church, Matt wrote this. I’m excited to see Kilby integrate Meister Eckhart into her life experience when she tells of “returning to the stable” of the church after many breakthrough experiences. Taking the new science and earth-based spirituality with her, Kilby describes her Advent to Easter journey with the a small rural congregation of what she calls “evolutionary elders” as an experiment in evolutionary spirituality.

"We were discovering how the old story of the Hebrew-Christian Bible and the new story from modern science made for powerful dance partners. But more than being compatible, for our times, they were stronger and more relevant together than apart."

Diarmuid O’Murchu, author of Quantum Theology, wrote, While for some this could mean an irreparable rupture, for Kilby it matured into a re-integration and a revitalization of church and worship with several valuable insights for the evolving global spirituality.

In, On the Fringe, Kilby offers a sample of what she calls Evolutionary Rituals. These inter-spiritual practices, rites, and holidays are grounded in the story of evolution, the powers of the cosmos, and the paths of creation. Traditional rituals serve to preserve what was, she writes. Evolutionary rituals inspire a new consciousness of becoming one Earth-community.

The book deserves a wide readership, according to Michael Dowd, author of Thank God for Evolution. Weaving cosmic storytelling, evolutionary interpretations of biblical texts and rituals, it’s for those folks out, in, or on the fringe of the church hungering for a worldview that inspires compassionate action in crazy and confusing times.

The book is available at Amazon and can be ordered through your local and book stores.
You're Invited 
Ashes to Stardust 
Evolutionary Ritual 

Revolutionary stories, rituals, and conversations
to help end planet abuse.

Join the dance into a culture that's
spiritually ethical, scientifically aware, and ecologically responsible. 

Wednesday, February 17, 7:20 p.m. – 9:20 p.m. EST
On Zoom
A Creation Spirituality Walk of a Labyrinth©
(Traditionally Recommended Steps for Walking a Labyrinth Are in Red.)
 
1.    Via Positiva, the path of wonder and awe
 
Slowly circle the perimeter of the labyrinth whether walking on the ground or using a finger labyrinth. Open to the beauty and surrounding wonder, wherever you are! This is a time to count blessings. Start this walk as many Original People start the day and most ceremonies: thank the entire web of life!
 
When we’re alone, we can sing praise to the wonderful web! I like the melody of the traditional doxology, but change the words. In fact, choose whatever rousing melody inspires you, or create your own, and sing/chant your own words. If you’re shy, hum and sing in your head, but if you are alone, cry out and smile! This often morphs into a thank-you hymn. Standing before Creation is always a time for lots of Alleluias! Depending on your time limitations, especially if you’re using a finger labyrinth, circle more than once.
 
If you’re with a group, you may wish to dance a simple circle dance either around or on the labyrinth. This is a great way to warm up the labyrinth.
 
When ready to walk, pause at the entrance to the labyrinth and acknowledge deepening breath. Remember any specific intentions or questions. Often, we walk for healing or when in a quandary; so, this segues perfectly into the next step.

2.    Via Negativa, the path of grief and sorrow, of radical surrender

Many of us bow right before we enter the labyrinth, acknowledging that it is sacred space. As we walk in, we release. Let go of any grief, anything unproductive, anything preventing or distracting from balance within oneself (body, mind, heart, spirit) or the universe.

Choose a sad song, perhaps a blues number. “Motherless Child” works, so does the traditional Good Friday hymn, “Oh, Sacred Head Surrounded.” With the second, change the words. Perhaps, “Oh, Sacred Earth polluted by mindless patriarch.” Maybe the more energetic chorus of “American Woman” will seem appropriate: “Bye-bye! Bye-bye!” If you write it yourself, you may resonate more with it.

Find your pace as you simply concentrate on following the one way into the center. Continually coming back to being empty presence works well. This readies us for the next step.

3.    Via Creativa, the path of celebration and creativity; of co-creating with the work of the Great, Holy Spirit

Stay in the center as long as you wish. (Obviously, when it’s a public walk, we’re respectful of the space and needs of others.) Receive whatever is in store: any peace, answers, inspiration, ideas. Remember that a good walk is like a good massage: benefits and effects last and sometimes only manifest later. Allow any judgement to evaporate. Allow the Universe to be creative with you!

You might sing about listening and asking the Divine to speak. You might chant. You might simply hum. This might be your time for silence. You might hear the Beatles: “I don’t know why you say good-bye, I say hello,” as something unbidden enters. You might just sit and let God love you.

4.    Via Transformativa, the path of responding with action, compassion, and justice; acknowledging that we allow ourselves to be transformed, maybe even transfigured; finding our prophetic voices; enacting what we have received in the world in order to help others and Mother Earth

When ready, we leave the center to return on the same path we walked as we entered. This step can often require more time than the walk allows. We process how we or situations have changed. We process what is asked of us and how we may be able to serve. We may plan action steps.

We may sing about changing, rearranging, welcoming the new. “Return Again,” seems to serve me during every phase of the walk:

Return again, return again
Return to the land of your soul
Return to what you are
Return to who you are
Return to where you are
Born and reborn again
Return again, return again
Return to the land of your soul

Many of us bow once again, thanking the container that is the labyrinth for a safe place to rebalance, reconnect, re-member.

Afterwards, if there’s time, it’s fitting to process: journal or sketch about the experience. It’s nice to share with an anam cara, a soul friend. Sometimes we need to be our own soul friend.

Respectfully offered by Mary Ann Wamhoff,
Veriditas Advanced Trained Certified Labyrinth Facilitator
At Spiritwind for the month of February at Spiritwind we will be looking at the Sufi poets--such as Rumi and Hafiz. The Sufis are a sect within Islam. Many are familiar with the Sunnis and the Shiites but the Sufis are the mystics and poets of Islam.

Islam was founded Muhammad in the 7th century in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

Their core teaching is called, "The Five Pillars of Islam" which are:
  • The reciting of the Shahada which states: "There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet."
  • Prayer five times a day (dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, evening).
  • The Giving of Alms.
  • Fasting during the month of Ramadan.
  • Hajj which means pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in one's life if physically possible.
The Qur'an is the Holy Book of Islam...

Learn more in the Spiritwind Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/spiritwind

Spiritwind is a Creation Spirituality community in the spirit of One River, Many Wells, led by Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
Blessing for 2021
by Mel Bricker

May the light of love
sparking the birth of the universe and
embodied in Jesus,
 
May the cosmic evolutionary consciousness
awakening to itself in
the grace and love in each soul,
 
Enable us in the year ahead to move from
me to we
division to collaboration
Individualism to interdependence,
 
That we may live more compassionately as a people
and express more fully
the Christ love wanting to be liberated in us.
Imbolc/Candlemas
by Judy Shook

Hail Brigid!
Awaken my words
Long entombed in attempts to please
Forge my blade
To cut through
First, the fog of my illness
Then, the confinement of Christendom* and
the cooption of Earth Spirit

May my old Kell roots
Deep in my DNA
Arise with new life
From the belly of Earth
Imbolc

Loosen my mind, my soul, my tongue,
And brain from the limits
On my true wordsmithing

Let me drink deep from your Healing Wells
May our sacred waters
Spring forth
As a wellspring of new life
Through me
And into the world
To share healing

Hear my vows to Pledge anew
My love of Earth
And my commitment to share that love
In the living of my life
And work.
Blessed Be! 
Amen!

*When I say “Christendom,” I mean the cooption of the radically, inclusive Ways of Jesus by the Romans and institutional church systems that use power over other cultures, religions, women, people of color, and all of creation. 
May You Always Be Disturbed
May You Always Be Disturbed - The People's Priest

The "bless you/benedictions" section of The People's Priest blog, is a collection of monthly prayers for targeted communities that affirms the spiritual realities of oppressed peoples while also challenging the powers that be to repent of their...

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revjerrymaynard.org
Gathering Gratitude
One of the participant's in the Gathering, Mary Kelson from Australia, shared her experience with Art-as-Meditation leader, Kaleo Ching. Printed here with permission.
I attended the recent online gathering with the Creation Spirituality community. I made it to half the gathering as I'm from Australia and after one all-night session, l was a little tired. Anyhow l got to participate and listen to many of my favourite inspiring people. 
Please know that l really enjoyed your session with qi qong and art-as-meditation and am learning the Aramaic Lord's Prayer movements, l was so moved by it. It’s such a beautiful movement to be in. During the sessions as l listened, l gathered some wool and needle, placed some petals, leaves and feather onto it and began to make a doll being, she exploded into being in the session you facilitated and l want to share her you. Thank you so much for being alive on this earth and bringing such beauty and gentleness. 
Abba Imma Chi Kung
(based on the Lord's Prayer)
Of the Earth
by James Irving Mann
 
The Glory of the Earth
Shines in the sunlit skies
As each day we awake
In gladness and surprise.
And deep within our hearts
We find peace and rest-
The Glory of the Earth
Shows us we are blessed!
 
The Music of the Earth
Chimes in the morning breeze
As melodies are heard
In the whispers of the trees.
And when the robins sing
We hear a sacred hymn-
The Music of the Earth
Helps us find Truth within!
 
The Beauty of the Earth
Dwells in the planet’s sphere
As colors change their hues
In each season of the year.
And all across the lands
We see works of art-
The Beauty of the Earth
Gives us a grateful heart!
 
The Silence of the Earth
Sleeps in the soft starlight
As we say our prayers
In the stillness of the night.
And in our hopes and dreams
We look to the dawn-
The Silence of the Earth
Tells us we all belong!
Certificate in Social Justice with Fr. Jerry Maynard
Certificate in Social Justice | Northwind Institute

Northwind Institute has met the requirements of the Oklahoma Board of Private Vocational Schools to offer certificates of completion for theological and ministry-related courses. Courses in the Spiritual Formation Certificate Program may be...

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www.northwindinstitute.org
I was honored and delighted to take part in the Creation Spirituality Conference on the weekend of January 16th. Those of you who heard Matt Fox’s keynote heard him speak of Sr. José Hobday. Sr. Jose was a dear friend to those of us involved in ICCS and UCS in Oakland, California.

When the university closed, Sister José, moved to the Southwest. In April 2005 we were heartbroken to hear that our friend had passed away. 

But now there is a way to continue celebrating Sr. José’s life and work. A shelter for homeless women in Tucson, Arizona keeps the spirit of Sr. José alive. You can learn about it at www.sisterjose.org. The following is a letter from their founder, Jean Fedigan. They are continuing to operate during the pandemic with slightly reduced capacity due to following health safety protocols.
Thank you for any support you can send to the center. It’s wonderful to know that this community is spread across this country doing work to counteract the forces of racism and fascism gnawing away at our country. 
Blessings to all, Adriana Díaz

Dear Friends:

Our community faces an unprecedented challenge with COVID-19, which has created a situation that continues to evolve rapidly. Sister José Women’s Center remains steadfast to our mission, which is dedicated to the care and nurture of homeless women in a welcoming and safe environment. We will continue to operate following all hygiene and “social distance” protocols as recommended by the CDC. Many of our core volunteers are older adults who represent a vulnerable population and we are asking them to follow the health and safety recommendations specific to their demographic. As a result, our volunteers who exceed more than 250 people strong has experienced a precipitous drop and we are struggling to fill those vacancies.

For those who would like to help, we will gratefully accept donations toward the added costs of extra staffing, food, health and hygiene supplies. We are grateful to walk side-by-side with our strong community partners and generous donors. Working together, we can weather this storm. We wish you good health!

Jean Fedigan Founder/Executive Director


Donations (they are 501c3) and other professional correspondence should be sent to:
Sister José Women's Center
P.O. Box 1028
Tucson, AZ 85702
On a dark night
by Tim Cronley

“On a dark night” - St. John of the Cross

During my long life I have witnessed many dark nights of infamy. I remember the infamy of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. I remember the horrifying infamy of the Holocaust and still feel wounded whenever I think about it. I remember as if it were yesterday the day the atom bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., the assassinations of John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert Kennedy, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, and the fall of the Twin Towers in NYC. But I never thought that I would live to witness a night as stark with infamy as the recent storming of the United States Capital by a mob of citizens who were encouraged to do so by a sitting President of the United States. 
 
“The blind man who falls will not get up alone in his blindness, and even if he does – he will take the wrong road.”-St. John of the Cross   
 
Many of us now living at this dark moment of our nation’s history have taken the wrong road, and in our blindness have refused to acknowledge that there can be no compromise between Truth and Falsehood. We have become blinded by our illusions of power and privilege, and as a result have no way of seeing the wave after wave of human suffering, degradation, and poverty that keep washing up on the shores of our indifference. And in our mindless state of disregard we descend ever deeper into the dark night of our fall with no way to know or see the light of truth still shining in our darkness.   

“We rarely find people who achieve great things without first going astray” -Meister Eckhart
 
Both political parties in the United States are essentially religious organizations without a theocracy.  And both have gone astray. Like all religions from time immemorial they both have devolved down into a fundamentalism that closes doors, builds walls, and requires a manifesto of party adherence before anyone is admitted. There can be no meeting of minds between fundamental conservatism and fundamental progressivism. Both have indeed gone astray. So the ‘great thing’ that now needs to be done is for the doors to open and the walls come down so that ordinary, mindful, and compassionate citizens of the United States can come together to solve problems that cry out for a compassionate resolution.      

“All shall be well. And all shall be well. And all manner of things shall be well” -Julian of Norwich
  
On the morning after the deadly storming of the United States Capital on January 6, I went out to pick up the morning newspaper. The first faint light of the new day was just beginning to show in the receding dark. I noticed that on the eastern horizon the morning star was shining brightly in the last, dark vestiges of one of the darkest nights in American history. I looked at it with wonder and renewed hope, and I suddenly realized that this same bright light of hope shines as well in whatever ‘darkness’ happens to envelope us – be it the dark night of the soul, or some other dark night. This bright shining light is always there to guide us into the rightful path of hope. And if we are graced to see it – then we will indeed begin to understand that - all shall be well, and all manner of things shall be well…  
Fifteen Years of Centre Terre sacrée
Such joy! To celebrate the fifteen years of the Centre Terre sacrée (www.centreterresacree.org) Matthew Fox will offer a virtual conference which will take place on Thursday, June 3, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Montréal hour).

How wonderful as Matthew will offer his conference in French (he had studied at the Institut catholique de Paris) and in English!

Everyone of you is warmly invited to be part of the conference. Easy: just send an e-mail at: trrsacree@gmail.com   
 
Marie-Andrée Michaud, D.Min., founder
Rage On/A Benediction
by Rev. Jerry Maynard

I will not tell you to be calm. 
I will not tell you to be subtle or quiet. 
No. This is not the time. 
Instead, I invite you to; Rage On, dear one. 

Touch the flames of indignation.
Let yourself be set ablaze.
The fire will burn away the grief. 
The ashes will be the seeds of rebirth. 
After all, the bright, golden Phoenix is only found in the dark, black ash of pain.

God will not be ashamed of your anger. 
God can handle rage, and fear. 
Grief is welcomed and yes, tears are accepted. 
Your rage is sacred and true. 

Rage on, dear one. 
God and I, are here for you and will not leave you till you are through. 

Amen. 
What is Creation Spirituality Communities?
Creation Spirituality Communities, Inc. (CSC) is a network of individuals and communities who are grounded in the sacredness of all creation and seek to connect to the spirituality of creation through mysticism, creativity, and cultural transformation.

CSC includes people from many spiritual traditions, cultures, races, sexual identities, and ages. They come to Creation Spirituality through the writing and speeches of Matthew Fox, through articles and videos, through conversations with friends, and through study at one of the Creation Spirituality universities – now the Fox Institute of Creation Spirituality.

Creation Spirituality Communities provides avenues for gathering together, being inspired, and embodying the CS message of compassion, co-creation, and transformation. We are led by a nine member board of directors and supported by our members.
Below are the Creation Spirituality Communities that we are aware are meeting on a regular basis. If you are participating in a community or CS circle that is not included on this list, please let us know by writing to contact@cscommunities.org.

If you are the convener or leader of a CS community, you are invited to an online conversation on the first Monday of every month at 11:00EST. Please let us know if you are interested!

LIST OF CREATION SPIRITUALITY COMMUNITIES:

Creation Spirituality Communities
contact@cscommunities.org | www.cscommunities.org