Jan/Feb 2020 Newsletter

This newsletter is a publication of Creation Spirituality Communities and is funded by its members and supporters. If you are enjoying this newsletter and appreciate keeping up with the Creation Spirituality community, please consider becoming a member or renewing your membership.

Membership is available at several different levels at annual and monthly rates.
Creation Spirituality Communities Board Hard at Work. . . and Play!
A few days before MLK weekend your CSC board met for a yearly planning retreat at a B&B in Treasure Island, Florida (near St. Petersburg). We meet every month for a two-hour board meeting via Zoom but really look forward to our time once a year to plan together in person, as well as enjoy community-building, eating, and playing together. The good news is that we really like each other and still manage to do effective visioning and planning for CS Communities. This year, board member Joran Slane Oppelt—who is a trained facilitator—led us in our meeting. Others at the meeting were board members Mel Bricker, Deidre Combs, Seth Longacre, Jerry Monroe Maynard, Carolyn Million, Judy Shook, and yours truly. Absent was board member Dave Summers, who we really missed.

Over the two days we got clarity about our goals, set out to work on three primary objectives over the next year to year and a half, and approved a new purpose statement. In keeping with Creation Spirituality, we made sure to take time for walks on the beach, meditation and ritual, supporting each other in prayer, and spending quiet time. Some of us even took in the amazing Salvador Dali Museum in St. Petersburg one evening.

About a year ago we did a survey of our members and the number one request from you all was Connection! So—we sought out from the beginning of our retreat to be faithful to your request in our objectives. They are:

·       To develop, resource, and implement a dynamic Small Group Program that can be used in places wanting to start CS communities as well as strengthen existing communities. We plan to start an online small group for individual practitioners who have no opportunity to connect with CS people in their area.
·       To resource and implement the Sacred Earth, Sacred Work CS Immersion Retreats we have been developing over the last couple of years. We have done three so far around the country and have plans to do more. We think the Immersion Retreat will be a great refresher to existing communities and be an exciting tool to start new communities.
·       Begin planning for a Creation Spirituality Gathering a year from now in the Bay Area that is interfaith in focus, that addresses the harsh reality of Climate Change, and that honors what will be Matthew Fox’s 80 th Birthday.

Other items that we plan to continue to explore and develop are: cooperate with and support the Order of the Sacred Earth, provide online classes for CS training, conduct Creation-in-Crisis interviews, and find a way to support those who wish to be ordained in CS Communities.

We are a group of nine people with families and full-time jobs so have to be selective in how we spend our energy and resources. However, if any of these ideas and programs spark an interest or passion for you, please let us know. The more people we have participating, the greater the creativity and outcome.

The following is the CS Communities Purpose Statement we approved:


Creation Spirituality Communities, Inc. (CSC) is a network of communities and individuals that believe in the sacredness of all Creation. We believe that awe is a gift -- a response to Creation and the cosmos and the first step toward transformation. We believe in the value of silence and emptying -- in the richness of feeling our pain and our losses. We are radically progressive and traditionally mystical. We come from many spiritual traditions, cultures, races, ages, genders, abilities and sexual orientations.


We provide connection, resources, education and inspiration through events, small groups and online platforms. We encourage sacred vocation, strengthen mystical practice, inform creative expression and support cultural transformation.


We are building an interfaith and eco-spiritual movement for the restoration of our proper relationship to Creation. We are reclaiming our original blessing. By honoring all spiritual traditions, we aim to enliven the interconnected web of life. Our members model alternative, open and evolving spiritualities by focusing on Creation itself and urgently advocating justice for the planet and all forms of life on Earth.

Thank you, CS Communities members and friends. You are the soul and passion of this movement and we, the board, are honored to serve you.

Aho and Blessed be.
Community Leaders Monthly Connections
Are you a leader of an existing or newly forming Creation Spirituality community? Join us on the monthly Community Leaders Zoom call!

To join the email list for CSC Community Leaders, receive a reminder email with the link and updates, please email judyshook@aol.com. To join the monthly call follow this link to join the Zoom call: https://zoom.us/j/635474888

The next calls are on March 2 and April 6 at 11:00am US Eastern Time. 
Lazarus Rising
From Wayfinding, an unpublished manuscript by Tim Cronley

Crossing borders while on a journey is exciting and transformative. Our first journey is the border we cross from the womb. We make this journey not of our own volition but in response to the implacable demands of a natural force that tolerates no resistance.  We come forth out of the dark, warm security of the womb blinded by a dazzling light of new awareness that will be repeated over and over again throughout our lifetime:

The sentinels of morning call me forth
from sleep, from dream, from dark night
- into wakefulness.

I cross the border of night and stretch myself
along the trajectory of the dawn
until I reach the place where the shy daystars hide.

These reluctant prophets of the day
beckon me forth from the dark of night
 of sleep and dream
and I clothe myself once more  
in gossamer veils of light. 

With measured steps I come forth
to greet the enterprise of day
informed by the Sun.

I whisper Yes! to all I see
and with great joy take my place
in the Cosmic Dance – once more – again!
Creation in Crisis Webinar
John C. Robinson, PhD .

Presents his upcoming book Mystical Activism 
Thursday, March 5
1pm PST, 2pm MST, 3pm CST, 4pm EST
Mark your calendars! The next Creation in Crisis webinar will be April 6, 2020.
by Marie Andrée-Michaud

Writing in my name.
Writing from my own experience.

Sharing with you what I live in my heart.

Hear my cry.
Hear the cry of the Earth.


Our home was flooded in 2017 and in 2019 we were evacuated.
We were sheltered by a couple so kind, loving and generous.
Such care. Goes beyond words.
Crying in gratitude whilst writing those lines.

Taking it one day at a time, now knowing how I will live tomorrow.

In 2017, I took charge of the negotiations with the Québec government, the Canadian Red Cross and the village where we live.

But in 2019, I was simply overwhelmed.
We were evacuated in a long-term residence.
Not knowing when we could be able to return home.

I am still in shock, shaking, close to tears. I feel submerged.


Our industrial society has abused and violated our precious planet which has been a huge resource for human benefit.

When we arrived on this continent, we believed that we knew everything.

We have ignored what the First Nations knew intuitively.

In Québec, 1960, what we have called the Quiet Revolution, we stopped Catholic religious practices which stifled our freedom of expression.
We have thrown the baby out with the bathwater.

Most of us are still afraid of the world spiritual , so let us use the word energy.

What we have called matter is energy, whose vibration has been so lowered as to be perceptible to the senses. There is no matter.  ― Albert Einstein.


Earth cannot go on and is crying rivers.

We never lived this before.

What is there to do, if not love?
Earth, our precious planet, never needed so much love than right now.
Love is, indeed, the great healer.

Love is the most universal, the most tremendous and the most mysterious of cosmic energies.  ― Teilhard de Chardin.

Water, I would like so much to say something beautiful, simple and true.
Water, to honor you, to ask forgiveness and relearn how to love you.
Water, you came to Earth four billion years ago.
Water, source of life, a miracle, a gift.
Water, since the Industrial Revolution, we have treated like an object.
Water, we have used you for our benefit.
Water, as if we were separated from you.
Water, I am crying rivers as you are also crying rivers.
Water, you made us and we are made of you.
Water, our bodies are made from eighty percent of you.
Water, source of my childhood, we would drink your vital energy.
Water, right now, you are ill as we are ill.
Water, you do not know where to go.
Water, you come in our home.
Water, teach me to show benevolence.
Water, teach me life as you are life.
Water, let us heal each other, and the Earth which contains us all.


And then what?
Earth is going through a true ecological disaster.
Earth can not go on like this.
My husband and I, as billions of living beings, can not go on like this.

In humanity resides an amazing creativity given by the Universe.
Ah! the mystery of Creation.

We can create together a new way of being.
Accepting what is happening.
Then seeking mutual help between humans ( and creatures more than human – Matthew Fox.)

So many things that I still do not know which I will discover.

Discovering myself, exhausted and ill, called to live a long time, in order to participate in the healing and to the new way of being on this precious planet which will become a planet of love.


Love is All.

A journalist, speaker and workshop facilitator, in 2006 Marie-Andrée Michaud co-founded the Centre Terre sacrée, an educational charity organization exploring the link between spirituality and ecology.    www.centreterresacree.org  
Sacred Traditions and Rituals (S.T.A.R.), Spartanburg, SC
Come plan our Next Gathering!
Calling ALL! Would you like to help shape our next Creation Spirituality Gathering? Spots are now open on the Design & Planning Team. Come and share your talents to make our next Gathering the best one yet!

Sacred Union, the Time is Now
“What is needed at this pivotal time of ecological and social collapse is an uprising of … full spectrum leadership in every one of us.”
- Nina Simons, Co-Founder of Bioneers

While there is evidence that some things in the world are getting better, the world still suffers greatly from "results" that nobody wants – climate change, environmental destruction, war, inequality, violence toward women, mistreatment of refugees, etc. 

It's clear that we are in desperate need of a new way forward.

Imbalance as the subtext

Looking beneath the surface, we see each of these problems as a kind of injustice and dis-integration born of imbalance between two forces that may seem opposed but actually are interdependent: the Masculine and Feminine principles .

The Masculine and Feminine principles are not defined by gender; they are universal, interdependent energies, qualities, capacities, and essences found in all people, systems and cultures. Some people call them yin and yang or sun and moon. 

Cultural historians like Riane Eisler and psycho-spiritual thinkers like Carl Jung show us that the balance (or imbalance) of these deep principle energies of feminine and masculine is profoundly consequential – both in the individual human psyche and in humanity’s collective relationship with Creation. 

Society and organizational life have long been dominated by the Masculine Principle – the get-it-done and keep-it-in-order energy that builds cities, puts satellites into space, and maintains the structures that keep trains running on time. But too much Masculine without the balance of the Feminine is problematic -- at worst, it is violent, oppressive and destructive. (It’s worth noting here that too much Feminine without the balance of the Masculine would also be problematic, of course.) 

For spiritual communities, the imbalance drains vitality. Without the integration of the Sacred Feminine, spiritual communities lose a sense of dynamic flow, energy and connection with Spirit and with Life; they are limited to the patriarchal foci of organizational structure, authority, and survival, and of control by proclaiming and enforcing rules, morals, doctrines and dogma.

Sacred Union as a path forward

To realize the balance that is so needed in our world today, we are called to uplift the Feminine. And we must develop a new kind of consciousness in culture and leadership: one that is integrated or “full-spectrum,” as changemaker Nina Simons calls it in her book, Nature, Culture and the Sacred .

The good news is that this full-spectrum consciousness is already emerging. We view the postmodern paradigm as more caring, inclusive and connected – More Feminine – than the previous traditional and modern paradigms. Young people, indigenous communities, grassroots activists, communities of color and others are all helping the world wake up in this way. And the emerging wave of integral consciousness gives us even more hope for humanity’s future.

As the Sacred Feminine rises to take Her rightful seat alongside the Sacred Masculine, a holy wholeness is possible. The old myths would have called the integration of these two master polarities, these two faces of God, a “Sacred Union.” 
Creation spirituality has a key role to play in this awakening. It affirms polarities like the the in-breath of the Via Positiva and the out-breath of the Via Negativa, and honors the importance of the individual and the collective, the part and the whole. The uplifting of the “and” is the move to Sacred Union. Creation spirituality deeply understands the move to “and.”

Spiritual leaders and spiritual communities have a particular opportunity to usher in a new era of integration and balance in our world through Sacred Union. Doing so will result in vital and satisfying spiritual communities where embodiment, creativity, flow, Presence, compassion, and expression move us beyond statements about God and moral proclamations to experiences of the Divine Mystery and Spirit-filled actions.   

Sacred Union is our pathway to a present-moment, immanent experience of the Living Christ Consciousness. Wisdom (Sophia) is not simply a clever thought; it is a holistic energy that meets the moment with a full spectrum of possible responses, chooses the ones that serve Life, and provides the energy to bring them into being. 
Like the power of the Divine Word (dabhar in Hebrew), Sophia (Divine Feminine) energy is generative.

Where to begin? 

There is much work to do, if we hope to create integrated spiritual communities that are effective in creating more balance in our world.

But first, we must embody this integration ourselves. Those of us who choose to be part of the solution will be effective to the degree that we do our own shadow work and integration work, so we can embody the Sacred Union within ourselves and model it for others. 

As life partners and spiritual partners, we are answering Spirit’s call to reclaim the Divine Feminine and bring it into its full balance with the Divine Masculine. Using a new model for that integration, tools for transforming shadow including psycho-spiritual process and ritual, and movement and energy work, we hope to support spiritual leaders to embody Sacred Union in themselves and, in so doing, help humanity and Creation to heal and choose Life.  

We hope you will consider joining us as we support clergy and spiritual leaders in their fuller embodiment of Sacred Union. More information is available at pastorandpriestess.com/sacred-union .

Rev. J. Todd Smiedendorf , is Bridge Minister, University Congregational United Church of Christ in Seattle, WA and Allison Conte, MS , is a Harvard Leadership instructor, Executive Coach, and Priestess of the Sophia Lineage.
Going Forth
by Tim Cronley

Some borders are self-imposed. We construct them ourselves not wanting to expose
ourselves to what might lie beyond. We desperately cling to our familiar shadow world fearing that if we leave the strange comfort of our unhappiness, the journey will end in some kind of tragedy. Still longing for the security of home. Still yearning for a life companion. Still wanting love:

When I open my front door
dawn-gates open outward
on hinges of hope.  

All thing attainable await me
right on my own front lawn.

Outside I can touch all parts of me
and remember who I truly am.

The closed door behind me
reminds me of where I just was
so safe, so mindlessly secure
so fearful of the light. 

But outside I listen
to the ticking clock of expectation
as it measures out what is possible
  what is reachable
  what is attainable.

And I can breathe again… 
"For a seed to achieve its greatest expression, it must come completely undone. The shell cracks, its insides come out and everything changes.

To someone who doesn't understand growth, it would look like complete destruction."
Marcel Proust
Rev. Dr. Anthony Burton

One stone, tossed into the pool.
It makes no gouge or hole
that remains for
any to see.
And yet...

The waves run out in all directions
bouncing and reflecting,
meeting themselves
coming and

And though the stone itself
is not now seen or heard,
the ripples it made,

The little thing I do today
may seem to be hidden
and unimportant –
no mark is

But the ripples made by
that act will continue
and sweep across

So, when the stone is in my
hand, let me think of
all whose lives I
Matthew Fox on the Nature of Awe
Sign up here to watch Matthew's new (free!) hour-long presentation, The "Nature" of Awe: Discover the Deeper Inspiration the Natural World Offers You Every Single Day of Your Life.
The Dance of Becoming
by Joanne Young Elliott
There’s this dance.
We all do it
though we may not
be aware of it.
It is a dance
of becoming
of drawing down
the energy 
of imagination
into bodies
into lives.
Dreams become
the dance and we
become the dream. 
But some give up
the dance. For its 
two steps depend
on the third step

They give up because 
they don’t understand.
Those steps back 
feel as though their 
dream just got
further away.

Really, a step back
allows us to see.
Perspective is 
It becomes the light
by which we grow.

Joanne is a poet and writer as well as a spiritual guide. Her spiritual path includes Creation Spirituality, Paganism, Buddhism and the Science of Mind philosophy of which she is a licensed practitioner. She lives near LA with her husband and 2000 books.
At the Center of the Circle
by Norbert Krapf

Waking, I see a perfectly shaped pot
spinning and revolving on
its axis. This is the sacred pot

of the universe. Inside it are
a man and a woman of different
color clays, touching at the lips

and joined at the center. Through
them, wherever they meet and touch,
as they breathe, run the Four Directions,

the Red and Black Roads,
the four seasons, night and day,
male and female, yin and yang.

From their lips emanates
a chant that comes from
the spirits of their ancestors.

As this pot spins, it plays
the music of the spheres.
Listen. Look. The man and woman

are two halves of the One. It has
taken eons for them to come
together and merge as one whole.

You too are inside the circle
of the universe. You too
join with them at the center.

You too make the love and music
that can save us all. You too
live and breathe at the center.

A former Indiana Poet Laureate (2008-10), Norbert has published thirteen poetry collections, including Catholic Boy Blues, about surviving abuse by a priest in his hometown in southern Indiana, for which Matthew Fox wrote an introduction.He taught for 34 years at Long Island University, where he directed the C.W. Post Poetry Center. Other info is available on www.krapfpoetry.com
For a limited time, this retreat is still being offered at the Early Bird price of $1100.
by Maya Angelou

My wish for you Is that you continue

To be who and how you are
To astonish a mean world
With your acts of kindness

Continue To allow humor to lighten the burden
Of your tender heart

In a society dark with cruelty
To let the people hear the grandeur
Of God in the peals of your laughter

To let your eloquence
Elevate the people to heights
They had only imagined

To remind the people that
Each is as good as the other
And that no one is beneath
Nor above you

To remember your own young years
And look with favor upon the lost
And the least and the lonely

To put the mantel of your protection
Around the bodies of
The young and defenseless

To take the hand of the despised
And diseased and walk proudly with them
In the high street
Some might see you and
Be encouraged to do likewise

To plant a public kiss of concern
On the cheek of the sick
And the aged and infirm
And count that as a
Natural action to be expected

To let gratitude be the pillow
Upon which you kneel to
Say your nightly prayer
And let faith be the bridge
You build to overcome evil
And welcome good
To ignore no vision
Which comes to enlarge your range
And increase your spirit

To dare to love deeply
And risk everything
For the good thing 
New book from Matthew Fox!
The Tao of Thomas Aquinas
A stunning Spiritual Handbook drawn from the substantive teachings of a mystical/prophetic genius offering a sublime roadmap for spirituality and action.
The Pot Taking Shape
for Jody Naranjo, Santa Clara Pueblo

by Norbert Krapf
In this Midwestern morning
darkness I see a pot taking
shape in the red hills
of northern New Mexico.

The right hand,
with fingertips,
coils local clay.

There is a spirit
that can’t be denied
guiding the touch
of those fingertips.

There is mystery,
without pretense,
in the evolving shape
the pot is taking.

There is connection
between the pot
in the making
and the landscape
out of which
it has emerged.

There is vision
in the woman
who is shaping us
into the viewers
who are witnessing
her act of creation.

There is a blessing
that falls upon us
for being born
into a world

in which such
quiet creation
takes place.

There is a hymn
we begin to hear
because we are
open to receive.

There is consecration
in the woman’s
willingness to make
and give to us

something of the earth
carrying her imprint

and the spirit of those
who came before her
and those who follow.
The Borders of our Fears
By Tim Cronley

We either journey forward beyond the borders of our fears, our prejudices, and our dysfunctions or we remain forever trapped by them. To stand still when confronted by fear is to allow fear to consume us; to remain silent when faced with injustice is to allow injustice to prosper; to step outside the vortex of family dysfunctions is an admission that we don’t give a damn:
How many borders must I cross
        Before I confront the terror of exclusion?  
How many armed barricades must I climb
Before I recognize myself in the faces of prejudice?
How many lifeless deserts must I endure  
Before I begin to taste the manna of acceptance?
How many troubled waters must I navigate
Before I learn to lay myself down as a bridge?
And how many wastelands must I trek
Before I am willing to share what I have been given
- with others?    
NEW! Certificate Program in Leadership and Creation Spirituality
Click here for a full description of the Certificate Program
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!


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