Jul/Aug 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.
Nuestra revolución/Our Revolution
Rafael Jesús González © 2020

Que nuestro movimiento,
        nuestra revolución sea
de corazón y consciencia,
por la Tierra, la justicia, la paz;
amar y regocijo nuestras armas,
flor y canto, oro y plumas,
piedra verde, corazón y rostro,
sea para nuestro sanar —
       nuestro movimiento,
                   nuestra revolución.



Let our movement,
           our revolution be
of the heart & consciousness.
for the Earth, justice, peace;
loving and joy our weapons,
flower & song, gold & feathers,
green stone, heart & face,
be it for our healing —
           our movement,
                    our revolution.
Upcoming CSC Offerings
Please join us for our next 
Creation in Crisis Webinar
August 6, 2020
4p   ET/3p CT/2p MT/1p PT
with
CHRIS HELTNE
 Vice President
E. O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation


As Vice President for Community Engagement at the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, Chris Heltne creates engagement activities to spread awareness the Half-Earth Project, an effort built upon the research and writings of eminent biologist Dr. E.O. Wilson who has outlined a way to save the bulk of Earth's biodiversity from extinction. Chris is making a difference in many people's lives by inviting them in to be part of the process. No doubt, he will inspire you to participate in the preserving of Half-Earth's habitat so that our planet might recover from this crisis.

Besides working for the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, Heltne has also worked in marketing and engagement with Conservation International and Duke University Student Affairs, where he was a member of the Senior Leadership Team.
Born from E.O. Wilson's book, Half-Earth, and built on a solid scientific foundation, the Half-Earth Project offers a solution commensurate with the problem: conserve half the Earth's land and seas to protect the bulk of biodiversity from extinction. Scientists agree that this is both necessary and possible.
Create and Nurture a Successful Spiritual Small Group

Starting September 11


A 4-week online course led by Dr. Deidre Combs
(donation-based)

  • Are you craving community where you can explore your spiritual journey?
  • Do you wonder how to create a supportive spiritual group?
  • Would you like tips and techniques for keeping a community of practice thriving?

A free online class with  Dr. Deidre Combs  and others -- Creation Spirituality Communities Donation or Membership requested

Description: Join us for a fun, interactive 4-session workshop as we explore strategies for creating and sustaining spiritual small groups. We will not only gather techniques from successful interfaith spiritual small group coordinators, but also engage in our own spiritual exploration. Each week we will consider one of four steps of nurturing a group. We also will spend time connecting with other participants and consider a pertinent assigned reading together to integrate what we have learned.

Session dates:   Fridays from 1 to 2:15 pm Pacific, September 11, 18, 25 and October 2, 2020.
COMING SOON!
Creation Spirituality Interfaith Worship Experience — ONLINE
Rev. Roxanne WhiteLight, DMin (former CSC Board Member, developer of the first CSC Ordination program) is creating the Creation Spirituality Interfaith Worship Experience. The emphasis is on the word EXPERIENCE.

This will be a live offering on Zoom on Sunday afternoons in Hawaii and Pacific Time Zones and later afternoon, early evening in the Midwest and Eastern US. The CSIWE will be a 90 minute happening that will include body prayer, learning, and sharing in small groups. It will also be recorded and available for later viewing online.

We expect to test the concept in August and then open it for the full community starting in September.

We hope you will join us in exploring a new way of expressing our Oneness in and with Creation.
Creation Spirituality Communities Gathering Coming January 2021
Falling in Love with Earth and Each Other: Deepening Right Relationship with Creation
Creation Spirituality Communities is pleased to announce that our next gathering will be coming to you wherever you are. Yes, the 2021 CS Gathering will be VIRTUAL!

This is a time for all those who are inspired by the vision of Creation Spirituality to connect with others in the CS movement. It will be held Friday evening, Saturday, and Sunday, January 15-17th, 2021.  

A special feature will be a celebration in honor of Matthew Fox's 80th birthday on Saturday evening.

The theme of the gathering is “ Falling in Love with Earth and Each Other: Deepening Right Relationship with Earth.

We will explore the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality in relationship to the theme, we'll engage in Body Prayer and Art as Meditation, and we'll celebrate Matt’s birthday and legacy. Leaders will include:

Brain Swimme              Joanna Macy                    Gail Ransom
Luisah Teish                 Jennifer Berezan            Kaleo Ching
Starhawk                        Jerry Maynard
Save these dates on your calendar now. Fine tune your Zoom setup. More details and registration information will be coming soon!
Reflections on our Times
for Gaia
by James Irving Mann


the sunrise 
 reveals your beauty;

rushing winds 
 proclaim your presence;

mountains 
 display your grandeur;

roaring oceans 
 confirm your strength;

alpine lakes 
 reflect your peace;

flowers 
 profess your grace;

dogwoods 
 declare your love;

        and 

all creation honors you,
for you are our Mother 
and we are your children....
Dispatch Portland, OR: Citizen Reflections on the Pandemic and State Oppression
by Rolla E. Lewis, EdD, NCC

07/25/2020

The Covid-19 pandemic presented the entire world with an opportunity to slow down. In Portland, Oregon, as in many pockets around the world, slowing down has informed possibilities for reflecting upon what is valued in life. Slowing down has prompted many to consider taking action with others to bring a more just and beloved community into life. The pandemic has given us temporal space to think deeply about our culture, moving beyond defining time as money, wasting time as a sin, laggards as losers, and the rush to buy the next new thing that has to be better than the things those I compare myself to have. The pandemic stopped the rush.

In Speed Limits: Where time went and why we have so little left (2014), Mark C. Taylor asserts values that enabled “Western capitalism to thrive now threaten its collapse: commitment to parts, divisions, individualism, competition, utility, efficiency, simplicity, choice, consumption, busyness, excess, growth and speed” (p. 343). The pandemic has opened the possibility to cultivate long-repressed values that open new possibilities for living: “commitment to the whole, relationships, community, cooperation, generosity, patience, subtlety, deliberation, analysis, complexity, uncertainty, leisure, and reflection—above all, reflection” (p. 343). Written six years before the pandemic, Taylor’s cultural analysis illustrates how speed is destroying our culture and our planet. Looked at as a gift, the pandemic enables us to slow down enough to consider what matters, who matters, and reflect upon how we might join together in bringing about the communities and ways of living that matter most to us. Nobody realized that the pandemic would help us reflect upon and call for action to address greater social and ecological justice. Looking back, we can see a series of triggers.

For months President Trump denied Covid-19 was a problem or much of a problem, or asserted that the virus was from China or virus would go away. Our lives changed in late March 2020 when, like many other places in the USA, Portland shut down. Outside of going to the store, people stayed in their homes. Signs of inequity emerged as soon as we closed our doors. Individuals, couples, and families living in more spacious homes stayed in their homes. Individuals, couples, families, multi-families living in small homes, condominiums, apartments, and other dwellings stayed in their homes. People with gardens had outdoor space to explore more deeply and intimately. Those of us with gardens had more space; we could spend more time in relationship with our gardens, maintaining what we had or imagining possibilities for our living space, thinking about what to prune, what to plant, what to remove, etc. At the same time, those without homes or gardens—the now ubiquitous homeless families, couples, and individuals living on the sidewalks, parkways, onramps, streets, etc.-- stayed in their various locations in Portland, mostly ranging from downtown to the edge of various industrial areas. Those on the streets found themselves forgotten more and more; with less people walking the streets there were fewer city and sidewalk disposal containers to forage through. Attention and resources were turned elsewhere. Still, everybody in Portland made adjustments. Collectively, our lives slowed down to a more pedestrian pace.

We had more time on our hands and most of us had less money, too. Lack of work brought on a sense of guilt in many people, not merely for lack of money but because, as Taylor points out, we are rooted in Protestantism and have been taught that idle hands are the devil’s workshop; Martin Luther, John Calvin, and Adam Smith dwell deeply inside most of us, even if we are asleep to their lingering presence. The pandemic did not care about our roots, our thoughts, our political party; time seemed to expand and even slow down.

With the additional time, we watched television and movies, discovered streaming services, read books, listened to music, and even practiced alone or with others via Zoom. If we did not know before, we all learned much more about how many Zoom meetings we could schedule in a week. There were stories about how the abundance of time increased drug and alcohol use and abuse. There was so much time that we thought more and more, minds racing here, there, and everywhere. Time seemed to bring about some genuine reflection along with the abundant chatter. A variety of collective questions emerged: When is this pandemic going to end? When will we get back to “normal”? Or what will the “new normal” be? People stuck at home were adrift in thoughts and conversations. 

Meanwhile, as the many people closed their doors and hunkered down, we discovered a new type of person— “essential workers” needed to run businesses and organizations necessary to provide basic services. Although initially essential workers were described as people working in fire departments, hospitals, police departments—that is police, doctors, nurses, etc.-- it soon became apparent that essential workers included the janitors, food workers, grocery clerks, sanitation workers, and other personnel needed to support institutions and essential businesses. Somebody has to clean, cook meals, and help keep places like grocery stores and hospitals running. Hospitals are more than mere doctors, it is a community of care providers and the pandemic highlighted the risks involved being frontline workers in a crisis where information, understanding, and protocols evolve day-to-day. We witnessed that best practices get defined and redefined via operational research, day-to-day practice, and more rigorous research. Understanding flowed and there was no certainty—only evolving and limited knowledge that depended upon best scientific practice.

Media narratives about medical settings taught us that essential workers are forced to lean in and learn, define and act on protocols in order to protect themselves and to save lives. Personal protective equipment (PPE) and best practice protocols in hospitals saved lives. Basic and clear public health protocols, like wearing masks, washing hands, and not hanging around in large gathering prevented the virus from spreading. There were a lot of essential workers, including grocery store workers, Amazon workers, meat packing plant workers, and many others. Many essential workers were in low-wage positions with inadequate health coverage. Many essential workers were Black or people of color, and our well being, if not our lives, depended upon them.

Media narratives reported data about the disproportionate deaths among Blacks and Indigenous people during the pandemic; the inequities in health care, housing, education, and other social justice concerns bubbled into the media narratives. We thought about the injustice. Counter media narratives turned the data against the Black and other victims of color who were blamed for not being healthy, not taking care of themselves, being overweight, etc. There was little media coverage that pointed out how the people of color did not have adequate insurance or medical coverage. The untreated pre-existing conditions, like hypertension and diabetes, made them more vulnerable. Their low paying jobs made medical insurance and preventive care a luxury they could not afford. People of color were dying because many did not have the money to go to a doctor to have their chronic conditions treated. Black people were dying because the United States had an inadequate health care system that left millions of poor people vulnerable to dying. Some of us on Medicare began to think that maybe Medicare for All is a way to address the systemic racism in the health care system. The lock down was generating deeper thinking about systemic injustice. Conversations in Portland, if not the rest of the nation, gravitated toward the pandemic, health care, justice, and what we value as a community. Still, not all took the opportunity to think or reflect.

Donald Trump’s stance was downright dangerous and deadly. His Twitter ramblings, denial, and active refusal to wear a mask positioned him as actively opposed to science as a way of guiding public health policy and practices. He positioned himself as knowing more than the most knowledgeable public health experts in the nation and what they were recommending. President Trump turned a public health pandemic into a political battlefield where non-mask wearers stood up for freedom (freedumb?) against mask wearers who believed that collective action guided by the best science might be a prudent pathway. Trump invited the nation into social madness, and sadly, like entranced cult members, many supported Trump in promoting deadly anti-science as public policy. Trump’s simplistic and dangerous positions floated to the surface of the media discourse daily. He was top of the news almost everyday. Yet, buried underneath the simple battle lines, even deeper than Trump’s pathological narcissism, something more significant was going on, beyond Twitter, Fox News, and our growing obsession to check one’s newsfeed to see what loony remark was prompting more outrage, confusion, justification, and fear. Underneath it all, as a nation we were being asked about what we value most. Like the rest of the nation, Portland was caught in the pandemic that was slowing us all down enough to consider our most significant values. What do we want in our lives as individuals, families, communities, states, and a nation? What is just? What is social justice? What is ecological justice? What kind of world do I want to build with others?

Two murders seemed to wake the nation up from its slumber and denial. Ahmaud Arbery was shot to death while running through a neighborhood in Brunswick, Georgia. The senseless murder was caught on video by a friend of the perpetrators, a White father and son team who chased Arbery in their pick up truck and shot him after a brief argument. The second murder occurred in Minneapolis when a White police officer pinned George Floyd’s neck to the ground for eight minutes and 46 seconds as he suffocated.

Portland and many other cities in the United States seemed to wake up to the depth of racism, bigotry, and White supremacy infecting the country. Generations of denial seemed to dissolve and, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic, the entire nation had an opportunity to reflect and listen deeply to an oppressed group who hand been crying for hundreds of years Black Lives Matter.

In the Whitest city in America, Portland connected the dots. It was time to wrestle more deeply with a history that included the taking of Indigenous lands, the exclusion of Blacks in the Oregon Territory during 19 th century, an active KKK in the 1920s in Portland, the destruction of a vibrant Black business community when the interstate was built in the 1950s, etc. Given that a policeman murdered George Floyd as fellow officers silently stood by, police practices became a key focal point as the nightly protests evolved. The nightly protests were one thing but there was a larger conversation in public institutions. The Portland Public Schools discontinued their contract with the Portland Police to pay for School Resource Officers in public schools; resources would go to hire more social workers, counselors and community outreach folks. The protests were generating conversations about transforming police practices in supporting communities and neighborhoods. The pandemic and the protests were providing an opportunity to deepen conversations and call for actions about what kind of community we wanted to live in and create. Something was fractured and the protesters were asking for, indeed demanding, change that involved greater social and ecological justice in Portland. The community was generating conversations about justice. Protest signs called for building a beloved community.

But Portland existed in Donald Trump’s America and he wanted those representing his position in his role as President of the United States to dominate the streets. Trump viewed the United States as his country—a country with top-down command structure complete with White heroes and a most likely a White god. Meanwhile in the streets, statues of Confederate heroes, Columbus, slave traders, and colonizing priests, etc. were being toppled in various parts of the nation and even parts of the world. Surprisingly, NASCAR said the Confederate flag was no longer welcome, and after years of struggle, Mississippi changed its flag. Still with his poll numbers falling, Trump wanted to dominate the streets.

He invaded Portland with hundreds of federal police from a variety of agencies. His plan was to dominate. Show liberal Portland that his stormtroopers could bully and intimidate the protesters. Submit to Presidential power. Trump had no sense of what Portland was as a city and its history; a racist history that it was and is trying to come to terms with via truth and reconciliation. Trump probably did not know that the federal courthouse named after Mark Hatfield, a Republican senator, who did not support the war in Vietnam. Hatfield was what used to be referred to as a moderate conservative; he valued private property and civil rights and even civil liberties. Hatfield was conservative but he was not crypto-fascist, like Trump.

When Trump says that the protesters are a bunch of anarchists, he does not know or consider that one of our favorite authors from Portland is Ursula LeGuin, and she was an anarchist. Her Dispossessed describes a planet ruled by anarchists. So, anarchists and anarchism are not the terrifying specter that Trump points to; anarchism is a philosophy of freedom. Portland anarchists are not all desperate or spoiled nihilists who simply want to break into buildings to get free things, burn things, etc. Many Portland anarchists want to make more just and democratic communities. But I must confess, there is no singular anarchism. Yet, most anarchists believe in mutual aid and liberation in life. Besides anarchists, Trump also says that there are Antifa in Portland. Antifa means anti-fascist. I have never met a citizen of Portland who is not anti-fascist, even my Republican friends. They might be opposed to breaking windows, stealing stuff from stores, and an array of other petty crimes but they would still be anti-fascist. With that, I am Antifa, as are many other Portlanders. I do not know any Antifa who would promote terrorism.

Ironically after months of nightly protests, progress in moving the Portland Police transformation forward, the energy of the protesters was sagging and number of protesters was dropping. Then Trump sent in the federal police. No leader from the state or city asked for assistance, or what we anarchists like to call mutual aid. Trump sent in federal police to dominate the streets. The tactics were to bully and intimidate—perhaps even terrorize citizens. Federal police in unmarked vans grabbed Portland citizens off the street, put bags over their heads and took them to undisclosed locations where the secret police tried to interrogate them. The stormtrooper move brought Portlanders back into the streets. A Wall of Moms stands in front of the protesters to protect them from the federal police. The federal police have tear gassed the Wall of Moms, and other supporters like two graduates of the Naval Academy, who were standing in the way to prevent bullying a violence by the federal police. There were 3000 protesters on July 24 th , and the federal police were limited to the federal buildings. There is also a Wall of Vets standing to protect the protesters.

Housed in the Marriott Hotel in downtown Portland, the federal police are like a small group of colonists who go out to sit in the basement of the federal building while others protest their presence in the city. It is an utter waste of resources and a show of force for Trump’s audience who believe in his use of power. Portland has asked the federal government for help with our homeless, our health care, but not for this. The invasion and use of force is making great primetime for Trump, again and again. For the rest of us, it is wasting resources, hurting others, and bringing pain to our community.

Several blocks in downtown look like a war zone, but blocks away life in the pandemic is moving along. Stores are open, restaurants are open for takeout, and life moves on. We Portlanders are talking to each other about what we value. The pandemic has given us time to slow down and reflect on what we value and what we stand for as citizens of Portland. We value social justice. We value ecological justice. We value those in our community who are taking a risk to stand up to those interlopers who would bully and intimidate us for what we value.

I appreciate the time reflecting on what we Portlanders love and value. I will be able to go back to gardening and grand parenting. I will also always be ready to help those who ask for help. I offer them lifescaping action research as an approach to explore with others in their schools and communities how to bring about the community they value and desire ( https://www.taosinstitute.net/resources/relational-learning-in-education/lifescaping-practices-in-schools ). What we are learning in Portland contributes to building a knowledge democracy and understanding that the revolution of love is a continuous and ongoing process. Let us begin by liberating Portland.

Let our first step as a nation be to demand Medicare for All as reparations for the injustice the Black community has suffered during this pandemic and for the years White people stood idly by or actively oppressive during Jim Crow, slavery, and the diaspora from Africa. Let us consider how to address homelessness in ways that really show that we can move more people from living on the streets. Let us consider the idea of a basic living wage as a way to help all people live with dignity. Let us foster what Martin Hagglund calls in This Life genuine spiritual freedom, which is only possible when basic needs are met. Let us make sure that we are prepared to respond to the next pandemic in ways that inspire mutual aid, human dignity, and our capacity to care for others. Let us dream about and demand the impossible because that is really what anarchists do. I’ll add this, let me in my work as an action researcher, and in my work with others endeavor to lifescape justice across these United States. I am an anarchist and Antifa; I will travel to share how we can try to build the communities we dream of and desire.  
Get to know your Board Members
In this installment of his podcast, Artisans of the Horizon, CSC Board Member Rev. Jerry Maynard interviews Rev. Sid Hall, CSC Board President about his work as the leader of Trinity Church in Austin, TX.
In this installment of his podcast, Artisans of the Horizon, CSC Board Member Rev. Jerry Maynard interviews Rev. Judy Shook, CSC Board Member, Methodist minister and InterPlay leader.

For other info & inquiries on being a guest in the AOTH series: https://www.revjerrymaynard.org
Pope Francis Preaches Eco-Tribalist/Hippie New Age Beliefs
by Thomas Dahlheimer

The Roman Catholic magazine,  the Crisis , published an article about the October 2019 Amazon synod. The article is titled  The Amazon Synod Goes Native . Its renowned author, William Kilpatrick, writes in the article (after reaching what prominent Bishops are saying) that this synod established a "new Church," with an "Indians' eco-friendly [eco-tribalist], pantheistic form of spirituality," which is "New Age spirituality," whose adherents embrace and promote "the [hippie] ideas that became popular 60 years ago, a time when many young people thought that the 'Age of Aquarius' was about to dawn."

A good subtitle for Mr. Kilpatrick's article on the Amazon Synod would have been  The Catholic Church Goes Hippie . Cardinal Gerhard Mueller has criticized an Amazon synod document for its “hippie” language, such as “ecological conversion” and “mother earth.” Bishop Robertus Mutsaertsis condemned the Amazon Synod for attempting to establish a "new religion" by portraying Jesus "not as the Son of God and Savior," but as " Jesus the philosopher, revolutionary and hippie."

In the early-1970s, I prophecy that this hippie New Age revival was coming. I also prophesied about what was going to happen when this hippie revival did dawn.

The ultimate goal of the  New Age  hippie counterculture revolution is to unite the world's religions and cultures to create, in effect, a one-world religion (i.e., a single spiritual philosophy) and global culture wherein all of humanity will live harmoniously together as one. My mission is to lead the way to achieve the ultimate goal of this revolution. This revolution represents a particular type of globalization. It is promoted in the lyrics of the former Beatles' song  Imagine , sung by John Lennon: "I hope someday you'll join us, and the world will be as one."

A Vatican  press release  statement on the Synod reads: "Discovering the seeds of the word of God in the cultures and traditions of the region means recognizing that Christ already lives in the peoples who have not yet heard the Gospel." After quoting this statement, Jackie Alnor writes in an  article  that: "This idea underscores what the current pope has been saying since he first took office... Namely, that God speaks to people in every religion in the world – each one gets a little piece of divine revelation and if all religions unite, all humankind will be as one. (Queue up John Lennon’s  Imagine )"

In the 1960s, I became a hippie counterculture revolutionary. Not long after I joined the revolution, I became a close friend and disciple of Richard Carter, one of the leaders of the hippie New Age spiritual revolution. We met in California's San Francisco Bay Area and were together in Wahkon, Minnesota at the height of our 1960s revolutionary countercultural and spiritual mission.

In the early-1970s, I became a hippie counterculture Catholic. I then prophesied to several friends and family members that the Roman Catholic Church was going to convert to the hippie spiritual philosophy. And that this spiritual philosophy would be similar to Father Thomas Merton's New Age spiritual philosophy. "The New Age movement mainly owes its genesis and development to Thomas Merton.” - Father John Hardon,  authored The Catholic Catechism . I also prophesied that when the Church made this revolutionary conversion its headquarters would be moved to Wahkon, Minnesota.

In the mid-1970s, I became an indigenous peoples' rights advocate. By the early-1980s, I had successfully gained Minnesota state, tribal and church (including a Catholic archbishop's) recognition as an important indigenous peoples' rights advocate.

In the early-1980s, I met and had a talk with the internationally renowned spiritual theologian, environmentalist and indigenous peoples' rights advocate Father Matthew Fox. This meeting occurred during the 1983 annual Tekakwitha Conference. During our meeting, we talked about my hippie global mission - a mission with a worldview around the Indigenous word  wahkon  (holy). Matthew Fox then initiated a Thomas Merton spiritual connection between us. Father Fox was interested in my hippie global mission and asked me to "stay in touch with him."

A couple of decades ago, Fox gave his support for my advocacy effort to  change the derogatory name  of a Minnesota river, the "Rum River." I am on a mission to revert this river's name back to its sacred Dakota/Lakota/Nakota Native name  Wahkon . Today, Rev. Matthew Fox is helping me to both, change this river name and promote my hippie New Age Catholic mission by  posting comments of mine  on his Daily Meditations Facebook site.

I have received support for my river-name-change advocacy initiative from several internationally renowned Indigenous activists, the Tekakwitha Conference, two Mdewakanton Dakota communities, a Roman Catholic Archbishop and a Catholic Bishop. In respect to my advocacy work, I have also received a letter from both, the Pontifical Council of Peace and Justice and the United Nations Secretariat of the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

In the early-1980s, I prophesied to my Rainbow family relatives. I told them that I believed that they were being Providentially called to come to Wahkon, Minnesota (where I live) to form into a kinship tribe... so that we, together as a kinship tribe, could take up the prophetic leadership role, in conjunction with the papacy, to establish a New World Order, wherein "the world will live as one." - former  Beatle  John Lennon.

During the 1983 Rainbow family reunion in Anoka, Minnesota, where 17 families were gathered together, my Uncle Don Rainbow, after having a conversation with me about my meeting with Father Matthew Fox at the Tekakwitha Conference... addressed the Rainbow family reunion relatives and said: "A rainbow is a sign of God's salvation plan, and I believed that we may be used to glorify God more than any other family in the world." Today, there is evidence that indicates that these prophecies of mine will soon be fulfilled.

The Roman Catholic Bishops conference of Italy published a prayer to Mother Earth in April 2019. The Conference did this with a special focus on the Amazon Synod, or Pan-Amazon Synod, which occurred in October 2019. This Synod and its papal follow-up documents promote the Amazon primitive tribal peoples' "mother earth," communitarian, cosmic harmony and ecological spirituality. This breakthrough is being equated with the Roman Catholic Church's emerging acceptance of both, Indigenous People's spirituality and the hippie New Age spirituality.

Pope Francis blessed indigenous people's 'Pachamama' (Mother Earth) statue before opening the Amazon synod.

A world renowned expert on the New Age, Father Mitchael Pacwa, said on his Nov. 7, 2019, weekly EWTN program, that: "The bishops conference of Italy published a prayer to Pachamama." Concerning the thinking that influenced the publication of this Inca prayer to Mother Earth, Pacwa said: "This is New-Age-like thinking that goes back to the 1970s."

Wikipedia says: "From a historical perspective, the New Age phenomenon is rooted in the counterculture of the 1960s." The Beatles' promotion of Hinduism, according to Wikipedia, "kick-started the Human Potential Movement that subsequently became New Age." The 1960s counterculture "used the terms New Age and Age of Aquarius to refer to a coming era." I believe that the "thinking" associated with the "bishops conference's" published prayer to "Mother Earth" actually goes back to the 1960s hippie New Age spiritual philosophy.

The  hippie New Age spirituality philosophy  adv ocates believing in the eternal  infinite  Spirit, the supreme God, and also in the Divine manifestation of the  finite  Universe (a form of "pantheism")... who, as a subordinate Divine entity (another God), appears to the enlightened as an "essentially undifferenated mass of light." - Swami Paramahansa Yogananda.

Gerhard Cardinal Mueller has criticized an Amazon synod document for its “hippie” language, such as “ecological conversion” and “mother earth.” New Age hippies have had an "ecological conversion" and believe in "mother earth," however, we do not worship mother earth. Her status is equivalent to "a great angelic or archangelic being." - David Spangler, one of the founding figures of the modern New Age movement.

The day after the Amazon synod, Pope Francis officially endorsed the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals. The Roman Catholic Church and the United Nations are becoming unified in purpose. Several years ago a special United Nations event was held in celebration of 'The Spirit of the United Nations.' The program featured an opening 'blessing song on behalf of indigenous peoples,' an expression to 'thanks to Mother Earth.' And a special rendition of the former  Beatle  John Lennon's song, ' Imagine ,' was played to those gathered at this U.N. event.

A Pan-Amazon Synod document reads: Indigenous “good living” expresses true quality of life (nos 8, 26 & 71), and fulfills the utopia of personal, family, communal and cosmic harmony, expressed, in turn, by the communitarian approach to existence and an austere and simple lifestyle (n° 71): Everything is shared ... There is no room for the notion of an individual detached from the community or from the land”(No. 20). The indigenous people have much to teach us (n° 71), and citizens should allow themselves to be “re-educated” by them since it is through them that God wants us to embrace his mysterious wisdom (n° 72).

The National Catholic Register (NCR) published an  article  about the Pan-Amazon Synod. Its author, Edward Pentin, quoted Stefano Fontana, a renowned expert on liberation theology: “Today the 'practice of liberation’ is replaced by the ‘practice of integral ecology,’ so that the primitive life of pagan [kinship tribal] peoples can become a [eco-tribalist] model of universal coexistence."

Pan-Amazon Synod Watch (PSW) is the name of the largest coalition of associations in defense of Christian civilization. It claims that the Pan-Amazon synod is "a tool to impose a radical eco-tribalist model on the Holy Catholic Church and civic society." A statement in a PSW  article  reads: Quoting abundantly from his encyclical  Laudato Si , Pope Francis reiterates his “Teilhardian” and New Age worldview of a universe in which “everything is connected” (No. 41).

PSW's mission is to defend Christian civilization by opposing Pope Francis's post-Christian, Catholic Church's, hippie New Age spiritual philosophy, which includes the Pope's kinship family tribalization of the world mission.

Archbishop Carlo Vigano, a former Apostolic Nunciature to the United States who was recently put in the U.S. national spotlight by one of President Trump's  tweets  , wrote, in a June 6, 2020, letter, that: "It is undeniable that from Vatican II onwards a parallel church [a new church] was built, superimposed over and diametrically opposed to the true Church of Christ." ... The  parallel church's doctrine  is "almost gnostic or kabbalistic" in respect to it (the post-Christian, Catholic Church) having a similar belief in  two Gods , the Old Testament God and Jesus's New Testament God.

In a  OnePeterFive  newspaper article titled  What Comes Next, O Spirit of Vatican II? , its author Dan Millette, a traditional Catholic, wrote: "[In a homily, Pope Francis] understated the importance of doctrine, and simply announced that 'God is love.' [This] reminded me of a hippie-styled mantra. To quote John Lennon’s anthem during the 1967 Summer of Love, 'all you need is love.' ... The hippie generation has long since disseminated, ... Unless you are Catholic, of course. In our Spirit of Vatican II Catholicism, the embrace of the hippie  Age of Aquarius  culture endures,..." Prominent traditional Catholics believe Vatican II's "erroneous" documents are responsible for the current hippie revival.

PSW promotes the late Plinio Correa de Oliveira's 1977 book,  Indian Tribalism: The Communist-Missionary Ideal for Brazil in the Twenty-First Century , as a resource for understanding what’s at stake in the synod process. Oliveira was a climate skeptic and said that the “ultimate ideal of the green movement is to destroy our way of life, including the present-day economic system of the three Americas, which is capitalism, and to return to a tribal lifestyle." A statement in Oliveira's book expressing his opposition's position reads: Indigenous society is the one closest to the human ideal. And it is to this kind of society that we must return.

In a January 10, 2020, article by a prominent lay leader of the counter-revolution, or anti-Amazon Synod movement, Michael Matt, a traditional Catholic and the editor of  The Remnant  newspaper... wrote that Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò proclaimed in an  InsideTheVatican.com   interview  that: "The [Amazon] Synod working document testifies to the emergence of a post-Christian Catholic theology, now, in this moment."

Mr. Matt's numerous articles and videos consistently portray the "post-Christian Catholic theology" as the hippie New Age Catholic theology. Matt often displays a picture of John Lennon and a picture of Pope Francis together in his newspaper's website videos. Along with the pictures a segment of the former Beatles' song  Imagine  is played. Matt says: "the Jesus that Pope Francis talks about is kind of like the Jesus of the New Age." He also produced  The Remnant  newspaper video titled: "The Hippie Pope's Green New Deal."

When the I. C. Rainbow family comes together in hippie kinship tribalism in Wahkon it will be seen as a divine providential sign that Pope Francis will use to call his Church and the entire world to live the kinship tribal lifestyle. The world will see  the divine sign of the rainbow  appear in Wahkon. (My video of a rainbow in Wahkon is presented here on my on-line presentation of this article.)

On the  ChurchMilitant.com  site there is an October 20, 2019,  article  about "A Dutch bishop [Robertus Mutsaertsis] condemning the Amazon Synod for attempting to turn the Catholic faith into a 'new religion' by 'embracing pantheism' and recognizing 'pagan superstition as a source of revelation.'" ... "There is a 'single mention of Jesus,' in the synod's working document, he wrote in a Thursday post on his blog, 'but not as Son of God and Savior,' but as 'Jesus the philosopher, revolutionary and hippie."
July 20, 2020


It is with sadness that I inform you that the Board of Directors for the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality has made the decision to close the Institute’s doors. 

As many of those who are familiar with the school know, FICS has gone through a process over the past 2 years of pausing administratively in order to stabilize our financial situation in response to ongoing economic difficulties primarily due to low enrollment figures. The decision to Pause and Reset was made after the financial impact of this reality reached a level whereby the amount of cash required to continue operations could not be reasonably attained without putting the Institute at significant risk. We went through the process of downsizing staff and reducing operations with the hope that we could continue serving our current and future students. 

Since that time, we have explored a variety of options for moving forward. We engaged in a discernment process of looking at creative ways to keep the institute open. Ultimately, it has become clear that the high costs of operating coupled with low enrollment do not make it possible to continue to run the school. As our Interim President Stuart Lord stated, “The institution does not have sound financial resources and a demonstrated, stable financial base to support the mission of the institution and the scope of its programs and services.” 

FICS’s decision to close comes as many small, tuition-dependent colleges and universities struggle in the face of persistent financial and enrollment headwinds. Financial challenges are pressing on higher education institutions throughout the country, and smaller institutes—particularly seminaries and those with theological orientations—face even more difficult challenges.

We are taking care to close with integrity, due diligence, and care. Our current students were able to finish their studies and complete their degrees before we close. In fact, this was one of our top priorities in our decision to pause yet remain open. Our students have done excellent academic work commensurate with graduate-level standards, and we are excited for what they bring and offer to the world. It has been our utmost privilege to teach, learn from, and work with them. In fact, we are proud to announce that three of our exceptional students will be graduating shortly on August 1st, one with a Master in Spirituality degree, and two with a Doctor of Ministry degree. 

The Board of Directors would like to acknowledge and express tremendous gratitude to Dr. Stuart Lord, who has continued to serve as the Interim President on a volunteer basis since May 2018. Dr. Lord has worked diligently to keep FICS going and has done so on a pro bono basis. We are incredibly appreciative of his dedication and astute leadership. 

The Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality has opened hearts and minds in profound ways over the past 3 years. The Institute’s ripple effects will continue to be felt as those who have been touched by its vision move creatively through the world. Rev. Dr. Matthew Fox’s work continues to resonate in a troubled world that needs creativity, spirituality, and openness more than ever. We know that this powerful vision will continue to take new and diverse forms and manifest itself in the ways it needs to.

The fertile seeds of Creation Spirituality have been sown in a multitude of ways that will transcend the brief institutional life of FICS. Thank you to everyone who has helped support FICS and its vision and mission since our inception. Our gratitude is boundless.


Marvin Lee Anderson, Ph.D.
Chair, Board of Directors
The Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality 

Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality
CS Communities News
For the month of August at Spiritwind we will be discussing, "The Nature of Ultimate Reality According to Carlo Rovelli"--Rovelli is an Italian physicist. Then for September we will be looking at Women religious leaders who formed different denominations--Myrtle Fillmore and Ellen White respectively.

Spiritwind is a Creation Spirituality Community based on the spirit of ONE RIVER, MANY WELLS and is based in Northern California and is facilitated by Richard Reich-Kuykendall, D. Min.
Member Publications
Want to Revie w Books?
From time to time (and now more frequently than before) your newsletter editor is approached by authors within our community who are offering their books for review and promotion. If you are interested in reading and writing up reviews of books focused on creation-centered spirituality, please let us know. The books will include poetry, theology/philosophy, memoir, art, etc. We would be interested in relatively in-depth and objective reviews of books. Please send a message to newsletter@cscommunities.org
New Book from Tim Cronley
To be published mid-August by AuthorHouse Bookstore

(From the preface)

Travel is the one activity that has accompanied human beings from the moment. Life first emerged from the mysterious primordial seas of planet Earth. Our species traveled from the swarming conglomerate of our nutrient rich birthplace to the hard, indifferent conglomerate of the soil. And from the soil of Africa’s vast savannas we then went wayfaring in tribal groups throughout the entire world. Throughout our long and contentious history we have never ceased to go exploring beyond the boundaries of our own existence. And now at this problematic moment in our long evolutionary history, we have even dared to find our way into the vast, unknown conglomerate of the Universe. 

The book you are about to read is an account of my own personal wayfaring in two dimensions. It’s the story of a physical trip that my wife and I took to the Far East in 2006. It is also an account of what I was thinking as I went exploring beyond the boundaries of my national and cultural existence. It has a strange provenance. I wrote a first draft of it several months after the trip ended using the notes from my journal. I then filed it away as simply a record of a personal trip. I did not consider it for publication because I could not place it in any recognizable publishing niche. 

It is therefor reasonable to ask why I am now publishing a manuscript that was created as far back as 2006. Oddly enough, I am doing so because of the Covid-19 pandemic. I decided to take advantage of the enforced isolation brought about because of the virus by cleaning out old files and folders that were taking up space. When I came across the folder of this manuscript I took another look at it, and decided that it might have merit for publication after all – in the same way that wine can achieve merit if we wait long enough. In this case, the wait has ended in a worldwide pandemic that has forced the entire world to go exploring beyond the boundaries of our troubled existence. I think that some of my observations recorded in 2006 may now have relevance. It will be up to the reader to prove me wrong.

(Excerpt from the text)

Now that I am here in the Far East, I find myself thinking about the Creator Being who cannot be identified by a word from any of our human languages. I dream of this un-namable being while I sleep in the arms of Christianity, even as others dream of this same un-namable being while they sleep in the arms of Abraham, Muhammad, Krishna, or the Buddha. I would like to share my dream with them. I would like to become one with them in their dream…but I don’t know how. 

As for what tradition or in whose arms we sleep – I guess in the end it makes no difference. I know from experience how hard it is to write a straight, clean line or to sound a single, pure note. I now understand that there are indeed straight lines and pure notes that link all of us together in this majestic tale of wonderment we call life – even if, in our ignorance, we fail to acknowledge it. We need to practice the challenging virtue of humility in order to honor the straight lines and pure notes that exist in traditions other than our own. In the end, it makes no difference what tradition we happen to sleep in. We are all cut from the same creative cloth. 

The book cover is a photograph of a watercolour painting that I purchased from a local artist when I was at Angkor Wat in Cambodia. The following is an excerpt from the book where I tell about this meeting. My publisher’s design team asked me if I had any ideas for a cover. I showed them the photograph and they used it in the design of the book.   

"At one of the last sections of Angkor Wat we visited I happened to see a local artist at work. He was working from a portable hand-held easel while looking at one of the monumental heads. i liked the beautiful watercolour painting he was working on, so I offered to buy it. But he declined saying it was not finished. I told him I would buy it anyway. So after some haggling, he reluctantly let me have it for his asking price. It now hangs in my den."

Tim Cronley
Bradenton, FL
A Benediction for the Lightbearers
Rev. Jerry Maynard, The People’s Priest

+ Bless you , who shine your light, even when you would rather extinguish it; thank you for your steadfastness.

+ Bless you , who shine your light, even when it is little and you are embarrassed by it; thank you for your vulnerability.

+ Bless you , who shine your light, even though you think it is pointless and stupid; thank you for your discipline.

+ Bless you , who shine your light, not because you want to be seen but because you want others to be seen; thank you for your generosity.

+ Bless you , who shine your light, not because you have to but because you want to; thank you for your big heart.

+ Bless you , who shine your light, even when ridiculed, abused, angry, and neglected; thank you for your courage.

+ Bless you , who shine your light, even when it’s not sanctioned, validated, ordained, or affirmed; thank you for your defiance.
 
Bless you , lightbearer, you teach me what it means to warm someone up with the mystique of your glow. Your disciplined, steadfast, and courageous presence teaches me to lean into the reality, that there are people who will light the way. Bless you, lightbearer, your generosity and big heart, are like sparks that kindle the flame of my life and help set others on fire for living. May your defiance, which disrupts the darkness, be the energy that encourages us to extend our lights out towards the path so others may continue the journey.

May it be so.

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.
Roxanne workshop
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