Sep/Oct 2021 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.
Meet your new Board Members
Creation Spirituality Communities held its Annual Meeting on September 25th with the following agenda:

  • Ritual for opening and closing
  • Virtual body prayer
  • Hearing a little about the state of Creation Spirituality Communities
  • Report on the January Gathering and Matt’s birthday celebration
  • Report on ongoing Classes and Small Groups
  • Report on Immersion Retreats
  • Information about the Newsletter and Website
  • Financial Report
  • Report on Creation & Crisis 
  • Report on our weekly CS virtual Worship Celebrations
  • Election of New Board Members and celebration of those ending their term

Judy Shook and Mel Bricker were both thanked deeply for their years of service to the organization. Earlier this year, the Board of Directors amended our By-laws to increase the number of Board Members possible and also to create an "Emeritus" position. Mel was voted, and accepted, to take on the Emeritus position for as long as he wished to continue to serve. What a great boon for CSC!

Five new members were elected to the Board. Below please find their bios:
Marcia Flagg
The Rev. Marcia Flagg was ordained in the Presbyterian Church, USA in 1979 after receiving a Master's of Divinity from Claremont School of Theology in Claremont California. She has served as:

1. A Chaplain at Methodist Medical Center in Peoria, IL, 1979-1981
2. An Associate Minister at Gunnison Community Church in Gunnison, CO, 1981-1983
3. Union Congregational Church, UCC in Crested Butte, CO 1984-1991
4. Broadmoor Community Church, UCC in San Leandro, CA 1996- 2012
5. Broadmoor Congregational Church in Pleasant Hill/ Walnut Creek, CA 2012-2021

From 2012-2015 Rev. Flagg helped train volunteers in a program called Crisis Response Spiritual Support Teams in Rossmoor Retirement Community in Walnut Creek, CA. which led her to start "The Center of Spiritual Cultivation” for the volunteers of that program in 2015. 

Broadmoor Congregational Church officially voted to adopt this mission project with the hiring of The Rev. Dr. Paula Pociecha, in May 2016, a graduate of Creation Spirituality Wisdom University. 

In 2019, Dr. Carolyn Million joined the congregation and with the help of the Rev. Mel Bricker the congregation voted to join as a member of Creation Spirituality Communities. 
Shelley Walters
Shelley Walters serves as the Director of Faith Development at Saint John’s UMC in Austin, Texas. She’s been in ministry for 16 years in a variety of roles, including at Trinity Church of Austin, a CSC community. She helped develop and has led the Creation Spirituality Immersion Retreat, locally in person and as part of the team at the CS virtual gathering in January of 2021. She has been a student of different faith traditions and spiritual practices, including Wesleyan theology, Reiki, and Centering Prayer, since she was a teenager. Shelley earned her Bachelors in Religious Studies at the University of Texas, and a Masters of Divinity at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. 

Over the years, she has taught youth and adult classes, coordinated worship for conferences, and developed curriculum. She interned with Dr. Marcia McFee, during which she helped coordinate a Creation Spirituality series. Shelley has led local and national workshops in worship design, inter-generational ministry, retreat planning and spiritual practices. Shelley lives in Georgetown, Texas with her husband and enjoys water coloring, getting lost in local bookshops, and finding new labyrinths to walk. 
Patty McGrath
Patty was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, attended Fordham University in Manhattan and ventured outside the US to serve in the Peace Corps, 1966-68 in Colombia, SA. She learned to speak Spanish (since there were no English speakers in her town), became Godmother to little Javier, who died of encephalitis, and experienced life among campesinos. It was life changing.

Patty worked in computer systems at AT&T and British Telecom and loved her work. Her teams were gifted and incredibly productive which may have been influenced by brownies and other homemade goodies.

She attended the University of Creation Spirituality from 1998 to 2009 and earned her DMin degree. It did take eleven years, and the benefit was meeting so many faculty and students in its incomparable program. That was another enriching and life changing influence.

Experiencing unemployment for the first time in her life – Patty was laid off at age 64, when the systems she supported were moved to London. That was an opening to understand the anxiety of so many people in the US. She ended her systems career with four years at the Treasury Department, where she worked with dedicated Federal employees – learning that stories of overpaid, lazy Feds were simply not true. In March of 2013 she retired and transitioned to work in Environmental and Social Justice issues. She has sponsored workshops on the East Coast by UCS faculty: Michael Mansfield and the late Jeremy Taylor. Patty co-hosted with Rev. Dr. Wayne Schwandt the 2012 CSC National Gathering in Rockville, Maryland. Patty currently works with the CS Interfaith Worship Experience team to prepare liturgies for the Sunday evening gatherings.
Penny Andrews
Penny graduated from UCS in 2001. She is a lifelong Earth activist, a retired hospital chaplain, and a facilitator of the Work that Reconnects based on Joanna Macy’s work. Ordained, she is a regular presenter in a UU congregation in rural Wisconsin and hosts occasional workshops on the land where she uses permaculture principles to create food forests and regenerative gardening.

Penny has been involved with a CSC project called Creation in Crisis. Along with former Board director, Gail Ransom, this is a monthly webinar on topics related to
Learning and Loving Earth back to Life.a
Nathan DeMay
Reverend Nathan is an ordained Interfaith Interspiritual minister and graduate of OneSpirit Seminary in New York City.

Nathan offers ministerial services to anyone needing them in the metro Atlanta area.

He also leads in-person, online, and on-demand groups working with mystic poetry. Nathan believes the mystic poets of the world’s traditions have timeless wisdom that can deeply feed our souls.
Upcoming Events
Ongoing Events
Longing for spiritual connection in these troubling times?

We invite you to join us every Sunday for this online, interfaith Worship Experience. We are growing a strong, nurturing community and want you to be part!

In case you are unable to attend in person, all who register will receive a link to be able to view the CSIWE after the event happens. So be sure to Register!

Every Sunday 7:00p/6:00p/5:00p/4:00p
Eastern/Central/Mountain/Pacific

Please register in advance for this meeting

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.
The NEXT Creation in Crisis Webinar will be on October 7, and then November 4, 2021. Register below to receive the Zoom link.
Monthly Enneagram Gathering on Zoom

3rd Thursdays from 4:30 – 5:45 p.m. Pacific

Donation: Love Offering

During these 75-minute sessions, there will be a brief teaching on one aspect of the Enneagram, drawing on the work of leading experts, as well as time for private reflection, small group interaction, and large group sharing. 

  • All levels of Enneagram knowledge are welcome, as diversity enhances our learning
  • Learn more about the Enneagram here
  • Sessions are open—join us regularly or when your schedule permits
  • Share this invitation with those you know who may be interested 
 
To receive a Zoom link for a session or learn more, email Joanne at joanne@joannedeck.com.
Workshops & Courses
UPCOMING EVENTS WITH MATTHEW FOX

October 14, 2021 (Thu) Virtual Event 
St. James Piccadilly Church, London 
11am-12:45pm PT~~7:00pm-8:45pm (UK) 
Events inspiring heart, mind and soul https://www.alternatives.org.uk/

October 17-18, 2021 (Sun-Mon) 
Parliament of the World’s Religions 2021 
Sun- 4:00-6:00pm PT – The Cosmic Mass: Our Sacred Earth 
Mon- 3:45pm PT – Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action with panelists Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson and Mariko Middleton 

Matthew's website, calendar and bookstore: https://www.matthewfox.org/
Cracking the Ancestral Code with Yeye Luisah Teish
Starts October 2, 2021

Colleen Thomas, Ritual Artist
Colleen Thomas is a ritual artist and an audio producer and who helps people make sense of life through ceremony. She graduated from UCS in 2002 and lives in Crockett, California where she's been adopted by a flock of lesser goldfinches. 

In addition to helping people create ceremonies for their own unique life transitions, she produces and hosts a podcast called Shame Piñata.
Shame Piñata | Podcast

Shame Piñata is a show about creating rites of passage for real-life transitions. On Shame Piñata you will hear from people who have supported themselves through tough life transitions by embracing community and ceremony and experts in the fields ...

Read more
ever-changing.net
News
For the month of September at Spiritwind we looked at the history of celibacy, marriage and sexuality in general as it is handled in the Catholic Church. Then for the month of October we will be looking at the idea of the afterlife as it is expressed in various religions.
 
Spiritwind is a Creation Spirituality Community in the tradition of ONE RIVER, MANY WELLS led by Rev. Dr. Rick Reich-Kuykendall (530) 823-8610
Spiritwind Book Published
Creative Offerings
Making a Case for Felines
by Kelly Hicks

Why all these cats? I asked the reader at the psychic fair, surprised at the question myself. After all, wasn't there something more pressing to consult? As someone who observes creation spirituality, I wondered why I was drawn to cats - rather than people needing placement and connection. Only life these days revolved around cats: starting when my partner and I found a kitten abandoned in our condo laundry room. From there, we seemed to "find" more to rehome around the neighborhood, and then upon moving to rural Virginia, feline finds popped up everywhere: colonies of feral cats behind the woods at Burger King, Food Lion, Walmart and any number of spots, especially around dumpster sites.

So, we got involved and learned a real problem did exist with overpopulation of free-roaming cats - or those cats either dumped, abandoned, or born outdoors. But it was more than that. Actually, cats were considered sacred in ancient Egypt - and then the tides turned, and cats, especially black cats, were slaughtered during the decades when they were seen as "from the devil." 

More recently, and relevant to my quandary, cats were brought to America, first for their skills hunting mice, and then domesticated for being warm and fuzzy. Sadly, people got tired of their pets, or could no longer keep them, leading to the real present-day problem of overpopulation. Not because of the cats, but because of human disregard and inattention. 

Knowing all this, I see cats alongside other two-legged and four-leggeds as precious beings who have been terribly abused and almost eradicated because of false human belief. Like many man-made incidents in today's world - feline distress is among the human problems we face. But it's fixable: and holding a newly-born kitten in the palm of your hand struggling for survival, you know that life is precious in all its expressions.

So, whether a kitten flourishes, or a human being suffers, or the planet thrives - our actions, our choices have a direct and long lasting impact on the viability of the planet, from the least of them to the greatest - at the cellular level, we are made of the same stuff.

Thus, whether we promote climate change, recycle, fight for social justice or put our energy behind animal rescue - we are participating in the good health and well-being of the whole. That is my daily practice and how I celebrate the teachings of Matthew Fox, Brian Swimme, Thomas Berry, Andrew Harvey, Starhawk, and so many others, including my spiritual director, Catherine Browning, who made my learnings real.

That study began in the late-80's, when the book Whee, Whee, Whee, All the Way Home by Matthew Fox jumped off the library shelf and literally saved my life. It could be said, I had the human equivalent of fading kitten syndrome: I wanted to close my eyes and die. Thankfully, my eyes were open to the Four Paths of Creation Spirituality and as I enter my mid-70s, I carry on, purring most of the time. 

Crazy Cat Lady. I don't think so: It's how I stay connected to the incredible majesty of the universe. 

Even while herding cats.
The Door
by Laura Castro

Door stands open — brother love, sister love — sunrays shoot ninety-three million miles into the blazing now.
 
Now in — what’s the name of this town?
 
Now in the gnat’s eye. Now in the tulip beds and bomb craters. Now soaring with endangered bats among the evening pines.
Now in the woodchuck’s hole.
 
My friend! We call to you from between the needles of the very tall pines — très grand, very great — “Very God” to “Very God,” begotten — of what begotten?
 
Take up the hammer, beat out the plowshares, shoulder the burden — it is light, very light!
 
We are the Very God, defender and defended, come from whence we know not. Dazzled, sweating, dew soaked, desperate — you, me, bat, woodchuck, child amid casual bombs.
 
Now is the moment. Step through the door.
Vision, Hope & Courage

Vision, Hope And Courage In A Time Of Crisis - Braided...

We are being called to reinvent our lives, our work, and our civilization in a new consciousness of Creation. The old world was rife with manmade problems - political corruption, wealth inequities, global warming, overpopulation, homelessness,...

Read more
braidedway.org
I Am Waiting
by Mair Honan

Bump into Me
I’m right here.
Don’t worry about
losing your balance.
I’m right here.
Step off the line of dogma
and surety.
Jump from the platform
of knowing.
Free fall into Love
I’m right here,
waiting.

Brigid's Blessing
Sue Ellen Parkinson's work can be found at www.sueellenparkinson.com. You can find more videos, including one on the process of viseo divina on her YouTube channel at Sue Ellen Parkinson YouTube
Be Not Afraid. 1996. Acrylic on canvas. Douglas G. Campbell
Psalm 2
by Douglas G. Campbell
 
The earth owns many deserts; 
don't let them surround me,  
keep the sand from my lips,  
keep blindness from my eyes, 
let me drink deeply 
from the streams of the mountains. 
 
Men have raised many walls; 
don't let them imprison me 
 let me find the right gates,  
the stones bruise my hands ,  
the barbed wire cuts my feet,  
don't make me rest alone, 
let me find love's comfort 
within the arms of the forest. 
 
The earth grows many forests;  
don't let the roots bury me,  
keep the thorns from my feet,  
don't let darkness hold me, 
let me walk lightly 
among the fields of the mountains. 
 
Men have piled up many cities;  
don't let them cover me, keep  
the grass beneath me , 
don't let pavement cover the earth,  
traffic swallows my ears, 
bright lights eat my eyes, 
great buildings hide my face, 
don't let me die unloved, 
let me see everything clearly  
through the new morning air. 
 
The earth spawns many swamps;  
don't let the water drown me,   
keep the moccasins from me,  
don't let me sink unnoticed,  
let me breathe deeply 
of the air of the mountains. 
 
Men have built many roads; 
don't let them lose me, 
keep me on the mountain path,  
don't let the highways lead me,  
great noises destroy my ears,  
birds and rivers become quiet, 
let me hear the wind's words  
which speak to the listener. 

Douglas G. Campbell lives in Portland, Oregon. He is Professor Emeritus of art at George Fox University where he taught painting, printmaking, drawing and art history courses. He is also the author of Parables Ironic and Grotesque (2020), Tree Story (2018), Turning Radius (2017), Seeing: When Art and Faith Intersect (2002) and Parktails (2012). His poetry and artworks have been published in a number of periodicals including Harbinger Asylum and Off The Coast. His artwork is represented in collections such as The Portland Art Museum, Oregon State University, Ashforth Pacific, Inc. and George Fox University.
Creation is Calling...
by James Mann
 
The Glory of Creation
shines
in the rising sun
and in the blooming rose.
 
The Voice of Creation
speaks
in the thunder’s roar
and in the sparrow’s song.
 
The Beauty of Creation
thrives
in a redwood forest
and in a field of daises.
 
The Presence of Creation
sings
in the winds of the desert
and in the howls of the wolf.
 
The Wonder of Creation
dwells
in snow covered mountains
and in deep ridge canyons.
 
The Joy of Creation
lives
in the birth of babies
and in the smiles of children.
 
The Silence of Creation
sleeps
in the glow of the moon
and in the gleam of the stars.
 
(And remember,
The Freedom of Creation
is always calling you
to share your creations
with the world.)
A Benediction for the Courageous
by Rev. Fr. Jerry Maynard
 
Creator, 

You have seen our efforts and You know our intentions. Our siblings long for affirmation amid the fragility of survival. Send down a fresh blessing of liberation, that every being who dares to engage the drama and trauma of life, may come to know Your radical grace and fortitude. 

  • Blessed are you, the big hearted ones, for you teach us the beautiful ways that love can be stretched and show us that it is ok to love in many ways, even if our love is too broad for church, family, friends, or society.
  • Blessed are you, the embarrassed, for your embarrassment shows genuine care. It hurts to be exposed but you teach us what a gift it is to “risk it all” for the sake of authenticity. 
  • Blessed are you, the wounded ones, for you teach us that we need to practice tenderness so every sibling can relax into a trusted embrace.
  • Blessed are you, the anxious ones, your “ready to go” energy and vigilant disposition, teach us the sacred vocation of concern, thus challenging us to always know that the work is not finished till each being is set free. 
  • Blessed are you, the confused ones, you teach us to be aware of those “oops and ouches” that happen when our dogmas, doctrines, protocols and procedures, distort the dream of God.
  • Blessed are you, the sweaty ones, you teach us the sacredness of toiling for truth and laboring for justice, thus inspiring us to not be ashamed of smelling like the sacred work we engage in. 
  • Blessed are you, the ones with pain filled smiles, you teach us that sometimes the good news can only be found in those moments when we press forward in hopeful defiance, knowing that in the end, the good news is worth the endurance.
  • Blessed are you, the intense ones, you teach us the depth of the human spirit to dive into the shadowy waters, where beauty and trauma are the tools for rejuvenation. 

Creator, we thank You for our siblings who are courageous enough to embody the height and breadth of humanness. May we learn from each other to never shy away from the essential work that crafts us into pillars of strength for the poor, and pillows of comfort for the restless. 

  • 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.

LIST OF CREATION SPIRITUALITY COMMUNITIES:

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