Awakenings was the theme for August’s gathering. We had many requests for the inspiring poem Jerry Bonanno shared. Author, Leza Lowitz is also an expat, but she lives in Japan,writes & teaches yoga…You can find the full poem and learn more about her here
John Stadelmann’s greeting and Janice Patten’s reading of a Wordsworth poem were just the beginning of a fantastic Not Church Sunday on the theme of interdependence.
The one sensation that is here; ’tis here,
Here as it found its way into my heart
In childhood, here as it abides by day,
By night, here only; or in chosen minds
That take it with them hence, where’er they go.
–‘Tis, but I cannot name it, ’tis the sense
Of majesty, and beauty, and repose,
A blended holiness of earth and sky,
Something that makes this individual spot,
This small abiding-place of many men,
A termination, and a last retreat,
A centre, come from wheresoe’er you will,
A whole without dependence or defect,
Made for itself, and happy in itself,
Perfect contentment, Unity entire.
from “Home at Grasmere” – William Wordsworth.
Thanks to Ross Pitts for two Joni Mitchell selections, “Big Yellow Taxi” & an awesome rendition of “Woodstock,” Doug Rye, Bernie Zimney, Kathy Higgins, Ron de Jong, Janice Patten, John Stadelmann, Glenn Huntington and of course Erin Dunigan for weaving it all together. Special thanks, as always to David Gee for providing the beautiful, inspiring space and Marty Harriman for the photos that so wonderfully document our experience.
Read Erin’s Sermon here
We have been celebrating spring in La Misión, in our own inimitable fashion of course!
Our first La Misión Passover Seder was a big hit and our 5th Annual Easter Celebration and 1st community baptism were inspiring. Below are Erin’s comments on both events along with a gallery of photos.
Easter – March 31, 2013
Christ is risen – but what does that look like?
I wasn’t exactly sure what she was referring to – I could see that her eyes had been teary during our eucharistic service. But when Steve, my co-conspirator (those who breathe together, as in the Holy Spirit breathing and living through us all) answered by talking about the pollen really getting to his allergies, I figured maybe I had misunderstood. “Look at all that yellow, in blossom, over on the hillside,” I chimed in.
“No,” she said, fairly firmly. “Spiritual blossoming.”
Oh. Of course. Of course she, the former Christian who has followed in a Buddhist path because of her frustration with the institutional church, of course she was talking about spiritual blossoming while the two of us ministers were busy talking about the pollen and the wildflowers. Of course.
It’s amazing, really, this blossoming, this new life that is in bloom, that is beginning to take over, like mustard in a field.
We had our first baptism yesterday, at Not Church – well, Easter Not Church, which, as Tom pointed out, is sort of Not Not Church, which actually makes it quite positive. The Easter baptism, during the service, was my idea – well, perhaps not mine entirely, as the idea of course was planted in me at some point along the way when I learned that baptisms at Easter were actually a part of the tradition for centuries. But when Carol came to me to ask if Angelina could be baptized at Not Church my immediate response was, “Yes! We will do it during our Easter service!”
But as quick as I was on the response, and as convinced as I was about it, I also wondered – will this be too religious for people? Will this push them over the edge of some institutional religious cliff from which there will be no return? I did not want to be the cause of this, after so much good journeying together has been happening through this thing, this way, that we call Not Church. So I asked a few of the others, those who have been part of this movement from the beginning, what they thought about the idea. “What a beautiful way to celebrate the day together,” was one response. “I’m nervous about having such a religious rite within the context of Not Church,” was another. “How cool!” was a third. So, we proceeded forward. I trusted that we would be able to do it well – to honor the historical Christian tradition […]
THAT DESPITE ALL OF OUR DIFFERENCES
BENEATH ALL OF OUR DIVERSITY
THERE IS A FORCE THAT BINDS US
IN SPITE OF TIME
AND THE SPACE BETWEEN THE STARS
May love be with us in all that we do
Amen, Shalom, AHO
Prayer is another one of those words, one of those ideas that sort of put me off traditional religious ways, like God being vengeful and our needing to ask Jesus to save us. The idea that we have to beg and beseech some guy to give us what we want stops me in my tracks.
So what I do, rather than praying for someone, is send them love. And rather than asking for stuff or for any specific experience, even in the case of asking for something universally embraced, like asking for good health, I just ask for love. Sometimes I enjoy imagining what it would be like to have this or that happen, but I hold my dreams lightly and look for balance between what I think I would like and what comes to me. I love the expression “come into cooperation with life.” I trust that what occurs is for the highest good of all of us, no matter what. I am grateful for and look for the blessings in everything, even, um, tooth aches.
Just as I have translated the word God as the ultimate power that is the light of life inside me and inside all of us combined, I have translated the word prayer, so I can use it comfortably, and so I can relax, enjoy and be open and receive what there is for me in the more traditional services.
I’m going to lead us in prayer, and first let’s say where we would like us as a group, joining the power each of us has inside us, to send and receive love. Is there someone you’d like to send love to, or is there some way that you’d like to receive love this morning? I’ll start by asking that we send love to all in our community who are not with us here today.
Having a prayerful attitude can be comforting. Bowing our heads to a power that is greater than we are individually can bring peace and fulfillment. Closing our eyes helps us focus our attention.
Beloved God, we come together today to celebrate and more fully experience the light of life that is in each of us and that creates and uplifts all of us. Please hear our hearts, because we are more grateful than we can express in words for this wonderful life, for our community that enriches us and brings such joy, for the proximity to nature that inspires and humbles us.We know that you are love; the combined love of all of us, and we send that love everywhere there is a place that will particularly benefit from it this morning. We send it to all that has been spoken of and to all that we are unaware of. To every aspect of our lovely lives: to our neighbors and friends, to our families, to all sentient beings, especially all the wonderful animals, and to the greater family of the world, to the whole earth and all that is beyond it. We send […]