Zoom seems to be the new way of getting about these days, and this last week, we were involved in two zoom conferences across Canada, offering presentations at both of them. The virtual conference focused on the Eco-Commoning Project brought us the staggering vision of imagining communities of faith as radical Changemakers and Innovators, leaders in shifting the social, political, economic and spiritual mindset from an individualistic-capitalist system of thought to a relational or eco-commons way-of-life. I seem to recall that the commons was Jesus’ home rink – remember where he gathered people? In the meadows, down by the beach, on the front steps of people’s homes. And his call to arms was to rise and resist anything and anybody that was not part of the communion way of life, the way of relational, eco-commons, the way of sharing.
Deep sharing is about acknowledging the burden each person bears and offering grace and generosity of thought for their journey. And if you imagine all of us doing this collectively, you will know that it is absolutely possible to bring about the ambitious dreams of our conferences this week. For when the collective flow of our hearts is given over to the great spirit that holds us all in tenderest embrace,
the impossible becomes the ordinary.
Our podcast this week focuses on sharing, though not what one would think of as the ordinary kind. Rather it explores the larger landscape of sharing as we connect with others at a deep level, where a shift of worldview is required.
Spiritual Practice of the week: Sharing
Our spiritual practice this week is Sharing, but not so much in the ordinary sense, say of, sharing a meal with someone, although that may be its natural result. It is more about seeing our commonality and connectedness. To help with this perhaps challenging idea, here is a wonderful article from Broadview by Rev. Therese DesCamp, a writer and spiritual director in New Denver, B.C. She writes about her time spent with Richard Rohr in an intensive program at a his Centre for Contemplation and Action.
"Heart” is not understood here as sentiment or feeling, but as a place of perception that is capable of holding paradox. Unlike normal binary perception, which perceives through difference, heart-centred consciousness perceives through wholeness. It hears harmony instead of separate notes. It sees the undivided goodness of all that is, experiences God as the root and spark of everything. Heart-centred consciousness, also called non-dual consciousness, is a shift in experience, not an intellectual concept."
CLICK HERE TO READ THE FULL ARTICLE.
Did you Enjoy our Seven Sacred Pauses Conversations?
Join us for our new book study/reflections beginning this Friday Evening - May 8th
Friday at 7 pm
Practicing Compassion, Frank Rogers Jr., Living Compassion. Andrew Dreitcer
The book is called 'Practicing Compassion' but I will also be working with a similar book, 'Living Compassion'. They are similar, one is more ecumenical, the other is particularly Christian. They are practical books. They tell us HOW to be compassionate - and it is not always an easy business.
Meeting ID: 826 7178 8158
If you want me to send you a zoom invitation to more easily access the meeting, send me an email.
See below, a bit of the text. The author is saying that compassion is not about covering up poor feelings towards another person - or ourselves - but understanding them, and allowing that understanding to transform us. Jesus was in the business of transformation.
And the practice of compassion has that power.
Please join us on Friday as we come to understand, and practice, this simple, straight forward path that is a profound part of the Christian tradition, but it not in any way limited to those within it.
Compassion is the heartbeat of humanity. We are most fully ourselves, when we see someone in the truth of his or her experience and are moved to respond with kindness and care. . . Pausing from the busyness of our lives and recognizing the tender humanity of another restores us to our own humanity. The pulse of care and connection within us resuscitates. Our hearts, normally dulled by the day's burdens, beat freely with love. And the ensuing kindness we extend to others has the power to resuscitate their spirits as well. For compassion not only restores the heart of our own humanity; its healing care makes human once more the heart of another grown hard and cold.
"Since 2017, The Universe in Verse has been celebrating science and the natural world — the splendor, the wonder, the mystery of it — through poetry, that lovely backdoor to consciousness, bypassing our habitual barricades of thought and feeling to reveal reality afresh. And now here we are — “survivors of immeasurable events,” in the words of the astronomer and poet Rebecca Elson, “small, wet miracles without instruction, only the imperative of change” — suddenly scattered six feet apart across a changed world, blinking with disorientation, disbelief, and no small measure of heartache. READ MORE HERE. . .
"The eco-commons offers a new way to tell an old story of people cooperating in their living, working relations and in their respectful interconnection with their habitat. This way of life was called the commons. It was local, self-governing, and relatively equitable. To this, we’ve added the eco to accentuate our 21st century need to rebalance our intrinsic relationship with the earth...READ MORE ABOUT THIS WONDERFUL VISION. . .
Community Innovation Hub co sponsored the Eco-Commoning Project along with EDGE, an innovative branch of the United Church helping churches exploring ways to reclaim our neighbourly connections and imagining new ways to serve that very neighbourhood. It offered a staggering vision of communities of faith as radical Changemakers and Innovators, leaders in shifting the social, political, economic and spiritual mindset from an individualistic-capitalist system of thought to a relational or eco-commons way-of-life.
Wow. Now that is a bold vision.
But as Goethe famously said, Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it; Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. It was certainly a conference for dreamers - right across Canada.
Here you can view the conference and all the materials associated with it.
Evergreen is an initiative in Toronto that is examining, implementing and encouraging people to re consider how we live in community and how we might do that better in the future. We took part in one of their webinars this last week. They are working with the idea of shared civic space.
"Spaces that are welcoming and inclusive, vibrant and connected. These are the Civic Commons.
The Civic Commons are a network of public places, such as libraries, parks, and community hubs, that enable communities to learn, celebrate, express collective actions, collaborate and flourish, together.
This network is essential in equitable cities. Across Canada, communities are seeing underutilization and underinvestment in some of our Civic Commons, and growing privatization of publicly-accessible places.
The Civic Commons are assets shared by all members of a community, and deserve the time and attention needed to make sure these vibrant public spaces stay woven into the fabric of our cities." READ MORE HERE ABOUT the civic commons catalyst.
Call to Worship
ANTIDOTES TO FEAR OF DEATH
by Rebecca Elson
Sometimes as an antidote
To fear of death,
I eat the stars.
Those nights, lying on my back,
I suck them from the quenching dark
Til they are all, all inside me,
Pepper hot and sharp.
Sometimes, instead, I stir myself
Into a universe still young,
Still warm as blood:
No outer space, just space,
The light of all the not yet stars
Drifting like a bright mist,
And all of us, and everything
But unconstrained by form.
And sometime it’s enough
To lie down here on earth
Beside our long ancestral bones:
To walk across the cobble fields
Of our discarded skulls,
Each like a treasure, like a chrysalis,
Thinking: whatever left these husks
Flew off on bright wings.