Spiritual Seedlings

3. An Opportunity to Make America Great: An Open Letter to President Trump

June 1st, 2017

elephant in the house

An Opportunity to Make America Great: An Open Letter to President Trump

Dear Mr. President,

As you consider your stance on the Paris Climate Accord, I want to suggest that now is the time for you to take decisive action to make America great. Now is the time to stand with the 147 nations who have ratified the Paris Climate Accord.

In recent years, our country has fallen prey to those who put personal gain over the future of humanity. If you listen to your daughter, as you say you do, you know that climate change is not a hoax, but a very present danger not only to island nations, but to our military and all Americans.

Yes, climate change is real. It is caused by humans. If you doubt this, it is because there has been a concentrated campaign to create doubt in your mind. Take 90 minutes of your time to watch the movie, Merchants of Doubt, or read the book, Merchants of Doubt by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, on which this documentary is based.

The same public relations firms which succeeded in confusing the public about the  health hazards of tobacco for over 30 years have managed a similar feat with the science on climate change. But this time, we don’t have 30 years. If we don’t take decisive action in the next four years, it will be too late. 97% of our scientists agree we have a serious problem that we are causing. There is a reason that the world came together in Paris last year for the climate talks. Not because climate change is a hoax, but because the people of the world agree we must act now to solve the problem. If we do not,  this problem promises to be catastrophic for the future of life on our planet.

But, Mr. President, there is an elephant  in the house in the United States of America. Some members of the Republican Party have been co-opted by millions of dollars that the fossil fuel industry has poured into this public relations campaign and into candidate coffers. They have swayed the US Congress into denying this reality. (If this is news to you, read Dark Money.) I doubt this is news to you. If ever there was an issue of Right to Life, this is it.

Ask your new Secretary of State, Mr. Rex Tillerson — former CEO of Exxon-Mobil — about his knowledge of climate change. You probably know he monitored the climate with a special email account under “Wayne Tracker.” Read about how Exxon-Mobil made a decision to ignore this truth 40 years ago in search of profits. If you and the other leaders of our country continue to pretend this is not a problem, the United States of America will become the laughingstock of the world community, and the only global player who refuses to do its part to save life on our planet.

No, Mr. President, this is not a hoax. Please take some time to read about this problem on these sites, if you truly don’t know the truth of the situation:

Climate Change Evidences and Causes

Skeptical Science: Getting Skeptical about Skeptical Science

Global Warming and Climate Change Myths

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports

And so, Mr. President, as the leader of the free world, you have a great opportunity to grow the economy and reverse global warming by leading us into new economic endeavors that will put America back to work, keep us strong, and help us keep the scientific and technological lead into the 21st century as you stand with the other countries of our planet. This not the time to pretend we don’t have a problem.

In the House of Representatives, please touch base with your fellow party members who signed the Republican Climate Resolution. Consult with the 36 members of the House (18 Republicans, 18 Democrats), now members of the bi-partisan Climate Solutions Caucus . Read “A Conservative Response to Climate Change” recently published in the Wall Street Journal, written by George Schultz and James Baker III.  Work with these conservative leaders to push through a revenue neutral carbon fee and dividend to celebrate your 100th day, bringing together the moderate members of your party with the Democrats and even pleasing Bernie Sanders supporters at the same time.

Did you know there are more jobs in the solar and wind business than in fossil fuels? Please ask for a briefing on the REMI report on this approach. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby is  ready to assist you. I will help you, along with 70,000 other members, who will work with you and the Congress to make this happen.

I guarantee, if you can pull this off, your popularity will soar in the polls. Now is the time to show America that you can truly make our country great.

You have the power to do this. I heard you tell the Pope you would remember what he said. Now act.

Sincerely,

Nancy Flinchbaugh

 

 

2. Greatness Blog – Making America Great for African Americans (for the first time)

March 22nd, 2017

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As the new presidency continues, today, I want to explore the possibilities of making America great for African-Americans. During his campaign, President Trump announced, “The African American people have been absolutely mistreated and abused by Democratic politicians, who have taken advantage of them.” He cited statistics. “40 percent of African-Americans live in poverty and there is 58 percent unemployment among black youths. By every metric, whether jobs, healthcare or education, Democratic policies have been a catastrophe for minorities.”[i]

He explained that his policies would elevate African-Americans because he would promote job creation, foster educational choice and revive the American spirit. He told African-Americans, “Vote for me. What do you have to lose? I can’t do worse. You can’t do any worse than what these people have been doing, and I will do better. In four years, 95% of you will vote for me.”

I’m delighted to know our new president knows life is not great for many African-Americans. But I found it puzzling that he blamed the Democrats and I wanted to do some research on this topic. And I wondered to which era he referred when he plans to make America great again for African-Americans.

So first, I asked myself, When was life great for African-Americans?

If we go way back to the Atlantic Passage, Africans were kidnapped, stacked into slave ships and sold to the highest bidder like chattel. Certainly, that was not a great time for African-Americans.

If we go back to the 350 years of slavery, African-Americans were traded and sold like livestock, and forced into hard labor. During that era, they were whipped and hung if they disobeyed, forbidden to learn how to read or meet together and their children and partners were often sold to the highest bidder. No, that was not a great time for African-Americans in America.

Perhaps the Emancipation Proclamation when slaves were freed brought a better day, when they were promised 40 acres and a mule? But few freed slaves received land. The next President supported southern whites as they returned the ex-slaves to a role of servitude. They enacted Jim Crow laws, forbidding them to work in many occupations, taking away land given, instituting separate, but equal policies, refusing them the right to vote and good education. The angry whites would lynch, hang or jail African-Americans who refused to obey the new laws. No, this was not a great time for African-Americans in America.

Perhaps those who escaped the south to the north had it better? During the great migration, over six million African-Americans left the south. Have you read The Warmth of Other Suns? This wonderful book written by Isabelle Wilkerson chronicles their journey. And if you read it, you will discover that when African-Americans moved north, the American dream often fell short.

But then came the Civil Rights movement. Although Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, new laws were enacted. Things did get better then, certainly. Housing, employment, public accommodations were now opened to African-Americans without discrimination. Their situation in life did improve.

But a few years ago, Ta-Nehsi Coates wrote an article published in the Atlantic magazine entitled the “Case for Reparations.”[ii] He explained that after 350 years of slavery, 90 years of Jim Crow, 60 years of separate, but equal and 35 years of state-sanctioned red-lining, the only way to really solve the problems for African-Americans would be reparations.

His article chronicles what happened to African-Americans as they moved out of the south. In northern cities, redlining first prohibited them from owning houses and obtaining housing loans. Later, they received predatory loans and foreclosures.  The same areas redlined in 1940s are now the segregated areas of our cities where education, jobs and opportunity are limited, and young people may be more likely to go to prison than college.

After the civil rights era, we had the War on Drugs. Have you read Michelle  Anderson’s book: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in an Age of Colorblindness? She builds a strong case explaining that the war on drugs intended to make life terrible for African-Americans, and many others. By revoking fourth amendment protections, they began to allow previously illegal searches and seizures, combined with racial profiling and minimum sentencing, putting a record number of African-Americans in prison. We now have the highest incarceration rate in the world,[iii] and African-Americans are 40% of the prison population, although they make up only 13% of our population[iv]. Education, or the lack thereof, plays a major role in the prison population. Those without high school diplomas are three times more likely to be locked up than educated folks.[v]

So, yes, President Trump is right. There is a problem with all the metrics for African-Americans. But blaming it on the Democrats or the Republicans doesn’t work. This problem goes way back and has been perpetuated by the American institutions.

Now the numbers he cited exaggerated the incidence of poverty for African-Americans. The poverty rate is actually 22%, not 40%.[vi] And the unemployment rate among African-American youth is actually 19%, not 58%.[vii] But certainly, these metrics are still a problem. Their poverty rate is twice as high as for whites, and their youth unemployment rate is four times as high as the very low 5% unemployment rate for the population as a whole when President Trump took power.[viii] And you will note that after civil rights, the situation did greatly improve for African-Americans, until the last recession. But after President Obama pulled us out of that, the metrics are still considerably better than in the early 1960s.[ix]

So now, I’d like to say, President Trump, you have a big job ahead, to make America great for African-Americans, not again, but for the first time.

To do this, I see you’ve appointed Steve Bannon, a white Supremacist, as your right-hand man, a member of the Klu Klux Klan. And then you appointed Jeff Sessions as attorney general, a man with a history of treating African-Americans unfairly. It’s not looking very good.

As you craft your strategy, I want to ask, “What are you planning to do to help the African-Americans (and others) re-entering society after incarceration? Can you help them get jobs so they don’t go back to prison? Haven’t they paid their debt to society in prison?”

Giving out vouchers for education and dismantling the public school system on which 90% of our children rely may create more unequal schooling.[x] While private schools for the rich do a great job, in Ohio, the charter for profit schools where the poor attend have a lousy track record.

And, Mr. President, we are not a colorblind society. If you consider dismantling the enforcement of civil rights laws, the condition for African-Americans will be getting much worse, not better.

To make America great again, you are working in your first 100 days to exclude Muslims, to build a wall against the Mexicans and to dismantle many of the government protections for all of the people. Yet, Mr. President, many of us believe that our diversity makes us great and our Constitution guarantees civil and religious freedom. Many of us believe it is the government’s duty to protect those freedoms, using regulations.  Regulation is how government shapes a nation, making this a great place for the people.

There is something fundamentally wrong with the way our society has treated African-Americans. A closing quote by James Baldwin in the Academy Award nominated 2016 film, “I am not your Negro” explains this well. “What white people have to do,” Baldwin said, “is try to find out in their hearts why it was necessary for them to have a nigger in the first place. Because I am not a nigger. I’m a man. If I’m not the nigger here, and if you invented him, you the white people invented him, then you have to find out why. And the future of the country depends on that.”[xi] I encourage you to watch the film and think about this, Mr. President, as you strive to make America great for the first time for African-Americans.

[i]While campaigning for president, Donald Trump called into the Fox News “Justice with Jeanine” program on August 20, 2016 making these comments. See the report here: http://insider.foxnews.com/2016/08/21/donald-trump-judge-jeanine-getting-black-hispanic-vote-2016. In stump speeches, he quoted the statistic of 58% unemployment. Watch this one: http://www.politico.com/story/2016/08/donald-trump-african-american-vote-227218

[ii]“The Case for Reparations” by Ta-Nehsi Coates, The Atlantic, June, 2014. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/06/the-case-for-reparations/361631/

[iii] “The U.S. incarcerates 693 people for every 100,000 residents, more than any other country. In fact, our rate of incarceration is more than five times higher than most of the countries in the world. Although our level of crime is comparable to that of other stable, internally secure, industrialized nations, the U.S. has an incarceration rate that far exceeds every other country.”  https://www.prisonpolicy.org/global/2016.html (The States of Incarceration by Peter Wagner and Allison Walsh, June, 2016)

[iv] Breaking Down Mass Incarceration in the 2010 Census: State-by-State Incarceration Rates by Race/Ethnicity. Briefing by Leah Sakala. May 28, 2014. Prison Policy Initiative. Figures calculated with US Census 2010 SF-1 table P42 and the PCT20 table series

2010. Inmates in adult facilities, by race and ethnicity. Jails, and state and federal prisons.[50]
Race, ethnicity % of US population % of U.S.
incarcerated population
National incarceration rate
(per 100,000 of all ages)
White (non-Hispanic) 64 39 450 per 100,000
Hispanic 16 19 831 per 100,000
Black 13 40 2,306 per 100,000

 

[v] Incarceration by race etc

[vi] Poverty graph          

parties history

[vii] Youth Unemployment

See: https://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t02.htm

[viii] annual unemployment by race

https://www.bls.gov/web/empsit/cpsee_e16.htm

[ix] This graph shows that the percentage of Black families in poverty has declined from 33% to 22% since 1967, before the civil rights laws were enacted.

[x] The National Center for Education Statistics report that the percentage of students in private schools has been declining, with now less than 10% of students attending private K-12 schools in the USA. See: https://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=65

[xi] 2016 Documentary, “I am not your Negro.” Word by James Baldwin. Directed by Raoul Peck.

 

 

 

 

1. Greatness Blog – January 20, 2017

February 5th, 2017

On the day after the inauguration of Donald John Trump, I wake early, light two candles and meditate. My practice hasn’t changed, although our country might.

I watched the inauguration yesterday and listened to the President’s speech. He vowed to listen to everyone, and so I assume that means he will listen to me. So today, I’m throwing my hat into the ring. Today, I’m beginning my blog, creating a space for speaking, for listening, for dialogue on this theme of his new presidency, making America great, again. I want to make my country great, too, and like Donald, I believe it takes all of us.

I approach my life as a Christian, so as I consider this new theme of “greatness” for our country and Donald’s presidency, I begin by looking to Jesus to see what he had to say on the topic. Here’s what I find in the 20th chapter of Matthew.

Jesus called them to him and said, ‘You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

Hmm… I think. Yes, I say. Those who wish to be great, to make our country great, again, must serve. And so Donald makes quite a sacrifice, giving up presiding over his financial empire of billions and now lowers himself to become a public servant, ready to serve his country to make it great again. Like Donald, I, too am a public servant. For the past 22 years, I’ve served in local government. Like Donald, I serve the people, all the people, as a mediator, as a fair housing coordinator – providing information and assistance to rich and poor alike, listening, assisting, and serving.

Robert Greenleaf explained this back in 1911 in his book, The Twelve Principles of Efficiency. He defined the leader as one who serves with these words:

              The servant-leader is servant first… It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions…The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

            The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant-first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?

So this morning, I’m considering that I have a new servant leader who is putting the people of the United States first. I am glad we both take a place as servant leaders, as public servants, and I look forward to considering more about the “greatness” we seek in moving our country forward.

Hail to the chief or should I say “Hail to our new slave”? What a huge job he has to consider the future of all the people whom he now serves. He has said he will listen to us all and I’m hoping that means he will serve us all, as well

I know he is convinced that government regulation chokes the life out of business opportunities, which in turn harms the people. But I know that businesses also choke the people at times. The businesses, but also the people, are his responsibilities now. We will depend on him to help us become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous and more able to serve as well.

If he deregulates the food industry, will they feed us unhealthy food that makes us fat and full of chemicals that causes more cancers and leads to a very unhealthy, weak America?

If he ignores the facts of climate change, will he prevent America from becoming great by leading the world in the development of alternative energy that is better for the environment and our health? Will we run out of money while trying to deal with the growing number of weather-related disasters, droughts and floods, hurricanes and tornadoes? Will he ignore the fact that there are actually more jobs in building an alternative energy infrastructure than in fossil fuels?

What will he think and do about social security and health care for all of his people?

Is he fully aware of the growing federal deficit and what spending without taxing will do to the future health of our economy?

What are his plans for the American workers when their bodies wear out?

Is he educating himself on the number of Americans who are disabled, aging, unable to work, and is he concerned about their pensions, social security and health care in retirement?

When I consider the greatness of my country, I applaud the Constitution and the United States federal government, which makes America great by enforcing laws which regulate, protect and serve the people. I think of the “safety net” that looks after people, the children, the senior citizens, the disabled ones. I think of our scientists who lead the world, who help us figure out how to combat disease, how to protect our food supply, how to keep our natural resources available for future life. And I believe the 99% of scientists who speak out about climate change. I think of our ingenuity and our businesses, yes, who find ways to move us into a sustainable future. I think of the arts, of public radio and television, and of truth. These are some of the things that make us great. I trust he will guard them well.

Best wishes, President Donald John Trump. You’ll be hearing more from me as we begin this journey of four years together.

From a fellow public servant, Nancy Flinchbaugh in Springfield, Ohio

 

This is my friend, Samina Ahmed, an American Muslim, a US citizen, my friend, who prays 5 times a day, works hard to educate about the teachings of Mohammed that do not allow for terrorists, and like me and Donald, she wants America to be great.

21. A Letter from the Earth on Valentine’s Day

February 14th, 2016

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On February 1, my older brother, Bruce, fainted in his kitchen, hit his head on the hard tile floor and never regained consciousness. My brother, a marathon runner who was only 63 and thoroughly enjoying retirement, suddenly left us. My family gathered in Dallas to say good-bye, trying to comprehend this great tragedy. And I’m still very sad, but the one thing that also was so good about that gathering was the love we shared and continue to share with each other. So, when I received this Valentine from the Earth, it resonated with me deeply. The earth continues to teach me so much. I pray I can lavish love as she asks.

A Letter from the Earth on Valentine’s Day

Dear Nancy

On Valentine’s Day, I want you to know I love you. That is the spark of all life, you know.

From the beginning, I’ve longed for someone to talk with, to be with, to create with. You fulfill all my imaginings when you love.

So keep on loving. Please cherish life. So fragile, so amazing, so spectacular, until you, too, spiral out of this world.

Each person, each animal, all of this created world, I ask you to lavish with love. Your scripture tells the greatest is love and it’s so true.

I celebrate the love you humans share and I’m there in the midst of it, cheering you on and beating your hearts and celebrating with you the miracles love unfolds.

Yes, Nancy, love is the greatest aspect of all my creation. Be love. Share love. Fulfill all my dreams for you.

I love you,
Gaia God

4. A Letter from the Earth While Praying with a Holy Icon

August 22nd, 2015

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Last weekend, I attended a Contemplative Retreat in Columbus, Ohio led by friends connected with the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. During a time of silent retreat in the afternoon, I prayed with a holy icon, a modern painting by Michael McGrath. Holy Icons are “written” by artists to be used as portals to God. Churches in Eastern Europe are filled with these types of paintings. They are less known in our country, but becoming more popular among contemplatives. Here’s what God spoke to me that day, another Letter from the Earth, our Creator.

Dear Nancy,

Today you realize there is much you don’t know or understand about me. As you’ve been gazing at a representation of me as the “Star of the Sea” by Michael O’Neill McGrath, OSFS, you’ve had quite an experience of me, even though it’s unclear and growing on you.

You see me as consciousness, as crown, as star of creation, birthing all of this planet which is body and also consciousness.

You see me with one eye closed and one eye open and you know the key to wakefulness is inner silence.

You see the heart centering, radiating light, the white light of love.

You see the mystery held in loving arms.

As you colored later, your saw your call, as crown, too of creation, to listen and to speak from your heart and to make peace, from the wellspring of my peace.

You hear a call to listen to the polarities.

Here I call you.

My creatures find conflict. Help them listen. Help them find hope. Be light. Let your heart shine.

Love,

Gaia, The Star of the Sea, Your Creator God

Star of the Sea

3. A Letter from the Earth at Lakeside

August 2nd, 2015

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Last week I visited Lakeside, a Chautauqua on Lake Erie, a wonderful place I’ve loved since I was a little girl. When I arrived and hurried down to the long iconic pier, a sign indicated that Algal Blooms were infesting the waters, so swimming and boating were not recommended. Heartbroken, I stayed away from the lake most of the week. The water reopened twice during the week, only to close again. Between the farmers’ run off and warmer water temperatures from climate change, this northern Ohio play land and drinking water source is quickly becoming a dangerous container of bacteria. The final morning, I spent my prayer time at the lake, photographing the sunrise with the flowers and received yet another letter from the Earth, i.e. Our Creator God.

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Dear Nancy,

I love you. I love the many delicate flowers you have photographed with my sunrise this morning. I love each person you interacted with this week. Do you understand that all of creation is an expression of my love and that you humans, my pinnacle, I call to love?

I know you are very sad about my problems. I am, too. And listen to the cacophony of earth voices clamoring to call the people to awaken, to act, to rescue, to save.

You have heard my call. Thank you. Thank that husband of yours for his relentless efforts on my behalf. I know he has inspired you to do more.

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The best you can do is to affirm the earth care actions in others. Notice. Praise. Take delight.

Be aware of the cacophony. Hear the multitudes. Don’t despair.

The lake will live again because of people like you and the Lakeside Environmental Stewardship Society (LESS).

Don’t forget to always love and dance. I say Dance!

Love,
Gaia, Your Creator

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1. A Letter from the Earth

June 26th, 2015

July 4, 2015

A couple weeks ago my husband and I visited our son, Luke, in Seattle. While enjoying the beauty of the great northwest, we participated in an activity where we wrote a letter to ourselves from the earth. Here’s what I wrote. Or should I say here’s what Mother Earth wrote through me. I would also say it’s a message from God.

Dear Nancy,

Thank you for noticing me. I love you. We are together — one — united. We breathe together. I love you so much.

Thank you for speaking up for me. Don’t lose heart. We’ve been working together a long time. Keep gathering companions. You are not alone. Be positive. Let my Spirit sing through you. Have fun! Dance! So many of my creatures dance. You can, too. There are many more mountains for you to climb and explore.

Speak! Don’t be silent. I think you should start a blog. You have many thoughts gushing out of you. Listen. It’s coming from beyond you and we live together. Remember you are an expression of me.

Spend more time with Mary Anna. Seek out earth teachers. You are a teacher. Teach my truth. Don’t hold it in any more. I will open doors and paths for you. Don’t be afraid to follow the path of your life into your journey.

Be kind to the people. They’re all part of us. Encourage them to get back in touch, but don’t push — just invite. I will wake you up. I will awaken the masses. Let us dance.

See us swaying. Have a new consciousness. Don’t consider yourself separate and isolated. Wake up to the beauty of a web containing us all and Dance! I say Dance!

I didn’t evolve you into being over 4.7 billion years to have you sit around like lumps on a log. This is a huge experiment and a wonderful dance. Take joy!

I’m sorry if it’s not ideal. There is pain and also joy. Take joy. Learn from the pain.

Be real. Keep speaking up. It’s not too late.

Love,

Gaia

 

 

My Earth Day Blog Post on The Femonite

April 28th, 2014

My friend, Hannah Heinzekehr, maintains the “Femonite” blog. She’s a feminist Mennonite and quite a wonderful writer, mother and administrator in the Mennonite Church. I attended a Mennonite Church for 10 years in San Antonio and still identify deeply with that tradition which includes church as primary, alternative community, follows Jesus by always choosing love, never violence and strives for simple lifestyle.

Hannah invited me to do a guest blog for Earth Day on spirituality and the earth. This will be the theme of my next book, Revelation at the Labyrinth, so I was delighted for the invitation. Click here to read what I wrote! My Earth Day Reflections.

And please join me in caring for this beautiful planet of ours.

With Love, from Nancy

 

The Seed

August 5th, 2013

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As I’m working on the sequel to Revelation in the Cave, I realize at the heart of the Living Vine Labyrinth is a seed. And that is the connection from which all life evolves: an organizing concept for Revelation at the Labyrinth. I am beginning to dance into the mystery with God.

 

You see here the center of the labyrinth.  The mystery continues to unfold!

 

The Seed

In the center

Of everything living:

A seed.

A seed

Once planted and nurtured with positive environment,

Blossoms into miraculous life.

In the center

Of the Living Vine Labyrinth:

A seed.

A seed

Connecting growing flowers

A common origin of sacred space.

The Mind-Body-Spirit

Connection of all

In the Center.

Here connect the colors of the chakras

Here connect the colors of the rainbow.

Here your umbilical cord to God.

The mysterious seed

That inner impulse to evolve

Leads us on our path.

Circling into God

Always connecting, always evolving

Dancing the mystery.

Loving God of Cosmic Dance

Loving God of Cosmic Mystery

Loving God: Calling us to dance into mystery together.

Update on Spiritual Seedlings

May 2nd, 2013

The MAMs 6 up

It’s been almost a year now since Revelation in the Cave was published.  Soon The MAMs Book Club Web will be online.  Each month, the MAMs will be reading a book and commenting on it here.  If you are looking for a book to read, you can check in here with the MAMs.  If your book club is looking for a book to read, you’ll have a downloadable discussion starter.

Just a little update on what I’ve been working on.  In March, I launched the MAMs Book Club Springfield.  A delightful group of women are meeting monthly at my house. We take turns picking the books.  Our first book was, of course, Revelation in the Cave.  In April, we read Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat. In May, we’re reading Dinner with a Perfect Stranger. Never a dull moment. You’ll be surprised at the MAMs Springfield selections, which will also be on the MAMs Book Club Web. If you live in Springfield and want to participate, check with me. We have one or two openings.

I am working on a sequel to Revelation in the Cave, called Revelation at the Labyrinth.  This time I’m trying an outline approach, sketching the book out in advance. Rather than going to exotic locales, the MAMs will be taking a journey into their local community; exploring new ways to address pressing issues of  life in 21st century in America. The Living Vine Labyrinth will unify their journey.

I continue to offer Spiritual Retreats. In April, I led a two day retreat for Trinity Lutheran Church in Vermilion, Ohio focusing on a variety of contemplative practices.  They want to start a Christian meditation group. As part of my preparation, I created a contemplative primer, with some of my poems about contemplative practice.  Eventually I want to publish something of this sort, but it’s still evolving.

Meanwhile, as I consider the EcoSpirituality theme in the sequel, my husband is launching a Global Warming Prayer and Action Group of which I’m a part.  We are beginning to read books together, beginning with Earth: The Owner’s Manual.  I will hope to post a little about what we’re doing.

I also had a wonderful Saturday last week with the Shalem Society in Ohio, celebrating two pilgrims who are Shalem graduates and started the Spirituality Network in Ohio.  They inspire me to continue to serve God with my life and follow the flow.

And, I continue to work full time, so now I’m off to work…  May God bless you in your journey.  Find God in the Center.  Love, Nancy