Please join us in art making, worship, prayer, lament, singing, dance, dreaming and protesting in the streets with "Call to Arts! Procession of the Species" a program recently launched by the UU Ministry for the Earth and their talented Program Director Aly Tharp. Aly and I are collaborating to create an Earth Worship service at our yearly denominational meeting of the Unitarian Universalists on June 20th in Spokane Washington. We will dance with the giant rod puppets of species of plants or animals in worship for the DANCE WITH THE ANIMALS FOR JUSTICE at the Earth Worship and we will march and procese with them in the Procession of the Species. This program will NOT end this June but is a creative community vision that we will continue to dream forward into a new future. We need and want all of you to join us so please read the details on the link below. You are welcome to join us regardless of whether you are a UU or whether you think you are an artist or if you attend the upcoming conference. https://www.uumfe.org/2019/05/17/call-to-arts-join-the-procession-of-the-species/ "If you can talk you can sing and if you can walk you can dance." (African proverb) so call me and lets talk about how you want to dream and dance with us and the animals! (858) 248-5123.
The Earth worship will have four parts:
1. Gratitude and Prayer
2. Lament and Sharing of the Agony
3. Silence and Transformation
4. Dancing with the Animals for Justice
Earth Worship enacts the heartbreaking true story of Tahlequah, the mother whale, using giant rod puppets. She traveled 1,000's of miles for 17 days carrying her dead baby on her back--her beloved baby who had been born and lived only 30 hours. Tahlequah is our teacher for she is not disassociated from her feelings or the raw energy they engender. God is calling us as humans to act like Tahlequah and get in touch with our own grief and agony about the fact that we are living in a time of the the extinction of life on earth - the only one caused by us humans. The United Nations recently declared we have only 12 more years to turn around our course or in the next 10 years one million species will DIE!
It is past time that religious leaders and religious communities provide the sacred worship space to lament, mourn, and follow Tahlequah symbolically in a 1000 mile journey from our head to our hearts and bodies in order to express our grief. She loved her baby who lived inside her body from 10-18 months then died shortly and tragically after she was born. She publicly mourned the death of what is most sacred to any mother, her new born baby and went on a journey to lament and shared the truth of her agony and trauma. Too often we have lost our religious traditions of public mourning and our worship too often is tepid at best or criminally boring. Many of us have become disassociated from our feelings as individuals and repress our feelings. We will not have the energy or vision to save our common home and turn this Titanic sized ship of ecological destruction headed us for catastrophe unless we EXPERIENCE AND EXPRESS OUR FEELINGS. We will find a way when there is no way when we stop isolating and gather in beloved community to lament, pray, dance, work and celebrate together.
Church for Our Common Home acknowledges that sometimes we also need individual relationships to explore and effectively express our grief and trauma. We offer individual counseling at our counseling center - Our Common Home Counseling Center. Individual relationship of love are needed for healing as well as communities of love for healing. If you begin to feel your feelings of agony about the the extinction of life on earth and feel you need to talk to someone privately please call us to set up an appointment in person, or by phone or Skype.
Catherine Keller shares the wisdom of Emmanuel Katongole an Ugandan Catholic priest and theologian who reminds us of the paradox found when public lament like Tahlequah the mother whale models reveals, "a way of hoping in the shattered ruins of life.” “Emmanuel Katongole finds over and over this phenomenon of lament in prayer, poetry and song: a “complex performance, a discipline, that involves many actions”: “Crying out, exercising memory, maintaining silence." In his own political theology, he has demonstrated that lament, in the contemporary culture of Africa as in the First Testament psalms of lamentation, “is a way of hoping in the shattered ruins of life” The sharing of agony does not cover over but exposes a traumatic history so its participants may live again. Effects of anger and compassion affect a solidarity that sustains. And the systemic justice required does not then confuse itself with retaliation.” Catherine Keller, Political Theology of the Earth
National Geographic published a story August of 2108 about Tahlequah. “The death of another calf is a significant blow to J Pod, which hasn’t seen a successful birth in three years. Combined, the three pods have 75 members, and time is running out to maintain its viability. Ken Balcomb, founder and principal investigator at the Center for Whale Research, gives it five years. “We’ve got at most five more years of reproductive life in this population to make it happen”—meaning, to have viable offspring—"but if we don’t do it in those five years it isn’t going to happen,” he writes.
A few years ago a dream was offered at a dream group, at Church for Our Common Home about the extinction of whales.
Dream, "Whale and Elephants, Mother Mary and Ganesha."
“And the elephants came to the oceans edge and spoke to the whales and said, ‘It is not OK that you are accepting your own extinction. We the elephants are here to tell you to not give up. Mother Mary is there and she is stroking the trunk of Ganesha - the Indian Hindu elephant God. ” Art work made of the dream is below.
Nothing I have ever done, creates intimacy faster and deeper than sharing dreams. The Bible and all the ancient religious traditions took the wisdom from dream seriously. It is an ancient spiritual practice whose time has come back and dream incubation is a part of our Earth Worship and arts program. Church for Our Common Home offers free dream group sharings every 1st and 3rd Sunday either in person or on Skype, 3-5 pm (PST)
Recently I had a dream I titled,
“Giraffes Visionary Creatures Calling For My Help"
“I am at the edge of the ocean on the cliffs looking down into a sea cave and I see a baby giraffe on the rocks and she is hurt and not safe and I must go rescue her. I see no way to get to her except going down the hole. There is a strong man there I know but his back is injured and he cannot help me. Then I realize I should call the San Diego Zoo, but know it will be better and faster for me to just call the fire department. I check on my baby giraffe again and she in more danger then before and the tide is coming up and it will soon be covering her with water. She is terrified and I must rescue her, NOW! ”
I offer you a dream incubation to say and/or write before you go to sleep. As move into Pentecost this weekend may we ask the Holy Spirit to bring us day and night visions.
Dear Spirit, you who are called by many names, you who are the Bringer of Dreams,
I give thanks for this day and this night, and for the gift of day and night dreams and visions. Please help me to remember my dreams and record them so I can share them for the healing and wholeness of all creatures and Gaia, a living being. Please guide me and my dream body to a sacred place where I will open and awaken to your wisdom and love. I ask for guidance for all of us Earthlings, as we learn new ways to honor and care for our common home, Mother Earth. May I be purified and healed and may I be awakened to the sacred in all nature that is alive. Amen
The National Geographic story ends with the recovery of Tahlequah. "The sharing of agony does not cover over but exposes a traumatic history so its participants may live again."
“Tahlequah carried her calf for at least 17 days and 1,000 miles, and researchers had worried she'd endangered herself by expending so much effort. But now she appears in good health.” (my italics and emphasis)
Love and blessings,
We are witnessing the 6th extinction of life on earth the only one created by us humans. We come to pray for help for we are often lost, self-centered and cause suffering from our ignorance and arrogance.
We come to pray to say thank you for creation and our part in it.
We come to lament and share our agony and witness the agony of creatures like Thalequah the whale mother whose baby died and whose species of whales are going extinct.
We come to pray and ask for your help in her name.
We come to pray in silence and to feel your holy presence.
We come to pray and confess and to make amends.
We come to pray knowing you will transform and change us if we ask for courage to find a way, when there is no way.
We come to pray for healing and to be empowered in your love.
We come to pray gracious God in celebration as we Dance with the Animals for justice.
We come to pray to dedicate our church and our lives to care for our common home Mother Earth.
We come to pray for her, Gaia for she is a living being and all her creatures need our help. Amen
INVITATIONS Church for Our Common Home worships every second Sunday at the beach and this next Sunday we are gathering at a new beach and will meet at the La Jolla Shores Beach where we will also enjoy a bonfire. We are experimenting with a new beach because we could not get our internet connection and live stream to work at Torrey Pines State Park Beach. Look for our earth flag and/or call or text (858) 248-5123 to find us at the beach. We look forward to continuing to explore taking our worship services into the community to prisons and homeless shelters etc. and we ask for your ideas and invitations and we will try to join you.
Please join us for live stream every Sunday at 5 pm on our church website if you cannot join us in person and contact us with feedback as we get this up and running. Special thanks to our Media Director Anna Smith as well as John Michno. Special thanks also to the new secretary of the church board, Martha Garcia, as well as James Long. Our church is now available through the internet to others in far away places but all who share our common home.
Join us on Skype in order to be interactive and participate in our discussions as others are currently doing during worship.
GARAGE SALE We are having a garage sale as a church fundraiser on Father' Day weekend on Saturday, June 15th, so please bring us anything to sell.
NO WORSHIP FATHER'S DAY JUNE 16th.