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On Sacred Communities

For the last 18 months I have interviewed or have corresponded with people who are either leading a small group or are part of a small group that meets on a regular basis for community and spiritual direction. I plan to continue to do this with more groups and in more depth. My hope is that we can gain more information from a variety of groups to see what is working and what is not. Most of the information I gained from these interviews so far comes from groups who have been meeting on a regular basis for more than a year. In a couple of cases they have been meeting for over a decade. I am certain I will be revising my thoughts on some of this but I wanted to share what I have learned so far.

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Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace; it gives us birth,
To each and everyone;
This precious gift of life to live;
This race for us to run.

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Topics: Aging, Arts and Music, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Life Celebration (funeral). Resource Types: Hymns.

The Doorway

As our lives tread onward, we find ourselves on the Earth side of a “door”
Mortality certain to face us, we wonder what’s beyond –what is the “more?”

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Topics: Aging, Spiritual Exploration & Practice, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: All Seasons and Life Celebration (funeral). Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

Memorial Prayer

A recent memorial service for a much-loved artist in our church ended with a poem and a prayer. The poem was “When Death Comes” by Mary Oliver,

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Topics: Aging, Prayer, and Worship & Liturgy. Seasons & Special Events: Life Celebration (funeral). Resource Types: Prayers.

Within Our Life We Have Two Homes

Within our life we have two homes,
Known in our minds, and in our bones.
To one who often will return.
For one our spirits ever yearn.
For one our spirits ever yearn.

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Topics: Aging, Arts and Music, and Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Audio MP3 and Hymns.

The Time Piece

An hourglass stands firmly on the mantle of a fireplace
“Sands of time” are resting quietly at the glass bottom

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Topics: Aging, Fiction and Poetry, and Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Poetry and Readings.

One Breath

One breath; one breath at time,
a breath-on-breath is all we get:
and you cannot take it with you

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Topics: Aging, New Thought/New Age, and Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Readings.

Joseph Campbell on the Meaning of Life

“Life has no meaning. Each of us has meaning and we bring it to life. It is a waste to be asking the question when you are the answer.” ~ Joseph Campbell

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Monthly eBulletin- New Starts

Toward the end of 2013 many of us had a strong sense of shedding, releasing, and letting go. There was sickness, death, closing of chapters, ends, silence, and darkness… Now, as we begin this new year, we find our selves in a time of New Birth and New Ways. Join us on this journey into Newness and Co-Creation.

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Beginning Well

Beginnings are a time to shake up your own assumptions, and others, and recommit to living with absolute authenticity. Materialism doesn’t bring as much satisfaction as you hope, familiarity doesn’t bring as much comfort as you expect, and security doesn’t bring as much peace of mind as you imagine. So set out, in tune with higher values like integrity and trust.

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You Who Delight Me – Poems of love & Words of spirit and faith

“you who delight me” is in two parts:
poems of love—secular and spirited writing about people, places and events; and
words of spirit and faith—inclusive language, contemporary liturgies for individual contemplation and progressive faith communities.

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Finding serenity and wisdom- Part 2

Serenity! Oh, how we pine for serenity! We crave it! We, somehow, allow ourselves the self-delusion that serenity comes – or not – of its own accord, and lucky the person who receives this rare gift. We look at people who have this precious condition as if it was purely the luck of the draw, that the possessing person had virtually nothing to do with it other than simply to receive it, presumably with welcoming open arms. We are so envious of them. “Oh, how lucky they are!” we acclaim. “Oh,” we sigh, “Oh to be in such a situation that such a wonderful condition might come to us!”

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Finding serenity and wisdom- Part 1

Serenity! Oh, how we pine for serenity! We crave it! We, somehow, allow ourselves the self-delusion that serenity comes – or not – of its own accord, and lucky the person who receives this rare gift. We look at people who have this precious condition as if it was purely the luck of the draw, that the possessing person had virtually nothing to do with it other than simply to receive it, presumably with welcoming open arms. We are so envious of them. “Oh, how lucky they are!” we acclaim. “Oh,” we sigh, “Oh to be in such a situation that such a wonderful condition might come to us!”

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You Are Never to Old to Make a Difference- Meet Edythe Kirchmaier who is 105 years old

At 105 years of age, Edythe Kirchmaier is Facebook’s oldest registered user, but she isn’t on the social networking site just to post family photos or share news; she wants to make a difference. Through her more than 41,000 friends and a lifelong desire to help others, Edythe hopes to leave the world in better shape than she found it. Get to know this extraordinary woman.

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Food, Inc.- DVD

This hard-hitting documentary charts the sad and sometimes scary state of affairs in America’s food industry. Director Robert Kenner presents interviews with farmers, ranchers, and chicken farmers who are increasingly being squeezed out by large and powerful corporations (like Monsanto who over the past decade has increased its share of the soybean market from 2% to 90 %). In addition to exerting control over the nation’s food supply, Big Agriculture has the clout to influence the regulatory agencies which are supposed to protect the consumer. On the one hand the public has more choices in the marketplace (bigger-breasted chickens and insect-resistant soybean seeds); on the other, they are getting sick from the food they eat as new strains of e coli cause illness in an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. In 1972, The FDA conducted 50,000 food inspections and in 2006, the number was down to a dismal 9,200.

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The Final Deadline: What Death Has Taught Me about Life

“Too often we postpone life, as if there were no deadline.” As a writer, Chris Glaser experiences deadlines as friendly reminders that something has to be accomplished by a given time. Glaser views death as The Final Deadline, one that insists we “get it” or “get it done”—whatever “it” is—during our lifetimes.

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Two Movements in the Multi-age Life of Faith

A service for all ages

In the young, elders hope for justice.
In elders, the young see the wisdom of faith.

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Topics: Aging and Worship & Liturgy. 8 Points: Point 3: Inclusive Community. Seasons & Special Events: Father's Day and Mother's Day. Ages: All Ages. Resource Types: Full Service Liturgies.

Wrestling with Angels: On Taking Risks at 65

Do you imagine yourself at some point in the future radically changed in nature? For instance, you have always been a risk-taker, someone who lives life large but always assumed that by the time you hit 65, you’d be careful and serene? There’s nothing wrong with changing our minds about who we are or want to be: to develop aspects of ourselves that have been neglected in the past. At least in theory. But in reality, on the eve of turning 65 next week, in the midst of a big life transition, I am rethinking some key assumptions I’ve held about who I would be at 65.

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