The Divine Human

With our unprecedented longevity, aging has become a new developmental stage in the human life cycle. Conscious sacred aging now offers humanity profound opportunities for psychological, spiritual and mystical transformation, expanding not only our lifespan but our awareness of God as well. What if we discover in this awakening that we are already divine? What if this realization transforms our very nature and purpose in the world? The Divine Human answers these questions and more, revealing the ultimate meaning of the New Aging.

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How my thinking has changed.

This idea of God has a long history, which the remarkable scholar and ex-nun, Karen Armstrong has written up as “The History of God”. God is an idea that has played an extremely important centering role in our evolving culture. God became the ultimate point of reference. It was the idea of God as creator of the universe that led to the rise of modern science, as mediaeval theologians tried to discover what they called ‘the ways of God’ by conducting experiments. It was they who laid the foundations of today’s empirical science.
But also associated with this idea of God were the values of love, compassion, honesty and truth. These make such moral demands of us that they transcend us. And though the idea of God had its beginning in our mythological past it remains, therefore, a useful symbol for our highest values. Even the New Testament asserts. “God is love”.

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Book Review – “The Three Secrets” of Aging by John C. Robinson

Review by Carol Orsborn, Editor in Chief, Fierce with Age

This month’s Digest is a special edition, dedicated for the first time solely to the work of one thought leader. I encountered Dr. John C. Robinson’s work on aging 5 years ago. Until then, I thought of spirituality as a solution to the challenges of aging. Over time, I grew to view aging as a spiritual path. But it was John Robinson’s books that opened the portal to my understanding of aging as a mystical experience, in and of itself.

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A Taste of Embrace Festival, 2017

In May 2017, people from all over the world will gather in Portland, Oregon to share knowledge and wisdom, learn from each other, celebrate, be inspired, and find the tools needed to create and enliven local movements within our communities. Together we will explore sacred oneness, Christ consciousness, eco-spirituality, social justice and the way of universal and personal transformation that honors the Divine in all.

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Reflections: Theological Memoirs #8

Reflection Number 8: Who am I?

Not to be overly dramatic, but we are simply a speck of stardust floating on the infinite sea of the universe, hitching a temporary ride on the train of evolution. The underpinnings of our existence are bizarre antics of elementary particles, and we are surrounded by the unexplained suffering that ensues when the whole system seemingly goes awry. We create our own world, divorcing ourselves from reality, even as we occasionally bump into something that seemingly transcends the everydayness of our existence.(See earlier reflections). Who are we, anyway? Why am I here? What is the meaning of my life?

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Winter Solstice – December 21st

Getting in touch with the deeper meanings of the Winter Solstice through readings, practices, poems, and prayers.

As the Winter Solstice approaches in the north, we notice the changes: the days of light are shorter, the darkness is longer, the weather is cold, the trees are bare, and snow is often on the ground. John Matthews, who has lectured widely on Celtic and Arthurian traditions, has written this lyrical passage about Winter Solstice:

“The Solstice is a time of quietude, of firelight, and dreaming, when seeds germinate in the cold earth, and the cold notes of church bells mingle with the chimes of icicles. Rivers are stilled and the land lies waiting beneath a coverlet of snow. We watch the cold sunlight and the bright stars, maybe go for walks in the quiet land. . . . All around us the season seems to reach a standstill — a point of repose.”

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Reflections: Theological Memoirs #7

Reflection Number 7: How Other Persons Affect Us

hese are all real people, feral children who, for various reasons, were separated from human beings early in life, and were adopted by families of the animals after whom they are named. None could speak human language. The bird boy chirped and flapped his arm-wings to communicate. The dog girl growled and walked on hands and knees. The gazelle boy could run 50 mph. After they were discovered, they found it impossible to assimilate into the company of homo sapiens, tried to and did escape, the unlucky ones restrained in insane asylums. Genetically, they might be the species homo, but they are not socialized humans. Yes, we need other people. At the most basic level, we need them to learn how to walk, eat, communicate, and just generally be in the company of others. I’m sure that any parent who has raised infants into children can identify with that process.

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Responding to the Trauma of the Presidential Election in Four Dimensions

The 2016 presidential election triggered an unexpected and nearly unbearable trauma for over half of the American people. For many, it felt like the death of a loved one, or the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, and Robert Kennedy, or the nightmare of 9/11. It felt like a wrecking ball shattering our nation’s fragile architecture of decent human values, urgent climate plans, and steadily expanding civil rights. Like many, I shared my distress wherever I went – in my men’s group, spirituality group, conscious aging circle, and conversations with loved ones, and knew that this threat to our way of life was magnitudes worse for vulnerable peoples – immigrants, religious and racial minorities, and the poor. We discussed protests, marches, political action and civil disobedience. I imagine that many of you had similar conversations in your communities as disbelief, shock, grief, tears, fear, insomnia, and horror fragmented psyches all across our land.

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Worship Materials: Fall/Autumn/Harvest

From the Seasoned Celebration collection

Like the falling of the leaves security in life lies in the process not in the fixed points.
Without harvest there can be no seed time.
Without death there can be no new life, no new beginning.

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I wish I had known these principles in aging ministry

Now that I am venturing onto the terrain called “aging,” I would like a do-over in how I responded to people over 65 when I was their pastor.

I don’t think I began to comprehend the complexity of aging. I viewed it as a single-track pastoral problem to be solved by regular home visits and the occasional group event, like a bus tour. I tended to treat the elderly as needy, more like patients in a hospital than self-differentiating adults. Some were hospital patients, of course. But I missed seeing the rest of their journeys.

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Ethical Wills / Legacy Letters

Your Legacy of Values

An ethical will, or legacy letter, is a way to share your values, blessings, life’s lessons, hopes and dreams for the future, love, and forgiveness with your family, friends, and community.

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Dealing with an unintended consequence of our graying

In general, mainline congregations have missed two successive generations of young adults. Funerals far outnumber baptisms and weddings. Our average age is pushing 65. Sunday schools and youth groups are sparse. Young families in our community don’t aim their SUVs toward us. Many church activities serving young families happen away from Sunday morning, anyway, which our Sunday-oriented elderly don’t understand or value. Meanwhile, the elderly are dealing with isolation, an epidemic of loneliness, and a range of health issues that only other elderly appreciate.

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The Meaninglessness of Life

In the Gospels, Jesus is continually calling on us to discern between what is eternal and what is not. Jesus calls us to let go and be not afraid. He tells us that there is reason to hope in this, even if–or maybe especially if–we hang onto hope by the skin of our calloused fingertips with our last bit of strength. He tell us that what is lasting is not of this world–it is of the Kingdom. All worldly pursuits, all riches, even the emotional “riches” of pride–maybe especially so–come from dust and return to dust. At best they are meaningless, at worst they are distractions that keep us from finding true meaning.

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Drink from the Well

From a rich lode of speeches, articles in eBulletins, and numerous publications, Fred Plumer has mined those that define the Progressive Christianity movement as it evolves to meet new challenges in a rapidly changing world. Written over a period of approximately six years, the material has been reviewed and edited but not in a manner that would change its original themes and purpose. This anthology is vintage Plumer, concise and direct to the point. It is organized into chapters that focus on a particular subject, so it might shed more light on that subject or theme.

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Sarah Kay: If I should have a daughter …

“If I should have a daughter, instead of Mom, she’s gonna call me Point B … ” began spoken word poet Sarah Kay, in a talk that inspired two standing ovations at TED2011. She tells the story of her metamorphosis — from a wide-eyed teenager soaking in verse at New York’s Bowery Poetry Club to a teacher connecting kids with the power of self-expression through Project V.O.I.C.E. — and gives two breathtaking performances of “B” and “Hiroshima.”

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Pondering The Genetic “Why?”

We’re all a product of nature — the unfolding of creation
Kept humble as we grapple to seek a divine explanation

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Luka Lesson – Killing Time (ft Candice Monique) – Music Video

Can’t you see?
Time isn’t of the essence
You can’t measure love or lessons with hours, minutes, days or seconds – No
Life cannot be told by time
What’s infinite will never die
and life goes on while we’re not keeping time
So it’s time for time to die

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Worship Materials: Death and Grieving

From the Celebrating Mystery collection

1. Every tear is a womb which can birth new life.
2. Grief is the narrow passage through which we pass from death to life.

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