Thursday, April 30, 2009

Father Keating & Ken Wilber to Appear

Via the magic of digital video, two spiritual giants will dialogue with The Gathering this Sunday, May 3rd. Trappist monk Father Keating and philosopher giant Ken Wilder will conduct round #2 on The Future of Christianity. Neil will lead the discussion and he offers the following comments:

Ken Wilber's Integral Theory is (among a number of things) a model for the development of spiritual intelligence. The model posits a step-by-step set of stages (magic, mythic, rational, pluralistic and integral) that reflect most of the world's population. All of us start at magic in childhood and some folks find magic to be their "home station" and interact with the world and develop their belief system from that stage, its values, perceptions and comprehensions.

Father Keating talks about the necessity of contemplation/meditation as the requisite practice(s) to develop beyond one's current stage. Not every person wants to, or sees the need to do so. That is normal and just the way of it, but for those so inclined some reflective practice of awareness and presence is required in order to develop beyond one's current stage.

Come wrestle with spirit in our world and its future possibilities. If you can't be there in person, feel free to comment below.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Tomorrow: An Arctic Tale

This coming Sunday, April 26, we will observe a belated Earth Day focus by watching and discussing the delightful movie Arctic Tale. This 86 minute child-friendly National Geographic film follows the lives of a polar bear cub and a walrus pup. The story takes us along their journeys from birth to maturity, with all the struggles in-between, and we learn that their biggest threat is surviving the harsh, changing habitat climate of the north. Their future survival depends upon the ice, and it is literally melting away in front of them.

Filmed over 15 years with 800+ hours of footage, the scenes are impressive and our discussion will be, too, as Aretta will lead the conversation. In keeping with the "arctic" theme (and our own hot weather) - you're invited to bring "cold" food for our potluck: cold cuts, cold soup, ice cream, frozen treats, etc. Our offering will be designated for SAFE - San Angelo Friends of the Environment.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Mindful Service

Dorothy Day said: "Whatever I had read as a child about the saints had thrilled me. I could see the nobility of giving one's life for the sick, the maimed, the leper.... But there was another question in my mind. Why was so much done in remedying the evil instead of avoiding it in the first place? ... Where were the saints to try to change the social order, not just to minister to the slaves, but to do away with slavery."

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Welcome to Our Blog

It has to be a blog, as there are few bugs and no bogs in West Texas. Unless rains come and the creek's risen, join us April 19 at 5:30 pm. We meet at United Campus Ministries on the campus of Angelo State University. We'll ponder contemplative aspects of faith. How can silence and meditation reveal our ever present connection to the divine? When noise and worry fall away, what remains?

On April 26, we'll address environmental justice from a sacred context. Earth Day is April 22. How can spiritual people maintain our earthly home? The Gathering would love for you to join us.

Karen (yes, she's a reverend) will post spiritual messages and questions for readers to consider. They may be fast and furious or few and far between. It depends on how many plates she's spinning at a time! Peace.