Friday, January 29, 2010

Letter from a Gatherer

Alex Rios sent the following letter to the San Angelo Standard Times:

Boy, doesn’t it feel great to be on a team? Liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, foreigner, white, black, straight, gay, Christian, atheist, fat, thin, intellectual, redneck, young, old — whatever.

We’ve all been duped. It won’t stop anytime soon, but let’s at least know that it happened to us. We owe ourselves that much.

Whatever invented team we think we’re on, it’s time to ask, “Who owns the stadium we’ve been playing in?” Someone is benefiting from the game itself, and we’ve been blind, loyal, obedient and, best of all, quiet.

Feels good to pretend that you hate or love someone, though. We’re surrounded by heroes and villains, and haven’t we been dumb?

Someone, somewhere is laughing at our flags, our tears and our fat kids. They are smiling right at us. And you know the best part? We insist on seeing it all in HD.

All are welcome, no matter what the team. This Sunday we attend to business matters. As far as I know, there will be no HD.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Spirit and Soul in Dark Times

The darkness of the Haitian earthquake took the world by surprise. A country already suffering, now deals with immeasurable pain. The loss of life, shelter and basic services is staggering. Millions of Haitians have immediate needs for food, water, sanitation and health care. Those trapped in the rubble hope for search and rescue.

Both spirit and soul are needed in dark times. The darker the times, the greater need for soul. Soul deepens when people come together. It grows when we hold one another in difficulty, anytime people make sacred space. In making soul, we plant the seeds for rejuvenation, however far off that may seem.

Consider the words of Michael Meade from The World Behind theWorld: Living at the Ends of Time.

Everyone searches for home and home turns out to be the center of our lives. The real home is the center within each life and each return to the inner center not only calms and heals the person and makes the person whole, but also adds some healing and wholeness to the world around us. When the end (of the world) seems near, it's time to seek the center within and find ways to be central to the healing of the scorched and scarred earth around us. The great tragedies and dramas of life and the threat of it all ending try to return humanity to an awareness of the eternal presence of the divine waiting at the center of each life and all life.

Spirit elevates, soul deepens. The soul of the world cries for the wounded people and shaken, scarred earth of Haiti. With Haiti's infrastructure devastated, other countries have to step up and help out. If capacity and mission don't mess quickly, the soul of humanity will suffer greatly. Keep the people of Haiti in your heart, soul, spirit and prayers.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


"Prayer is not about words addressed to an elsewhere God. Prayer is about reflection on life and the interconnectedness of everyone and all things within God's Presence."--Michael Morwood

"Prayer is not an escape from the world but an entrance into it."--Ann Ulano

The Gathering will discuss prayer, be it soul filled, spirit driven, heart filled, or heart broken.

What is prayer? What are your habits, experiences and beliefs about prayer? How and why do you pray - or not? Come join us.