Keeping Up with the News

by Christine Sine

It has been an exciting and challenging week for us here in Seattle.

The highlight for me was a trip that Tom and I made with our good friends Mark and Lisa Scandrette, to Camano Island. We began, as all such good trips should, with a stop at the Camano Commons to enjoy their delicious pastries and coffee and meet James Amadon, Executive Director of Circlewood. James led us on an excursion to the Circlewood Village site where progress is once more being made. Some of you may remember that this site was a part of Mustard Seed Associates and ten years ago we began work on the first building which was then vandalized twice, bringing construction to a halt. It was a delight to see that construction is once more in full swing. The project is scheduled to be completed by early fall, and will enable Circlewood to expand their onsite programming, focusing primarily on ecological discipleship, leadership, and practical earthkeeping.

As I worked on this part of our newsletter for this morning, I was prompted to revisit the litanies we used for the 24th Celtic retreat we held on Camano in August 2015, just after the vandalism. The week before the retreat my Meditation Monday: Through Broken Glass, reflected some of my thoughts in the face of this destruction. We then used the broken glass from the windows as part of our morning ritual. It was a very powerful symbol and meaningful experience. Here are the three litanies we used during the day, which I thought you too might like to revisit as a reminder of God’s ability to transform all the brokenness in our world and in our lives.

Litany #1

Litany #2

Litany #3

This reflection and litanies were very good ones for me to revisit yesterday as I wrote this newsletter as the temperature soared towards 91F. This is a rare occurrence in Seattle and not nearly as hot as some parts of the continent where it is expected to reach triple digits but still not easy for many who are not used to this kind of heat. My heart goes out to those who still don’t have power in the aftermath of Hurricane Beryl and face intense heat on top of the devastation already experienced, not just in Texas but also in Grenada, St. Vincent, the Grenadines, Jamaica, and the Cayman Islands. The challenges of climate change are very real and often destructive to lives and property. Our world is broken. It needs healing. Most of us feel both overwhelmed and useless in the face of such trials but it is good for us to consider how God would have us respond and help bring wholeness out of brokenness.

In this week’s Meditation Monday: Connecting Seasons and Celebrations to Our Lives I explored the rhythms and rituals that govern our lives. For most of us these are more associated with the rhythms of the seasons than those of the liturgical calendar. I also commented “The rhythms and rituals of summer are intertwined with the changing weather and its impact on our lives” It is the heat of summer and the cold of winter, the summer hurricanes and winter storms that still shape how we spend our time. I am more convinced than ever that we need to give our liturgical celebrations a local flavour and shape them by giving attention to indigenous wisdom and its contact with the land, waters and sky of each place in this wide world.

I loved Diane Woodrow’s post on Godspacelight yesterday – Walking Away from Oughts in which she talked about writing into her passion rather than doing “What she ought” to be doing. Good advice for all of us who feel compelled to do things we don’t really enjoy.

In her Freerange Friday: Praying For Your Country Lilly Lewin encouraged all of us to pray for our countries. So many of them face momentous change and upheaval at the moment and we need to take seriously our responsibility to pray for them.

Wednesday last week we published our 11th episode of Liturgical Rebels, an inspirational interview with iconographer Kelly Latimore. Make sure you don’t miss listening to this episode. Or the 10 that have gone before it. Also we would love to know what you think of the podcast. I have received enthusiastic responses from several listeners but would appreciate your feedback too. Which is your favourite episode? What kinds of people would you like to hear from? Do you have suggestions for potential guests?

As we look around at our fractured world and consider the brokenness of our own lives, I am reminded of the ancient Chinese philosopher Loa Tzu’s words: “New beginnings are often disguised as painful endings…”

In the midst of painful endings,
in the midst of brokenness and heartache,
may we seek to love and not to hate,
may we seek for peace and not for war.
May we see God’s new beginnings emerge,
for ourselves, for this place, for God’s world.
Let us welcome everything that comes to us today.
It is for our healing.
It is for the healing of relationships,
It is for the healing of this land.
Let us release all that binds us.
It is for our healing,
It is for the healing of relationships,
It is for the healing of this land.
Let us open ourselves to God.
It is for our healing,
It is for the healing of relationships,
It is for the healing of this land.

Many blessings on you today
Christine Sine

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