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“Much silence makes a powerful noise.” ~African proverb

Monthly Archive

 

May, 2017

Mending the World.

 

Memorial Day week-end is upon us! Lots of folks will be celebrating with picnics and potlucks (including the one everyone is invited to at Arlene Brown’s house on Monday). Some folks will be visiting loved ones’ graves. There will be parades and ceremonies of various kinds. People and communities have their own diverse understandings of what the day is about.

 

The history of the holiday is a bit mixed. One very important story goes back to May 1, 1865, when up to ten thousand people participated in the re-burying of 257 Union soldiers – and then cleaning and decorating the graves in a proper cemetery setting.

 

 

Ten days prior to this “Decoration Day,” the men in the town, mostly ex-slaves, worked to prepare the new memorial graveyard which they named “Martyrs of the Race Course.” They also built a large fence around the area and built a formal archway welcoming visitors to honor the fallen soldiers (Race and Reunion: The Civil War in American Memory, by David W. Blight).

 

In a 2011 article in The Sun Chronicle Online, the Rev. Ron Gagne, director of communications for the LaSalette Communications Center in Attleboro, Massachusetts, notes that the original purpose of this special day was reconciliation. At the end of the Civil War, it was a time for coming together to honor those who had made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

My talk this Sunday will focus on that theme of reconciliation. How can we build more bridges in our divided societies? How can we engage in “mending the world” (the Hebrew concept of Tikkun)? How can we treat each other with more respect, even while we acknowledge our differences? How can we tell the truth about the “isms” we have allowed to be perpetuated in our nation and world and how can we work to heal those wounds? How can we do our part to create what Desmond Tutu calls “the rainbow nation of God?”

 

What makes the rainbow beautiful is seeing the colors coming together in a perfect arc while each one retains its own pure magnificence.

 

In Love,
Peggy

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader here at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.

May, 2017

To Life, to Life! L’chaim!

One of my favorite songs in “Fiddler on the Roof” is “L’Chaim!” “To life!” It’s such a great reminder to drink deeply of life’s delights – even during times when life is hard. One line is:  “God would like us to be joyful even when our hearts lie panting on the floor!” And another is “And if our good fortune never comes, here’s to whatever comes!” The song is sung when the community is gathered in celebration of a new engagement.

 

 

There’s a kind of energy that happens when we gather with a beloved community to honor special occasions in our life. Birthdays, anniversaries, pivotal moments, and rites of passage celebrated in community can create magical opportunities for deeper intimacy with each other. (And raise the vibration of the world around us!)

 

 

What better place to celebrate than in our spiritual community?! In fact, our Sunday morning gatherings are defined as celebrations! “We come together to celebrate the practice of the presence of God.”

 

 

Melannie Slovoba in “Everyday Epiphanies” says genuine faith constantly  “increases our capacity to enjoy — that is, to appreciate, to laugh, to play, to relish, to delight in, to have a really good time.”

 

 

What special moments are you grateful for in these times? What changes and passages are you honoring? Celebrate with us on Sunday! The band will be playing and singing upbeat celebration songs, and it’s Franklin’s birthday number 55!

 

 

C U soon!

 

 

Love,
Peggy

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader here at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.

May, 2017

She Who Shall not be Named.

Interesting things happen when people start talking about the Goddess. Or the Divine Feminine. Or using the pronoun “She” when speaking of God. Many people start getting uncomfortable. Some even get really upset, almost like some kind of fear is triggered. 

 
 
Unfortunately many people are unwilling to look more deeply at these internal reactions and feelings. What happens then is that “feminists” get referred to as “angry.”  Goddess-worshippers get lumped together as heretics and blasphemers. At the very least, finding “God” language that is more inclusive is considered to be too much trouble, and people who think it is important are blown off with the question, “What’s the big deal?”

 
 
Part of the big deal is that the feminine principle then turns into a part of our collective shadow. When She is not allowed a strong and healthy voice, She goes underground, becomes passive-aggressive, and turns into “She Who Shall Not Be Named” (in more ways than one!).

 
 
Another part of the big deal is that when the masculine principle is the dominant one, we end up with institutionalized war and a social hierarchy that is all about the “survival of the fittest.”

 
 
We have to get beyond patriarchy. And matriarchy. We need both our masculine and our feminine principles to have a healthy voice if we are to be whole. We need both if we want to live harmoniously within ourselves and with each other.

 
 
This Sunday, on Mother’s Day, I invite you to explore some powerful Goddess figures with me – and to reflect a little on your own reactions and feelings about the Sacred Feminine within you.

 
 
Love,
Peggy

 
 

“…The images are different, the practices vary, but the origin is ONE. 
All memories of the Great Mother in her many forms 
with her thousands of faces are welcomed here: 
pouring out her abundance, 
giving blessings for creativity, 
ensuring equity and justice, 
providing compassion and healing, 
and embracing with unending love 
all the life forms that emerged from her womb. 
Rabbi Leah Novick  On the Wings of Shekinah

 

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader here at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.

May, 2017

Where Do Prayers Go?

 

Sometimes when I can’t feel my connection with Spirit, I need others to hold that space for me.

 

Sometimes things get so challenging that all I can see is the problem, and I need others to focus on the solution for me – that connection with the Greatest Good, which is unattached to specific outcomes.

 

Sometimes I do everything I know, everything I’ve learned, and I still can’t get out of despair. Well-meaning people say, “just do this,” which usually just makes me mad, because I have been TRYING to “just do this,”  but it’s NOT WORKING!

 

Those are the times when I most need others to just hold me in quiet, loving, nonjudgmental PRAYER.

 

Prayer is a mystical powerful thing. I look forward to sharing thoughts and prayers with you on Sunday.

 

Love,
Peggy

 

“You are song, a wished-for song.
Go through the ear to the center.
where sky is, where wind,
where silent knowing.
Put seeds and cover them.
Blades will sprout
where you do your work.”  –Rumi

 

 

 

Peggy Christiansen is the Spiritual Leader here at Unity of Fort Collins. She has over 25 years of ministry experience working with diverse populations, a M.Div. from San Francisco Theological Seminary, and a special interest in helping people find and/or develop their unique spiritual paths.