Sunday, May 26, 2013

Shifting Sands

On August 16, 1987, I stood on California's Venice Beach at dawn.  There were dozens of other people along the shore, sitting in meditation as thousands of others gathered in places like Sedona and Mt. Shasta.  It was Harmonic Convergence - a time when people all around the world meditated together and planets aligned.  It was an experience I can never forget, for I felt a deep and abiding sense of connection with All That Is.  The poetry that came out of that morning reflects my inherent understanding of the Oneness of all.  I recall my feet melding with the sand that shifted beneath them, and the incredible feeling that Jim Morrison was on the beach with me - with all of us - and I swear I heard him whisper into my ear, "You are forgiven, for you have NOT wasted the dawn."*

I wonder sometimes if that was the turning point for me.  I've never considered this a part of my "call story" until today.  As I began to write this blog entry, I had other plans for it.  I meant to simply say that this blog is undergoing a metamorphosis.  It is shifting from being my personal spiritual blog to becoming the "pastor's blog" for St. Brigid in the Desert Inter-Spiritual Faith Community.  I guess that means it will still be personal, spiritual, and mine; but it will have a different flavor.  I don't know if it will taste more like a light, bright salad of summer fruits or a thick, dark savory stew - but it is my hope that it feeds those who come here.  I hope it will satisfy spiritual hunger, yet leave room for the dessert of the reader's own spiritual quest.

Years of working within a mainline denomination did nothing to change my Universalist perspective.  Seminary didn't close my mind; in fact it opened me to a greater awareness of the reality of Pluralism in today's world.  Those who follow the Christ must embrace the fact that there are other ways to seek the Divine, and other ways of practicing spirituality.  Old, dry expectations of the Christian life must give way to fresh, new movements of the Holy Spirit.  New ways of being open and learning what it means to truly live in Love will infuse new life into those who embrace them.

As I stood on the beach that morning, I began to walk a path upon which the ways of being spiritual that I had studied until that time - Methodist Christianity and Esoteric Mysticism - began to converge.  It was the beginning of my Becoming.  Now is the perfect time for this convergence to manifest - I am not alone.  I have found a new denomination where my spiritual gifts can be used to help others who seek unity with the Divine.  In October, I will be ordained as a priest in the Universal Anglican Church.  I am an unrepentant fan of John Wesley, so  I will continue my membership and service as a lay person in the United Methodist Church.  Like my friend Rev. Elaine Groppenbacher, who is both a priest in the Ecumenical Catholic Communion and an associate member of Primera Iglesia Metodista Unida, I will serve God's purposes in any way that the Holy Spirit leads.

St. Brigid in the Desert is a newly chartered Inter-Spiritual Faith Community of the UAC in East Mesa, Arizona.  Right now, we are a small "house church," gathering in my home.  It is my intention to remain small - no more than 13 people, including me - at least until we find a larger place to gather.  We are liturgical in our worship and the resources for liturgy and practice come from many traditions, particularly Christianity (Methodist and Celtic), Buddhism, and Wicca/Neo-Paganism.  Perhaps these connections seem strange and impossible to you; however, God is reflected in the many ways of Being.  Rather than a "sermon," I share a short homily, which is opened up for discussion among those at the table.  After worship we join in study together.  Right now, if all goes well and we can borrow the videos, we are embarking on Living the Questions 2.0, by Progressive United Methodist pastors David Felton & Jeff Proctor Murphy.

Now, I don't believe that Jim Morrison was some kind a spirit guide that morning as I stood in shifting sands upon the beach. Maybe my guardian angel spoke to me in Jim's voice.  Or...maybe Jim, from the other side, recognized me.  After all, I lived in a building with a rooftop where Jim was known to sleep.  Perhaps he saw me as the maiden with wrought iron soul...


Listen to this, and I'll tell you 'bout the heartache
I'll tell you 'bout the heartache and the loss of God
I'll tell you 'bout the hopeless night
The meager food for souls forgot
I'll tell you 'bout the maiden with wrought iron soul

I'll tell you this

*No eternal reward will forgive us now for wasting the dawn

Texas Radio and the Big Beat
Poem by Jim Morrison
Song performed by The Doors


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