Hello Friends Around The Table,
If it feels like time has warped into an alternative universe, there is some truth to that... how we mark and pass the time in our regular routines has changed drastically.
I have a sneaking suspicion though, that learning to readjust our perspective during this time will ultimately serve our goal of being formed in the Studio of Love. Practicing the way of love, together as doubters and disciples, requires a reorientation - and this COVID-19-Prevention quarantine is providing exactly that. It's forced, and it's awkward, and it's tiring and worrisome, but it is still a reorientation... let's be open to how these changes can change us into more loving humans.
First: We will gather this week on Wednesday evening, March 25th between 6:15pm and 7:30pm MT via Zoom.
(Below the signature is your invitation and instructions on how to join). You can join by regular old phone call; or you can join by video conference so we can see each other's faces! We will be offering Kids Korner mindful meditation + story time at 6:15pm, and all are welcome to participate. Then, we'll dive into the week's content. This week, we finish the book, "Inspired" by Rachel Held Evans, by reading through chapter 8, "Church Stories".
Second: I'd love to share a few thoughts on where we find ourselves:
If we're present, we discover that exactly what we need is waiting for us. It may not be what we expected, but it proves to be better than we could have imagined.
~ Phileena Heuertz
If there is one thing that COVID-19 Prevention Zone is inviting us to: it's a perspective shift! What used to mark our weekly routines, the passage of time, the way we organize our habits - ALL OF IT has completely reformatted in the past week, and NONE OF IT was by our choice. And as we've talked about over the last week, that is really disorienting.
I'm thankful to a wisdom companion I was able to read from and learn from this weekend: Phileena Heuertz and her book, "Mindful Silence" whose work I'll be sharing and adapting into my reflections today.
To start with, this perspective shift is inviting us to let go and loosen our grip on attachments, compulsions and addictions that keep us close-minded, spiritually blind and deaf to the inner voice of love. The more we grow quiet and still, the more open and receptive we become to God's action in our soul and, consequently, around us. Prepare to awaken! (Heuertz, 28).
Wow! I don't know about you, but this sudden, uninvited reorientation has certainly exposed many of my "shadow side" attachments, compulsions and addictions. For example: control, expectations, security, productivity, importance, lovability. I want to choose open-mindedness, clarity of sight and hearing, and being awake to the voice of love.
Here are three ways to consider how we can wake up to the voice of love during this strange chapter:
A. Presence -- presence of heart and mind are the doorway to the divine presence. Choosing presence means choosing to be present right here, right now: open to self & God. Our mind has a terrible time being present. It can be busy ruminating on the past or worrying about the future (hello COVID-19 fears!). Spiritual awakening and growth cannot arise from the past or the future but only from the present (Heuertz,102).
B. Perception -- perception is how we see. "All of the great spiritual teachers agree, much of this life is about removing the blinders, dismantling illusions, and having eyes to see. Clear perception allows us to realize that we are beloved children of God, and there's nothing we can do to earn or lose that identity. I am not defined by what I do, what I say, or what others think of me. I am beloved" (Heuertz, 102).
C. Personhood -- different from personality. Personality is our best attempt to form an identity as a separate self, "me against the world." Progression in the spiritual journey doesn't mean we lose our identity. The self awakens to the dynamic unity with God and solidarity with others. Personhood is a person who is an individual united with all reality (Heuertz, 103).
Consider using the following phrase from Psalm 46 as a breath prayer in your rhythms these days. It may help you to let go of attachments, compulsions and addictions and wake up to love. If God is difficult language for you, perhaps substitute "Love". Use each phrase as a meditative prayer, and take deep breaths in between:
Be still and know that I am God.
Be still and know.
1. I can admit that these changes are causing me grief
2. I can work to identify what is in my control, and what is not
3. I can reach out for help when I need it
1. I can cry if I need to
2. I can chose a safe response to anger, frustration, rage or fear
3. I can express my emotions creatively
1. I can go for a hike or bike or longboard ride
2. I can bake or cook or make a delicious, nourishing smoothie
3. I can walk the Labyrinth
1. I can listen to or sing an inspiring song to lift my spirits
2. I can utilize meditation or breath prayer to connect with my Source
3. I can read trusted & inspiring resources to remind me of my hope
Prayers for our Community
- those living with mental illness, depression, anxiety, addiction for whom quarantine exasperates already difficult health
- those living with abusers and/or suicidal thoughts, for whom escape is not an option
- caregivers and parents learning new routines caring for children and family members who are vulnerable
- those whose immune systems are low, compromised or vulnerable
- those in the medical realm providing essential services in uncertain times
If you are immunocompromised, or in need of physical support right now - please reach out to us -- the office number is listed in our signature and you can always find us on Facebook or email.You are loved, dear hearts.
In the same way, let us love and serve each other so that those to whom love is a stranger might find in us, generous friends.
God's love is not quarantined!
From the Studio of Love,
Pastor Libby & The Table Leadership Team
Venue: temporarily online.
Join us via ZOOM on Wednesdays at 6:15pm MT
307.363.1490 | Casper, WY
-- See coping strategies by our Board Member, Missy Nack, attached in English y en Espanol.
-- A Mini Sermon in a Fearful Time by Nadia Bolz Weber
-- Pray as You Go App
-- Beautiful "Poetry Unbound" Podcast; anywhere you get podcasts
-- ZOOM invitation:
The Table is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Topic: The Table Virtual Gathering
Time: Mar 25, 2020 06:15 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
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Meeting ID: 273 202 561
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Meeting ID: 273 202 561
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Hello Friends Around The Table,