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America is in transition.

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Women who have experienced the full birthing process know the powerful moment of “transition.” Please watch this YouTube testimony to the power of love. Valarie Kaur, January 2017.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LCenwgheIBs

 

Valarie Kaur

 

Art: A Sanctuary Without Walls – Literally.

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http://features.faithtap.com/5872/belgium-church-astonishes-people-from-around-the-world/

I discovered this work of art on FaceBook. Though the intent of the artists was to highlight dwindling church attendance, I am entranced by the thought of meeting in a space so open to the elements.

Below is the article, with some of its photos.

 

A beautiful church is attracting thousands of visitors to a charming setting in Belgium as people are mesmerized by its structure. No matter where you stand, a new view and landscape can be seen.

Architects Introduce Public Art to Belgium

Belgian architect group, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh, constructed the church sculpture out of sheets of metal as part of a Contemporary Art project known as Z33. The popularity amongst visitors and locals is overwhelming for the two young architects who designed it –   Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh.

Visitors From Around The World

The church is located in a remote location near Borgloon in Belgium, but that hasn’t kept crowds away from coming to see the unique structure.

Layers Are Misleading

The church has an elusive appearance, because the sheets of steel from which it is constructed were placed methodically in lines and columns. Sometimes, it looks like parts of the church are even missing.

Religion Revealed Through Art

The architects say it was built as a representation of Belgium religion, which is dwindling in rural cultures.

Capturing The Emptiness Of Area Churches

Many small parish churches still stand in this area of Belgium, but because of declining attendance, some of the churches have become abandoned.

Peeking Through

With a staggered and stacked construction, the surrounding landscape is visible through the “walls” of the church. The architects wanted it to be both present and yet absent.

Looking From The Inside Out

Viewing the church from the inside out gives a completely new view and adds an amazing perspective to this structure.

Blessed by the Blazing Sun

Sunlight brings a dazzling display inside as can be seen in this view looking up towards the inside of the spire.

Many Variations On The View

Whether you are standing on the ground or have an aerial view, the church can take on a new look with each change in direction.

Popularity Continues To Grow

This eye-catching artistic concept of public art installations is moving across Belgium and many people come from around the world to see these unique structures. The two Belgian architects who designed this project, Pieterjan Gijs and Arnout Van Vaerenbergh, are eagerly working on similar projects that they hope will continue to amaze and delight sightseers.

On Sanctuary

With the upheaval we in the United States have experienced in the past weeks, the word “sanctuary” has taken on a deeper meaning for me. We all need places of sanctuary when times and events are ominous and hurtful. How can this blog address the need for sanctuary in our world today? Certainly churches, synagogues, and other houses of worship have traditionally provided sanctuary to people in distress or danger. And “sanctuary cities” are springing up across the United States. Last night I attended a vigil at a local Islamic Center (Hudson, NY) which was held to affirm solidarity with immigrants. It was a warm, candlelit outdoor gathering on a frigid night. The gathering was sponsored by the Columbia County Sanctuary Movement. Sanctuary as a movement is interesting to me.

Hudson Islamic Center vigil for solidarity

Hudson Islamic Center vigil for solidarity

My interest lies in sanctuaries without walls, and spontaneous gatherings, rather than literal sanctuary in buildings. On the day of the Women’s Marches worldwide,  a friend and I gathered together a group of women who for a variety of reasons were not marching. Around a dining room table we spoke our fears and hopes, and pondered actions we could take.

How, in our everyday lives, do we each provide sanctuary to others? How can we, with others, provide sanctuary in ways  “outside the walls?” What does sanctuary mean to you, and how do you create or experience it in your life?

Spring Awakening ~ The Healing Power of the Earth

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They are coming to life!

These warm days have encouraged our hearts, invigorated our bodies, as our faces turn toward the sun. The herb garden has awakened.

Pulmonaria

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Lady’s Mantle

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Sweet Woodruff

Place of Resurrection

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“Let your feet follow your heart until you find your place of resurrection.”

This Celtic saying reflects the importance of pilgrimage as a spiritual practice in the Celtic tradition.

At the holy well of St. Brigid in Kildare, Ireland.


Why “place of resurrection?” During  pilgrimage we leave behind our usual ways, our comforts, as we step into the unknown. Resurrection is about the trust we have that our steps will be led by the ever-unfolding presence of guidance in our lives – that which brings us hope, healing, renewal, liberation, transformation, rebirth – whatever we choose to call it: God or Goddess, cosmic serendipity, Tao, flow, Christ consciousness, emergence, the Universe.

Celtic monks sought their places of resurrection in this world, journeying to find the place where they could best fulfill their mission. Many of us are wanderers in this way – spiritually if not physically. We follow our hearts to best discern where we can serve, and how we can bring the spirit of resurrection to others.

Feel free to share your pilgrimage and resurrection stories.


It is time to blossom.

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Earth is coming to life.

Pause and feel those stirrings within yourself.

It is time to blossom.

Nature as a mirror

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At this time of year, we take the time to explore inner themes of renewal, liberation, awareness, attention, rebirth – whether via Passover,  Lent, through the mirror of nature, or in other ways. The SWW Elderwoman circle gatherings have ended, but for those of us who participated, it was just a beginning. This is a perfect seasonal time for beginnings.

In the words of Mary Anne Brussat:

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.