RSS Feed

Tag Archives: Sanctuary

Art: A Sanctuary Without Walls – Literally.

Posted on

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?

Finding Sanctuary

• Finding sanctuary.

• Listening to earth-spirit whispers.

• Sharing our stories and experiences.

• Developing the heart-dimensions of who we are.

• Becoming monks in the world, as we take our learning and presence seriously, playfully, compassionately back into the world when we part.

• Living from a deeper place within ourselves in each encounter as we live our daily lives: the passionate, connecting, transforming power that we can bring to the healing of one another and our world.

GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness

Posted on

On Sunday afternoon, 2 PM,  September 12th, Marian Van Eyk McCain will be speaking at the Real Food Network Co-op (upstairs in the Community Room, 15 Church Street, Chatham, NY) about her new book GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness. (Please note: the Co-op is not open for business on Sundays.)

Marian and her husband live simply in Devon, England. She limits her air travel for environmental reasons, so we are fortunate to have her with us. Please join us on September 12th!

Published by O Books and launched in London in July 2010, this book brings together the words and ideas of contemporary writers from a wide range of disciplines and wisdom traditions to create a comprehensive manual for eco-spiritual, green and sustainable 21st century living.
In his Foreword , Resurgence editor Satish Kumar says: “I am confident that the book will act like a guide to many who are seeking a right relationship between the human spirit and the natural world.”
Contributors include Marian, along with environmental lawyer Cormac Cullinan, economist David Korten, cosmologist Brian Swimme,  ecologist Stephan Harding, ecopsychologist Sandra White, Episcopalian priest and educator Matthew Fox, wellness expert John  Travis MD,   spokespeople from the Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sufi and Pagan traditions and more than a dozen others. The late Thomas Berry gave this book his special blessing when the manuscript was first completed, just six months before he died.

This GreenSpirit event with Marian promises to be very inspiring. There is no fee, but donations will be gratefully accepted. We look forward to seeing you in the Community Room, upstairs at the Real Food Market Co-op on Sunday, September 12, 2 PM.

GreenSpirit Poster – Please help spread the word about this GreenSpirit event.

—————————————————————-

Marian is also author of the book Elderwoman: Reap the Wisdom – Feel the Power – Embrace the Joy, which ties in with Growing Older, Growing Wiser: Becoming an Elderwoman, a seven-part series beginning in Chatham on September 14th.

Marian Van Eyk McCain

Autumn Years

Posted on

Photo by Seth Rockmuller

In preparing for the upcoming series Growing Older, Growing Wiser: Becoming an Elderwoman, I came across the article below, which was written when I first decided to present the series. It was originally published in The Eddy, the newsletter of the organization Wellspring Haven.

Autumn Reflections,   by Katharine Houk

Lately, a cold wind has been rattling the last, clinging leaves of autumn.  The mellow days have passed; winter is almost upon us. The harvest is in, my herb garden has been put to bed, and the geese are winging south.

At this autumn time, I am very aware that I have entered what is sometimes referred to as the “autumn” of life, even though inside I feel young, vital, and creative. In the past decade, I have given much thought to what it means to be entering the Third Age of my life: reading, talking with older women, revisiting my past, deepening spiritual practices, conducting research. I wish to live these years in a conscious and fruitful way, savoring each moment.

This autumn I attended a conference especially for women who have discovered that age is something to celebrate. There I enjoyed workshops, drumming, dancing, an “Honoring of the Elders,” small group gatherings, storytelling, and a beautiful labyrinth in the woods, where some deer and two owls appeared at twilight to accompany me on my otherwise solitary walk. Over two hundred women were at the conference, with the workshops being led by the women attending, much as Wellspring Haven conducts its Annual Women’s Campout. Women’s circles are thriving everywhere. It was fascinating to attend a conference designed expressly for Elderwomen, and I came away feeling as though I had experienced an initiation into my Third Age…

Delightfully, being in the autumn of life feels enormously liberating, as I find myself more at peace than ever before.  It’s a feeling of lightness, and spaciousness.  In my life I have learned from many experiences, both joyful and painful, and I intend to keep learning and growing as long as I am able.  Each of us has her life story, rich with experience and insight.  Sharing those stories empowers us.

Entering these final decades can be challenging, considering the changes which aging brings and the social attitudes toward older women in our culture. We are “crones,” or “hags” – two words that used to have very different connotations than they do now.  “Crone” comes from the same root as the word “crown,” and “hag” mean “holy one,” which is why the study of saints’ lives is known as hagiography. It’s time to reclaim the honor that those words formerly conveyed.

…Becoming an Elderwoman, a Wisewoman, is an ongoing process.   Growing older in and of itself is no guarantee of growing wiser.  Here is my (and our) “how-to” challenge and adventure:  How To Become an Elderwoman, someone aging with grace, good humor, joy, and wisdom.   There are things we can do to make our autumn journeys conscious ones, as we deepen our awareness of who we truly are and how we want to live our Third Age.  Let’s grow older and wiser together!

 

Special Guest: Marian Van Eyk McCain – 9/12/10

Posted on

Marian Van Eyk McCain

Marian Van Eyk McCain, author of Elderwoman: Reap the Wisdom – Feel the Power – Embrace the Joy, will speak on Sunday, September 12th, 2010, at 2 PM, upstairs in the Community Room at Chatham Real Food Market Co-op. (Please note that the Co-op is not open for business on Sundays.)

Marian’s most recent book is GreenSpirit: Path to a New Consciousness, which she edited. This collection of diverse voices reveals deep thinking on the connections between ecology and spirituality. All are welcome to attend this event, which is sponsored by Sanctuary Without Walls.

Please RSVP so that we will have enough seats for everyone. And please share this message with your friends. Marian rarely travels by plane (she lives in England) because of the environmental impact of jet travel, so we’re fortunate to have time with her. Save the date!

Marion also writes fiction (The Bird Menders) as well as her marvelous books on simplifying one’s life (The Lilypad List: 7 Steps to the Simple Life) and women’s health and spirituality (Transformation Through Menopause).

Last year at a conference, I overheard a woman saying that the book Elderwoman was her “bible” on aging and spirituality. Marian’s visit in September will take place just days before the beginning of Sanctuary Without Wall’s seven-part monthly series for women 55 and older: Growing Older, Growing Wiser: Becoming an Elderwoman. Marian’s book is one of the resources used in planning this series for women.

People of all ages / genders are welcome to attend her talk on September 12th. To RSVP or for more information, contact info@sanctuarywithoutwalls.org.

GreenSpirit Poster