Sunday, May 04, 2008
Just Another Weekend at the Oregon Coast
Well, I'm back. I had a great time.
I'm still processing all the stuff that went on in my head during two full days of doing nothing but staring at the ocean. I don't feel like I had any particular clarification on the career front (though I did have one or two new ideas). Instead, what dominated my short time away were the concepts introduced to me in the book Listening for the Heartbeat of God.
In about a month, my parish is hosting a lecture on Celtic spirituality with an eminent local expert. It's partly my brainchild, because I have been pushing almost since the day I arrived to establish a regular lecture series as a means of both community outreach and improving the adult formation opportunities. Fortunately, a couple of other folks had similar ideas, so I had help and support. Our initial topic was chosen because one of the projects the rector is pursuing on his sabbatical is a pilgrimage to Ireland, and we thought it would be nice for the congregation to mirror that in some way. (Wasn't my idea; can't take any credit for that one.)
Our speaker recommended this book as a good overview of the subject, so we bought several copies and are selling them off as a fundraiser for an upcoming women's retreat. Since I helped organize the lecture, I figured I'd better read the book and reserved this weekend for it.
What is Celtic spirituality? I had no idea. For all I knew, it was Guinness at the Eucharist.
In short, it is seeing and sensing the presence of God in all of creation, and believing in the inherent goodness of all things; it is taking seriously John's proposition that "in him was life, and the life was the light of all people."
These weren't new ideas for me; in fact, this is the way I have always related to God. Still, reading about it opened up opportunities for deeper reflection and exploration. Being suddenly conscious that I move in this way -- and moreover, that many Christians do not -- has helped me to see why I come at certain issues from a different direction. I'm sure there will be more on this later; for now, I'm off to a local gay blogger meet-up organized by man-about-town SMB.
I'll have more to share about my time at the coast, too, including some great pictures. Other than coming home to get some cat-love, I really didn't want to come back.