Newsletter

April 16, 2021

 

 

 

For your prayer and reflection this week:

We are shifting the relationship we have with the earth.
The old paradigm, 
based on the spiritual understanding at the time, 
was one of domination.
Humans were superior to earth and all God’s creatures, 
so were charged with having “dominion” over the earth, 
and responsibility for creation.
As human nature goes, 
dominion quickly turned into exploitation 
for human ends.
Endlessly, we took from Mother Earth 
to prop up the needs of human society.
Now, based on a new spiritual paradigm, 
our relationship to the earth is starting to shift.
We are moving towards Oneness, 
and away from domination; 
towards interdependence, 
and away from superiority.
Only now are we waking up to Mother Earth 
as a living, breathing being.
Having done much harm, 
humans are now sowing the consequences.

If spiritual traditions give us anything, 
it is hope for a new way forward.
Hope based on the inspired actions of what Margaret Mead calls 
a “small group of thoughtful, committed citizens.”
This group may have started out small, 
but it is multiplying exponentially.
And it is waking up, not just to eco-justice, 
but to the intersectionality of care for the earth 
with racial justice and economic inequality.
We are realizing in the repercussions of our human actions, 
minority communities that have suffered discrimination for too long 
are experiencing the greatest climate consequences.
'Wake up," says the inner, divine voice.
“If you do not see me without, 
you will have difficulty finding me within.
I am in the trees, the birds, the seas, the animals.
I am in your neighbors, your acquaintances, 
and the complete strangers you have never met 
on the other side of the world.
I am Oneness.
Find me everywhere, and live accordingly.”

Friends, with Earth Day soon approaching next week, I look forward to reflecting together Sunday about how care for the earth intersects with our spiritual identity and values.  In particular, I wonder: what is your "why" for caring for the earth?  What experiences have you had in your life that inspire you to be a good caretaker of our planet and its resources?  Do you have "thin places" in nature where you feel deeply connected to the divine?

In May, we are having several events where we welcome your contributions!  May 2nd is our annual coffeehouse :)  We'd love for you to share your talents with our community virtually in whatever way is easiest, be it recording yourself beforehand or sharing your talents live.  We can't wait to see your gifts!  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your contributions or any questions. 

On May 16th, we are having a "Self-Care Retreat Service."  Many of you remember that through conversations with a number of speakers in 2020, we reflected on the question, "How can we integrate the wisdom of retreats into our services and community life?"  Is there something you've experienced during retreats or that you learned about how Agape can be "retreat-like" that you'd like to incorporate May 16th?  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and let me know.  Depending on the number of contributions we have, we may incorporate these offerings in both our May and June services.

With joy in waking up to new life emerging,

Matt
 

Agape Service: Spirituality and Earth Care
Sunday, April 18 at 4:30p.m.
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2043377541
How does our spirituality connect to our relationship with the earth and all of life?
 
Agape Virtual Coffeehouse
Sunday, May 2 at 4:30p.m.
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2043377541
Share your talents at our annual coffeehouse!

Save the Date!  Self-Care Retreat Service
Sunday, May 16 at 4:30p.m.
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2043377541
Fill your cup and relax from daily stressors at our retreat service focused on your self-care!
Let's Meditate Together!
2nd and 4th Thursday nights each month through June 2021.
Thursday April 22nd- Sound Meditation with Soo Laski
Thursday May 13th- Peace and Relaxation with Nancy Pratt 
Thursday May 27th
Thursday June 10th- Carolyn Caissie 
Thursday June 24th- Rachel Downs
7:15-7:45pm: Virtually via Zoom (login info below)
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/2043377541
Join us to fill your cup with various meditation, mindfulness, and contemplative practices.  All are welcome.  Led by Rev. Matt Carriker and Agape leaders.
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To make a love donation to support the unfoldment of Agape's vision in the world of living and spreading unconditional love, you can donate at the link below, or checks can be made out to "SNEUCC" with "Agape" in the memo line (and mailed to 5 Farrant Rd., Natick, MA 01760).  In this season of giving, we invite you also to consider making a pledge to Agape in 2021.  

https://macucc-reg.brtapp.com/Agape

Agape Upcoming Events: http://www.agapewaltham.org/getinvolved/upcoming