Who we are: We are of people with different backgrounds and interests who are seeking to study Celtic and other forms of Spirituality and spiritual practice; looking for ways to remain creative, or embrace more creative forms of expression; who wish to continue learning through study, and discussion. We gather in the Library, drink a ‘cuppa’ and just talk, laugh and cry a little sometimes:
Winter Women who meet the second Thursday of each month discuss, discern and concern ourselves with issues of sisterhood and are brought together through the study of Celtic Spirituality. This group is open to all ‘mature’ women and ones who recognize the potential of the wisdom-bringers among us.
The Creative Age-ers, open to all genders, strive to understand aging in a world which does not wish to acknowledge it or embrace it. We meet on the fourth Thursday to contemplate what we must learn, offer, and embrace.
The other Thursdays are open to all persons for various activities such as ‘bookless book’ studies, and spirited movies, and one Thursday a month we have gentle conversation while working in our Library.
What we do: We have discussion times for Bible study, Celtic study, Spirituality study, Book study. We have meditation time for Advent, for Lent and ‘Just Because’. We host women’s retreats seasonally, including Women’s Christmas in January. We go on pilgrimage: Iona, Ghost Ranch, New York City are a few. We seek ways to be creative and to live in creative ways. Stir the Soul Café is a concept that is evolving, unfolding, and re-creating. Come join us anytime but until Covid-19 has been managed so that we can re-open our building for face-to-face contact, we will work with email and zoom to remain in conversation. If you have any questions, email Loraine Tuenge at email@example.com.
Our motto for this year for Stir the Soul Café Ministries: “In times of bleakness, darkness, fear, hopelessness, there is God, present in blessed acts of Incarnational Work.”
April 30, 2021
Stir the Soul Studies: Last week we began our new series called: A Fine Line. I asked you to think about how we use the word “line.” One of you reported back with the phrase “tow the line.” Another shared a more shadowy line: “a line of cocaine,” and yet another, “a line in the sand.” This week’s emphasis is on Wonder: A Lined and Weathered Face. If you are on the STSCM mailing list, you will automatically receive this new study. If you wish to receive it, just email me.
Stirring Amongst the Stacks: June preview Update on next series for Creative Aging: We will be studying Parker Palmer’s book – On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old.
Drawing on his 8 decades of experience, Palmer explores the questions age raises and the promise it holds. “Old,” he writes, “is just another word for nothing left to lose, a time to dive deep into life, not withdraw to the shallows.” This book is not a how-to-do-it book on aging, but a set of mediations in prose and poetry that turn the prism on the meaning of one’s life, reflecting new light at every turn. It is not necessary to buy this book for our study, but On the Brink of Everything is available in many different forms from hard copy to Audible.
Watch this space for information on our next Winter Women study.
April 23, 2021
Stirring Amongst the Stacks: There will be a day that we can re-convene again face-to-face as groups for STSCM! We will enjoy films, meditations, studies, and conversations over cups of coffee or tea. We will be able to discuss Celtic history and other Spiritual practices, participate in Advent, Lenten and “just because” retreats, prepare for pilgrimages such as Iona, Ghost Ranch, New York’s Manhattan Island. Plus, some of us will work on the maintenance of the Library – which in itself is a long term task! Stir the Soul Café is a concept that is evolving, unfolding and re-creating. Come join us anytime…when the pandemic restrictions are eased. Stir the Soul Studies: Though I said that I would have separate studies for Winter Women and Creative Aging, at this time, I have only one meditation series to offer both groups. By the beginning of June I will have developed separate studies for each. This new series is a meditation called called: A Fine Line Think of all the ways we use the word "line." We have lines of poetry or music, walking the line, all along the line, line of fire, line of duty, out of line, read between the lines, lining your pockets, hold the line, flat line, getting a line on information and many more phrases. A row of persons is a line up, there are lines on a map, we read between the lines and to draw we create a long, thin line. We have clotheslines, fishing lines and line drives in baseball. So many lines. As Nature warms we will have all summer to practice these lines! If you are the STSCM mailing list, you will automatically receive this new study. If you wish to receive it, just email me.
April 16, 2021
Stirring Amongst the Stacks: In keeping with the topic from last week, I thought I would continue with some words about what colors we (the Church) use to designate the various seasons of the Liturgical Year. The Worship Team should be applauded for the staging they managed along with the worship services each Sunday. Team members hung the proper colors for each season to give us some constancy for our online worship during Covid-19. White is the color for this Season of Eastertide. White because it is suggests the joy of the Resurrection and when teamed with gold (as found in our butterflies) it celebrates the greatest work of God in the world. In May the color will change to Red to help us remember the tongues of fire on that first Pentecost. Red represents fire, excitement, energy, and power – all the experiences of the early church movement. Stir the Soul Studies: New material will begin in one more week and it may be a combination of home study and zoom! There will material for both Winter Women (for women easing into more mature years or any who dare to explore the possibility of imaging new stories) and the Creative Aging Group (for all ages and genders who are seeking alternatives to how we are supposed to age!).
Keep an eye on this spot for more details.
April 9, 2021
Stirring Amongst the Stacks: At Noon Prayer time this week, I was aware of the power of the circle. I am even old enough to remember that social and service works of most congregations were done in circles albeit generally “women’s” circles! The ancient church maintained the circle as a learning tool for the congregations to know each week what was going to be taught and preached. The Liturgical Calendar is a circle. Some of you did not come from a liturgical church and you might not know the Liturgical Year. It is easy to explain: you draw a circle, then bisect it. One half is the story of Jesus and the other half is the story of the People. Though it has no beginning or end, there is a rhyme and reason to it, however you may drop in anywhere and follow along. The circle is not a barrier.
The Calendar begins with Advent, Christmas and continues to Epiphany (which is equal in length to the first two seasons). It proceeds to Lent, Easter then Pentecost. That is the top half of the Calendar. The rest of the circle, the bottom half is what we call ordinary time. See I told you it was easy. Why does it still exist after all these years? Perhaps it is because when the circle is completed we are able to see how God’s love connects both sides. The first half speaks to us about Jesus and his love and the other half uses Jesus’ teachings to show us how to live, and love.
I am reminded of theologian’s NT Wright assessment in his book, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church:
“Love is not a duty it is our destiny. It is the language that Jesus spoke and we are called to speak it so that we can converse with him. It is the food that they eat in God’s new world, and we must acquire a taste for it here and now. It is the music God has written for all creatures to sing and we are called to learn it and practice it now.”
Stir the Soul Studies: New material will begin in two more weeks. Keep an eye on this spot for more details.
April 2, 2021
Stirring Amongst the Stacks: Our group Lenten Study this season was about seed, soil, death and renewal. As a Benediction to that course I would like to offer some final words from Janice MacLean of the Prayer Bench:
“Dear Friends, We have arrived at Good Friday. This is not like other days. We pause. We breathe. We ground ourselves in Love. We look not just at the cross before our eyes but all the broken places of our world. This takes energy. Be strong. Be of good courage…
“…We see in the tragic death of Jesus our own human capacity for violence and, yet, our great capacity for love. ‘We love despite our fragile flaws when we see ourselves loved by One greater than ourselves,’ says wisdom teacher Ilia Delio. ‘How we see is how we love, and what we love is what we become.’
“We are loved with a Love that will never let go: a love that re-makes us, not because we are inherently flawed or did something so humanly wrong we can’t be redeemed, but because God’s deepest desire for us is so full of Love that we let go all that hinders us from God.
“Like a tiny seed we fall into the dark today.”
“Very truly I tell you; Unless a grain of wheat Falls into the earth and dies, It remains just a single grain; But if it dies, it bears much fruit.” - John 12:24
When we see the body of Christ Still broken in this world, May we meet it With lavish grace And pour ourselves out With extravagant love.” - Jan Richardson
Stir the Soul Studies: New material will begin in three more weeks. Keep an eye on this spot for more details.