Coming up in June 2022 First Thursdays: Conversation and Coffee- focusing question for June: "When was the last time you did something for the first time?" Second Thursdays Winter Women Third Thursdays Creative Aging - this group is governed by two quotes, one from Mary Oliver - "Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?" and "We have two lives and the second begins when you realize you only have one" from Maris de Andrande. Fourth Thursdays discussions of various topics, or experiences, such as bookless book study or movies, this month an introduction to Joyful Voices, our Readers' Theatre for Worship group. This group has not been active since 2018 and it is time to review its contribution to past worship services.
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.
Now that our building has re-opened, come join us anytime, as we meet in the Library at FCUCC, located on the 2nd floor of the Education/Office Building. If you have any questions, email Loraine Tuenge at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.”
January 7, 2022
Dear Friends, we are entering into 2022 with lots of hope for the future and dragging much baggage from the past two years. I try to pick one word or concept to further focus our ministry each new year. Last year I spoke of Incarnational Work. This year I wish to add Excessive Gentleness! Sarah Bessey, who writes a blog called Field Notes, shares with her followers that she suffers from a chronic illness which has attacked her body. She says “I want to tell you, in the cacophony of wellness industry and goals and battles, that your body is good. Good. Right now. Right from the beginning, our bodies are good.” “It seems to me that we’re desperate for some gentleness, compassion and kindness right now. Not only toward our own bodies but our whole selves and each other, too. That affirmation has given me much solace these past few months,” she continues. After the past few months of my personal struggles, these are words of affirmation to me. Then she points out the words of John O’Donohue found in the blessing ‘For The One Who Is Exhausted’ found in To Bless the Space Between Us: You have been forced to enter empty time. The desire that drove you has relinquished. There is nothing else to do now but rest And patiently learn to receive the elf You have forsaken in the race of days.
You have traveled too fast over false ground: Now your soul has come to take you back.
Draw alongside the silence of stone Until its calmness can claim you. Be excessively gentle with yourself.
Gradually, you will return to yourself…
Sarah’s prayer (and my prayer for you, too) is this: Be excessively gentle with yourself…gentile with your words to yourself. Gentle with your expectations. Gentle with your demands. Gentle with your soul. Gentle with your plans, your time, your hours, your sleep…Gentle with your needs, your wants, your desires. Gentle with your mind and your body. Be excessively gentle, my friend. You don’t have to earn this, you are beloved by God, our Mother, let Them love you as a mother loves her baby.
Stirrings Amongst the Stacks: Well, there has been a delay in the Winter Women’s Retreat schedule again. With the resurgence of this new covid variant, we found it prudent to cancel our winter retreat. I hope to be able to get a home study out to all of you and are still in hopes of meeting for a Lenten Retreat. Watch this space for updates.