To Everything There is a Season

Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,

We are officially embarking upon a 64-Day shared journey this Sunday, January 29th. We will be sharing as a community in The Season for Nonviolence, along with the Association for Global New Thought. We will be observing this time together as a spiritual discipline, as a deepening and learning time and as a time to really connect to the larger world in a consciousness of Transformation, Spiritual Activism and Joyous Meaning Making.

We have adopted the four Seasons of the AGNT as our “liturgical calendar” for SANCTUARY NYC. This is a beautiful and meaningful way of focusing our efforts, and our education and our work in the world year round, upon a transformational theme.

Our Sunday services during February/ Season for Nonviolence (see events on our website) will also be graced with the diverse music, poetry, story telling and dance of the African Diaspora. One of the deep roots of American spirituality comes through the tradition of the Black Church. As an honoring of this “deep river” we are traveling through art and message into an understanding and appreciation of that uniquely American spiritual art form.

We are so looking forward to sharing this journey with you.

See you Sunday,
Keep Creating!

With love,
Rev. Jane

To Everything There is a Season

Sanctuary NYC

An Urban Oasis with a Global (Heart) Beat

We meet on Sundays @ 2pm at The Center at West Park, 165 West 86th Street, NYC

Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,

We are officially embarking upon a 64-Day shared journey this Sunday, January 29th. We will be sharing as a community in The Season for Nonviolence, along with the Association for Global New Thought. We will be observing this time together as a spiritual discipline, as a deepening and learning time and as a time to really connect to the larger world in a consciousness of Transformation, Spiritual Activism and Joyous Meaning Making.
We have adopted the four Seasons of the AGNT as our “liturgical calendar” for SANCTUARY NYC. This is a beautiful and meaningful way of focusing our efforts, and our education and our work in the world year round, upon a transformational theme.
Our Sunday services during February/ Season for Nonviolence (see events on our website) will also be graced with the diverse music, poetry, story telling and dance of the African Diaspora. One of the deep roots of American spirituality comes through the tradition of the Black Church. As an honoring of this “deep river” we are traveling through art and message into an understanding and appreciation of that uniquely American spiritual art form.
We are so looking forward to sharing this journey with you.
See you Sunday,
Keep Creating!
With love,
Rev. JaneImage

The forest for the trees:)

Hello Friends,

A very smart person just pointed out to me that “Putting it together” is NOT from Into the Woods, but rather from “Sunday in the park with George”. Yes!! He was so right!! But isn’t it wonderful how all those metaphors can mush together and still make a deeper point? I was seeing the set of Sunday in the park and hearing Into the Woods…Wow…stereo Sundheim.

Hope you don’t miss the forest for the trees- to belabor a point:)

See you in the Woods.

love,

JaneImage

Staying Through the Storm

Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,

 
The holiday season was honestly an amazing miracle at SANCTUARY NYC. We were able to allow ourselves to midwife the birth of something new – in the midst of a freezing cold meeting space. And now we have HEAT in the sanctuary!! Amazing…
 
On Feb. 29th, we will be launching our 64 Day Gandhi- King Season for Nonviolence, along with with Association for Global New Thought. The national theme for this year’s season is “Global Peace- There’s An App for That!”.and has to do with exploring the power for good and connection through social media.
Our sub theme for SANCTUARY NYC is “Connecting the Human Family” and we will be organizing that in three 21 day sections.
 
The sections are:
Youth- Cultivating Compassion and Dialogue Across Generations
Adult-  What is Nonviolence How does it work? What is its’ history? How do we become Spiritual Activists? how do we sustain our efforts?
Sacred Elders-   Highlighting the importance of elders to our collective health. we are honored to be showing a film on the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, and hosting a Q&A with the Producer Carole Hart as the centerpiece of this 21 day section.
 
We have a great team of leaders and presenters and teachers joining together to make this happen, and to join us during this period of deepening.
The 64 Days of “The Season” span the time between the birthdays of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and Mahatma Gandhi.
 
I don’t know if you are feeling it but the glow of the holiday “season” seems to have given way to a bit of a re-grouping kind of energy. I hesitate to say a “post holiday depression” but honestly that is what it feels like.  I don’t want to give it too much power. I for one am so deeply grateful for the creativity and excitement which are also a part of every day these days, that i don’t want to give in to the other energy.
 
But as I think this through, and as we are immersed in the planning for another ‘Season”- I realized that this is really exactly the point isn’t it? 
We are cyclical beings. The seasons come and go, relationships come ‘for a reason, season or lifetime’, we find ourselves constantly in a process of weeding the garden of our lives in order for the great fruit to come forth. And that involves a loss of sorts…if we see it as such.
 The weeding, the ‘letting go’ seems to always be met with some internal resistance at first. There is something about the known, which makes us want to hold onto it. But as we become aware that the Divine Dance is pulling us into a greater conversation with life, we develop the habit of embracing change, with it’s losses, its’ surprises and its’ gifts.
We have to let go of the good for the greater to emerge, if we are to be a part of the real evolutionary edge. 
And we also have to grieve the loss of places in consciousness, old houses if you will, and of companions along the way…even as we rise to greet the new day.
It’s all part of the flow ofd the thing.
 
So as we announce to you the Season for Nonviolence, I also acknowledge that the energies which are being marshaled to step into that project are being gathered in the midst of an awareness of loss…a seasonal shift from the holiday lights to another kind of moment. And this is the way of life.
We have to honor all of the parts of the journey. 
 
In her wonderful book, “Broken Open- How Difficult Times Can Help Us Grow”, Elizabeth Lesser says, “To be human is to be lost in the woods. None of us arrives here with clear directions on how to get from point A to point B without stumbling into the forest of confusion or catastrophe or wrongdoing. Although they are dark and dangerous, it is in the woods that we discover our strength.”

Stephen Sondheim’s wonderful musical about the creative process is called, aptly, “Into the Woods”.
One of the songs from that show describes how our inner artist approaches the work of art which is our life: “Putting it together…bit, by bit”
And there is no ‘putting it together’ without also ‘taking it apart’.
Letting go of what no longer serves is a critical part of the creative process.
 
This week we are looking at the topic “Staying Through the Storm.” (In case you forgot, we are looking at the overall theme for the month of “Daring to Dream” and the music of Yip Harburg- Somewhere Over the Rainbow- is the inspiration for that idea.)  
“The dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”
Daring to dream connotes courage, daring to dream means realizing that to leap into the world of our greatest good requires a willingness to be off balance, daring to dream means loving deeply and letting ourselves feel the loss which comes with the seasons..rather than loving shallowly and living a life of “safety”, 
 
Staying through the storm takes tenacity, resilience and grace…and a deep knowing that the Creator of the storm is also the author of life.
The storm comes to clear the air. The brittle dead wood on trees is blown away, the forest and even sometimes houses are uprooted in the storm…and when the morning sun re-emerges…the Yellow Brick Road is suddenly visible.
But if we don’t stay through the storm…we miss the whole thing.
 
I look forward to sharing the next “season” with you. The energy of 2012 is one of Transformation…personal, planetary, evolutionary.
And of course, we look forward to seeing you Sunday at 2 pm in the warm sanctuary.
 
Oh, and there will be a film being made during the service this Sunday.
If you are willing to have yourself as part of the shoot, there will be release forms at the doors. If not, we understand and look forward to seeing you anyway.
We will make sure you are seated out of the hot zone:)
 
Have a great rest of the week.
I’ll see you in the woods!
 
With love and thanks,
Rev. JaneImage

Ariadne, the Thread and Other Mysteries

Dear SANCTUARY NYC Friends,
 
I am so moved by the work people are doing in the “Finding the Thread- Spiritual Growth Through Systematic Autobiography” class. I came home from class last night and simply was in a bubble of grace for hours. It is an honor and a privilege to be part of the emergence of deep awareness.  The process is gentle, is even mysterious…and life altering.
We are all amazed again at how subtle our minds can be. It seems that the Unconscious doesn’t give up its’ secrets in just any old way. We really are “protected” from information which we may not be ready to process. But once the invitation goes forth…and the place is prepared for the soul to speak…what surprising and beautiful clues we encounter along the way. The thread WANTS to reconnect. our purpose WANTS to express as US.
 
There is a wonderful Ancient Greek mythic story about finding ones’ way through the maze of the unconscious. Ariadne fell in love at first sight with Theseus, and in order to help him to find his way out of the Minotaur’s labyrinth, she gave him two gifts: a sword and a ball of thread. The sword allowed for discernment, and the ball of thread became the lifeline up and out of the “underworld” for the beloved.
This metaphor of reconnecting with our essential selves is speaking to us on many different levels…in classes, on Sundays, in community gatherings and upcoming projects.
 
This month on Sundays we are looking at the idea “Daring to Dream”. 
“A dream is a wish your heart makes” says the song. ..How do we allow the dream to live and become an alive expression of our highest and best?
This is what we are looking at all month.
 
Come join us at 2 pm at West Park – 86th and Amsterdam in NYC.
You will be glad you did….we will be so happy to see you too.
Keep dreaming,
With love,
Rev. Jane
 

Knowing What We Know

“And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.”

Matthew 2:12

There are many ideas about the visit of the Magi (astrologers)  to the supposed birth site of Jesus of Nazareth. The story only appears in one of the books of the New Testament, and the inclusion of this visit from astrologers on a mission spearheaded by Kind Herod- bearing gifts which allegedly foretell the life and death of the child- carries a feeling of mystery and magic with it. it is also ominous and a little scary…like a lot of stories in that book.
The idea that news of this birth had traveled far enough for Herod to be worried about it possibly usurping his power is amazing in itself. It was not easy to get word a far distance in the Ancient Near East! 
 
Facebook and Twitter, not to mention e-mail and the web, have made the way we communicate very immediate. I have shared with some friends that I see Facebook as the new smoke signals…sending word out to the world…kind of letting people know what is what in your personal life, but also forecasting trends and showing connections among people we never would have known about! It can be a little unnerving actually, but it is also just one more tool for knowing.
 
This matter of how we communicate with one another is one which is so important. The whole world is connected now, and in an instant we can pick up on things over which we feel no sense of control, but about which we become concerned. Direct communication,  passive aggressive communication and hurtful information is all sent out.  It reminds me though, of something a brilliant playwright once said “words conceal they don’t reveal”.
 
We risk losing the deeper intuitive knowing which led those wise men/astrologers if we get so” linked in” that we tune out
 Several young people have been so traumatized by the bullying they have received on Facebook that they have actually taken their lives.
 
In this new year, SANCTUARY NYC will be joining with the Association for Global New Thought, to honor four seasons of ministry focus. The first season begins Jan. 30th and goes through April 4., and is The Season for Nonviolence. We will be focusing our efforts upon tailoring programs and special events which will  deal with how we become nonviolent agents of communication and healing in our world. Stay tuned for numerous special events, film showings, classes, speakers etc, which will be SANCTUARY NYC’s part in this wonderful worldwide effort.
 
This is also the United Nations Year of Collaboration and Partnership.
It is clear that unless we learn how to really work together, to truly not just cooperate but to also collaborate, we will have limited planetary resources for future generations.
So effective communication skills and real tools for conflict resolution are going to have to be part of the learning models for a sustainable world.
We need to learn how to share….and we need to learn it now.
The stakes are high
 
The subsequent Seasons are:
A Season for the Earth- April- June
A Season for Humane Service- June- August and
A Season for Interfaith-Intercultural Celebration- September- December
 
I pray that we will discover together ways to truly “love one another”.
It is really all that counts in the end.
With love,
Rev. Jane