Sunday Services in February:
Theme: HEART WORK AND COMMUNITY
“We seek fulfillment in our lives through heart connection with others. This is our soul’s essence of joy, which spontaneously pulses through us, longing to share itself with another.” — John Friend
Once the month of January is over and new resolutions made, then the question arises of how to carry these resolutions of the heart out into the larger world. For this, community building needs to occur.
In February, we will explore multiple perspectives on community building, ways in which the heart can connect with the hearts of others in a practical and socially valuable way. February, heart connection month brings renewed awareness of how important our heart connections are, with ourselves, each other and the wider community.
Such connections, whether with self, COT or the larger community are enriched by contact with others. In the end all connections serve to awaken us to greater unity consciousness. Submitted by Laurence Beal, SDC
February 5 The Pachamama Alliance: For an Environmentally Sustainable, Spiritually Fulfilling, and Socially Just Presence on the Planet.
Moderator: Sanjara Omoniyi
Presenters: Michael Tacon and Chris Bullock
Meditation: Michael Tacon
Greeter: D. Joan Thomas
Coordinator: Chris Bullock
Michael Tacon: In addition to his 14 year sojourn in an ashram community, Micael has lived a varied life working as a land surveyor, college teacher, and a psychotherapist. For much of his life he has sought to bring together a spiritual perspective and his working career along with his involvement in various kinds of social activism of the kind expressed by the Pachamama Alliance. He is currently living in the Harbourside Senior Cohousing community in Sooke.
Chris Bullock, currently a member of the COT Spiritual Directions Committee, retired from an academic career teaching English to follow a more interesting and varied path involving writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction, grandparenting, community activism, hiking and spiritual seeking. From 20012 to 2014, Michael and he presented the Pachamama “Awakening the Dreamer” program in a number of venues, including the COT Oneness Wednesday series.
February 12 The Transformative Power of Community Connections
February, heart connection month brings renewed awareness of how important our heart connections are, with ourselves ,each other and the wider community. Such connections, whether with self, COT or the larger community are enriched by contact with others. In the end all connections serve to awaken us to greater unity consciousness. Our speaker today, Jack Meredith, has experienced this powerful transforming effect and is happy to share his experiences with us today
Moderator: Brian Martin
Meditation: Elsie Mary Poliquin
Speaker: Jack Meredith
Greeter: Ella Brown
Coordinator: Leonard Thornton
Jack Meredith lives in Victoria West with his wife Lori and has been active with arranging community building events with the Vic West Community Association, Transition Victoria, Resilient Neighbourhoods and the Gorge Swim Fest Society.
One initiative that Jack was involved with, that he will be speaking about, is a Transition Victoria initiative called Transition Streets. This initiative had a transformational impact on Jack and his neighbors on McCaskill Street. The initiative not only brought the neighbors closer together but also enabled them to reduce their impact on the environment through reduced water use, reduced energy use, more thoughtful decisions about consumption, food choices, transportation and waste generation.
One area that is of particular pride and interest to Jack is Net Zero Energy. He and Lori with the help of his friends and neighbors installed 4.2 kilowatts of Photo Voltaic panels on their house and are now closely monitoring their energy use to see if they have indeed achieved Net Zero Energy.
February 19 From the Heart Theatrical Project
Moderator: Lorna Rennie
Meditation: Laura Lane
Speaker: Will Weigler
Greeter: Jennifer Sagar
Coordinator: Jennifer Sagar
Will Weigler is an award-winning community-based theatre director, playwright, and storyteller. He has written several books including From the Heart: How 100 Canadians Created an Unconventional Theatre Performance about Reconciliation; The Alchemy of Astonishment: Engaging the Power of Theatre; Strategies for Playbuilding: Helping Groups Translate Issues into Theatre; and Laughing Allowed! – A How-to Guide for Making a Physical Comedy Show to Build Neighbourhood Resilience (co-authored with Rob Wipond and Michelle Colussi)
February 26 Community Service: Heart Work and Our Community
At the Community Service this month, we will have the opportunity of sharing the heart work our Community does in the wider community. Brian Martin, who is a facilitator of our Meditation Circle will share what happen in our weekly Oneness Wednesdays evening Meditation Circle and will also lead us in a meditation. Bill Israel will share our new Community Outreach Program and then introduce Lucy Price who tell us more about Cedars Recovery House and the services that they provide to the wider community. Cedars Recovery House is one of our community’s designated recipients. After Lucy’s short presentation, there will be an opportunity of a Q + A facilitated by Bill Israel.
Moderator: Marvelous Trudeau
Introduction to Meditation Circle + Meditation: Brian Martin
Introduction to Community Outreach Program: Bill Israel
Short Presentation on Cedar Recovery House: Lucy Price (with Q + A facilitated by Bill Israel)
Greeter: John Vanden Heuvel
Coordinator: Linda Chan with the assistance of Bill Israel
Lucy Price is the counselor and house manager at Cedars Victoria, a second stage recovery house in James Bay. Lucy has been counseling for over a decade and has been with Cedars since 2012, working in primary care in Cobble Hill for three years and then transferring to the recovery house. Lucy studied social work at the University of Victoria and found her passion working with recovering addicts; she was honored as the You Unlimited Woman of Mentorship and Leadership in 2016 for her work in the recovery community. Lucy is committed to assisting individuals to reintegrate into society and to live their best lives by helping them to walk a path based on spiritual principles.
Sunday Services in January…..
Theme: CARRYING THE LIGHT INTO THE WORLD
In the Christian tradition, early in January comes the Feast of the Epiphany, the time when the Three Kings were lead to the stable by a star and found the Christ Child. In the Greek and Eastern churches, this time is known at the “Day of Light.” This day signals the carrying of Light into the world. The tradition is that the Three Kings went back to their native lands and started spreading the word about what they had seen. In a more universalist perspective, the Three Kings and the different gifts they gave the Christ Child can be seen as three aspects of the self, three qualities needed to bring into the world the light of whatever revelation is birthing at the beginning of the New Year. Generally, frankincense is taken to symbolise holiness or a devotion to the sacred, myrrh to symbolise sacrifice, or the willingness to go into the depths, and gold to symbolise earthly power. Gold , in a modern interpretation, represents the skill of finding the strategies to bring vision into practical existence. Without these three Kingly gifts, revelation, however powerful, will have no impact in the world. The astrological influences in this month suggest there is a fourth Kingly gift, the gift of transcending boundaries, and breaking open fixed concepts. As Leonard Cohen puts it, the “crack in everything” is “where the light comes in.” — Chris Bullock, for SDC
January 1: Fool’s Gold: The Crack in Conceptualized Values.
I have often found myself looking back, with enough distance in time, to regard a past event in which my part could only, so much later, be seen to be the part of a fool. Yes, in time, with gained wisdom from the trail of living, we all have seen things from later perspectives which throw a spin of humor into the recollection. Monica says she gets the jist or gest or jest of the theme along with the …just jest and jist of the necessary adjustments which might go bump in the night. —- Laurence Beal
Moderator: Marvelous Trudeau
Meditation: Troi Leonard
Speaker: Monica Gabriel
Greeter: Bill Israel
Coordinator: Laurence Beal
Moneca Gabriel is a multi-faceted member of our Community who is passionate about life….. For 40 years, she taught school and loved it; she was a teacher-trainer and leadership facilitator and has led workshops since 1975. She has been on the international staff with Landmark Education, is a Certified Purposeful Life Coach and continues to dedicate herself towards bringing positive shifts in the mind, the heart and the soul of people’s lives.
Moneca is committed to making a difference in this world ….. Currently she is actively involved with two projects which are near and dear to her heart.— Raising funds to directly support Kenyan student education. She has started fundraising for building interlocking blocks for housing which will also provide work for Kenyan students. — Having available Empress Splendor Trees bare roots that businesses and individuals can purchase. These are the fastest growing hardwood trees which will absorb at least 11Xs more carbon dioxide than other types of trees.
For more info – Landmark Education: http://www.landmarkworldwide.com/; Kenyan Education Endowment Fund: http://www.kenyaeducation.org/ ; and The Empress Splendor Tree: http://worldtreecop.com/empress-tree/
January 8: Frankincense: Awakening Devotion to the Sacred
Frankincense, one of the gifts of the Magi, is a unique fragrance distilled from the resinous bark of shrubby trees, grown mainly in Lebanon, Yemen and N. Africa. In Hebrew, frankincense means pure or white as the drops of resin were milky white. and were used in many types of sacred ceremonies. It is thought frankincense was given as a gift to Jesus to symbolize his stature as a spiritual leader, bringing to mankind the message of the indwelling light of spirit. In His life and teaching Christ Jesus embodied and demonstrated the power of that Great Light for all men.
This week we focus on the power expressed through frankincense to help ground spirit into matter and awaken in mankind greater spiritual aspiration, helping to inspire devotion to the indwelling spiritual light and the realization of the Kingdom of Heaven within. In what ways has this Christmas awakened deeper devotion to the spirit of light and truth within ourselves and how is that appearing in our outer lives?
Moderator: Peggy Muncaster
Meditation: Troi Leonard
Speaker: Eileen Curteis
Greeter: Marie Logan
Coordinator: Leonard Thornton
Eileen Curteis, a Sister of Saint Ann, is a Reiki Master teacher and practitioner, who has treated and taught numerous people over the last twenty-four years. After the closure of Queenswood Retreat and Spirituality Centre where she had worked for seventeen years, Eileen carried on the legacy of the former Queenswood by obtaining a fifteen year trademark for Queenswood School of Reiki. She then went on to co-found with Sharon Burkmar and other dedicated women, Queenswood Holistic Healing and Spirituality Society. Preceding this, Sister Eileen was a teacher, principal and educator for twenty-seven years. Her greatest passion lies in her healing ministry and in the literary arts. She has authored eleven books to date and has become an accomplished poet, artist and writer, as well as being a producer of six CDs and three films.
January 15: Myrrh: The Light Inside the Dark.
Moderator: Chris Bullock
Meditation: Ariel Lade
Speaker: Junie Swadron
Coordinator: Chris Bullock
Junie Swadron is an author, playwright, psychotherapist, teacher and writing coach. Her book, Re-Write Your Life: A Transformational Guide to Writing and Healing the Stories of Our Lives (2009), is based on 21 years of guiding literally thousands of students to write their life stories. Earlier, in 2002, she co-wrote and produced a play to help dispel myths and stigmas about mental illness entitled, Madness, Masks and Miracles. It’s about the madness or the dark night of the soul that she believes most, if not all, of us go through as we walk our human journey, the masks we wear to hide the madness, shame, pain, grief and fear and the miracles that allow us to finally remove the masks and find freedom.
January 22: Gold: “An Incredibly Profound Talk.”
Be inspired! Be entertained!
Be awakened to the spiritual gold in your everyday stories!
- Do you want to be renewed by soulful stories?
- Do you want to awaken your inner story-teller?
- Do you want free snacks?
If you answered “yes” to one or more questions, this talk is for you.
In this Incredibly Profound Talk, acclaimed comedian, Diana Kuch weaves personal stories, comedic tales, and ancient truths, into a luminous tapestry that demonstrates what our ancestors have always known; stories infuse matter with spirit, uncover the spirit in matter, and show us what matters.
This talk encourages you to tap into your own stories. As you connect with all the tales you hold, you grow in an understanding of your deepest values. In addition, you become aware of the golden treasure-house of your own wisdom and creativity.
Our narratives, even the mundane and ordinary, hold many gifts. Stories provide insights when making decisions. Stories move us through transitions. Stories infuse our lives with energy and restore our spirit.
The power of our simple, everyday stories connects us to each other, and to what teachers like Marianne Williamson, and the Dali Lama, name, as one of the most important spiritual truths, “We are all the same.”
Moderator: Troi Leonard
Meditation: Leonard Thornton
Speaker: Diana Kuch
Greeter: Jennifer Sager
Coordinator: Jennifer Sager
Diana Kuch is a comedian, host, story-teller, and wild food forager.
Ever-devoted, she strives to cure two modern ailments, C.S.D. (Chronic Seriousness Disorder), and N.D.D. (Nature Deprivation Disorder.) Diana also wrestles with a personal eating disorder, O.C.N. (Out of Control Nibbling.) She was recently banned from an Oak Bay Potluck.
Diana is best known for her trilogy of sold out comedy specials: How to Lick a Vegetarian, Celebrating Imperfection, and Potluck Universe. In 2016, she premiered her new show: Laugh More, Stress Less, at the Victoria Conference Centre. The standing-room only crowd laughed, pounded their chests, and rolled in the aisles.
When not writing, performing, or eating, Diana can be found in her gumboots roaming the magical rainforests. She has a favorite mossy perch, where she stands and tells jokes to giant cedars.
January 29th- Community Service – Reflections: A look at what community means to us.
At this community service, we’ll be exploring Community — Some questions to reflect on….. What draws you to being part of a Community and more specifically our Community? How can this relationship (community to you, you to the community) strengthen and flow both ways? How might you further contribute to our community?…………
Moderator: Francis Litman
Panel Speakers: Diana Kuch, Ella Brown and Stephen Kinsella
Open Mic Facilitator: John Vanden Heuvel
Reflective Meditation: Brian Martin
Greeter: Laurence Beal
Coordinators: Linda Chan and John Vanden Heuvel
*** Please note this service will be a departure from our usual service and will be followed by a Finger Food Potluck. Contributions to this would be much appreciated… A vegan gluten-free soup will be prepared by Linda Chan.