Friday, November 3, 2017
CAC’s core faculty member, Cynthia Bourgeault, shares insights from other mystics—current and past—to reveal mercy at the heart of the universe. She shares the theological implications of quantum physics from contemporary Episcopal preacher, Barbara Brown Taylor:
Where is God in this picture? God is all over the place. God is up there, down here, inside my skin and out. God is the web, the energy, the space, the light—not captured in them, as if any of those concepts were more real than what unites them—but revealed in that singular, vast net of relationship that animates everything that is. . . . At this point in my thinking, it is not enough for me to proclaim that God is responsible for all this unity. Instead, I want to proclaim that God is the unity—the very energy, the very intelligence, the very elegance and passion that make it all go. 
Barbara’s point may seem like a nuance, but it is a crucially important one. Our visible, created universe is not simply an object created by a wholly other God in order to manifest God’s love, but the created universe is that love itself—the very heart of God, fully expressive in the dimension of time and form.
When we speak in these terms, of course, we begin to use the classic language of the mystics, the language of visionary utterance. For Jacob Boehme (1575-1624) the name in German for mercy was Barmherzigkeit—“warmheartedness.” Boehme saw mercy as “the holy element”: the root energy out of which all else in the visible universe is made. The Mercy is “holy substantiality”—the innermost essence of being itself. It is that “river of God,” running like the sap through the tree of life. 
Lest we be inclined to discount this insight as merely the rambling of a God-intoxicated mystic, it is astonishing to discover virtually an identical insight revealed by the eminently sane psychotherapist Gerald May (1940-2005). May affirms that from a clinical standpoint, once the various differentiations and feeling-tones have been stripped away from our subjective emotional life, what remains is a raw, root energy that is, finally, none other than divine love. “It is as if agape [divine love] were the base metal, irreducible and unadulterated,” he writes. “The universe runs on an energy that is, at its core, unconditionally loving.” 
May’s vision of agape—divine love—is very close to Boehme’s (and my own) notion of the Mercy. Far from pity or condescension, it is the very heartbeat of God resonant in creation; the warmth that pulses through all things as the divine Mystery flows out into created form.
Date: 2 November 2017
Tiffin Area Pax Christi’s next meeting—November 2, 2017 at 7 p.m. will feature Findlay-based writer-photographer, filmmaker Carole Elchert with a presentation, Activismo: Art & Dissidence in Cuba. In 2015, Elchert and Philip Sugden spent 6 days in Cuba interviewing and filming Havana artists. Later they interviewed US-based Cuban artists for a documentary that discusses how art functions to produce social transformation through activism and dissidence. The November 2 meeting hosts Carole with a PowerPoint presentation, followed by the Teaser for their upcoming documentary.
The meeting will take place at St. Francis Spirituality Center, 200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, Ohio. The event is free and open to the public and refreshments will be served. Donations for the speaker and contributions to the film will be accepted. Please call 419-306-0658 if you have any questions.
I want to ask you to do something important today.
Nahida Halaby Gordon from Wooster will be Tiffin Area Pax Christi’s speaker Thursday, October 5 at St. Francis Spirituality Center at 7 p.m. Gordon, a Palestinian Arab Christian, was born in Jerusalem in 1939 and grew up in Jaffa. In 1948 her family became refugees overnight and joined 750,000 other Palestinian refugees in scattering throughout the world. Soon Gordon came to the United States and had a successful career at an American university, but she never forgot about her homeland.
In 2016, she wrote Palestine Is Our Home: Voices of Loss, Courage and Steadfastness. Palestinians asked her to tell their stories about their suffering and the injustices under which they live. Gordon gathered 22 eyewitnesses and will share a few stories from Palestine. Copies of her book will be available for sale and autograph.
This special event will be at the Tiffin Franciscans Spirituality Center, 200 St. Francis Avenue, Tiffin, at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. The public is invited. Reservations are not necessary.
Contact Jo Hollingsworth for more info: 419.306.0658
John McCain showed his magnificent ability to not only deal with his brain cancer diagnosis but shows his attitudes of gratitude and joy in living such a fulfilling life.
I just loved the segment.
60 minutes also featured what 14 people said about their allegiance or non-allegiance to Trump.
Tonight, Wed. 7:00 PM We will have a short ritual vigil service trying to give hope and greater clarity —how do we reach out in these tough times with our world? In light of the Mexico earthquake, Irma, Harvey and now Maria, what can we each do to be engaged and a “part of the solution” towards greater peace in our country, in our city, in our family, etc.
Please just come and if you wish to have a sign, I’ll have an ipad and will put it on facebook afterwards. Thank you for your love and care.
Charlotte Gates Continue reading
by sr. Paulette Schroeder….published to give tribute to Elie Wiesel, to speak of the possibilities of communities pulling together…to speak of the Nonviolent Cities Campaign…….
Eliezer “Elie” Wiesel, a Romanian-born American Jewish writer, professor, political activist, Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor, wrote 57 books including Night, a work based on his experiences as a prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps. Because I heard Wiesel speak in person at Central Catholic High School in Toledo in the 70’s, I wanted to read NIGHT and again experience to a small extent how human beings can lose sight of the dignity of each human being as happened in the concentration camps.
Even after his horrid experiences in the camp, Elie said: “We must not see any person as an abstraction. Instead we must see in every person a universe with its own secrets, with its own treasure.”
I have experienced the truth that when such a conviction becomes the mindset of individuals, violence virtually ceases. That hope and dream alive in our society and our world stays with me as I continue to reflect on my most recent moments of huge crowds assembled at the Seneca County Fair! The 1100+ people who visited Project Peace and Pax Christi’s booth “Nonviolent Cities Campaign” were no doubt aware of the thick cultural darkness surrounding us here in the United States.
However, in countering the darkness, I wish I could bundle up all the energy, all the goodness of the fair goers I met as they supported their children trying to master skills in booth games, in agriculture, animal husbandry, housekeeping, and in sewing. Numerous times, I saw people greeting each other and stopping to chat with friends and neighbors. At the end of the Fair Week it seemed to me that we’d all want to say: “Let’s continue this kind of kindness and compassion, this neighborliness. Let’s make it the rule of our town and county.”
I think the annual Fair is truly a gift to Tiffin and to Seneca County. This year’s 175th. celebration did, I think, what the founders of the first Fair must have dreamed of doing—i.e. bring people together to know each other, to celebrate all the good things happening in our towns and county.
I think, too, that the Fair is an example of the hopes of the newly founded “Tiffin Nonviolent Cities Campaign.” This campaign is going on in 50 cities across the United States, and it is our hope that Tiffin will be the 51st. city to be an intentional city of hospitality and peace. We hope that Tiffin becomes that beacon of light on the hill for all people—a town where residents and visitors will experience peace as the core of who we are and what we do as we offer hospitality to all. In time, it is our hope that there will be efforts made by the various entities of Tiffin, i.e. industry, schools and universities, the town’s merchants, police, firemen, people in recovery, the Sisters of St. Francis, social services, people with mental and/or physical challenges, and people having economic difficulties to work toward deeper, stronger relationships with each other. Everyone will be in a real sense on a level plane raising one’s voice, coming to know each other, and sharing life together.
So much good can be envisioned when the goal for our town is appreciating each other mutually—growing in respectful relationship, looking out for each other so that no one falls “through the cracks.”
Project Peace and the Nonviolent Cities Campaign
Sr. Paulette Schroeder For more information, 419.447.0435 ext. 136