Friday, 21 December 2012

Solstice 2012 - A Time For Transformation

It's the morning of December 21, 2012, and as most people suspected, the world is carrying on as before, despite the Mayan long form calender entering a new era.

A friend forwarded me an email with a Solstice Invitation, written by Peter Senge, and the words he used invites us to reflect on where we are going individually, as parishes, and as a region in North Vancouver.
Last week a small group gathered in the Mayan forest in the Yucatan to explore what the ending of the 5,125-year "long count” on December 21 might mean to us. We came from diverse contexts: education, medicine, governance, science, conservation, spirituality and business. We were connected by our commitment to contribute to the evolution of our own consciousness and the transformation of key institutions that shape our society.
We came knowing that December 21 and 22, 2012 represent not only the end of one cycle but the beginning of a new one - a "chance for humans to start again,” as one of us expressed it while in the Yucatan.
There is a Mayan myth, retold on many monuments in sacred Mayan sites, about day 1 of the just-ending long count cycle. Nine wisdom holders gathered, "had a cup of chocolate and a conversation”, and reflected on how to re-establish harmony after such a long period of chaos. In this conversation they identified seeds they wanted to plant for the new cycle.
We are sending this message to a small group of friends around the world, each of who is connected to networks of collaboration in their work. We are inviting each of you to consider the sacredness of this moment. On December 21st, starting at the international dateline in the central Pacific, people around the world will hold for 72 hours a space of love, respect and appreciation. Each in their own way, people will reflect on this new cycle through prayer, in silent contemplation and meditation, in dialogue, sitting and walking in nature, through ceremony and ritual.
During our time together in the Yucatan, we posed several questions upon which to reflect. We would like to share a few of them with you, to also reflect on in the coming days.
  • What am I committed to transforming in myself?
  • What seeds do I, and we, want to plant and cultivate for the well being of people and all life on earth?
  • What is the story that will be told in 100 years about what was transformed in this new beginning?
We offer a second invitation: to see the sacred places all around us as hubs of amplification for the collective practice of holding planetary well being. The invitation is to go to a place that is sacred for you and to visualize planet earth and all living beings as an integrated living entity. This is no political agenda for a new world order. Rather, this practice builds on what many older cultures have known for a very long time and brings it into this moment: to connect and integrate with the field of higher vibration that is created naturally when enough of us concentrate our intentions, prayers, meditations, chanting, rituals, and visualizations on the well being of the whole. It is a time to feel fully integrated with oneself, the group that you may be with, and the larger wholes of which we are a part, including the human community and all our fellow travelers on this small microcosm of life in the universe. 
We invite you to visualize and strengthen our radiating light as the Aura of the planet. The potential of this collective practice is to create an internal experience that can free up blockages, individually and collectively, and liberate the life force and universal energy within.
Take this time to awaken the awareness of our capacity to regain the states of balance, harmony and integration, moment by moment, and the awareness that we have the capacity and the tools to transform, the ability to shift:
  • From fragmentation to integration
  • From aggression to kindness
  • From being absent to being present
  • From tension to relaxation
  • From doubt to clarity
  • From denial to commitment
On December 21-22, we will take a "pause” in our habitual activities for two days in support of the conditions for living that we would like to see, feel and manifest, as we start the first day of this new era. Please consider yourself invited, together with others in your personal networks, to join in this intention setting in whatever form feels best and most natural for you.
SPECIFICALLY, we invite you all to stop and tune in four times a day both on December 21 and 22, wherever you are:
  • At sunrise
  • At Solstice time (Yucatan) 11:11 GMT
  • At sun set
  • In the evening 
Peter Senge,
(on behalf of the attendees of Yucatan gathering)

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Deanery Christmas Events

With Christmas so close, parishes in the deanery have a number of exciting events planned. If you're in North Vancouver this Christmas, be sure to attend one or more of the following services and events!

Sunday December 16:
  • 10 AM Christmas Pageant at St. Martin's (195 Windsor Rd E)
  • 7 PM Christmas Lessons and Carols at St. Martin's followed by treats and grog and carol singing in the church hall
Tuesday, December 18
  • 7:30 PM Blue Christmas at St. John's (220 8 St. W) for those who are grieving or finding the joyful services don't fit
Wednesday, December 19
  • 11 AM Carolling at Cedar View Seniors Home (1200 Cedar Village Cl) organized by parishioners of St. Clement's
Thursday, December 20

  • 7 PM choir concert and sing-a-long on Thursday December 20th at 7:00.  Our choir has worked hard to prepare some truly beautiful music and of course, some rip-roaring sing-a-longs!  We are very happy to welcome some guest singers from the community to our choir, as well as some special guests: World music artist Nadina Zarifeh, Violinist Roxanna Wetham and Composer/Conductor Christopher Kovarik.  Admission to this event is by donation and any amount will do.  Everyone is welcome!  There will also be a raffle for a beautiful acoustic guitar.  And of course, there will be snacks!!  All funds raised at this concert will go towards our church.  If you want to get into the Christmas spirit, this is the place to do it!  We hope to see lots of you there.

Friday, December 21
  • 12 noon A Seniors Moment Christmas Luncheon at St. Agnes (530 12th St. E) . Turkey dinner with all the trimmings! Christmas carols! Bring your friends. Call Laura in the office at 604-987-0432 to register.
Sunday, December 23
  • 9:45 AM Children's Christmas Pageant at St. Clement's (3400 Institute Rd)
  • 10 AM Lessons and Carols Service at St. John's
  • 10 AM Lessons and Carols at St. Catherine's (1058 Ridgewood Dr) with handbell choir
  • 10:15 AM Children's Christmas Pageant at St. Agnes
  • 2:30 PM Carolling at Lynn Valley Care Home (1070 Lynn Valley Rd) organized by parishioners of St. Clement's
Monday December 24 (Christmas Eve)
  • 4 PM Children's Christmas Story Time and Carols at St. Martin's
  • 4 PM Service at St. Clement's. Great for new members and children
  • 5 PM Family Service at St. John's
  • 5 PM Family Eucharist at St. Catherine's
  • 7 PM Christmas Eve Candlelight Choral Eucharist at St. Martin's and St. Clement's
  • 8 PM Christmas Eve Service at St. Agnes (note the new time!)
  • 10:30 PM Christmas Carols at St. Catherine's
  • 11 PM Christmas Eve Candlelight Choral Eucharist at St. Martin's, St. Clement's, and St. Catherine's
  • 11 PM Choral Eucharist at St. John's
Tuesday, December 25
  • 10 AM Christmas Day Eucharist at St. Martin's
Sunday, December 30
  • 10:15 AM Christmas readings, carols & Eucharist at St. Agnes. (no 8 am service this day)