The Grandmothers Council
WELCOME TO TODAY'S WORSHIP SERVICE
May 30, 2010
The Grandmothers' Council
Open your Bible
Peace is Flowing Like a River
23Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.
25"All this I have spoken while still with you. 26But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
True Christian Religion (Rose) n. 304
sRef Micah@4 @4 S0' 304
Heavenly peace is peace in relation to the hells - a peace because evils and falsities will not rise up from there and break in. Heavenly peace can be compared in many ways to earthly peace. For example, it can be compared to the peace after wars when all are living in safety from their enemies, protected in their own city, in their house, with their own land and garden. It is as the prophet says, who speaks of heavenly peace in earthly language:
They will each sit under their own vine and their own fig tree; no one will frighten them. (Micah 4:4; Isaiah 65:21, 22, 23)
Heavenly peace can be compared to rest and recreation for the mind after working extremely hard, or to a mother's consolation after giving birth, when her instinctive parental love unveils its pleasures. It can be compared to the serenity after storms, black clouds, and thunder; or to the spring that follows a severe winter, with the uplifting effect of seedlings in the fields and blossoms in the gardens, meadows, and woods; or to the state of mind felt by survivors of storms or hostilities at sea who reach port and set their feet on longed-for solid ground.
When I was in seminary in the early 1980’s, my studies focused on the political implications of Feminist-Liberation Theology. I wondered if my interests in ecology were just a hobby on the side. I knew in my heart that the environment and feminism were related, but wasn’t sure how. In the ensuing years, the ecology movement became increasingly radicalized,
Carolyn Merchant wrote in 1990:
Radical feminism developed in the late 1960’s and 1970’s with the second wave of feminism. The radical form of ecofeminism is a response to the perception that women and nature have been mutually associated and devalued in Western culture and that both can be elevated and liberated through direct political action.[i]
Rosemary Reuther wrote that ecofeminism recognizes that
Domination of and control over Mother Earth is very much like domination and control over women. [ii]
Many eco-feminists come from a religious perspective. Some the modern groups include: North American Christian ecofeminism, North American womanist Christian theology, neopagan Wiccan ecofeminism, Native American ecofeminism, and Third World ecofeminism.
A modern examples of grass-roots ecofeminism is the Grandmother’s Council:
On October 11, 2004, 13 Indigenous Grandmothers from all over the world—… arrived at Tibet House's Menla Mountain Retreat …in upstate New York. …the grandmothers agreed to form a global alliance; to work together to serve both their common goals and their specific local concerns.
In their mission statement, they wrote:
We are the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers. We have united as one. Ours is an alliance of prayer, education and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children and for the next seven generations to come.
..We … believe that our ancestral ways of prayer, peacemaking and healing are vitally needed today
…We join with all those who honor the Creator, and to all who work and pray for our children, for world peace, and for the healing of our Mother Earth.
Margaret Behan — Red Spider Woman -- says:
If we want to see changes first of all we need to be in peace inside ourselves, and then we need to be patient with the ones that have not yet arrived in that place of peace.
She is the fourth generation of the Sand Creek Massacre. Margaret is a Cheyenne traditional dancer. She has served as a dance leader in Oklahoma and in powwows across the U.S
She is also a sculptress, accomplished and published author, poet and playwright. She has presented workshops and retreats for women, adult children of alcoholics and co-dependents.
SWEDENBORGIAN THEOLOGICAL REFLECTION
Many feminists today are seeing in quantum physics a world-view comp[atible with feminist principles of non-hierarchy and non-dualism. These holistic concepts were part of Swedenborg’s theology back in the 1700’s.
Physicist Michael Talbot wrote:
If Emanuel Swedenborg were alive today, it is very likely that he would consider many of the findings of the ‘new physics’ compatible with his own thought.
What are some of the ideas he might agree with? Here’s one by Fritjof Capra:
The conception of the universe as an interconnected web of relations is one of the two major themes that recur throughout modern physics. The other theme is the realization that the cosmic web is intrinsically dynamic …
Modern physics thus pictures matter not at all as passive and inert but as being in a continuous dancing and vibration motion …
Swedenborg saw dancing as a way of expressing the Divine nature:
In ancient times not only musical instruments and singing served to bear witness to gladness of heart but also dancing. Joyful feelings in the heart or interior things erupted into various activities in the body, such as singing and also dancing. Since in ancient times the glad feelings excelling all others were spiritual ones, that is, feelings springing from affections belonging to spiritual kinds of love, which were affections for goodness and truth, people were allowed, when they engaged in singing and musical harmony, to dance, as well and so in dancing also to bear witness to their joy. This explains why 'dancing' is mentioned in the Word, meaning the glad feelings that belong to affections for truth, or to faith grounded in good or charity, as in Jeremiah,
Our Grandmother demonstrates this aspect of the universal physics: she is a traditional dancer. She brings the vibration and energy of dance to the healing of the earth.
On this Memorial Day week-end, we remember those who died in the defense of our country. Let’s also remember the work of the Grandmother’s Council, who strive to create a peaceful world that no longer needs war. We can dance our inner, vibrational harmony on oneness—and know that we are standing with warriors of peace to recognize the intrinsic wholeness of our lives on this earth.
[i] Carlyn Merchant, “Eco-feminism and Feminist Theory,” in Reweaving the World, 101.
[ii] Gaia & God: an Ecofeminist Theology of Earth Healing by Rosemary Radford Reuther,
Extinguish the candle