Dear Friends, 

This Sunday, Ron and I will be heading to New Hampshire to attend our granddaughter, Cassandra’s, Confirmation. Deacons Norma Harrington and Ann Searing will be presiding at a Communion Service in our absence. Norma and Ann will be ordained to the priesthood next Sunday in Morristown, New Jersey.... along with 5 other women (including our ‘own’ Mary Steinmetz) from our region of RCWP!  We are excited beyond words!  

The amazingly beautiful Spring days we’ve enjoyed recently

....combined with our memory of this year’s abundance of snowy days...with all the tremendous beauty and significant struggle that accompanied them... make this year’s celebration of Earth Day (this coming Wednesday) particularly poignant.  This is also the 45th Anniversary of this celebration, and as people of faith, with deep love and gratitude for the Creator who breathed our earthly home into being, this day dedicated to Mother Earth is worthy of our attentiveness. 

This week, I received an email with a powerful witness to the earth and it’s elements. Posted on the site,, it was penned by Elizabeth Cunningham, and entitled:The Elements are Us by Elizabeth Cunningham.We share this excerpt from this moving article for your reflection:

My late uncle, an atheist since age twelve when well-meaning Christians told him his youngest sister was “in a better place,” is now ashes in three red cloth bags. He was the last of my mother’s siblings to die, at the age of ninety-eight, the first being their little sister who died at age four. His children and grandchildren are taking his ashes to be scattered at sea... Though most of this memorial weekend is a series of social occasions, and the guests on the boat continue chatting, I am moved by the sight of my cousins taking up spoons and scattering their father and grandfather’s ashes on the wind.

He is returning to the elements that sustained his life: fire, earth, air, water. When we breathe, drink or eat, sweat or shed a tear, in every moment of our lives, we connect through the elements to all the life that has gone before us and all the life that is to come. No belief system is necessary to know this truth in our bones. May we learn to care for the elements—rivers and oceans, air, soil, fuel for light and heat—as we would care for our own bodies. When the elements are degraded, we are degraded; when they are vital, we are vital. The elements are our ancestors, our children. The elements are us....

Many traditions and cultures, ancient and contemporary, do honor the elements and reflect on how they correspond with directions, seasons, colors, animals, minerals, and more. (In Chinese medicine there are five elements and a system of correspondences that includes the organs of the body.) At High Valley the all-are-welcome center where we celebrated the Wheel-of-the Year (from 1995-2013), we kept things simple and honored the elements without assigning a direction, representing them in form—a shell, a rock, a feather, a candle—invoking them through rhythm and dance, and we always sang chants....

Below is one of our favorite chants from an unknown source, passed from circle to circle, woven into a gorgeous original song by the late Nicole Sangsuree:

Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath, and fire my spirit

Come and journey with The Spirit of Life community during your Easter journey...and beyond. Come and make us your ‘spiritual home’.  In our community’s midst you will find support for your inner spirit’s growth. We promise you a unique experience of community; one where members and guests find support and hope in the journey through time and body to deepen our spiritual lives, and work together to transcend our limitations and grow in faith. Our liturgies are not “cluttered’ with non-inclusive language and messages that discount the dignity of all people. Rather, we are radically simple in embodying the “good news” of Jesus Christ... “uncluttered” by messages caught in the moral time warp so present in more traditional Catholic liturgies. At the Spirit of life... the call of women to ordained priesthood is affirmed...the sacredness of all loving relationships is honored and celebrated, and as Jesus did, we welcome ALL to the Table!   If you are seeking a Catholic community where you do not need to mentally/silently “insert” inclusive language into your prayer at Mass, or lament that your children are hearing non-loving messages about people whose sexual orientation is other than heterosexual, or feel that your “voice” is not heard.....we invite you to come and experience life in our community. We are an inclusive and interactive community, where everyone has a “voice.”  We are truly a people of “justice & Joy.”

May you find joy in praying: “Earth my body, water my blood, air my breath, and fire my spirit” ~ 

Jean & Ron