Slay the Dragon of Separation

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“It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will be necessary first to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion.” ~Bertrand Russell

Dear friends,
Religion is one of the ways we separate ourselves into groups — but certainly not thepeace only one. We also use politics, nationality and many other things to fit people into neat boxes. But it seems like our task is to figure out a way to both connect to a group and leave spaces in our connections so we see the big picture. That picture of course is that we are all connected and it is our belief in our separateness that causes our suffering. I see that suffering on the faces of many friends who are feeling abandoned by the Methodist Church today and struggling with the questions of how to belong — how to Continue reading

Beneath the Ink

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“Face your past. Change your life.” ~Beneath The Ink

Dear friends,
I have been enjoying the break from routine to watch many of the films at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. I’ve been exposed to the effects of war, the power of a Changebicycle, the realities of being black or native, the pain of the human condition and the redemption that is possible. All of them connect me to people and places outside my world. They inspire conversations and they teach me what is real and also what is possible. We have had a recent onslaught of hate literature surface in Missoula and I know we all struggle trying to understand how people can believe hateful rhetoric. And we search for solutions that will bring about change and redemption. One filmmaker found a Continue reading

Tearing Down Walls

“To heal our society, our psyches must heal as well. The military, social, and environmental dangers that threaten us do not come from sources outside the human heart; they are reflections of it, mirroring the fears, greed, and hostilities that separate us from ourselves and each other.” ~Joanna Macy

Dear friends,
I’ve been thinking a lot about walls lately. Truth is I can’t read or listen to anything where the question of a wall doesn’t come up. The wall, of course, is the proposed one to wallsseparate the US from Mexico. Many people would gladly spend billions of our national treasury and add to our debt in order to keep people out and protect a way of life that is shrinking — if it ever really existed. But there are other walls we must contend with — namely the ones we construct in our hearts to dismiss or discount others who don’t fit in our picture of the world. Because we too are afraid. And if Continue reading

Healing the Soul of America

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“Just as there is a so-called art of waging war, there is also an art of waging peace. We need to declare peace now, with as much serious effort and intention as that with which a nation declares war.” – Marianne Williamson

Dear friends,
The quote above comes from the book ” Healing the Soul of America ” by Marianne HealingWilliamson, which Betsy recently recommended to me. It was one of those moments in life that something is given to you at exactly the right moment. Personal tragedy and other instances of life’s unpredictability had severely distracted me from the civic duty that I had been an active participant in for most of my life. I could feel tensions rising around me in family and friend circles, I could see it happening in news headlines and my social media feeds Continue reading