Wednesday Adult Class

Digging Deep, Rising High

by Chris Hardman

Our programmatic theme this year is "Digging Deep and Rising High" and that is what we plan to do in our Wednesday Adult Class. Our first session will be about digging deep into Native American Spirituality. Our trip to Standing Rock Reservation has helped me see some new aspects of our relationship with God. We will address these first.

Since Native American Spirituality is a creation-based spirituality, we will then dig deeply into the Creation Spirituality of Meister Eckhart (1269-1327). Meister Eckhart lived in a time when the Christian journey was outlined by Plotinus (A.D. 205-270) as purification-illumination-union. That pattern was prevalent in his time just as it has been the preferred path by the Roman Catholic Church up until our own time. The Church, it seems, could not accept anything new during Eckhart's time, but what Eckhart proposes is most appropriate for our time. He presents a remarkable way for people to "rise" in compassion. He called it the four paths-via positiva, via negativa, via creativa, and via transformativa. These paths form a "mandala" much like the Native American's "mandala." We will not only try to understand these paths, we will practice them.

Because I always want to go deeper into our own biblical tradition, we will look at the early Creation Spirituality present in the Old Testament beginning with the Adam and Eve story, the stories of Jacob and Joseph, the Book of Job, and Paul's letter to the Celts (Galatians) from the New Testament. Starting in January we will study Richard Rohr's new book, The Divine Dance. This book is an explanation of the Doctrine of the Trinity which fits very well with a Creation Spirituality.

Class begins September 14th at 9:45 am in the library. For those who want to start practicing a Creation Spirituality right now, please attend the Contemplative Eucharist on Wednesday and Friday at 9:00 am.