January 2014

Meditation Opportunities

Thursday evenings at 1st Presbyterian 

We will meet for meditation on all Thursdays in January and February from 7:00 – 9:00 pm in the fellowship hall. Our format for the first hour is two 20-minute periods of sitting in silence with a 10 minute walking meditation in between.  For the second hour, we are watching videotapes of Fr. Thomas Keating’s “Spiritual Journey” series.  This series is produced by Contemplative Outreach, Ltd. and describes the method and background of Centering Prayer developed and taught by Thomas Keating, a Cistercian monk at St. Benedict’s Monastery in Snowmass, Colorado.

The topics the series covers are Developing Centering Prayer, Models of the Human Condition, Paradigms of the Spiritual Journey, and Contemplation the Divine Therapy.  

Tuesday evenings at Hei’s house

Hei has opened his house to those who would like to join him for meditation from 6:00pm – 6:30pm on Tuesdays.  It is one half hour of sitting meditation.    Please call him at 899-4845 for directions and to let him know that you are coming so he can prepare a place for you.

January Retreat Day

          Saturday, January 25, 2014   8:30 am – 1:00 pm  

 In Fellowship Hall                      

 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban 

How Faith overcomes Despair … a dry sermon topic until the tale is told with a luminous white stag defeating a dark, soul-sucking shadow… then it’s a record-breaking book and movie!

Join us on Saturday, January 25 when Susan Raab taps into “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban” (book 3) to reveal another layer of how Harry cast his global spell with J.K. Rowling’s enchanting system of heart-touching Christian symbols.

Upcoming Events

Ongoing                                  Hei’s Tai Chi class at Oldemeyer

Center (Tu/Thur at 10:30 am)

February 22                             MMG Retreat Day/  Tai Chi with Hei

8:30 am – 1:00 pm

March 29                                  MMG Retreat Day/   Zen sitting

8:30 am – 3:00 pm

April 26                                    MMG Retreat Day/  Sacred Poetry

8:30 am – 1:00 pm

Summary of November’s Retreat Day

For our November retreat day we focused on bringing to light the spirituality of the five adult generations alive today.  The talk was based on the book Faithful Generations by John Mabry.  The author writes as a Pastor from Generation X and as such proclaims that the book is subjective and un-scientific. His observations, however, opened a window for us see into the shadow side of our own generation and helped us understand other generations a little bit more.  There was much laughter and stories as we delved into this subject matter.  Here is a brief look at John Mabry’s descriptions of the five generations.

The G.I. Generation birth years are from 1901 until 1924, which makes them currently 89 – 112 years old.  This generation is grounded in tradition, to a collective idea and to authority which was not questioned.  They had tremendous courage, sacrifices, and achievements.  Tom Brokaw called them “The Greatest Generation”.  This generation is seeking financial, national, and medical security.  Their generational motto is “Waste not, want not”.   Spiritually they are the most overtly religious generation and they accepted faith as they received it.  They are traditional believers who approach religion from a conservative, literal orientation.  For the G.I. Generation, spiritual growth is equated with growing in responsibility and obedience.

The Silent Generation birth years are from 1925 until 1942, which makes them currently 71 – 88 years old.  This generation followed in the G.I.’s shadow and continued their pet projects.  They were focused on humanizing and softening the institutions built by the G.I.’s.  This generation is largely unnoticed by other generations.  Their greatest achievement was the Civil Rights Movement.  This generation is motivated by compassion rather than ideology.  The Silents are seeking Liberty and Justice for all and their motto is “Social Justice for all”.  The pursuit of justice and peace is integral to their spirituality.  Peacemaking and reformation are their spiritual gifts.  They are liberal believers who see their faith as partial truth whose symbols and metaphors point to the mystery of the Divine.  Church attendance is highest among Silents than any other generation.  For the Silents, spiritual growth is equated with growing compassion for self and others.

The Baby Boomer Generation birth years are from 1943 – 1960, which makes them currently 53 – 70 years old.  This Generation formed as a reaction to the G.I. Generation and thus created the largest generation gap between these two generations.  The Boomers grew up thinking their parents were hypocrites.  They saw the dichotomy between the appearances of a happy life in the suburbs and the reality of domestic violence, prejudice and patriarchal dominance.  This generation is seeking transformation from injustice to justice (and the material to the spiritual).   Their generational motto is “Give Peace a Chance”.  The Boomers are Spiritual Eclectic believers that pick and choose their beliefs from a variety of traditional and contemporary sources.  They view spiritual growth as growing in concern for others and growing in awareness of the Presence.

Generation X birth years are 1961 to 1980, which makes them currently 33 – 52 years old.  Gen X feel that their parents rejected them through Divorce, having a negative attitude toward children, and abandoning them through the latch-key-kid phenomenon of the 1970’s.  These children felt unimportant and feel like no one is there to help them.  They are intolerant of authority figures and suspicious of institutions.   They are seeking survival and their generational motto is “Whatever . ..”  Churches hold little appeal for Gen X.  They are more likely to trust their own experience, friends, and pop culture as sources of wisdom than scripture and tradition.  If they do follow a faith tradition they are most likely Religious Agnostics.  If they don’t follow a faith tradition they tend to be Ethical Humanists.  They view spiritual growth as growth in authenticity, transparency and honesty.

Lastly, we have the Millennials, whose birth years are 1981 to 2001, which makes them currently 12 – 32 years old.  The Millennials are the largest generation ever.  They are hopeful, optimistic, and happy.  Moral and cultural relativism is common in this generation.  This generation is very relational.  Everything is evaluated according to how it helps or takes away form their ability to tend to their relationships.  Lifestyle and friends are rated above their job.  This generation is seeking happiness and their motto is “TR DR”  (an acronym text message for “too long, didn’t read”).  The Millennials are the least religious generation alive today.  Few are in religious communities, few pray, few do religious study.  Their faith style is either Ethical Humanism or no faith style at all.  For Millennials, spiritual growth is growth from happiness for self to happiness for the greatest number of people.

In closing,

I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant

Between me and you and your descendants after you

And for the generations to come,

To be your God and the God of your descendants after you.

Genesis 17:7

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