Spirituality and Neuroscience
Part 2 – Reclaiming
Recently I wrote about using prayer to reshape the negative implicit memories that often shape our lives without our knowing it. In fact, I would suggest it is precisely because those memories are implicit, below the level of conscious thought, that they have such power over us as they do. I was encouraged to recognize those implicit memories by the out-size impact they have on me when I respond to the world around me. When I get angry or upset or frightened, it is rarely due to what is happening at the moment. The stimulus of the moment is merely the trigger that calls up something much deeper in me. But that deeper state can be changed, surrendered to God, and fear can be traded in for a more direct encounter with the Holy Spirit.
Healing our negative implicit memories is an important task and the tool we were handed is both simple and powerful. But the conference I attended had an even more important focus. There is an implicit memory embedded deep within us, deeper than the bumps and scars we’ve received at the hands of the people around us. There is a memory that lies deeper still than even those earliest memories conferred upon us by our parents.
Maybe you have felt it. Maybe you have been walking through the woods and suddenly come upon a scene that made you stop, breathe deeply, and see a world at peace. Maybe you remember holding your newborn baby, miraculously still and content, and found that that was enough. Maybe you have come to the altar for Eucharist and felt the mysterious connection to Church, to your neighbor, and to God all wrapped up in a morsel of bread and a sip of wine. Maybe you have enjoyed one of those magic evenings with friends where everyone seems to be on the same wavelength, understanding one another, caring for one another, and wishing time would stand still.
In each of these scenarios, you have opened up another implicit memory, the deepest implicit memory, the Sacred Memory. The Sacred Memory was left there by our Creator, and is a reminder of our identity as children of God. This Sacred Memory is the sense of our unity, our oneness, with God and Creation. This is a timeless memory: it exists outside the structures of time. You cannot hope someday to be more a child of God, or remember a time when you were less a child of God. You are, always and eternally, a child of God: beloved and passionately embraced by your Creator.
A baby is born with the Sacred Memory. But the child forgets as she moves into the physical world. The noise and the traumas of human existence paper over that most fundamental fact of her existence. She then will spend the rest of her life learning to remember.
The Sacred Memory is not insistent: it can be covered up. Fortunately, the Sacred Memory is not fragile or fleeting: it will remain even as other memories come and go. Because the Sacred Memory is a fundamental truth about your being.
So the deeper work of memory is not simply to heal negative memories by asking God to intervene. The deeper work is to reclaim the Sacred Memory, to hold up that memory as central and defining. To reclaim the Sacred Memory is to remember who you are, beyond all time. It is to remember your essential unity with God. It is to dwell in the Kingdom of God.
This is the work of the Church. This is what we do, everything we do, as we gather together day by day, week by week, and year by year. To reclaim the Sacred Memory is the purpose of our journey together.
Dr. DesRoches closed our workshop by sharing with us a quote often attributed to Pierre Teilhard de Chardin: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”
Celebration of Life – The Reverend John P. (Jack) Gorsuch
Tomorrow, May 20th at 3:30 pm
The Rev. John P. Gorsuch, witty, innovative and progressive, undoubtedly transformed Madrona’s Epiphany Church, and in significant ways, the wider Episcopal Church in our city and region.
TOMORROW – May 20th at 5:30 pm
Scrapbooking Affinity Group
Do you have boxes of photos and memorabilia you’ve been meaning to organize? Now is your chance! Please join us at in the Fireside Room for an evening of scrapbooking and fellowship. All are welcome, whether you are an accomplished scrap booker, want to organize a box of photos, work on journaling, or just come see what it’s about! Please contact Jessica Yates, (206) 931-5119, email JRYates@live.com.
From California to Seattle, thank you Tom Foster
I grew up in the Diocese of Los Angeles during some of the years that Tom Foster was at All Saints in Beverly Hills. While going through boxes my mom saved from my childhood, I found a program from The Southern California Branch of the Royal School of Church Music’s titled An Invitational Choral Festival: Hear My Words. It happened on Sunday, October 28, 1990 at the church where I grew up and was conducted by Tom Foster. Either my father or I sang in this concert, but I know I was there and that my music education as a child was influenced by Tom Foster. Tom Foster is a giant in the world of Episcopal music, and I am grateful our paths have crossed so many times.
From “A Thanksgiving for Musicians” as part of the program:
“O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship in heaven:
Be ever present with your servants who seek through art and music to perfect
the praises offered by your people on earth;
and grant them even now glimpses of your beauty, and make them worthy
at length to behold it unveiled for evermore; through Christ our Lord. Amen”
Thank you, Tom.
Laura Sargent, Youth Ministry Convener
Hommage à Duruflé
Soloists and Orchestra
Joseph Adam, organist
This Sunday, May 21 at 5 pm
A celebration of the music of Maurice Duruflé (1902-1986), among the most important French composers of the 20th century
Messe ‘Cum Jubilo’ for tenor and bass voices with organ; Solo Organ Works; and Requiem.
The Requiem was completed and published in 1947 and dedicated to the memory of the composer’s father. The work will be performed by Epiphany Choir, soloists Kathea Yarnell and Martin Rothwell, string orchestra, and organ. Nearly all the thematic material in the work comes from Gregorian chant melodies from the Mass for the Dead. This opulent and mystical work is among the most-performed early 20th century masses.
A reception follows the concert in celebration of Tom Foster and his June 4th retirement from Epiphany.
This performance is made possible by the generous financial support of the Epiphany Music Guild. As a result, this concert is presented without charge.
Go to Epiphany Seattle Music Guild webpage epiphanymusicguild.org for more information.
Join us at the reception following the May 21st concert. Enjoy refreshments and time with fellow parishioners as we thank Tom Foster for his years of heartfelt work leading the Music Guild at Epiphany.
Wednesday, May 24 at 7:30 pm in the Church
The worship tradition known as Taizé began many years ago in the ecumenical French monastic community of Taizé. It is a quiet service of meditation, reflection, readings and music. The experience finds its true meaning in the participation of all assembled by focusing and deepening our faith through the power of prayer. Therefore, everyone is encouraged to participate as the Spirit moves them, whether that be in song, prayer, or quiet meditation. The service is led by the Schola Choir and the Choristers.
… a special early summer class series and study group will be offered at Epiphany Parish
during the Everybody Hour. Visit our website epiphanyseattle.org for details.
Formation offerings will continue at the Everybody Hour throughout the summer beginning with a 3-part series on the labyrinth in June for all ages and a late summer study group to discuss “Brides in the Desert: The Spirituality of the Beguines,” by Saskia Murk-Jansen
Happy Birthday Barbara Pringle!
Upcoming Baptisms at Epiphany
Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 11 am
If you would like to be baptized or have a family member who would like to be baptized, please contact The Reverend Todd Foster for more information at 206-324-2573 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Vacation Bible Camp
Vacation Bible Camp (VBC) at Epiphany is a place for all ages to experience God’s love in a safe and welcoming environment. Activities include Bible storytelling, crafts, games, chapel, music, and service.
Information and online registration at epiphanyseattle.org/vbc .
Cathedrals of the World
Get involved in this fun project!
Send to Amy at email@example.com.
Sunday Lectionary Corner
Sixth Sunday of Easter
1 Peter 3:13-22
Click here to view Prayer List