Seattle Unity Annual Theme Sermon Video 01-21-2018—”The Pilgrimage Begins”

2018 Annual Theme is “The Inner Pilgrimage”

Sunday Service Video January 21st, 2018—“The Pilgrimage Begins”—Here is the link and player to Rev. Karen Lindvig’s Annual Theme sermon of 01-21-2018. Every year, Rev. Karen Lindvig develops an annual theme for framing the sermon lessons for the year. The annual theme aims to achieve a number of things: it addresses the times, the context, and the zeitgeist of the outer world around us, in our community and locally, nationally and globally; it helps to align and prepare our inner worlds with that outer world; and it expands and builds on the previous themes. In this sermon, “The Pilgrimage Begins” she introduces the annual theme for 2018—”The Inner Pilgrimage.” Previous themes included… (see more below)

Rev. Karen Lindvig’s Annual Theme Sermon “The Pilgrimage Begins” Introducing the 2018 Annual Theme “The Inner Pilgrimage”

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John Doran Reads Two Poems

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Annual Theme “The Inner Pilgrimage” Sermon Summary

Title: The Pilgrimage Begins

http://seattleunity.org—Every year, Rev. Karen Lindvig develops an annual theme for framing the sermon lessons for the year. The annual theme aims to achieve a number of things: it addresses the times, the context, and the zeitgeist of the outer world around us, in our community and locally, nationally and globally; it helps to align and prepare our inner worlds with that outer world; and it expands and builds on the previous themes. In this sermon, “The Pilgrimage Begins” she introduces the annual theme for 2018—”The Inner Pilgrimage.” Previous themes in this decade include the Transformational Journey, 12 Powers, World Religions, Community, Dreaming, Dreaming Community, Soul-Trek, and Archetypes.

Karen explores the process of making a pilgrimage by exploring the images that arise about making a pilgrimage such as walking the Camino in Spain or traveling to Mecca; by reviewing the etymology of the word “pilgrimage”; contrasting a pilgrim with a tourist; by examining the differences between being a voluntary pilgram and an involuntary pilgram; by relating a pilgrimage to the Adam and Eve story; and relating it to our journey at Seattle Unity to build a new church building at our existing location, including a short time-lapse video of the growth of our area from a camera on the Space Needle. Then she defines our Annual Theme in 2018—The Inner Pilgrimage—as a journey that we each may be called to make by Divine Appointment.

Key quotations related to this sermon:

Mark Nepo in “The Exquisite Risk”:

“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.”

Christine Valters Paintner in “The Soul of a Pilgrim: Eight Practices for the Journey Within”:

“This call to embark on a rigorous journey of reclaiming ourselves and our relationship to the divine often comes without our bidding. There are many reasons we might begin an inner pilgrimage. Perhaps we’ve experienced a great loss: a job, our health, a dear friend, a sense of identity, financial security, or a marriage.  We know we can’t return to life as usual. That way is now closed. This is the call to which we must respond. If we say no, it means numbing ourselves and living in denial of this great shifting we’ve experienced. When we say yes, it means to acknowledge that even our moments of profound sorrow can lead us to renewed vision and life.”

Christine Valters Painter’s Poem: “How to Be a Pilgrim

Air travel is like
ancient pilgrims walking on their
knees, flight delays and narrow seats
offer their own kind of penance.

You jettison excess baggage,
leaving behind the heavy makeup case,
knowing the rain will
wash you free of artifice.

Books you wanted to carry left too,
no more outside words needed,
then go old beliefs which keep
you taut and twisted inside.

Blistered feet stumble over rocky
fields covered with wildflowers and you
realize this is your life,
full of sharp stones and color.

Red-breasted robins call forth
the song already inside,
a hundred griefs break open under
dark clouds and downpour.

Rise and fall of elation and exhaustion,
the tides a calendar of unfolding,
a bright star rises and you remember
a loved one waiting miles away.

A new hunger is kindled by the sight of
cows nursing calves in a field,
spying a spotted pony, you forget
the weight and seriousness of things.

Salmon swim across the Atlantic,
up the River Corrib’s rapids to the
wide lake, and you wonder if you have
also been called here for death and birth.

This is why we journey:
to retrieve our lost intimacy with the world,
every creature a herald of poems
that sleep in streams and stones.

“Missing you” scrawled on a postcard sent home,
but you don’t follow with
“wish you were here.”
This is a voyage best made alone.

Genesis 3:22-24:

“Then the Lord God said, ‘See, the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever’— therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man; and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim, and a sword flaming and turning to guard the way to the tree of life.”

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