Last Sunday (Jan 30th) a group of St. Philip folks walked the block around Matt Dishman Community Center, observing the weather, the creatures, the land that surrounds our church. The purpose of a Walking Meditation is to use all our senses to experience our parish neighborhood at a deeper level – the land, the trees and plantings, the creatures, and the neighbors who reside close to STPD.
Afterwards, we gathered to share our perceptions, thoughts, and feelings about the experience. It was both a beautiful sharing of how sharing of how some of our long-time members remember the neighborhood, and a clear expression of the grief and anger at the community and relationships that were lost through the unjust displacement of the homes, businesses, and schools that once sat on this land.
I appreciate the willingness to honestly share the grief and anger that was evoked by walking a path both so familiar and so changed. For those who walked, talked, and listened, please take the time some time this week to write down or voice record how you felt, what you shared, and what you heard. Then, next week, do the same thing. Reflection is an essential part of our work together and with God in the world.
We will gather on Feb 13th and Feb 27th after Eucharist to share our reflections. It is important to listen to one another’s grief and anger, to experience and sit with discomfort, and learn to love one another in the midst of it.
These conversations are so important that we will continue our walking mediation as a Lenten practice. Every Sunday in Lent (Ash Wednesday is Mar 2), we will walk a block (or just a small bit of a block) of our neighborhood, and come back together to listen and reflect. We will ask what this land meant to us, what this land wants from us now.
You may not be able to come every Sunday, but come when you can.
Everything we have is a gift of God, including the land on which we are planted. As with all gifts, we are called to use them care for one another and all creation. Together, we will walk, listening to our Creator, listening to creation, and listening to one another.