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29 June 2006 @ 04:10 pm
This is the post to introduce yourself to the community, whether you're a writer, critic or regular lurker.

Please include the following:

Name you like to be addressed by, if not LJ name
Spiritual background - no need for a long bio, but some idea of where you're coming from is helpful. (I'm going to post a challenge on this topic later this week)
Heritage - What parts of your heritage most influence you?
Future - what parts of the future most affect your planning and spirituality now
Current Location: bermondsey
Poetry, god and Blisters: flatangelofthenorth on June 29th, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
My introduction
I'm Miriam.

I was brought up Anglican by Spiritualist/Mystic parents, and have journeyed through the Christian traditions and fetched up Methodist.

I'm high church sacramentally, and lower church liturgically, in that while I use the body in worship, and try to use it consistently, I don't always use the usual liturgies and patterns. I'm white, british, and brought up in Northern, Rural England.

Future: I'm exploring a vocation to the Methodist Diaconal Order.
Wendy: Penitant Magdalenhere_be_dragons on June 29th, 2006 05:59 pm (UTC)
Hi, Everyone!

I'm Wendy.

I was not raised in any religion, as my parents were athiests, so instead I was taught to believe in the power of "science." That is still an important thing for me, but was also never realy "enough," though, as I've always felt there was more than what we can see and measure, so much of my life has been spent in spiritual seeking. I am not Christian for reasons that will probably be shared here at some point in the future (I have written about this before, and maybe I'll post some of those things here). As a young adult, I practiced Wicca, but decided that wasn't quite right for me, either. Now, I consider myself a mystic whose fundamental beliefs are pretty well in line with Buddhism. I'm also interested in the spiritual aspects of yoga (which could be considered Hindu in origin, or maybe it's the other way around). In any case, I am very interested in the ways that different faiths have so many things in common, when you get past some of the specific beliefs that are unique to each faith (I'd use the term "dogma," but I don't want to imply any negative connotation). I'm also a student of the Rosicrucian Order, AMORC.

I'm a white American of Polish, Scottish, German, and various other European descent. I don't feel my European heritage influences me greatly in terms of spirituality, since I was not raised in any religion practiced by past generations of my family, nor have I gravitated to one after seeking on my own. Certainly, though, growing up in the American society and era that I did had some important influence, both in terms of the worldview with which I was raised, and also the ways that I struggle against that worldview which is, in my opinion, narrow-minded and intolerant.

Future - I intend to continue my studies with the Rosicrucian Order, which is not a religious organization, but rather a teaches techniques of mysticism which can be carried over into any faith. I am also training to be a yoga teacher, which I hope will give me some ability to share in small ways the spiritual parts of that practice, in addition to the physical benefits.
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on June 29th, 2006 06:06 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

Then again, your heritage - particularly the Scottish/German - would relate well to the 'Enlightenment' attitude of your family.

Thanks for explaining the Rosicrucians - I've heard the name before and I'm fascinated, I admit.
Wendy: Chartres Labyrinthhere_be_dragons on June 29th, 2006 06:14 pm (UTC)
Then again, your heritage - particularly the Scottish/German - would relate well to the 'Enlightenment' attitude of your family.

Oh, I'd never thought of that before - it's a very good point! I am definitely descended from scientfically- and rationally-minded people, aren't I? And it really is a big, definining part of who I am. Just not the only part. I think it's also the reason I sometimes have trouble understanding why so many people seem to be focused on either science OR religion, but can't put the two together. This is not a problem for me in any way.

The Rosicrucian Order is fascinating. I've joined fairly recently (back in March), but so far I have loved what I'm learning. Perhaps I'll write something about it soon - I think there are some people on my f-list who are curious, too. :)
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on June 29th, 2006 06:16 pm (UTC)
Glad you think so - it's why I asked about the heritage of folks in the comm.

I note heathwitch just joined :)

I'm wondering if any of the journaleers might be interested?
Wendy: Happy Dancehere_be_dragons on June 29th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)
YAY! I was hoping heathwitch would join! And I bet there are at least a few journaleers who'd be interested. Do you want to post an announcement there? Or I can - just let me know if you want me to do that. I'll post pretty much the same one I just posted in my own journal, if you like.

The heritage question is a good one, and not something that would have occurred to me as being important. And I'm looking forward to the "challenge" you've said you're going to post. I think this is going to be great! :)
Synergy: warrior posesynergy on June 29th, 2006 07:16 pm (UTC)
"Hello! My name is..."
I've been going by the "handle" of synergy for some 5 or 6 years now, so you can call me that. People who've known me through the internet for a long time tend to shorten it to syn, which is fine with me also. :)

So I came here from a link from here_be_dragons and thought to join since it sounds like an interesting premise. Wendy and I generally have a lot of similarities as far as outlook and beliefs (hence why I gravitated to adding her to my f-list!), but with some differences.

My parents were born and raised in Mexico and I was born and raised in the U.S. My father passed away when I was young, so my mother did most of the raising and she was raised hardcore Roman Catholic. Due to several things in her life (including my father's death) she'd really lapsed from R.C. by the time I came along. So although a lot of the basis for her beliefs are that, I wasn't ever forced to be R.C. because she was. I'm only baptised R.C. and everyone with whom I went to school and grew up around was R.C., so I'd say I was steeped in that religion without ever wanting to be a part of it. That's one good thing I have to say about how I was raised. My mother's belief was that even though she thought I was maybe going to hell for not following it, I shouldn't go to church if the inspiration to do it isn't coming from within. I'm a strong believer in that as well.

So what are my beliefs? Here's where are the similarities with Wendy. For a while I was interested in non-Christian, perhaps pagan practices such as Wicca, but I quickly felt that I was sort of going through motions and not really believing what I was reading or doing. I also have more leanings toward Buddhism although I can't say I've studied it with much depth. I still have a stack of books on Buddhism and meditation which I've yet to get around to.

Here's the final point I guess I'll make for now. I have general spiritual beliefs or ideas, but I don't actively have some sort of spiritual practice. Some days I think of myself as more of a humanist than anything else. So for now perhaps I'd have more of an input or opinion than from anything I actually practice or write on a daily basis. :)
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on July 3rd, 2006 04:57 pm (UTC)
Re: "Hello! My name is..."
Welcome, I'll be glad to hear your views on different spiritual practices as posted - it'd be good to have a non-regular person trying some of them out occasionally, if you'd be willing to try them.

The group's about writing from experience, and yours count as much as anyone's.
Synergy: buddhasynergy on July 3rd, 2006 09:38 pm (UTC)
Re: "Hello! My name is..."
"it'd be good to have a non-regular person trying some of them out occasionally"

I'm left wondering what you meant by this part. Non-regular compared to...?

I'm usually up for trying most things at least once as long as I don't think I'll come to harm from it. :)
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on July 3rd, 2006 09:40 pm (UTC)
Re: "Hello! My name is..."
You said you don't have a regular spiritual practice, whereas some of us do, which means the effects of a meditation (see my previous posting 'awareness exercise') will be different for those who've tried different things compared to those who have a regular practice.

Synergy: buddhasynergy on July 3rd, 2006 11:12 pm (UTC)
Re: "Hello! My name is..."
Ah yes, got it now. :) Sometimes I'm too literal! :D

As a matter of fact, I've shown interest in meditation and Wendy was wonderful enough to provide a CD a couple of months ago that might help me in that department. It's probably about time I gave it a try!
Heathwitchheathwitch on June 29th, 2006 10:35 pm (UTC)
Hi there. I'm Heathwitch, and I came here via here_be_dragons.

I was raised in a mixed household -- Methodist, with elements of old wives' tales and natural wisdom (which plant to use for that ailment, what such-and-such's birdcall before sunrise means etc). In addition, I found I could see and manipulate energy as a child, as well as being able to hear, see and sense spirit -- all very weird to adults, but totally acceptable in a child's eyes.

My mother died when I was ten years old. Her death really hit me, and I couldn't find any solace in the church. In fact, it only seemed to open up more of the loopholes I kept asking the church tutors about -- but they couldn't give me any answers. Instead it was "God's way" or "God's will" or "accept it" -- something which instantly got my back up. I didn't want to be spoon-fed religion; I wanted to be able to taste it in my mouth and blood and heart, to feel the touch of the divine. And so I pulled away from the church.

I'd always felt more at home in nature; more at ease in the darkness of the night, with the moon and stars above. And the more time I spent outdoors, listening to nature and being with nature, the more things began to make sense. And then there was the dreams I was having, the ones I'd had since when I was small, of a woman in a long dark robe...

Over time, I fell in with some Pagans and felt like I'd come home. I leapt in with both feet and found my solace, my faith and my taste of the divine. And I realised that this was what I had been all along, a Pagan, a Witch; that even in the church my heart had beat to a different drummer. And so I found myself called to the way of the Goddess, and to the God, and I answered.

Now -- almost twenty years on from my mother's death, and around twenty-two years since I saw my first spirit (or rather, the first one I remember) -- I'm a Witch and High Priestess of a teaching coven. I'm also a Master-Teacher in several energy healing methods -- Reiki, Karuna Ki, Sekhem -- and a practitioner of Wild Earth Animal Essences.

I have a daily spiritual practice, one which is constantly evolving. Like us, spirituality is in a constant state of flux and change. I'm still very at home within the Craft, and I can't see that changing. My Deities are an essential part of my life, as are my meditations. Mundanely, I write spiritual and supernatural fiction, and I work in Internet services. I say that my life is a spiritual one, with mundane add-ons... I'd like to keep it that way.
Heathwitchheathwitch on June 29th, 2006 10:36 pm (UTC)
Re: Greetings!
Oh, and I'm from England :)
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on June 30th, 2006 08:23 am (UTC)
Re: Greetings!
Thank you and you're very welcome!
why yes, i *do* like the sound of my own voice: Walking on water < cartwheeling.lucypevensie on June 30th, 2006 06:31 am (UTC)
I am accustomed to being LJ-addressed as Lucy. So that nobody has to be surprised later, Lucy is not my Real Life Name; Lucy Pevensie is from the Chronicles of Narnia (C.S. Lewis.)

There are two major things that have informed the most part of my spiritual formation as an adult: one is camp, and one is my call to ordination (United Methodist.)
Campwise, I worked for two summers at Camp Barnabas, which provides weeklong overnight camping opportunities for people with an enormous array of disabilities (and their siblings). I was raised in the United Methodist church, but prior to camp (summer 2004) I had pretty well reached a spiritual standstill. So I mark that summer as the birth of the faith I keep now (lots of incubation prior to that.) My idea of the Kingdom of God looks very much like camp: no matter what you've been through, no matter what you've done, no matter what the world says is wrong with you, you go there and everyone conspires to demonstrate that you are the most precious thing in the sight of the Creator. I had a friend who worked there before I did and recruited me; she talked about it all the time, but I never understood it until I got there. To frame it in terms of things that have become important to me: lots of outside time, self-sacrifice, the power of root beer floats, tight and supportive community, fellowship, servanthood, concentrating on the important things (and only the important things), celebration of difference, naps, yogurt, observably unlimited grace, peace, assurance, joy.
Under the broad canopy of ordination comes a lot of self-searching and a lot of academic thought. Having done a thoroughly inadequate job explaining camp (which I *have* been through), it seems futile to try to explain ordination (which I haven't); at any rate, I'm sure I'll be talking a lot about it (and probably camp too) down the road somewhere.

Heritage: I am American for at least a few generations back; prior to that, half German and half Northwestern European mutt (trace invading hordes, curs, scoundrels, etc.) Interestingly, I have been told on many occasions that I look like I should be wearing a horned helmet and a brass bra, but have (so far as I know) absolutely no Nordic blood whatsoever.

Future: On Sunday I start a job at a UM church in a smallish town as a choir director/youth leader/pastoral caregiver. YIKES.

In conclusion: It's exciting to see everyone :D :D :D
why yes, i *do* like the sound of my own voicelucypevensie on June 30th, 2006 06:33 am (UTC)
Re: intro!
Oh, and I meant to mention (in case the userpic wasn't tip-off enough) that one of the hallmarks of my spirituality is that while I am usually serious in thought, I am generally pretty irreverent in practice.
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on June 30th, 2006 08:29 am (UTC)
Re: intro!
Thank you.

I'm going to post a challenge 'looking at the road not travelled' because faith and searching are about choices.

So mine is about not going down the spiritualist path, and about leaving the Anglican tradition...
Sharon: Peppersazriona on July 2nd, 2006 11:23 am (UTC)
Okay, I'm going to try this again - I'd typed up and introduction nice and neat, and halfway through, the computer ate it. But this is a different (and hopefully nicer) computer - good computer, nice computer, sweet computer, you don't want to eat my post, do you? - so hopefully I will have better luck.

Online, I use 'azriona', but in real life, I go by Sharon. You can refer to me by either online, though if you meet me in real life, I prefer my real name.

My spiritual background is very mixed. My dad is Jewish (reform) and my mom is Roman Catholic. They raised my brother and I with both religions, and we were very good at keeping them straight - that is, we knew that Hanukkah was Daddy's holiday and Easter belonged to Mommy. (Although I'm sure there were mix-ups when we were very little, I don't remember them.) As we got older, we were allowed to choose which religion we wanted to follow. I chose Judaism; my brother in recent years has staunchly declared himself to be an athiest, although I wonder if that isn't more because he wants to annoy my dad.

I'm an American and have lived in various places throughout the United States, including the Desert Southwest, Texas, New England, and Washington DC. My husband (who is a lapsed Catholic) and I were married in a Unitarian Universalist church in Massachusetts; neither of us belong to a church or synagogue at this time. I keep strict kosher during Passover but not at other times (I love bacon and cheeseburgers, what can I say?) and when I'm home, I light candles on Friday nights.

(As a side note, I've done genealogy in the past, and have found that on my mom's side, an entire half of the family is actually French Hugenaut. I find this incredibly ironic and funny.)

I'm not sure how to address the question regarding future: I can tell you that one of the things I most strongly believe is the whole concept of "que sera, sera" - things happen for a reason, even if it's a reason we don't understand, even if it's a result we don't particularly like. This is the life that God intended for us to live, and we can only make the best of it in the best way we can.

Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on July 3rd, 2006 05:06 pm (UTC)

I love the bits about bacon...
A+newkiss on July 3rd, 2006 03:21 pm (UTC)
My name is Alissa, people usually call me that whether on the internet or IRL. But I will also happily answer to any of my internet names.

Spiritual Background: I was raised in a very loving conservative Christian home. Our church was "non-denominational" affiliated with the Church of God Anderson. It's one of many non-denom holiness movement churches in America. In high school I started having some trouble connecting to the highly individualistic spirit that inhabited the theology I was learning, so in college I did some exploring and got a B.A. in Christian Theology right about the same time I was confirmed in the Episcopal Church. I'm Anglo-Catholic as far as worship style, and still learning a lot about liturgy and high church stuff, because my spiritual background was devoid of it.
Heritage - while I've chosen to belong to a tradition that emphasizes community, I'm still highly influenced by where I came from in this regard: I believe each person needs to find his/her own way in matters of the spirit. I was taught that God has a plan/path/motivation for each of us, and that's something I still believe.
Future - I am currently in a Discernment Process exploring a possible call to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church. (yes, that one, the one in the news a bunch lately.) I do most of my theological writing and reflecting on my process and spirituality in my other lj - theokiss.
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on July 3rd, 2006 04:52 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi!
Welcome, it's good to have you around.

The holiness churches? are they out of the Wesleyan holiness tradition?
A+newkiss on July 3rd, 2006 05:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Hi!
yes! they are indeed. the holiness movement has roots in a variety of reformation movements, but Wesleyan Pietism and the doctrine of Christian Perfection is a big, big part. There are several denominations that were born out of holiness movement ideologies during the 18th and 19th centuries. I think it's mostly an American thing - there were several revival movements that swept across that country during those times which emphasized personal conversion, salvation through grace alone, a tangible and radical change in life. wikipedia has a good concise article on it.

The Free Methodist Church is a Holiness Movement church.

thanks for the welcome!
(Deleted comment)
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on July 6th, 2006 09:23 am (UTC)
Thank you for joining us, and for sharing your journey so far.

Have you tried other strands of Christianity? For example stuff based on Taize or Iona - if you were drawn to Wicca and Christianity and Buddhism, then you might fight something in Celtic/Meditative spirituality that might ring true.

I say that, because with Celtic roots, you might find stuff that is 'rooted' something that appeals to you.
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Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on July 6th, 2006 11:18 am (UTC)
http://www.taize.fr and the Iona Community are based on music, rather than creeds.

The strand of Christianity is based on the totality of God, rather than any particular dogma - that Jesus matters and is special, but the nature of how special depends on the individual.

diegoliger is a Free Christian in the same sort of way you seem to be - I highly recommend talking to him, although I disagree with some of what he says on a regular basis.

Something I wrote about the atonement. I tend to write theology as poetry rather than dry stuff. Or at least, I try to :)
diegoligerdiegoliger on July 6th, 2006 11:25 am (UTC)
Free Xian

Yeah Im a Free Christian Lay Preacher and erstwhile pastor type thingy

If you want to talke about Free Christian Church thats fine by me! We follow Jesus and try to find an authentic voice of Him. We see the Bible as being a book written by man and no way an infallible "revelation" in itself. We also draw on othe faith traditions to help us find insights into our own faith, eg Buddhism, Suffi etc. It makes for a rich mix, but at the root of it all we are Christian.

We differ from other Christians by the fact we have no formal creed or dogma as such and we do not adhere to the notion of the "holy trinity". We have a strong lay leadership and input at all levels and are very welcoming of people with no or any faith. We're pro women, pro gay. :-)
Poetry, god and Blistersangelofthenorth on July 6th, 2006 11:22 am (UTC)
Oh, and Icon Love!