You will need:
For services during the season of Genesis you will need the following:
- One seed for each participant
- A dish of soil
- A small cup of water for each participant
- a candle
- a bell or signing bowl
- a candle snuff
Note: On February 4th, the season of Conflatorium begins. For the special service on the 4th and for all services for the rest of this season you will need ice cubes with fossils frozen into them. You can create these by placing a small fossil in each cell of an icecube tray, filling the tray with water and placing it in your freezer. You can order a set of a few fossil shells online from a variety of retailers or you can create you own "replicas" from clay as a craft activity.
Leader: Who would like to share?
The participants briefly update each other on how they're doing and what's going on in their lives.
The season of Genesis is the first Liturgical Season in the SolSeed Movement's Liturgical Calendar. It symbolises the deep past from the Big Bang to the invention of photosynthesis. During this season the Weekly Service Calls use the following Opening ceremony:
We gather to mark the passing of a week
To align our hearts as one.
Nothing ... Still ... Nothing
And then ... <gasp> Something!!!!
Time, Space, Matter, Energy, Gravity.
Galaxies coalesce ... in the celestial nursery, stars are born. And for every star, there is a story.
Our story began with Sol, the sun, the fire that sparks life into being.
(Light the candles)
Next came the Earth, our first home, both the shaper of life and the clay from which life makes itself.
("Plant" a seed in the soil)
Then came the water, the sea where the first life swam, the sea that swims inside each of us.
(Drink some of the water and use the rest to "water" the seed)
Finally life made the air, turning sunlight into fuel, freely available to all breathing creatures.
(Take three deep breaths)
Fire, Earth, Water, Air.
From Nothing ... Something
I remember my first home. I lived with my parents, my brother, my sister and my dog in a suburban home in the East end of Ottawa, Ontario. When I am in the neighbourhood, I still drive by the home, now sold to another family. Just a quick glance and the confirmation that the house is still there is reassuring.
I wonder if millions of years from now, our descendants will look up into the sky and try to locate the approximate location of Sol. If they are even a few dozen light years away, it may be quite a dim star in their sky, being a yellow dwarf. In our night sky, especially in our light polluted night sky, we can see few stars further than 600 light years away and those are generally red and blue giants not yellow dwarves. So they may have difficulty finding Sol in a Milky Way teaming with much brighter objects.
Still perhaps they will find a dark place and look up into the night sky and, using a star chart or some other aide, they will locate Sol and feel reassured that he is still there and orbiting him so must be Terra, our first home.
But just as I rarely visit my old neighbourhood despite the fact that it is only about 5 km away, they may rarely think of their first home. They may spend more time thinking about their next home. Once they have lived through establishing a new colony (a Gaia-child) and then, from there, yet another new colony (a Gaia-grandchild) and so on for several generations, they may develop a habit of long term thinking that leads them onward and outward to ever new colonies.
But I imagine that this very habit of long term thinking will lead them to keep looking back also. The question of "Where to next?" will lead to the question of "Where from?" and ultimately "Where is our first home?", at least once in a while.
So, let us, while we still can see Terra easily, not a dim dot in the night sky but a thriving world all around us, let us thank her for being our first home.
Leader: Please join me for seven minutes of silence while we contemplate ...
(Service Leader rings the bell)
(Service Leader rings the bell again at the end of the seven minutes)
Leader: Who would like to share?
The participants take turns talking about what they were thinking about during the contemplation.
Reading of the SolSeed Creed
Please respond to the portions of the Creed highlighted in bold in unison:
- Life is precious.
- It has always been precious,
- it will always be precious.
- Life exuberant
- bursting through boundaries
- to flower and spread
- creates the conditions for more Life,
- in an Upward Spiral
- of ever-growing possibilities.
- As you are alive, and I am alive,
- and in kinship with all other beings
- who call Terra home,
- we are Gaia --
- the body of all Life.
- The Destiny of Gaia
- is to take root and flower amongst the stars --
- to give birth to a family of living worlds.
- As intelligent sparks of Gaia,
- we are called to express her excellent nature,
- we are called to attend the Great Birthing.
- We who answer this call
- dedicate ourselves to Gaia,
- We join together
- in a community of practice
- to align our words and actions
- with our highest aspirations.
- Through awesome experiences
- of cosmic, biological, and cultural creativity,
- we awaken within ourselves and others
- the Cosmic Religious Feeling
- that ignites wonder,
- fosters compassion, and
- inspires invention.
- Our three sacred duties are to
- embrace Passion,
- cultivate Empathy, and
- pursue Wisdom,
- So that our being honors Gaia
- and our striving hastens the Great Birthing.
- Passion drives us.
- Without Passion
- Empathy and Wisdom are lethargic.
- I pledge to stoke the fire in my belly,
- to compassionately care for my inner elephant ---
- to really be me, Happy in the Sun!
- Empathy is transcendent.
- Without Empathy,
- Passion and Wisdom are evil.
- I pledge to love others as I love myself,
- to consider their needs as if they were my own --
- to Grow Ours, not just Get Mine!
- Wisdom is effective.
- Without Wisdom,
- Passion and Empathy are reckless.
- I pledge to train my elephant through regular practice,
- to stand ready to transform my worldview in the face of new evidence --
- to cultivate sound instincts.
- Through Passion, Empathy, and Wisdom
- we have come to know that:
- We are Gaia's People --
- children of the Earth and Sun,
- awakened by starlight,
- discovering --
- We Bring Life!
Leader: We extinguish this flame, but not the light of truth, the warmth of community or the fires of commitment ... these we carry in our hearts until we are together again.
Leader extinguishes the candle with the Candle Snuff
Leader: May your week be blessed with life and love. Blessed be.