In Heaven, so upon the Earth

Earth Day 2013 celebrations are past but the responsibility to cherish, as in do no harm, sustain and protect our environment continues to draw us to re-conceive our notions about what it might mean to care for our earth. As I meditate on what God intends for us while we make our home on this earth the Lord’s Prayer comes to mind.  “When ye pray, say: Our Father who art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth. (Luke 11:2 KJ21) The phrase “as in heaven” conjures up manicured gardens, beautiful fragrant flowers, birds singing and butterflies sporting in the air, a river meandering through the garden.

heavenly garden

 

Every gardener  knows it takes planning, planting and enormous amount of effort and attention to maintain a garden. A few days of carelessness will most likely have consequences. On the other hand, appropriate attention will revive the garden. I believe we are called to co-create heaven on earth not just in our physical environment, the earth itself but also our spiritual environment, our minds. Heaven inflows into our very beings.  Swedenborg speaks of  this inflow coming “into our souls because the soul is the inmost and highest part of us. The inflow  from God reaches that part first and then comes down into the things below and enlivens them, depending on our openness to what flows in.” (In the 21st Century translations of Swedenborg’s True Christina Religion, “inflow” replaced “influx.”

Many Native American cultures believed in the sacredness of the earth and in responsibilities for caring for all things created.  We must be mindful of creation pronounced by God as “very good” surely we must bear responsibility for maintaining its goodness and beauty as co-creators of heaven on earth. Genesis 1:31

William Blake's Earth Answer

 

Earth’s Answer by William Blake from Songs of Experience 1794

Prayers for Mother Earth

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Gabriella was born in Budapest Hungary. Some of her family still resides in Hungary. After escaping the Communist regime in the aftermath of the 1956 Revolution, Gabriella's family settled in Cleveland OH. She graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and attended college but did not earn a degree. She met her husband in Devon PA, and soon they were married and began family life in PA. Only a few years married, John and Gabriella moved to FL to be with Gabriella's aging parents. Two o their three children were born Florida. After the children began school, Gabriella volunteered in schools and libraries. Her love for swimming drew her into the world of aquatics. Part time coaching jobs evolved into career aquatic management. Her children out of the home, Gabriella worked full time as an aquatic manger, coach and swim instructor. In 2001, John and Gabriella's plans to ease into retirement in Tucson changed drastically when John suffered a heart attack in 2002. John’s amazing recovery after bypass surgery allowed Gabriella to seek a new career. It was a life changing experience for both of them. Gabriella returned to school at the University of AZ and John took over household responsibilities. A shift occurred in their lives. Gabriella felt called to become a spiritual care provider. Preparing for seminary, she chose interdisciplinary program, combining Psychology, Family and Religious Studies. She graduated with honors in 2006. Gabriella and John moved to Berkeley for her to begin seminary at the Pacific School of Religion. Gabriella was accepted on the ordination track in the Swedenborgian Church of North America. Her goal was to becoming a chaplain. John's health crisis necessitated a move from Berkeley back to Tucson in 2008. Gabriella transferred to Earlham School of Religion to complete the Master’s program. In her senior year, working in required Supervised Ministry, Gabriella created a dual ministry; Circle Community, a sharing, praying and studying support group and worked as a crisis advocate in Tucson area hospitals. Most of her family was present in Cincinnati OH when Gabriella was ordained in July 2012. In July of 2011 she was ordained in the Swedeborgian Church and accepted a call to be the pastor of the New Church of Southwest FL. Soon after her ordination Gabriella accepted a call to become the pastor to the New Church of Southwest FL in 2011. John, a VA patient needed comprehensive medical care unavailable in Fort Myers. For Gabriella ministry begins at home. Once again new a health crisis changed their life. They moved back to Tucson AZ. Back in Tucson, Gabriella found ministry opportunities with Circle Community, did workshops and conducted weekly Prayer Meditations at Rincon U.C.C. She completed a course in Spiritual Direction at the Hesychia School for Spiritual Direction. In mid October 2012, Gabriella began to work as a Chaplain for Harmony Hospice. The job all she had expected. She found great satisfaction working with patients and their families. Gabriella left the per diem position with Harmony for a full time job with Valor HospiceCare. Here too, she worked with grieving families, conducted grief support groups and lead Community Memorial services during the same time that her husband's health was spiraling downwards. Gabriella resigned her job to care for John in the last months of his life. John died in April 2014. Life became chaotic. An intense search a chaplain position in Tucson and other parts of the country was unsuccessful. Peers suggested Gabriella look into open churches with the Swedenborgian Church. She candidated in Kansas with two churches. She was called to pastor the Pretty Prairie and Pawnee Rock churches in July 2014. A new life began with the move to rural Kansas. In August 2014, Gabriella began to serve as the Pastor of the two churches.

One thought on “In Heaven, so upon the Earth”

  1. Her is my Inspiration and Prayer for this week..4/28/13.
    much love to all, Judith

    Inspiration and Prayer for 4/28/13:

    “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments
    of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times
    of challenge and controversy.”

    ______Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Where do you stand with regard to Mother Earth today?

    “Dear God, who knows our thoughts and heartfelt dreams
    before we do, help us to stand for the regeneration of our
    planet however you will. Show us our tasks to create a
    better environment for us and future generations. Give
    us hearts of dedicated earth healers. We give thanks
    for the work you give us today and everyday. Thy
    will be done. AMEN”

    Blessings,
    Rev Judith

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