Friday, November 28, 2008
NO LONGER PRAYER, LITURGY BECOMES ARTFORM
A reader sent in a website promoting an upcoming Cleveland play titled "Making Waves". The play will star five northeast Ohio women who have been ordained: Rev. Gena Thornton, African Methodist Episcopal; Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Evangelical Lutheran; Rev. Kate Huey, United Church of Christ; Rev. Hallie (Francies) Christian, United Methodist; and Rev. Dagmar Braun Celeste, Roman Catholic.
Yes, that's one and the same Dagmar Braun Celeste, former First Lady of Ohio, former wife of one time Governor of Ohio, Dick Celeste. The same Dagmar Braun Celeste who was one of the Danube 7. The same Dagmar Braun Celeste who provided "mass", and conducted a workshop "Planning a Mass" at the Neopagan cultural event Winterstar 22, in February 2005.
The play is being staged by Sacred Space Cleveland, a networking organization dedicated to alternative spiritualities as described on their "Ministries of the Earth" webpage, where you can discover that among them are promotion of the Earth Charter, deep ecology, and the work of Brian Swimme--reminiscent of the EarthSpirit Rising Conferences. Not surprisingly, then, is the notation at the bottom of their "Earth Enchantment" webpage that one of the Facilitators of "The Ministry of Ecospirituality-EcoJustice" is a Catholic nun, Sister Mary Hurley, of the Humility of Mary.
The other facilitator is Kay Eaton, co-founder, along with CeCe Miller, of Sacred Space and supporters of the Women's Ordination Conference, for whom they gave a closing prayer on March 25, 2006.
One of the pages in the website describes the "Spirit of Life Dancers" and provides a picture of the dancers in costume. Sort of reminds you of belly dancers, doesn't it? The webpage doesn't mention belly dancing, but this one does:
The Spirit of Life Dancers under the direction of CeCe Miller are the receipients of the 2008 Tyrian Artists of the Year Award presented by The Tyrian Network. The Dancers perform traditional tribal belly dance along with spiritual dance using veils and hip scarves to traditional middle eastern and other spiritual music.
Incidentally, The Tyrian Network is the adventure of Dagmar Braun Celeste according to Wikipedia:
Celeste's controversies in relation to the Catholic Church go beyond her ordination. She serves as the executive director of the Tyrian network, "an intentional learning community founded in the year 2000 on Kelleys Island, Ohio and dedicated to Brigid, both the Goddess and the Saint". She has also participated in productions of The Vagina Monologues. She is a long standing professional Life Balance Coach who developed an individualized three-month coaching process designed to empower one to discover a life worth living by embracing the life one is truly called to.
Here it is. Looks expensive.
The webpage on "Meditation*Poetry*Sacred Space History" features a wonderful picture of a leaf outlined in raindrops, and the information that their "Meditation Sunday" event focused on the Earth Charter. I couldn't find a Jesus Christ anywhere in the website.
Kay Eaton acted as contact person for the Earth Day Celebration at Angel House. The program was offered by the "wonderful group of ladies from Sacred Space". CeCe Miller conducted a Belly Dancing workshop at Angel House, too. Just to give you a bit more of the flavor of Angel House, they conducted their own type of prayer session:
Michael Olin Hitt, English Professor and husband of a United Methodist minister, found his prayer life leading to a deep, mystical state of awareness in which a messenger of God, called a "Maggid" in Hebrew, took control of his throat, breath, and voice. In this deep, meditative state, wisdom lessons flowed from his lips.
Unable to fully understand the experience as it came upon him, he dove deeply into areas of mystical Christianity, prophecy, the Kabbalah, and studies of shamanic and visionary experiences of world religions.
A prayer session with Michael in his state of trance prophecy will be offered at Angel House the third Sunday of the month beginning September 16th at 1:00pm. The session provides guidance for groups of up to 10 people and will bring persons to a better understanding of their own spiritual gifts and purposes.
By now you must be wondering why any of this matters. Well, there is a reason--Saint Malachi Parish on the near west side in the Diocese of Cleveland. This little gem is a well-kept secret. On the Community of St. Malachi Newsletter website I learned that this parish is the "First Personal Parish (what the heck is that?) of the Diocese of Cleveland Celebrating Faith in God and in the Future!" Ok. What faith would that be exactly?
The reason I wonder is what I found in their newsletter. The January 26, 2003 issue featured a
Program with CeCe Miller, Certified Pastoral Minister: "The Enneagram, Women and Relationships," a three-week series for women, 7-9 p.m. Tuesdays, Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and Feb. 11, Angel House Center for Creative Life Changes
Did the Maggid show up, one wonders?
CeCe turned up in another of the parish newsletters as well--November 10, 2002. This time this Pastoral Minister CeCe was making Advent Wreaths.
Then there was the "Let Rachel Speak" event advertised in the June 10, 2007 newsletter.
“Let Rachel Speak” - 8 p.m. Saturday, June 16, Cleveland Public Theatre, 6415 Detroit Ave., Cleveland. Presented by Sacred Space. A collaborative performance of drama, music, dance, art and poetry to honor the centennial birthday (1907-1964) of Rachel Carson, author of “Silent Spring.” Johanna Vine is featured in the role of Rachel. Other CSM[that's Community of St. Malachi, I presume] connections: Rebecca Rocco, Kay Eaton, Angela DePalma. Tickets: $15; send checks, payable to Sacred Space, to 6211 Brownfield Dr., Cleveland, OH 44129; tickets will be held at the door. For group tickets and other info: Kay Eaton, 440-885-4020.
It doesn't appear as though this Personal Parish is moving any closer to authentic Catholicism if we are to judge by this involvement.
Lastly in January/February 2003 Sacred Space creator Kay Eaton rubbed elbows with another politician I've recently blogged about--Dennis Kucinich. Cool Cleveland.com reports:
Third Annual Brigid Peace Festival
Shopping and networking will open the festivities on Sat 2/1 6-9PM at the Muse Market, where celtic arts, crafts and books will be available for purchase. Visit with local peace activists and experience free Polarity bodywork. Jordan Davis, accompanied by Jocelyn Chang on the Dilling harp and Michael Leese on the flute, will present a poetic meditation on war with poems by W.H. Auden and others and original music for harp and flute created by Chang and Leese. Then Tyrian, a learning community dedicated to empowering creativity, healing and peace, will honor Debra Wuliger with its first Artist of the Year Award for Sophia Sings, her seven 10-ft. silk hangings depicting the seven days of creation, presented by Rep. Dennis Kucinich and Stephanie Tubbs Jones at 8PM. Former First Lady of Ohio and recently ordained Roman Catholic priest Dagmar Braun Celeste will be the master of ceremony for the evening, which will conclude with a healing ritual for peace led by Evelyn Hunt, president of the National Women's Ordination Conference and Kay Eaton, co-founder of Sacred Space. Trinity Cathedral Hall, 2230 Euclid Avenue 371.2547
Cleveland Catholicism is certainly diverse, but I've become too jaded to be scandalized. Just more of the same ole, same ole with no bishop in sight. And they wonder why so many Catholics ignored them last election day.
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!