Celtic Christianity Today Homily #1: Union Community Church, Valparaiso, IN





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Published on Apr 29, 2009

Turtle Island Project co-founder Rev. Dr. George Cairns delivers the first of several Sunday homilies at the Union Community Church in Valparaiso, Indiana.

The homilies on Celtic Christianity take a look at several topics including the European roots of the Celts (primarily Scotland and Ireland) and how Earth-based cultures can impact the future of civilization including actively protecting the environment, respecting fellow humans, different cultures and nature.

Cairns is working closely with Rev. Gregory Jones on several social fronts.

Rev. Jones is the pastor of the Union Community Church and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Theology at Valparaiso University.

Founded in 2007, The non-profit Turtle Island Project is known for its ongoing work with Native American issues - and the other wing involves other Earth-based religions like the Celts.

Rev. Cairns continues to work closely with the foremost Celtic group in the world, the Iona Community in Scotland that is a dispersed Christian ecumenical community working for peace and social justice, rebuilding of community and the renewal of worship.

Cairns is a research professor of Practical Theology and Spirituality at Chicago Theological Seminary, an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and lives in Chesterton, Indiana.

Cairns recently completed a six-part "contemplative reading and discussion" of Philip Newell's book
"Christ of the Celts" at the Union Community Church. Cairns and his wife, Nancy, recently hosted a conference on Celtic Spirituality, Ecology, and Participative Consciousness.

Dr. Cairns says:

Celtic Christianity is a strand of the Christian tradition which developed during the
middle of the first millennium. Its full flowering in Ireland and Scotland continued for several hundred years before it was incorporated into the dominant church as many of its traditions were lost or suppressed.

There are two major reasons for this recovery and reconstruction of Celtic Christian practical theology for the church today: Church Renewal & Engaging and transforming the genocide and ecocide taking place today.

We are concerned that our current individual and systemic western consciousness is disembodied and ill. We believe that this process started several thousand years ago in the late Paleolithic. We are not trying to turn back the clock to the Stone Age. But we do know that a change in consciousness must begin if our planet and we are to survive.

What we have lost is participative consciousness, which understands that our lives are profoundly related to the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of all of creation. Another way of putting this is that we are completely relational beings. Reconnection with all of creation as sacred and responsive
and alive is our great task in the early 21st century."

Related websites and information:

Celtic Christianity Today - created by Rev. Dr. George Cairns:

Celtic Christianity Today (youtube):

The Iona Community in Scotland:

The Iona Community New World Foundation: An organization of associate members &
Friends of The Iona Community (Scotland) who are living in the United States:

Summary of Turtle Island Project & TV sites:

Turtle Island TV (blipTV)

Turtle Island TV (youtube)

Turtle Island (myspace)



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