A Different Kind of Optimism

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on June, 30 2022

Recently, I was in consultation with a colleague who is First Nation Cree. Throughout the conversation, there was a steady stream of confidence, curiosity, and hope.  Really smiling at one point, my colleague said, “I’m an eternal optimist who comes from a history of despair.”

Intimacy with all of Life*

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on February, 24 2022

There is so much humility, discipline, curiosity and vitality in what the Creator asks of us – anything but monotonous!  In the Abrahamic origin story, there are some similarities as it centers Creation first and begins in a garden. 

Walking In The Good Way

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on November, 4 2021

The most ancient path I know is the ecological one.  Creation is an intricate living system that honors life, death and rebirth within Earth’s natural cycles; where reciprocity is honorable, and all life is sacred.  We humans, who happen to be mammals (but also a bit of a virus), have trouble remembering the path of Creation.

The Mother Religion

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on July, 8 2021

In Her 4.5 billion years of being a planet, Earth has known great drama illustrated in superfluous gestures of creativity and supreme acts of destruction.  If we used only this as our backdrop for religion what would our religion consist of? 

We are Wonder-FULL

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on March, 25 2021

Why, in all of this relatedness, do we feel so disconnected?  Depleted?  Empty?  Because we mistakenly turn that which is divinely relational, into something inhumanely transactional.  And, to make this sin livable, we turn our heads and forget our neoteny.  Children don’t allow this sort of behavior.  We are born into relatedness and unity. 

Getting Beyond the Usual: Giving Birth to Jesus in the 2020s

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on December, 17 2020

There are 3 parts of Jesus’s birth story that we want to open here, like gifts.  There are many parts of this story that, once unwrapped, hold great truth and importance including dreams, angels and what was going on for Joseph. 

When Everything Becomes Sacred

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on September, 10 2020

We could describe the pain we’re in right now as the colonial anesthesia wearing off.  In epic fashion, events of the past many months have connected all the threads of the story: white supremacy and racism, detention centers and prisons, militarism and policing, the wealth of a few at the expense of  essential workers, broken healthcare, hurricanes, derechos, and wildfires, and certainly others.

Befriending an Intruder

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on April, 23 2020

Since early March, a poem[i] by Kristin Flyntz has been circulating widely wherein she imagines what the Covid-19 virus might be saying.  More than once it says, “Just stop. Be still. Listen. Ask us what we might teach you about illness and healing, about what might be required so that all may be well. We will help you, if you listen.”

Imagine That!

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on December, 12 2019

Last Spring, Greta Thunberg’s statement to the European Parliament included the phrase, “Everyone and everything needs to change.”  It’s become a mantra for me: Everyone, Everything, Me, Changing.

And Like the Sun, Our Generosity Continues

Column by Rev. Lauren Van Ham on August, 8 2019

It has become so easy now to feel anxious, worried or irritable by the state of things, by the frantic commotion modeled all around us, focusing on just about everything except what’s actually important.