“Going Further Together” by Rev. Dr. Nadene Rogers
by Reggie Cole
Northeast of Merritt BC, Canada, a fire, dubbed the White Rock Lake fire, broke out and spread over 81,000 hectares (over 200,000 acres,) creeping into the northern end of the Okanagan Sylix Indian Band. Since that day in July, all of the places the Syilx have done ceremonies on have burned. The waterways they laid their bodies and prayers in — take my pain from me, take my sadness from me, fill me with peace, fill me with hope — are now consumed by blackened trees and plants.
When spiritual communities are “in transition” and seem to be at a standstill, perhaps being perceived as not replenished or growing, we must remember that presence of Spirit is everywhere and Its nature is to continually create anew. Likewise, as a part of a community connected into sacred alignment with this One Power, Presence and source of all good, there is movement within and without us, affecting the whole of the community and its collective consciousness. This is our teaching, and it is realized through our faith and demonstration of its principles.
The creative process is invisible in its process until it’s not, when it reveals itself into form. To say that nothing is happening in the world of time and space is tantamount to judging the work of spirit in its natural creative process.
There are many aspects which, as a whole community and as its individual members, which brought comfort and connection to the sacred, that are no longer. As well, the challenges and hardships that were navigated and layered into the character of its standing culture today.
When the Syilx peoples look upon their burned down historic sacred ceremonial land – they as a community remember to “pick their hearts off the ground, help to restore the land and the animal kin, and go and begin to reciprocate their love with other places in their territory.” So too are we called to consciously be woven into the universal creative process of evolution, to bring our love to the landscape of our common ground.
We cannot measure a community’s success in the same way or ways we measure our own success in meeting our goals. Firstly because even though spiritually speaking we are One and expressing as individualized parts of the One, our culture has not bred within us the power of community and the empowerment, nourishment and sustenance it provides us, throughout uncertain and difficult times.
In all indigenous cultures the children are raised traditionally by a large circle of people who share the responsibility of bringing them up in this world, which affords them as they find their independence multiple perspectives and teachings. They do not just hear the worldview and experiences of a few; they are being raised to be responsible to the collective and to always think of others in their actions, now and for future generations, while paying respect to the teachings of those before them.
In the Western culture we are taught appropriate ways of being which tells us to express our happiness and hide our sadness. We bring this into spiritual community, learning how to accept ourselves just as we are, yet still ready to commiserate about the shadow parts – what is not working, what triggers our fear – which depletes our ability to demonstrate our faith in a higher good operating in, through and as us, and, as the community in the here and now.
When the Syilx people began to realize that there was still much new land in their Territory that they hadn’t yet visited that they surmised probably missed their feet, their prayers, their ceremonies, and their joy, they remembered together, back a long time ago when things like this happened, they took care of it and moved on to somewhere else, just knowing there was so much more.
When each of us do our own spiritual work, forgiving, releasing, clearing and aligning with the Spiritual Truth of all life, beginning with ourselves, we see differently. We see Spirit in the dark and the light, knowing that Principle of Wholeness and Unity is operating by means of a spiritually governed, orderly universe, then we can then take care of business together, in community. Our commitment is that we support and uplift each other as we grow, learn and give back together.
Rev. Dr. Nadene Rogers
October 15, 2021
September 10, 2021
August 02, 2021