OSE: A New (and Ancient) Expression of Community

A sacred pledge or vow is a wisdom practice that articulates the common values that a community agrees to [  ] strive to fulfill. We are all beginners in this sacred work, both inner and outer. We are not here to judge one another but to support each other in our common efforts—efforts that include transforming ourselves beyond the anthropocentric consciousness we have all inherited from the modern era—as well as efforts to transform the institutions that buttress our culture, whether we are talking about education, politics, economics, agriculture, religion, or relationships. 

Advert for OSE Podcast originally posted to website of the Order of the Sacred Earth.

Networking with other individuals and organizations doing similar work and bringing such activists together to develop a deeper spiritual grounding will be part of our shared work. We share on line in monthly zoom meetings and dozens of groups have been launched, following a theme of “self organizing” groups.

Many people in our time—especially the youth—have withdrawn from institutional religion. But as Deepak Chopra has pointed out, evil has not diminished on the planet because millions have walked out of church (or the synagogue or the mosque). Evil continues to walk among us and even to take on wings it seems with the current goings on in wars, refugees from war, poverty and from climate change, extinction of species, calls to hatred and bigotry and denial of scientific facts about the demise of the planet as we know it.

The question we address might be summarized this way: How can we now build a conscious community that gives us a sense of our common sacredness and purpose?

Mystics in Motion (formerly known as Worship Jam) teaching and practicing community building through circle dancing. Song they are singing is called Gathered Here. Originally posted to YouTube.

Orders arise when society’s spiritual/religious and cultural needs are not being met and when religion, which tends to move and evolve very slowly, is not responding adequately or swiftly enough to changes in culture. We feel this is clearly the situation in the times we live in. Each Order has a certain charism and a particular mission about it. Ours is captured in its name, a return of the sense of the Sacred and a movement or community or Order called to bring spiritual depth and energy to the defense of Mother Earth.

Group photo of the three Co-Founders of the OSE. Photo originally posted here.

Orders respond much more swiftly to the new challenges of history than do religions themselves. OSE holds Mother Earth as the focus and the sacred container where the current spiritual adventure is to be played out rather than any particular religious institution. But this Order will draw on wisdom and practices from the many spiritual/religious traditions our species has birthed over the millennia. We are not throwing the baby out with the bathwater but taking wisdom from a burning building and re-grounding it in what truly matters—the sacredness of our lives and all lives in the sacred embrace and web of this numinous planet. With wisdom comes, play, celebration and creativity. And the passion to heal, to be instruments therefore of compassion and justice-making. Therefore love.

Adapted from: Adapted from Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, Jennifer Listug, Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action, pp.xvf.

Banner Image: Mystics in Motion in circle service. Originally posted to the Mystics in Motion website.

Queries for Contemplation

Do you agree that orders respond more swiftly to cultural shifts than do entire religions?  What follows from that in today’s search for healthy community?

Recommended Reading

Order of the Sacred Earth: An Intergenerational Vision of Love and Action
By Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jen Listug

In the midst of global fire, earthquake and flood – as species are going extinct every day and national and global economies totter – the planet doesn’t need another church or religion. What it needs is a new Order, grounded in the Wisdom traditions of both East and West, including science and indigenous. An Order of the Sacred Earth united in one sacred vow: “I promise to be the best lover and defender of the Earth that I can be.”
Co-authored by Matthew Fox, Skylar Wilson, and Jennifer Berit Listug, with a forward by David Korten, this collection of essays by 21 spiritual visionaries including Brian Swimme, Mirabai Starr, Theodore Richards, and Kristal Parks marks the founding of the diverse and inclusive Order of the Sacred Earth, a community now evolving around the world.
“The Order of the Sacred Earth not only calls us home to our true nature as Earth, but also offers us invaluable guidance and company on the way.”  ~~ Joanna Macy, environmental activist and author of Active Hope.

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4 thoughts on “OSE: A New (and Ancient) Expression of Community”

  1. Avatar

    I am very interested in this work. I am a Unity minister and for years I have shyed away from a formal church environment because of the power structures and hierarcy. This has left me feeling loss without a community or a way to bring my wisdom support the sacred expression of others. When COVID happened, I was invited to lead a small group of people in a noontime meditation. Out of that I started a virtual gathering (not formal service) which includes music, meditation, a short talk, readings, and discussion on a topic such as the sacred art of listening, wisdom of the warrior sage, etc. During this time of great awakening, for me it is time to find the sacred within one another. Spiritual community is important, but the days of a church, synagoue, mosque, etc being a sacred place does not fit anymore, but separates. I am interested in participating with you to awaken the sacred in all.

    1. Avatar

      Hi Judy,
      Thank you for your response in regard to the OSE and your leadership in gathering others for direct experience of the sacred within us and our relationships with the more than human world. This work is more important than ever at this crucial time in history. We would love to support you in any way that we can including adding your group/contact info to our network so that others can benefit from what you are doing. Feel free to reach out to us at: orderofthesacredearth@gmail.com

      Skylar Wilson

  2. Avatar

    Is it possible to order the small “Stations of the Cosmic Christ” guide booklet? I’m not interested in the meditation cards. How much are they? I would like to share them with family and friends.

  3. Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall
    Rev. Dr. Richard Reich-Kuykendall

    Judy, thank you so much for your comment. I too agree with what you say, when you say, “the days when a church, synagogue, mosque
    etc. being sacred space does not fit anymore but separates.” Therefore let’s awaken the sacred in all!

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