The Liquid Pulse of God
“I wanted the boat to appear small, almost lost in the sea, but pointed to the lighthouse which appears as our faith, that which keeps us forward on uncertain seas.
“The small lanterns are meant to illustrate those who wait for us at our journey’s end. I wanted to illustrate the pulse of our God and the love and faith we have for her.”
Andree Bouty, member of San Lorenzo Community Church United Church of Christ, with help from members Katie McPherron and Candace Frawley, created this Blue Theology altar last Sunday. The church had invited me to preach there because 15 members are coming to Pacific Grove for a Blue Theology pilgrimage day with me next month.
I had done my good sermon prep, chosen scriptures (Luke 5 – Cast Your Nets Out into the Deep, Psalm 104 – Behold the Sea, God’s creation) and hymns, wore my blue jacket and my Blue Theology stole (beautifully crafted by Sandy Johnson.)
But I had no idea the worship space itself would so richly, symbolically, visually evoke the ocean. Every week, Andree says, she and others create a different sacred space. “We try to bring a sense of the sacred, respite and ritual to our church. Next week it will be the green earth – we are doing a month on Earth Justice – and people will bring in plants to be blessed to help fill the sanctuary with life.”
The ocean literally saved Andree’s life. “I ran away from my Arizona home as a teen, and ended up in Pacific Grove. I walked out onto the beach for the first time and was completely overwhelmed, flooded with the knowledge that my world was bigger than just me, flooded with the sound of the surf in my head, I could feel it in my pulse, in my heartbeat. I could hear the voice of, to me, the Goddess telling me I was safe, loved, enough. I spent 30 days there, went to ocean each day, learned to pray, created ritual, learned about the inner part of me. Eventually we were caught and returned home, but I never forgot the ocean. And when I went back home I was stronger and better equipped to deal with life.”
Many years later, Andree now lives near her life-saving ocean and worships her life-saving God. And creates beautiful sacred spaces, which also save lives.
Do you see the tuna fish cans on the left – those can save hungry lives too. Thanks, Andree.
I write these Blue Theology “Tide-ings” each Wednesday. Come on a pilgrimage and hear the liquid pulse of God. Bluetheology.com