Shuck and Jive

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Sea Raven

The progressive movement in Christianity takes many forms. I am featuring Westar Fellows and Associates who have found scholarship regarding the historical Jesus useful in their lives. Sea Raven (pictured to the right) earned her D. Min. (Doctor of Ministry) from the University of Creation Spirituality. You can find out more about Creation Spirituality and the work of Matthew Fox here.

Sea Raven has used her education to enhance worship and ritual. She is a harpist, singer, writer, and Earth Liturgist and a consultant for worship and the arts in the D.C area.

She posted her D. Min. dissertation on-line. It is entitled The Wheel of the Year: A Worshipbook for Creation Spirituality.

Sea Raven writes:

If the institutional Christian church is to remain relevant, an approach such as the one illustrated in this Worship Book is essential. Like the shamans of neolithic and aboriginal tribes, post-modern spiritual leaders must become priests and priestesses of the cosmos. By entering and living the metaphors presented by the new cosmology of the 3rd Millennium C.E., those called to such a role become entrancers, enchanters, mediators of the sacred realms. (pp. 1-2)
In the first 20 or so pages of her dissertation, Sea Raven provides a nice introduction to Creation Spirituality with its emphasis on

  • original blessing rather than original sin,
  • feminine images of the Divine,
  • accepting evolution and our modern cosmology,
  • the historical Jesus,
  • mysticism,
  • non-Christian religious expression,
  • ritual and worship that engages all of the senses.
The second and third parts of her dissertation describe the elements of ritual and the wheel of the year, respectively.

Here is a ritual for Halloween or All Saints that you can share with a small group. Notice how the ritual includes all of the senses from making wreaths to smelling herbs, to sharing a real meal, to prayers, to moving the body, to rest.

Sea Raven is one of many examples of people who are searching for (and expressing) a faith for the 21st century (or as she writes, the 3rd millenium). She has not given up on the Christian faith, she is participating in its transformation.

Blessed Be,


  1. And Christianity is badly in need of transformation!

    I went to her web site and clicked through to her statement of faith, which I liked quite a bit. (Coincidentally, I am currently reading what I believe to be Matthew Fox's first book, On Becoming a Musical, Mystical Bear.)

    I think Matthew Fox has some wonderful ideas, and while he is basically approaching the problem from a different direction than some others are, there is much that he has in common as well with others like Borg. (For example, both he and Borg are panentheists.)

  2. I came out of Wicca.

    I prefer worshiping the One, True, and Living God sans idoles.

  3. Chris,

    You sound like an intelligent and thoughtful person. Stay with the One True and Living God and stay away from this nonsense that Shuck peddles.

  4. Person,

    I'd be more than happy to abandon the whole blog if it weren't for two facts:
    1) He is a minister member of my presbytery, and reminds anyone that disagrees with him of as much.
    2) He represents himself as the leading edge of Presbyterian theology.

    I went to LPTS (not exactly a bastion of orthodoxy or orthopraxy). I encountered all of these arguments before. I asked the same questions of PhDs and students. Nobody cared to answer them then, and apparently those who make their living broadcasting these views from pulpits have no interest in engaging a challenging evangelical witness.

    For the time being, God has laid on my heart that I am to be a pastor in the sense of Timothy and Titus. And here is my motto:

    "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare [are] not fleshly but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. And they will be ready to punish all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled."
    2 Corinthians 10:4,5