Tag Archive | interfaith

REVEREND ELENA KELLY AND THE DIVINE MOTHER

From Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine (SkyLight Paths)  Photo: Courage Campaign.org

Sister Elena Kelly is tall and broad shouldered. She takes a seat and drapes her dark floral-print skirt over black suede boots. Elena is not your ordinary woman religious. She is starting a convent for transgender women. She made her own transition several years earlier, after serving in the U.S. Navy, raising six kids, becoming ordained in two religious traditions, and founding a nondenominational church in Colorado.

These facts spill from her with ease, with laughter, but her life has been anything but facile. She points to the Divine Mother as the one who sustained her. “My first experience of the Divine Mother,” Elena recalls, “was a long time ago. I wasn’t even five years old yet. My mother was an alcoholic, and my dad was a farmer and gone all day. One day my mom and dad get in this terrible fight, and I’m horrified. I remember running back to my room, getting down on my knees, and saying, ‘Dear Heavenly Mother, the Heavenly Father is not paying attention when I pray. Would you please do something about my parents and make them stop fighting?’ No sooner had I said those words when the house went silent. And I thought to myself, ‘So there is a Divine Mother. I thought so. If there’s a Father, there has to be a Mother.’”

When Elena was still very young, she dreamed, “An angel from heaven—I like to call her Divine Mother—came down from heaven with this big white robe and feathery wings, and she wrapped her arms around me and took me away from that horrible life I had.”

As a teenager, Elena attempted suicide twice. “Mother Mary, the Divine Mother, saved me from killing myself,” Elena asserts. “She’s been there every step of the way. Things happen to me every day that She has ordered and put into place.”

Click to order Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine

 

Birthing God on International Women’s Day!

Birthing God cover

Celebrate International Women’s Day

MARCH 8, 2013    3 – 5 p.m. 

California Institute of Integral Studies

1453 Mission Street, San Francisco

 Author Lana Dalberg

joined by dancers, chanters & drummers

“These multifaceted accounts of spiritual experience in the lives of women both ordinary and remarkable … are generous and inspiring.”   – Sharon Salzberg, Real Happiness: The Power of Meditation: A 28-Day Program 

TO ORDER:

http://www.skylightpaths.com/page/product/978-1-59473-480-9

Birthing God and International Women’s Day Events Mar. 8 & Mar. 17

Birthing God coverMy book is here!!! You can preview and order on the publisher’s website: http://www.skylightpaths.com/page/product/978-1-59473-480-9

Join me for International Women’s Day at March 8 and March 17 events listed on my website events page: https://womenspiritandfaith.com/upcoming-events/

Why we do social justice…

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Reverend Debbie Lee is one of forty women interviewed in Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine.

Debbie says that she experiences God in the multitude. When asked about her faith and her work for immigrant rights, she responds, “Spirituality is why we do social justice. It’s what makes social justice work.”

Debbie Lee is a United Church of Christ minister and the Director of the Interfaith Coalition on Immigrant Rights

http://www.icir-clue.blogspot.com/

Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine

Birthing God cover

Powerful narratives of suffering, love, and hope that inspire

both personal and collective transformation.

 In Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine, 40 women of faith describe inspirational, Spirit-filled moments: a Korean student feels the hands of God supporting her despite excruciating torture; a grieving pastor walks a labyrinth and rediscovers the Rock of her existence; a human rights advocate re-encounters Allah in an intensely visceral moment in the sun; a Salvadoran peasant woman under fire discovers within herself the God who gives her courage. Each woman’s story invites reflection and the deepening of readers’ own spiritual practices.

Order or preview at:

http://www.skylightpaths.com/page/product/978-1-59473-480-9

Also available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com.

Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine cover

Birthing God: Women's Experiences of the Divine cover

Happy New Year to you! My blessing this coming year is a book, Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine, available March 1 from Skylight Paths Publishing. After laboring long hours and completing nearly sixty interviews, I am excited to bring it into the world, and of course, I want to share it with you!

In Birthing God, 40 women of different faiths describe inspirational, spirit-filled moments: a Korean student feels the hands of God supporting her despite excruciating torture; a grieving pastor walks a labyrinth and rediscovers the Rock of her existence; a human rights advocate re-encounters Allah in an intensely visceral moment in the sun; a Salvadoran peasant woman under fire discovers within herself the God who gives her courage. Each woman’s story invites reflection and the deepening of one’s own spiritual practices, whatever they might be.

Join me in celebrating the release of Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine!
http://www.skylightpaths.com/page/product/978-1-59473-480-9

The Next Big Thing: My New Project

What is the title of your book?

Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine. It will be published by SkyLight Paths Publishing in March 2013.

Where did the idea come from for this book?

I’ve had a variety of experiences of Spirit, including mystical visions and nature-based revelations, and I was curious to learn about other women’s experiences of the Divine.

What genre does your book fall under?

Definitely nonfiction, although I crafted the interviews into narratives so that they read like stories.

How long did it take to write the first draft?

A year and two months. My goal was to interview 50 women by International Women’s Day. By the time I was done, I had interviewed nearly 60 women in total.

What actors would you use for a movie rendition of your book?

Hhhmmm. There’s 40 women’s stories, so I’d have to think of a lot of women actors: Viola Davis, Cicely Tyson, Michelle Yeoh, Ellen DeGeneres, Salma Hayek, Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Vanessa Redgrave…

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book?

In Birthing God, 40 women relate spirit-filled moments: a grieving pastor walks a labyrinth and rediscovers the Rock of her existence; a human rights advocate re-encounters Allah in an intensely visceral moment in the sun; an educator, moved by an ancestral vision, launches a global tree-planting project to heal the wounds of slavery; a revolutionary awakens from a coma and realizes that all of life is infused with Spirit. Each woman’s story invites readers to deepen and enliven their own spiritual practices. Oops, that was two sentences!

Will it be self published or represented by an agency?

My publisher is SkyLight Paths Publishing (www.skylightpaths.com).

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My own mystical encounters and a craving to hear other women share their experiences since most spiritual accounts are authored by men.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

While spiritual memoirs abound, not many showcase 40 women’s spiritual stories in one book. The closest cousin to my book is the anthology, Women, Spirituality, and Transformative Leadership (SkyLight Paths 2011), where 30 women contribute their thoughts on women’s spirituality and the imperative for women’s transforming leadership in the world.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

The stories sizzle with insight and intensity. For example, a Korean theologian and dharma teacher describes feeling the inexplicable consolation of God’s hands while she was being tortured in a South Korean prison. In another story, a Salvadoran under fire discovers within herself the God who gives her courage. (If it sounds like I’m totally jazzed by these stories, I am!)

Thanks to Lindsey Crittenden for inviting me to participate in this blog chain!

http://loveinshallah.com/contributors-2/

Ayesha Mattu’s first book, Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women  was featured globally by media including the New York Times, NPR, BBC, Washington Post, The Guardian, Times of India, Dawn Pakistan and The Jakarta Post. She is working on a family memoir about three generations of Pakistani Sufi women, and blogs at Love InshAllah. http://loveinshallah.com/contributors-2/

Come celebrate my new book, Birthing God!

Great news! Skylight Paths Publishing will be publishing my book, Birthing God: Women’s Experiences of the Divine in early 2013.

In Birthing God, forty women relate spirit-filled moments: a grieving pastor walks a labyrinth and rediscovers the Rock of her existence; a human rights advocate re-encounters Allah in an intensely visceral moment in the sun; an educator, moved by an ancestral vision, launches a global tree-planting project to heal the wounds of slavery; a revolutionary awakens from a coma and realizes that all of life is infused with Spirit; a peasant woman under fire discovers within herself the God who gives her courage; and a disabled doctor, embraced by Shekinah, turns her heart to rabbinical studies. Each woman’s story invites readers to deepen and enliven their own spiritual practices.

If you are in the San Francisco Bay Area, join with me in celebration this coming weekend at the 6th   annual herconference November 2-4 at herchurch, where I will be leading a workshop. See http://herconferencesf.org/workshops/ for more details. Hope to see you there!