This parish chose St. Mary Magdalene as it's Matron Saint, both a potent image of the faminine and as a becaon for those who feel disinfranchised by religion. So many people argue or have the expeince that religion is done worng, they are smothered by dogma and doctrine, they are limited in the areas that they are allowed to approach. They find that through divorce, sexual orientation, or many other reasons they are just unacceptable as a person to other Churchs. St. Mary Magadelene's parish has the goal of really "doing religion right."
Our groups are small and discussion is always welcome. We talk, and try to learn with and from eachother. We accept people as they are and we do not stand with our hands out. If you are looking for a church that honors the deep traditions, that will help work help guide without begging or inundating you with rules then this is also our goal also.
There are many potential paths that you could take and many areas of study that may be of interest to you to explore and grow in. We are all on a journey some will find themselves and some will just pass through but I pray that all hearts are warmed and welcome at our hearth.
We should never underestimate the importance of our liturgical lives. There is a sacredness of being involved in the sacraments. Our communion is open to all who wish to attened. You do not have to Baptised or Confirmed and you do not need to give confession prior. God's grace is open to all regardless of race, class, gender, or sexual orientation.
Divine Femine Liturgy
There is mounting evidence emerging that suggests that the Feminine and the importance of the "Holy Queen" was a very important factor in the early church. So often these discussions tend towards behavior from the past and attempt to carry that forward into todays world. This litergy was written around what we know and what we know of the earliest church and how the feminine was more revered as a living vibrant and healing spiritual practice.
The Christian tradition was founded on the shoulders of other traditions of the time. Specifically, this tradition wound its way out of Egypt and through the Jewish Kabbalah. Most Gnostics will dig deeper into these traditions. Since the 1700's when interest in these aspects grew they have been taught and maintained in various Lodge structrues that are iniatiatic in nature. St. Mary's maintains a practice and study of these foundational traditions that are also a part of the chrisitan traditions.
Oblates of St. John
Often people approaching a Church feel a little like there are very limited ways to be involved in the actual work of the Church. Churches always need volunteers but there is also an inbetween section of the church between lay volunteers and cleargy and these are the oblate or monastic communities of monks or nuns that have commited to more serious personal practice and looking to community to help them navigate and achive this work. For mor informaiton see The Oblates of Saint John at the AJC page.
Prayer & Meditation Group
The Prayer and Meditation group is to teach about the various form of prayer and meditation with the Christian communities and to see how this relates to other faiths. The range of prayer is extremely diverse and there are often lively discussions and readings that people bring and bring up for these groups as well as practice of the methods learned about. There is also a concerted attempt to show how all these various forms of prayer and meditation fit together and can work synergistically to help you to determine your own ever evolving practice.
Gnostic Study Group
The study group is a discussion on some sacred text that is chosen by and voted on by the group to read next. We read and discuss the text in group. People may participate or just listen but all opinions and ideas are welcome it is part of what make us more rich as people is to hear ideas and be given the ability to discern for ourselves if it works for us or not. Many times this follows the Nag Hammadhi Library but it this is not written in stone. There is not really a beginning or end and you you are welcome to attend any time having read the text or not.
We cannot ignore the draw in our culture to Celtic and the pre-chrisitan endo-european traditions found throughout Europe. It is a vibrant and accessible mode of learning. While this aspect is not sponsored through our Parent Church in the AJC many people in the community have felt a desire to acknoledge these traditions. We work with a number of them and they fit the rest of the core beliefs and principles of the AJC. If interested check the calendar for the evening rituals on the Equinox and Solistics where ritual will be performed.
We have a youth group in Boulder that works with youth at risk to the use of drugs or alcohol who study healing systems in order to re-channel energy and also to learn to live a more full and rich life. This has been a wonderful group for all of us and we hope that we are able to support them long into the future.
Charity is very important to this Parish and many people quietly do works on their own. However, we have found that not all charities are created equal and that often 90% or more of the donations go to administrative costs. If you are interested we have an number of groups that we have looked into with some detail and donate to and we would be happy to share with you what those are. St. Mary's would rather you donate time, energy, or resources to worth charities than to tithe to the church there are so many in need.
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