by  Maureen Wild

The Gabriola Ecumenical Society is gearing up for an exciting year of programs with this theme ‘A Walk on the Mystical Side.’ Perhaps this already evokes curiosity for you. What constitutes a mystical experience? Can we not all have them? Was Einstein a mystic? Are there some uniquely wonderful human beings who can inspire us with their mystic selves?

For starters, how about a deliciously soulful Sunday afternoon with the poetry of Sufi mystics, Rumi and Havez, accompanied with improvisational music of Leah Hokanson on the grand piano and Allannah Dow on the cello? Yes, that’s lined up for October 25th from 3-5pm at the Phoenix Auditorium. Mark your calendars!

And in November, Pandit Tejomaya presents ‘The Mystics of India.’ And within this, a special focus on the lost years of Jesus and ‘Jesus as Mystic’ as understood within the Hindu tradition.  Date, time and place TBA.

In December, with its Jewish eight-day celebration of Hanukkah, we hope to offer an evening reflection on ‘Jewish Mysticism.’

For those who love our evolutionary story and its spiritual revelations – from cosmic to personal – come to January’s program (Jan 9th at The Rollo) on Teilhard de Chardin – his life and mysticism – offered by Maureen Wild.  Following this – for new or ongoing Teilhardian enthusiasts – you’re invited to attend a four-part book discussion: Teilhard’s Mysticism (Kathleen Duffy, 2014) on Thursdays in late January and early February.

And then February 20th features a Saturday afternoon at the United Church with the craft of making Peace Doves (the kind you can hang outdoors) followed with Taizé chant.

March we turn our focus to a day with the 14th century English mystic, Julian of Norwich, presented by Catholic Sister Elaine Biollo from Kelowna. There is talk of tea with the day!

April 22/23 brings us to our Annual Spring Forum as we host Anglican priest Dan Hines from Kamloops with the two-day theme ‘The Activist as Mystic.’ [Isn’t that a good one for Gabriola?! … makes me think of people like Gandhi and Rachel Carson, Martin Luther King … and perhaps you and me!]

For May and June we’re exploring topics like ‘Mandalas and the Mystic Path’ with Brenda Gaertner, perhaps ‘Buddhist Mystics’ and/or ‘Indigenous Shamanism.’

Stay tuned. It’s a great year being planned and we hope you’ll even now start to save-the-date(s)!