Religion & Spirituality:Christianity
Episode 50: Illuminating the Cosmic Christ: Seeing in a new way; yearning for connection
Our guest today is the Rev. Catherine Amy Kropp. She is a newly ordained priest of the Episcopal Church from the Diocese of Maine. Before pursuing ordination Catherine Amy worked as a former high school teacher and she is also a Maine guide. For the past year she's been pursuing her Master's degree in Sacred Theology degree at Yale Divinity School, focusing on the Cosmic Christ, and also serving as the liturgical coordinator of the University Church in Yale. Last fall the magazine for the Episcopal Church in Connecticut had a big spread on the Cosmic Christ and an interview with Catherine Amy, so today we're going to find out what she's been up to since then.
We started by asking about whether her studies were over and learned that she had just finished! She shared that she had focused on the Cosmic Christ, and why that matters for parish ministry, how people understand ministry, mission, social justice, and spiritual formation - the practical applications of the Cosmic dimensions of Christ as based in scripture, especially for our world today.
She helps us understand the "Cosmic Christ" and how that is the same and different from the human Jesus, and what it emcompasses (hint: Everything). Embracing the Cosmic Christ calls us into a bigger story that we often see or understand, and calls us into a greater sense of God's presence, and intimacy. And if that's true it draws people into a deeper connection with everything and everyone in the world around us.
On a practical level, she described some of the work she did at St. Peter's, Cheshire as a seminarian and later a transitional deacon, talking about how they saw themselves as followers of Christ and their response to the world around them as followers of Christ - the earth, and the people in it.
Alli asked what pursuing this has meant for her own spiritual life, and she talked about seeing a new luminosity in the world, and learning a new way of being present.
Karin asked about connections between her current pursuit and her time spent as a Maine guide, and Catherine Amy talked about her time in the forests of Maine and her experience of being present in the land.
We also talked about "thin places,"and how the Cosmic Christ offers an opportunity to dwell in that space. She shared an experience of running in the dark as part of that conversation.
Karin shared that she'd gone to Iona and a few things learned there about Celtic Christianity; it turned the conversation to suffering and God's presence in it, and how that understanding has a practical application. (And it wasn't Julian of Norwich, it was Hildegard of Bingen, who talked about the two wings.)
Alli asked about how being a science teacher and her spirituality and work with the Cosmic Christ, and she talked to us about those insights.
Are there more "Cosmic Christ-ers" out there? Alli asked, and Catherine Amy shared some of the current and recent theologians and writers and leaders who are focused on the Cosmic Christ - and similar explorations outside the Christian tradition. (See below)
When thinking about practical applications for a parish, Catherine Amy's work is still unfolding, she said. She's learned the importance of the parish context, the particularity of place, and how that particularity will influence how she'll approach parish ministry in any particular place. It will also help a parish understand itself in a larger way, and help them understand see, and respond, in ways they may not have had before.
At the end, we asked how people could learn more and here are a few suggestions:
Episode 55: Swords to Plowshares: the Spirit can transform us
EP 54: Region Missionaries -- Owning the Church's History to Better Collaborate
Episode 53: The Wild Wild West of Church Communications with Karin Hamilton
Episode 52: Living One's Truth with the Rev. Jack Gilpin
Episode 51: Mission Leadership: It's about the church, and yet it's not about the church
Episode 49: ¡Cuba Si! No more lines!
Episode 48: Be not conformed, a conversation with Kelli Gibson
Episode 47: Jerusalem Peacebuilders with the Rev. Cn. Nicholas Porter
Episode 46: Christ Church Cathedral's Centennial
Episode 45: Lay Preaching with Eliza Marth and Anne Hall
Episode 44: Good Friday Meditation with Bishop Laura J. Ahrens
Episode 43: What can we do together that we can't do alone: Community Purchasing Alliance (CPA)
Episode 42: Archives: the quilting point of our history with Greg Farr
Episode 41: The Gift of Multiplicity of Expression with the Rt. Rev. Dr. Carol Gallagher
Episode 40: Witnessing Miracles at Shepard Meadows
Episode 39: International Women's Day & UNCSW with Lois Frankforter
Episode 38: The Way of Love with Jerusalem Greer
Episode 37: Young, Married, and Clergy with the Revs. Carrie and Nik Combs
Episode 36: Ears Tuned to the Holy with the Rev. Tuesday Rupp
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