The Chancel of Valley Presbyterian Church
Valley Presbyterian Church
945 Portola Road - Portola Valley, CA 94028

A Weekend with J. Philip Newell - May 22-24, 2009

Christ, Creation & The New Consciousness

J. Philip Newell is a poet, a scholar, and a teacher. Formerly Warden of Iona Abbey in the Western Isles of Scotland, he is currently Writer Theologian for the Scottish Cathedral of the Isles as well as Companion Theologian for the American Spirituality Centre of Casa del Sol in New Mexico. He is internationally acclaimed for his work in the field of Celtic spirituality, including his best known titles Listening for the Heartbeat of God and his poetic book of prayer Sounds of the Eternal. Canadian by birth, he lives in Edinburgh with his family where he undertook his doctoral research in Celtic Christianity. Since then he has played a leading role on both sides of the Atlantic in the re-birthing of a creation spirituality for today.

Adult Program:

Friday, May 22 - check in @ 7 pm; program @ 7:30 pm; book signing @ 9 pm

"Listening for the Heartbeat of God"

an introduction to Celtic spirituality for today

In the early Celtic mission of Britain, St John the Evangelist was remembered as the disciple who leaned against Jesus at the last supper. It was said of him that he therefore heard the heartbeat of God. In the Celtic tradition he is an image of the practice of listening for the beat of God’s presence within life - within ourselves and one another and within creation.

Saturday, May 23 - check in @ 8:30 am; program from 9 am to 2 pm

"Christ, Creation & The New Consciousness"

A retreat-type experience with silence, music, and meditation in which we explore Celtic Christianity's love of Christ and love of Creation as the twin poles of a spirituality for today, especially in relation to the growing earth awarenesses of the 21st century.

Sunday, May 24

Philip will lead our Adult Education Class from 9:15-10:15 am.  He will present “A New Harmony: the Spirit, the Earth, & the Human Soul.”  Childcare will be provided beginning at 9:15 am.  Philip will also preach at our 10:45 am worship service on the topic of “Made in the Image of God.”  All are welcome to join our worship celebration.


Christ of the Celts – The Healing of Creation

By J. Philip Newell   Excerpt from chapter 1 'The Memory of Song'

    "I do not believe that the gospel, which literally means "good news," is given to tell us that we have failed or been false. That is not news, and it is not good. We already know much of that about ourselves. We know we have been false, even to those whom we most love in our lives and would most want to be true to. We know we have failed people and whole nations throughout the world today, who are suffering or who are subjected to terrible injustices that we could do more to prevent. So the gospel is not given to tell us what we already know.

    "Rather, the gospel is given to tell us what we do not know or what we have forgotten, and that is who we are, sons and daughters of the One from whom all things come. It is when we begin to remember who we are, and who all people truly are, that we will begin to remember also what we should be doing and how we should be relating to one another as individuals and as nations and as an entire earth community.



Photos from the weekend

Friday Night Book Signing Reception



Sunday Morning Worship





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