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Journey of the Universe newsletter: April 2019
Welcome to our ongoing Journey! 

This month, the epic story of the universe lands locally in our home with the Birth of the Solar System

We are happy to announce that we are celebrating this chapter of the universe with a new essay from Brian Thomas Swimme and a new podcast conversation with Mary Evelyn Tucker and Craig Kochel!

The fascinating story of how the sun, planets, and Earth's moon came to be are a few of the incredible insights you can expect from this month's explorations. From supernova to solar nebula, protostar, planets, and planetesimals, there is no shortage of awe-inspiring phenomena to explore.

Taking in the story of our solar system has the ability to fill one with wonder. 

But that's not all. 

Reflecting on our own life within the story of the solar system can also allow us to contextualize, sense and more deeply participate in the transformation that is presently taking place across the planet. 

As Brian notes in his new essay, "in the midst of chaos, a new order emerges and fights for its existence" time and time again throughout the development of both the solar system and Earth.  Reflecting on such moments allow us "to catch a glimpse of our destiny".

"This glimpse doesn't take the pain away, but things are different now. One sees the path toward fulfillment."

We encourage you to dive into all of the incredible offerings in this month's newsletter.  To start, below is a fresh message from Journey of the Universe author and executive producer, Mary Evelyn Tucker.
by Brian Thomas Swimme 
Image by Brian Sebastian Swimme

Four and a half billion years ago, a cloud in the Milky Way Galaxy began to collapse. A hundred million years later the Sun and the planets came forth. That is the "what" of the emergence of our solar system. But when I took in the "how," my sense of the universe changed forever.

If we had been in the center of this cloud stretching trillions of miles in every direction, we could not even see it. Photons, quanta of light, are flying about, but the human eye is not able to detect them. We need our imaginations to construct the event. 

Read the full essay

Stream our latest episode of the Journey Podcast here.  This month's podcast features a conversation with Mary Evelyn Tucker and Craig Kochel of Bucknell University.  

In this interview, we explore the evolution of our solar system and its planets.  Included in this conversation are the origins of the Moon, the creative dynamism of plate tectonics, and the impact of geology on Earth’s biology.

LEARN MORE about the birth of our solar system and life's emergence on Earth by enrolling in our online course Journey of the Universe: The Unfolding of Life, created by Yale and hosted by Coursera. 

Week 3 of this course looks into several major milestones in scientific discovery that expanded our knowledge of the solar system.  The scale of the universe, plate tectonics, and life's emergence on Earth are also explored in this section of our Massive Online Open Course.
Thomas Berry: A Biography is available this June! 

Thomas Berry (1914–2009) was one of the twentieth century’s most prescient and profound thinkers. As a cultural historian, he sought a broader perspective on humanity’s relationship to the earth in order to respond to the ecological and social challenges of our times.  As a teacher and leader, the community he fostered and wisdom he shared were essential to the creation of Journey of the Universe.  Written by Mary Evelyn Tucker, John Grim, and Andrew Angyal and published by Columbia University Press, this first biography of Berry illuminates his remarkable vision and its continuing relevance for achieving transformative social change and environmental renewal.

We were delighted by the community presence and engagement during our March events in the San Francisco Bay Area celebrating the life of Thomas Berry and the publication of this book.  Thank you to all of our community members in the area who were able to attend and pick up an early copy of the biography. 
Pre-order the book today on Columbia University Press

Use discount code "CUP30" for 30% off your order
Through Great Ball of Fire! from Journey community member Betty-Ann Kissilove, the Universe tells its unfolding story in rhyming verse, blending science and wonder in recounting our cosmic tale. On this adventure from the Flaring Forth to the present, gain perspective on our origins and our place in the Universe. Discover just how deeply we belong with loved ones of all ages.  Learn more.
"Centration: the universe and the donut," an essay by Journey community member Betsey Crawford, interweaves thoughtful reflections on the universal power of centration with donut economics and beautiful photography. 

Read this entry and more in Betsey's online journal, Soul of the Earth.

June 3-8, 2019 • Occidental, CA (West Sonoma County)
A collaboration between Ecology of Awakening, The Chaplaincy Institute and The RiverStyx Foundation for religious leaders, chaplains and spiritually grounded professionals.

Join Kerry Brady, Rev Lauren Van Ham, David Tucker, Brock Dolman, Melissa Nelson, Gopal Dayaneni, and Brian Thomas Swimme for this Eco-ministry Intensive rooted in the desire to create a resilient and thriving Earth community in support of a regenerative future.

The intensive is an invitation to open to the wonder of being an inherent part of a creative, living universe, and to re-discover our deepest belonging—to ourselves, to each other, to the Earth and to the greater mystery. For many of us who are religious and spiritual leaders, our original call to 'ministry' is being stretched by the anxiety and unrest that so many are experiencing during this time of disruption, injustice and uncertainty. During this intensive, we will come together in community and engage in mutually reflective encounters with the land and with each other, and root in that which lies beyond our differences—that which continually adapts, intelligent and resilient, through the cycles of time and change—and connect with the impulse to become an enhancing and regenerative presence to all of Life.


The overall intensive consists of an initial Zoom call, a 6-day retreat in Western Sonoma County, California, and a final ½-day post retreat Zoom call to support our ability to bring what we have discovered into action in our lives, communities and ministries. 

★  "Religion, Science and Ecology:
Shared Responsibility for the Future"

A Conference in Support of the Coalition of
Massachusetts Religious Leaders and Scientists

April 10, 2019

11:30am - 8:00pm

Merrimack College
Cascia Hall and Rogers Center for the Arts 
315 Turnpike Street
North Andover, MA, USA 

Film screening of Journey of the Universe at 4:10pm


Sponsors: Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations and the Center for Sustainability and the Environment 

RSVP here for this free event
★  Journey of the Universe Film Screening at the Festival of Faiths

April 25-27, 2019

Kentucky Center for the Performing Arts
501 W Main St.
Louisville, KY, USA

Discussion with Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
"Religion & Science: Universe Story"

May 5, August 4, & November 3, 2019

2:00-3:30 pm

Scarritt Bennett Center
Kreitner Room, Laskey Building
1027 18th Avenue South 
Nashville,TN, USA

With Dr. Craig E. Philip, Dr. Keivan Stassun, 
Tamara Marshall Whiting, and Joyce Wilding 

These events are free and open to the public.

View the flyer

Inspired by the awesome creative powers of our Universe? Forward this newsletter to your friends, colleagues, and family members.  They can sign up to receive the newsletter using the above button.
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