July 2009

Diakonia, in Greek, means “service.”
Too, it is the name of a world-wide organization
of deaconesses, home missioners, home missionaries, deacons.
We met last week for our world assembly
at Georgia Tech in Atlanta, Georgia.
Around 300 people from 34 countries
gathered together to share stories, listen to speakers,
express concerns, get to know each other, learn, sing, pray
and tour ministries around Atlanta.

I come away with strong impressions:
there are people everywhere who care deeply,
about the poor, the suffering, the unjustly treated;
working in community is essential;
people love their own cultures
(and are not trying to emulate that of the U.S.);
diversity is beautiful, enlightening, inspirational;
we can learn from each other;
we can get along.

As a United Methodist Deaconess,
I am fortunate enough to be part of this community
and to lead one of the workshops at the assembly.
People from several countries joined me in taking a walk,
the “cosmic walk,”
through the story of the creation of the universe
during these some 14 billion years.
And then we shared our insights from this experience.
Out of various cultures,
various denominations
our experiences of being in touch with God’s good creation
were universal:
here, there is care;
here, we must care.


Home AgainHome Again

Many days away
in the city
Good days,
in community
teaching about creation,
living lighter.

I return gladly
to the farm,
the prairie,
to rainy night,
cool day.
It is quiet.
At first light
I hear the birds,
and then, all day.
Breeze rings the wind chime
and dries traveling clothes
hanging on the porch now.

I settle in to the quiet again
and realize
that even if no one ever benefits
from my teaching,
being here in the quiet
on the prairie,
consciously aware of life in the natural world,
is good and necessary work.
For we are all connected
and so my being in nature –
hearing the rain
feeling the breeze
feeding the hummingbird
shoveling paca poo
loving the dog
watching the sun and sky
marveling at the delicacy and brightness of orange flowers –
helps us all
be aware,
even if at an unconscious level,
of the sun, the birds, the sky, the flowers, the air, the four-leggeds.
It’s something I hadn’t realized before now.
Living more consciously of the natural world
has become a way of life.
And holding that
for all
has become valued work.

Busy Bees

Busy Bees

Silence of the Bees was on OETA “Nature” last night.

(You can watch the complete episode at PBS.org.)

It was a very informative show about CCD – Colony Collapse Disorder.

No one knows what is causing it, but they don’t believe there is just one cause.

Several factors may play a role –

monoculture crops,


a disease like HIV in the bees,

weak queens.

Most bees are commercial now.

They are trucked across the country to pollinate

the oranges in Florida,

the apples in Pennsylvania,

the blueberries in Maine.

More than half of all bees go to California

to pollinate the almonds.

There is concern that in a few years there won’t be enough

bees to pollinate all the almonds.

The US has lost over 800 thousand hives.

By 2035 we may not have bees

in the US at all.

One third of what we eat is pollinated by bees.

My friend, Everett has been raising bees

in Oklahoma for over 70 years.

He says this year is the craziest year he has ever seen.

When I checked my bees this morning, I am afraid one of the hives

is without a queen. There is honey, but I don’t see any eggs.

Bees only live a few weeks, so queens lay over a thousand

eggs a day to keep the population up.

There are things we can do to help the bees:

Become a backyard bee keeper.

Join a local Association of Beekeepers to learn more.

Plant an organic garden with a variety of flowers and vegetables.

Don’t use pesticides.

Give the bees a voice by asking your federal and state legislatures to support bee research.

The bees are working hard, but they need our help.


The matter of life comes forth directly from the womb of God’s being. The glory of the sun rising in the east is the glory of God shining on us now and now and now. The whiteness of the moon, the wildness of the wind, the moisture of the fecund earth is the glow and wildness and moistness of God now. It is the very stuff of God’s being of which we and creation are composed.

– J. Philip Newell

Christ of the Celts: The Healing of Creation

Strolling with Friends

Strolling with Friends

Walks have been a part of my daily routine for years.

In Maryland my neighbor and I used to meet 3 days a week at

5:30 am and walk around our neighborhood.

Later I spent many evenings walking by myself.

Sometimes I have walked with groups of people to

explore new areas.

Morning Walks in Costa Rica

Morning Walks in Costa Rica

And then there are walks with the dogs

so they too can get exercise.

Whether in the country or the city,

walks give me an opportunity to get outside,

to connect with nature,

clear my head,

see beautiful sunsets,

listen to birds,

stop and smell the flowers,

have deep conversations,

feel God is everything.

Pasture Walking

Pasture Walking

The following blog was written by Karen Ownbey, a friend, frequent visitor to Turtle Rock Farm and fellow Energy Kinesiologist.
What do Turtle Rock Farm Retreat and the “World of Kinesiology” conference held near Washington, D.C. have in common?  For starters, there is Ann.  Phone calls are nice but having a chance to visit in person is so much more satisfying.  I enjoyed hearing first hand about the humming alpaca, the first Women on the Prairie retreat, and the latest with the honey bees (more hive bodies and supers since my visit in late May so the honey harvest is looking promising!)

In addition to Ann, Turtle Rock Farm Retreat and the Energy Kinesiology conference both offer many opportunities to connect, to learn and to heal.

I treasure reconnecting with friends and fellow energy kinesiologists from CA, UT, FL, Canada and Denmark.  I have fun connecting with new people, such as my roommate who came all the way from France.  It has the feel of a family reunion.  Instead of being relatives, we all share a passion for honoring the energetic systems of the body and the amazing techniques that tap into the body’s innate ability to heal itself.

Then there is the connection with nature, which is such a gift that Turtle Rock Farm offers.  In suburban Washington, D.C., Ann, my roommate and I made a point of connecting with nature on our morning walks.  What a relief and joy to find a lovely park with two small ponds and meandering paths in the midst of tall office buildings.  My roommate happened upon some raccoons and we saw squirrels and ducks.

Karen and Denise on our morning walks
Denise and Karen on our morning walks

Learning opportunities abound at the conference.  With presenters from Australia, South Africa and the United States, I heard and learned new perspectives and techniques in energy kinesiology and the body’s energy systems.  I enjoy learning about the United States by talking with people from other countries, in this case, with my roommate from France.  This conference was a joint conference of the International Association of Specialized Kinesiologists, the Energy Kinesiology Association, and Touch for Health Kinesiology Association .  With members from all three associations present, I connected with more people and appreciate the similarities and differences between the associations.  All three associations share common visions of empowering and educating people through Energy Kinesiology – which is exciting!

Debra Greene presenting at the World of Kinesiology Conference

Debra Greene presenting at the World of Kinesiology Conference

The healing aspects of the conference included lots of laughter and hugs, a chance to practice new techniques presented by the speakers and one-on-one sessions with energy kinesiologists – some of whom have 10, 15,  and 20 years of experience.
Turtle Rock Farm is fortunate to offer energy kinesiology sessions with Ann as I’ve benefited from the many sessions I’ve had with Ann over the past several years.

Turtle Rock Farm Retreat offers such amazing ways of connecting, learning and healing.  However, since Oklahoma is a few states away from me, I am grateful to participate in this World of Kinesiology conference until I can make my next visit to Turtle Rock.

Jane helping clear the pond dam.

Jane helping clear the pond dam.

We are grateful for all

who have come to Turtle Rock Farm

to assist us with gardening, chair sanding, pond building,

dam clearing, tree planting and any other

task that comes along.

They have made our job easier.

Plus the job isn’t work when it is shared with other.

They also come to be in nature.

Part of the Group in the Rain Forest

Part of the Group in the Rain Forest

So it was with a spirit of gratitude

that I chose to go on a mission trip to Costa Rica

with the Stillwater District of the United Methodist Church.

I had never been on a mission trip,

nor did I know anyone I would be working with.

We shared early morning walks

through the town of Belen where people

came out of their houses to say good morning.

Over 50 children joyfull participated in vacation Bible school.

They fed us delicious meals which we ate together.

We worked diligently to build a decorative

and protective fence in front of the church.

We followed their directions, used their hand tools,

and learned their methods.

They learned some English and we learned some Spanish.

For me this was a wonderful way to see another country,

get to know the people,

and to give back to others.

Working on the Fence

Working on the Fence

Vacation Bible School

Vacation Bible School

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