June 20, 2021 Jim's Sermon at Dayspring: Return from the Great Night Sea Journey: What Have We Learned?

This morning Dayspring Church returned to in-person worship, also having a Zoom connection to include those who couldn't or preferred not to come in person. Jim Hall gave the message, which he titled "Return from the Great Night Sea Journey." It was about how we approach coming out of the pandemic, which tied to the Gospel reading (Mark 4:35-41) which was also about dealing with a severe circumstance - a great storm in that case. Jim noted that the pre-pandemic normal was not working for many. He suggested some lessons we could learn from our pandemic experience so that we, and all creation, could live better than before. Listen at the link below, or read the text on the Return Sermon button:


Dayspring Fireside Chats - January and February 2021 (by Zoom)

Through the tender mercy of our God, with which the Dayspring from on high has visited us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.                                                                      Luke 1:78-79

We all love the sacred land of Dayspring. But what do we know about the ecosystems of this sacred land? Hear the “back story” of our:
water 💧

Gale Quist and Jim Hall

   ⛰ earth- geology, fields

Jim hall

trees 🌳

Nat Reid and Rachel Rudy

🦅 birds and fauna

Cheryl Hellner and Brian Higgins

Access all these zoom presentations with handouts via:
A Fireside Evening with Gayle Boss

Gayle Boss talks abut her new book, Wild Hope: Stories for Lent from the Vanishing, at a fireside evening at Dayspring. In the talk she tells the story of the making of the book, beginning with the quote from Saint Paul that opens the book: All creation groans in this one great act of giving birth.

In writing this book about the devastation of creation in our time- the sixth mass extinction of species on Earth-- Gayle says, “I knew that I was gong to come up hard against that suffering. What I didn't know was whether inside that horrific kind of groaning I would sense an impending birth.”

So Gayle decided to write a book of stories, vivid portraits of these suffering animals because it would “draw us into their world, melt our defenses, and thus transform us before we know what's happened to us.” As the writing unfolded she became convinced, “that only a love larger than anything we've known individually or corporately is going to pull us back from the devastation of all creation.”

And it will pull us back. As she puts it, “Friends, I really believe that wild hope is loose in the world. This is what we and all creation groan for, the more beautiful world that lies quietly waiting in all our hearts.”

Listen to Gayle tell the moving story of her writing Wild Hope, including reading one of the stories:
Questions and Answers after the Presentation


Wild Hope - Gayle Boss at Dayspring 2-20-2020


Cheryl's Youth Message - Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Art of Blessing

Beginning with a story by Rachel Remen about her grandfather's blessing when she was born tiny, frail and very premature, we explore what it means to bless someone; to see "the spark of God in one another."

Then, in our time outdoors in the winter woods, we find a great old fallen tree at Merton Pond and after gathering stones from Dayspring Creek we offer these gifts as our blessing.

Listen to Cheryl's message:
Cheryl Hellner 2-2-2020


Cheryl's Youth Message - Sunday, November 3, 2019

The Wisdom of Autumn

What can the life of one leaf teach us about growth, change, and the nature of life itself?

Listen to Cheryl's message:
Cheryl Hellner 11-3-2019


Cheryl's Youth Message on Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Mystery and Wisdom of Acorns

Life is one continuous flow. Hold an acorn in your hands and you are holding the sun and the rain that helped the oak tree to grow. Hold an acorn in your hand and -- if you look deeply -- you can also see the squirrel and the deer who feast on the acorns of autumn. In this session we retell The Man Who Planted Trees by Jean Giono and wonder at all the life that something as small as an acorn makes possible.

Listen to Cheryl's message:
Cheryl Hellner 10-6-2019


Cheryl's Youth Message, September 1, 2019

The Secret of a Hidden Wholeness

Beginning with the poet Ross Gay's practice of studying -- each day -- something that gives him delight, we look at the "hidden wholeness" Thomas Merton discovered as he gave himself, ever more deeply, to communion with "forest and field, sun and wind and sky, earth and water." Merton reminds us that "we are here to develop like the things that grow all around us."

Listen to Cheryl's message:
Cheryl Hellner 9-1-2019


July 7, 2019 Cheryl's Children and Youth time

Thanksgiving as a Way of Life

Today we read lines from the Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) Thanksgiving Address, or Greetings to the Natural World. Then we wandered through the woods, around a small pond filled with water lilies, and in the Earth Ministry garden. Gratitude, or giving thanks, can become a way of life. Today we practiced that way.

Listen to Cheryl's message:
Cheryl Hellner 7-7-2019


June 9, 2019   Cheryl's Youth Message

The Bird of Truth

A retelling of an old African story of a young man's encounter with a mysterious and beautiful bird. An Earth story to lay beside the Gospel reading, John 14:25-27, for Pentecost Sunday.

Listen to Cheryl's message:
Cheryl Hellner 6-9-2019


April 28, 2019 Jim's Earth Month Sermon

Greta Thunberg's speech (included) prompted Jim Hall's message this week. "Doubting" Thomas* framed the reflections- doubt and belief, wounded and resurrected. Change is coming.

Jim Hall (and Greta Thunberg) 4-28-2019


Cheryl's Youth Message, Sunday March 3, 2019

The Radiance Hidden Within

The beauty of Spring lies hidden inside winter buds. Similarly, there is a radiance of Divine light and love hidden inside each one of us, waiting to be revealed.

Cheryl Hellner 3-3-2019


January 6, 2019 Cheryl's Youth Message

The Journey of the Magi and the Mystery of Light and Darkness -- "What it means to be a night traveler...the Magi set off in the night to follow a star...had to wait for the right darkness...darkness is an amazing place where new life happens; we can't be born into this world without that darkness."

Listen to this message:
Cheryl Hellner 1-6-2019


September 3, 2018 Cheryl's Youth Message

The Vulnerable Edge: The Gift of Wilderness Journeys

In our culture we swim in messages about personal safety and taking control of our lives. There is, of course, some truth in these messages but what they steal from us is the deeper understanding that all of life is a gift, a deep mysterious gift of Divine Love. After a time of reflecting on the challenges and gifts of a wilderness journey we each imagined ourselves on such a journey and wrote a journal entry about our first day in a beautiful wild place we've never seen before.

Listen to this message:
Cheryl Hellner 9-2-2018


Excerpts from journal entries

This is my first night in Alaska. There are so many stars, it is unbelievable. I am very cold and some of my food is frozen so I warmed them up over the fire. The lake during this brief daytime showed a perfect reflection of the sun as it came up over the horizon...

Day 1 of my trip into the wilderness. I arrived last night at the lake across from the mountains and set up camp before drifting off. I awoke to the sun gleaming between the mountains and the red gold reflecting of the snow-covered peak of the great mountain directly across from my site...
June 3, 2018  Cheryl's Youth Time Message

The Gift of Divine Imagination

"Imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, but imagination embraces the whole world."   -- Albert Einstein

Creative Divine imagination is the seed from which everything comes...Following a time of reflection on the gift of imagination, we each wandered on this misty, rainy day out into the fields below the Retreat Lodge.  "Imagine you were here for the very first time...what do you see, hear, feel?"

Listen to this message:
Cheryl Hellner 6-3-2018


February 4, 2018   Cheryl's Youth Time Message

The Firekeepers

On a morning of sleet and freeing rain, we retold parts of Robin Wall Kimmerer’s story “The People of the Seventh Fire” beginning with the exquisite image of “the firekeeper fungus.” After the story we walked in the winter woods searching for the different kinds of fungus that grow here. Coming in from the cold to a warm hearth fire, we lit candles to remember the promise in each of our lives to become a “firekeeper,” one who shelters and protects the spark of life.
September 24, 2017  Reflection at the Autumn Equinox Ceremony

At Dayspring in these troubled and troubling times we do a deeply radical thing. We pray. We build containers of silence, of beauty, of gratitude -- containers that can hold all the trouble and the terror. As the seasons turn, may our hearts turn to the good way, may our feet walk a way of beauty and deep thanksgiving.
Why do goldenrod and asters grow together? Botanist and wise native Elder Robin Wall Kimmerer says it is because that combination makes a display that pollinators find irresistible. As our hearts turn to prayer, may the beauty and gratitude we display prove equally irresistible to our troubled world.
September 6, 2017  Cheryl's Youth Time Message

Follow Me -- A New and Ancient Trail

A recording of the Earth Sunday for Children and Youth message at at Dayspring Church worship on 9/3/ 2017 given by Cheryl Hellner.  Listen:
Song title


Cheryl's Youth Time
July7, 2017  -- The Simple Gifts Permaculture Garden and Greenhouse at Dayspring is now in its Eighth Year
From our new Permaculture Garden and Greenhouse Guide --
Construction of the Solar Straw-bale Greenhouse began in March 2008 and was completed in March 2010 at which time the long garden beds in front of the greenhouse were added -- two for growing crops, one for growing compost, and one for a mix of  wildflowers. Drip irrigation by gravity from the cistern in the greenhouse was installed, and the first blueberry/cranberry bed created that summer. In the fall the keyhole beds in the greenhouse were built and winter crop production began. In the spring of 2011 the fencing enclosing the space around the greenhouse was expanded to make room for planting of an edible forest garden. Fencing is provided to exclude deer, rabbits, and groundhogs. Fruit trees, nut trees, and a variety of berries were planted with a variety of perennial plants for fixing nitrogen, providing other nutrients, and attracting beneficial insects. The garden design plan created then has now been fully implemented. Photos of the greenhouse construction, and gardens are posted in the Image Gallery.
What is permaculture?
Permaculture is a design system which observes and mimics the patterns and relationships found in nature, with the goal of meeting a variety of human needs, including food, community, spiritual fulfillment, and justice, while enhancing the health of the natural world.

Permaculture is often seen as simply a method of gardening, or organic farming with a twist. These elements are only a small part of designing, creating, and inhabiting a resilient human culture and a healthy planet.
Why is this project happening at Dayspring?
Dayspring has long carried a deeply contemplative way of being in the world with a passion for peace and justice. Permaculture is a way of embodying those values in a visible and active way in this time of great distress.
Some permaculture principles --
Stacked Functions: Parts of the system serve more than one function; functions of the system are served by more than one part. In this garden, in a drought, plants may get water from either a well or a large cistern in the greenhouse. The cistern serves both to supply water in drought and, in the winter, to capture heat from the sun during the day and release it at night, keeping the greenhouse temperatures above freezing. Rain from the north roof is collected in the cistern. When needed, a valve is opened, and water flows by gravity through a drip irrigation system into the root zone of the plants.
Rain collection
Cistern storage
Drip irrigation
Cistern in water
Winter crops
Guilds: Plants with different functions are planted in groups or guilds so as to be mutually beneficial. By this apple tree, Comfrey brings up nutrients from deep in the soil, Red Clover fixes nitrogen, and Yarrow, Bronze Fennel, and Purple Coneflower attract beneficial insects.