Conversations from Chautauqua

Conversations from Chautauqua August 11, 2010

by Rebecca Cole-Turner

When I last wrote, I was on the island of Patmos out in the Greek Aegean Sea, following John the Beloved Apostle to his little cave where, in the tenth decade of his long life, he kept company with the crows and envisioned the end of the age and the coming of a new heaven and a new earth. So it is fitting that I continue my pilgrimage to the place where new visions (or nightmares) for the End Time were going to be discussed.

Quaint Chautauqua, near Jamestown, New York, sits along the edge of a clear lake of the same name; it is a village of thinkers, artists, writers, thespians, musicians, singers, dancers, and people of faith who come together from around the globe for nine weeks every summer. It is mostly a Victorian village with gingerbread houses, a magical place, dare I call it a “thin place,” that has existed in a remote corner of upstate New York for well over a hundred years.

But this week the topic was anything but charming or relaxing. I always bring good books to read at Chautauqua in the wee hours of the night when I awake and sleep eludes me, and this time I thought I’d better bring a few extra. Somehow I scooped up one of my old favorites from Madeleine L’Engle, now of Blessed Memory, fromThe Crosswicks Journals, Book 3: The Irrational Season (Harper & Row, 1977).

I began re-reading this book early one morning while we were waiting for former Senator Sam Nunn to lay out the case for nuclear disarmament. I read Madeleine’s words:

Long before I’d heard about the atom bomb or the hydrogen bomb, or fission or fusion, I feared the end of the world in much the same way that I fear a nuclear holocaust. And the description of the last day in the New Testament sounds very much like atomic devastation: “the present sky and earth are reserved for fire . . .  The Day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then with a roar the sky will vanish, the elements will catch fire and fall apart, and the earth and all that it contains will be burned up” (p. 3).

Later that morning, I heard the “good news”: the threat of wholesale nuclear exchange between the U.S. and Russia, the kind we once feared would destroy all human life, is a lot less than it used to be. Then the bad news: a massive exchange between India and Pakistan could have nearly the same effect. Even worse: the most likely scenario is one bomb, one city. Imagine the consequences even of that, the speakers told us. I couldn’t.

Again, as Madeleine L’Engle reflected,

A nuclear holocaust would probably mean the end of human life on planet earth, but not the rest of the solar system, or the galaxy, or any of hundreds of billions of other galaxies in the universe. And nuclear warfare would be man’s pride and folly rather than God’s anger. . . Annihilation might follow an intergalactic nuclear battle, but annihilation is the opposite of what theeschaton is all about. It is not nearly so much a going as a coming, an ending as a beginning. It is the redemption, not the destruction, of Creation (p. 3).

Amen, dear Madeleine! And how she might have smiled hearing Senator Nunn and the other former “cold warriors” make the case for total disarmament! Possible? Maybe. I certainly hope so. And I will continue to pray that it will come to pass.  And that would be a New Heaven and a New Earth.

After a 35-year career as a therapist and counselor educator, Rebecca Cole-Turner now serves as a spiritual director, retreat leader, supervisor/teacher in spiritual direction training. Her practice is called HeartSpace Ministries. She is also a writer of prose and poetry.


Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment

877 responses to “Conversations from Chautauqua”

  1. Madeleine l’Engle got it exactly right, in those words you cited here, “the eschaton is . . . not nearly so much a going as a coming, an ending as a beginning. It is the redemption, not the destruction, of Creation.” Jurgen Moltmann has been singing this for forty years without attracting very many voices to his choir. I hope your blog will give new impetus to this re-discovered and necessary ‘revelation,’ as John, your predecessor there on Patmos, deemed it.

  2. The Zune concentrates on being a Portable Media Player. Not a web browser. Not a game machine. Maybe in the future it’ll do even better in those areas, but for now it’s a fantastic way to organize and listen to your music and videos, and is without peer in that regard. The iPod’s strengths are its web browsing and apps. If those sound more compelling, perhaps it is your best choice.

  3. After examining a few of the weblog posts in your website now, and I really like your approach of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark website listing and will be checking again soon. Pls check out my website online as nicely and let me know what you think.

  4. I am often blogging and i really appreciate your content. The article has really peaked my interest. I am going to bookmark your site and keep checking for new information.

  5. I will right away grab your rss as I can not find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me know in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

  6. Hands down, Apple’s app store wins by a mile. It’s a huge selection of all sorts of apps vs a rather sad selection of a handful for Zune. Microsoft has plans, especially in the realm of games, but I’m not sure I’d want to bet on the future if this aspect is important to you. The iPod is a much better choice in that case.

  7. An fascinating discussion is worth a comment. I think that it’s best to write more on this matter, it may not be a taboo subject but usually people are not brave enough to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  8. This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your magnificent post. Also, I have shared your web site in my social networks!

  9. I just study car article of yours also it had been very good. This is a great post thank you for discussing this educational info. I will visit your blog regularly for many latest publish.

  10. I genuinely like this theme youve got heading on on your internet site. What is the name of the style with the way? I used to be thinking of using this style for the website I’m gonna construct for my class room job.

  11. Whats up very cool blog!! Man .. Excellent .. Wonderful .. I’ll bookmark your website and take the feeds additionally¡KI am happy to find so many useful info right here within the publish, we’d like work out extra techniques in this regard, thanks for sharing. . . . . .

  12. Thank you for some other informative web site. The place else may just I am getting that type of info written in such an ideal method? I’ve a project that I’m just now working on, and I have been at the look out for such info.

  13. Generally I don’t read article on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very forced me to try and do so! Your writing style has been surprised me. Thanks, quite nice post.

  14. hi!,I like your writing very much! percentage we keep up a correspondence extra about your post on AOL? I require an expert on this space to solve my problem. Maybe that is you! Taking a look forward to see you.

  15. Interesting blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it from somewhere? A theme like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine. Please let me know where you got your design. Kudos

  16. I was very pleased to find this website. I wanted to thank you for your time for this wonderful post!! I definitely enjoy reading it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you blog post.

  17. I don’t think I’ve never read something like this before. So good to find someone with some authentic thoughts on this subject. I really thank you for starting it. This web site is something that’s needed on the internet, somebody with a bit originality.

  18. howdy there, i just saw your website listed on bing, and i must comment that you express interestingly good on your blog. i am really motivated by the method that you express yourself, and the message is excellent. in any event, i would also like to know whether you would like to exchange links with my website? i will be more than happy to reciprocate and insert your link on in the link section. waiting for your answer, thanks and have a great day!

  19. What I want to know is why I ought to care? I mean, not to express that what youve got to say isnt crucial, but I mean, its so generic. Everyones referring to this man. Give us one thing a lot more, something that we can get behind so we can really feel as passionately about it as you do.

  20. You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who are not afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

  21. I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this increase.5 m* n) o” [! W” V4 V

  22. Hey, maybe this is a bit offf topic but in any case, I have been surfing about your blog and it looks really neat. impassioned about your writing. I am creating a new blog and hard-pressed to make it appear great, and supply excellent articles. I have discovered a lot on your site and I look forward to additional updates and will be back.

  23. I’m experiencing a challenge with your rss feed . Don’t know why I am not able to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting identical rss problem? Anybody who knows kindly respond. Thanks

  24. hi there, i just saw your blog listed on bing, and i would like to say that you write awesomely good on your website. i am actually moved by the method that you write, and the subject is quality. anyways, i would also like to acknowledge whether you would love to exchange links with my site? i will be certainly more than willing to reciprocate and enter your link off in the link section. looking for your reply, i would like to convey my appreciation and gooday!

  25. I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and check again here regularly. I am quite certain I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!

  26. Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts. In any case I will be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  27. Hello, you used to write excellent, but the last few posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little bit out of track! come on!

  28. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it is rare to see a great blog like this one these days..

  29. I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is tasteful, your authored subject matter stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again since exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this hike.

  30. hi there, i just saw your web portal via bing, and i would like to tell that you compose pretty good via your website. i am very moved by the way that you write, and the content is superb. in any case, i would also like to acknowledge whether you would like to exchange links with my site? i will be certainly more than happy to reciprocate and drop your link on in the link exchange area. waiting for your respond, i give my sincere thanks and cheers!

  31. I¡¦m not certain the place you’re getting your info, however good topic. I needs to spend some time studying more or figuring out more. Thank you for wonderful info I used to be on the lookout for this information for my mission.

  32. Gooday – thank you for updating this 301 Moved Permanently post. again and I’ve bookmarked it so that I will be able to remember to pop back to your website online extra frequently.

  33. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great. I do not know who you are but certainly you’re going to a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Cheers!

  34. Undeniably believe that which you stated. Your favorite justification seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get annoyed while people consider worries that they plainly don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  35. Howdy there and good day! Excuse me as my english isn’t excellent, however I’ve to say that the submission is very insightful indeed. Thank you for the data, and in case you are willing, can we trade hyperlinks too? Let me know.

  36. Nice post. I learn some thing quite complicated on different blogs everyday. Most commonly it really is stimulating you just read content off their writers and rehearse a specific thing from their internet site. I’d would prefer to use some although employing content material on my small weblog whether or not you do not mind. Natually I’ll supply you with a link on your web weblog. Appreciate your sharing.

  37. I’m really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

  38. I precisely had to appreciate you once more. I’m not certain the things I would have created without those ways provided by you over such a subject matter. This was the frustrating crisis in my view, but taking a look at this expert avenue you solved the issue forced me to weep over contentment. I’m happier for your work as well as sincerely hope you really know what a powerful job that you are providing teaching others via your webblog. I am sure you haven’t met any of us.

  39. you are really a good webmaster. The web site loading speed is incredible. It seems that you are doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterwork. you’ve done a fantastic job on this topic!

  40. I have not checked in here for a while because I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are good quality so I guess I will add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend 🙂

  41. hey there and thank you for your info – I have certainly picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise a few technical issues using this site, since I experienced to reload the site a lot of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web host is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading instances times will very frequently affect your placement in google and could damage your high quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my email and could look out for much more of your respective interesting content. Ensure that you update this again soon..

  42. Yesterday, while I was at work, my sister stole my apple ipad and tested to see if it can survive a forty foot drop, just so she can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now destroyed and she has 83 views. I know this is totally off topic but I had to share it with someone!

  43. Hello There. I found your blog using msn. This is a really well written article. I’ll be sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post. I’ll certainly return.

  44. Excellent beat ! I wish to trainee while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account helped me a acceptable deal. I had been tiny bit acquainted of this your broadcast provided bright clear idea

  45. Hey, maybe this is a bit offf topic but in any case, I have been surfing about your blog and it looks really neat. impassioned about your writing. I am creating a new blog and hard-pressed to make it appear great, and supply excellent articles. I have discovered a lot on your site and I look forward to additional updates and will be back.

  46. Great goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to and you’re just too magnificent. I actually like what you have acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which you say it. You make it enjoyable and you still take care of to keep it smart. I can not wait to read far more from you. This is really a tremendous web site.

  47. Good blog! I really love how it’s easy on my eyes as well as the data are well written. I am wondering how I could be notified whenever a new post has been made. I have subscribed to your rss feed which should do the trick! Have a nice day!

  48. Undeniably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be on the net the simplest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they just don’t know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  49. I was just searching for this info for a while. After 6 hours of continuous Googleing, at last I got it in your web site. I wonder what is the lack of Google strategy that don’t rank this kind of informative sites in top of the list. Usually the top sites are full of garbage.

  50. Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

  51. The new Zune browser is surprisingly good, but not as good as the iPod’s. It works well, but isn’t as fast as Safari, and has a clunkier interface. If you occasionally plan on using the web browser that’s not an issue, but if you’re planning to browse the web alot from your PMP then the iPod’s larger screen and better browser may be important.

  52. I’m impressed, I must say. Really rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. Your idea is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my search for something relating to this.

  53. I love your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you make this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to create my own blog and would like to know where u got this from. appreciate it

  54. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your wonderful post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

  55. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

  56. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Thanks

  57. I was more than happy to search out this net-site.I needed to thanks to your time for this glorious read!! I positively enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to take a look at new stuff you blog post.