Monday, October 29, 2018


     As an unusually high-stakes, high-voltage election season rolls toward it's conclusion, we strongly urge you to go to the polls and vote your values. But, right now, we're also asking for your vote in a totally different, but very important campaign. One in which you wield enormous power, with the potential for touching many people's lives in a positive way:  Won't you please vote FOR the Celebration Circle this week by making your pledge during our annual Intentional Giving Circle campaign?
     For over 26 years, the Circle has consistently worked to honor and nurture awareness of our Oneness, while serving as a "respected model of co-creative community built on shared prosperity, cultural diversity and inclusive spirituality." This vital work is only possible because of the support of individual donors like you. Won't you vote FOR sustaining this vital mission in 2018 and beyond by making your financial pledge to our Intentional Giving Circle?
     When you click on the link below, you are casting your vote FOR a positive, creative and sustainable approach to integrating spiritual principles into your daily life. In doing so, you not only enhance your own life, but you're co-creating a welcoming, nurturing space for countless others to feel supported in the future.
     This weekly newsletter, as well as our Daily Inspiration Circle, Sunday Morning Circle, Wednesday Meditation Circle and a variety of Celebration Circle events are offered free of charge, but require a budget just over $100,000 annually. Please don't assume that someone else will take care of it! And don't think that your gift will be too small to make a difference. This work requires ALL of us. So...please take a moment to vote FOR sustaining the work of the Circle in 2018 and beyond by joining our Intentional Giving Circle.
    In any case, thank you for your past support, and for your consideration as we continue to move forward toward our vision, as individuals and as a spiritual community. We are deeply grateful for your companionship on this path.
With gratitude and blessings,
Rudi and Zet

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Thursday, October 25, 2018


     You may have noticed that we haven't said much recently about our 15th Annual Sacred Art of Altars exhibit, originally scheduled to be on display in the Santikos Bijou Gallery from September 1-30. That's because it's still postponed indefinitely, due to the ongoing renovation of the theater's concession/lobby area that was supposed to have been finished by mid-August, but remains incomplete - as it may well be for several months longer. Or not. We simply don't know.
     We apologize to the artists who created and donated the many fascinating, richly textured "nichos" for this show. And, frankly, the Circle bank account sorely misses the projected income from our primary fundraising event, specifically timed to compensate for the annual slump in donations that tends to occur during summer. Fortunately, we've always had several months worth of operating expenses stashed in the Circle savings account; unfortunately, we have now spent down much of those funds, although we still have 42 shares of stock in Apple that were donated some years ago and are being held in reserve. 
     We're telling you this as we (along with many other nonprofit organizations) move into the season for year-end fundraising campaigns. We used to be deeply uncomfortable about asking others for financial support of Celebration Circle, but have come to understand that the deeply poetic, metaphysical work of the Circle can only continue as long as the prosaic, practical and financial foundations of our community are maintained as well.
     This Sunday we begin our Intentional Giving Circle pledge drive for 2019, and we're asking you to commit to a monthly recurring and/or sustaining donation to support the financial life of the Circle through the coming year. Then, beginning next month we will also be conducting our Year End Campaign with a goal of raising $15,000 by December 31.
     In short, you'll be seeing the donate button in its many different forms and hearing repeated requests for your financial support for the next few months. Please remember, this is not separate from our work as an inclusive, co-creative interfaith community - it is an integral part of it.
     Having said all that, we don't want to dwell on any sense of lack, nor ask you to make a donation from a perception of missing anything. Instead, we invite you to join us in feeling deep gratitude while affirming the vast field of love, abundance and support, which has sustained the Circle community over the past 26 years. Whether you choose to use the following link to make a one time donation, place cash or checks in the offering bowls on Sunday morning, or become a part of our Intentional Giving Circle, please help us visualize having more than enough resources to continue this work of honoring and nurturing Oneness. 
With gratitude and blessings
     Rudi Harst

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Sunday, October 14, 2018


photo by Gary O Smith

     At last, the first cool, crisp morning of autumn has arrived in South Texas!  Another summer is drifting out of view under the same clear blue sky that's providing a truly magnificent backdrop for the clusters of migrating butterflies floating by my perch on our back porch. Periodically, a few more hackberry leaves flutter to the ground in slowly swirling spirals, like giant question marks hanging in the air, framing Big Questions I can't begin to answer.
     As much as I'm enjoying this pleasant temperature, I can't help but be aware that it's due in part to a cool front formed in conjunction with the arrival of Hurricane Michael, wreaking havoc along the Gulf Coast just hundreds miles from here. It could just as easily have made landfall much nearer to us, as other hurricanes have in the past, but it didn't. I don't pretend to understand the complexities of climate change or meteorology; all I know is that the same winds that helped bring this deliciously cool breeze wafting through our house today also brought devastation to countless home and families living not that far away. 
    Just another reminder of how everything and everyone is inter-related; how complicated even the most simple-seeming event can be, with consequences and circumstances I really can't begin to predict or plan, much less understand. Whether they are random thoughts about falling leaves and weather patterns, or more disturbing things like national politics, Supreme Court picks, global warming and nuclear arming, I'm tempted to let them disturb my mind and sadden my heart. Instead, I suddenly remember the words from a favorite bumper sticker that my sweet pal, Zet, quoted on her way out the door earlier this morning: "Life's too mysterious - don't take it so serious!"

     Right on cue, an unidentified songbird, hidden from view in a nearby tree, launches into a lilting melody, as if personally delivering an invitation to be grateful for this day, this breeze, this moment. Reminding me that all is well, and all shall be well. That whatever the circumstances and however I feel about them, all of life is truly a gift, but only if I'm ready and willing to receive it. And, right now, I am. How about you?

With gratitude and blessings,
     Rudi Harst

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.

Saturday, October 6, 2018


     It's hard to believe that it was just a year ago this week that Zet and I experienced the high-speed car wreck that altered our lives drastically. Seems so much longer. Of course, we're grateful to have survived it, but it was fascinating to discover that the physical, financial and emotional consequences of being t-boned at 75mph in a rural setting, many miles from home, could turn out to be such a blessing. I now have a much deeper appreciation for Zet, our family, friends and physical well-being; such gratitude for the many, many ways in which we were loved and supported by countless loved ones and total strangers alike in our time of need. We also received such strong affirmations of our work with Celebration Circle, and our roles as cultural/spiritual activists in general, that I truly doubt I will ever again question the vast field of love and underlying goodness surrounding us and our mission.
     Speaking of our work, I remember clearly that one of the very first things I thought about after being released from the hospital in the wee hours of the morning was whether or not I should get on the phone and cancel our annual Circle Fall Retreat at Slumber Falls Camp. It was the obvious thing to do, given that the retreat was scheduled for the following weekend, and our lives had been totally upended. And, yet, there I was, engaged in a spirited internal debate, trying to figure out some other alternative to cancellation, because the it's always been such a special and meaningful weekend, such an integral part of the Circle community.
     Unfortunately, we had no choice but to cancel it. But, fortunately, the year has sped by, and it's almost time for the Fall Retreat next weekend, and I'm REALLY looking forward to it. While the Circle offers a rich variety of spiritually-oriented gatherings and resources throughout the year, I truly believe that our low-key, low-cost, but deeply soul-satisfying weekend retreats are among our very best offerings. There's something so special about basking in the heartwarming Circle vibes in such a relaxed, refreshing setting for a whole weekend, located less than an hour's drive from San Antonio, yet far, far away from the stressors of daily life.
     I really hope you'll join us for these splendid days in nature, as we relax, contemplate, meditate, create, pray, play and feast together. If you haven't registered yet, it's not too late. And, if you can't make it for the whole weekend, consider just coming out for the day on Saturday. After all, this is the perfect time and space for reflecting on your life, while enjoying the turning of the seasons in South Texas, breathing in the crisp, clean Hill Country air, watching the leaves fall and listening to the river's song, while opening your heart to the many blessings you're bound to encounter there.
     In any case, wherever you are, whatever you're doing, please know that I am deeply grateful for your support and companionship along the spiritual path we're travelling together in and around the Celebration Circle.

With gratitude and blessings,
     Rudi Harst

THANK YOU for holding the Circle in your heart by visualizing a generous flow of financial abundance. Thank you for supporting us as we continue our work of fostering a creative, inclusive approach to spirituality. We are deeply grateful.