TLC’ is widely known to stand for ‘tender loving care’, but it also stands for ‘Talk, Listen and Create’.
The TLC Gathering is a template for community-building through a new kind of spirituality – one that doesn’t rely on appointed, elected or specially trained spiritual leaders, but can be co-created by small groups of lay people wherever they are. It can be used for working with the Nineteen Songs of Remembering, or in other contexts such as sacred activism, collective creativity or even a community project.
The song cycle described below, created by Ash Brockwell in 2017, can be used as a ‘container’ or ‘frame’ for the TLC Gathering:
- Opening the Circle – The Call to the Gathering
- Welcoming new members- Song of Welcome
- Introducing the Song(s) of Remembering, if applicable – this is a separate song cycle celebrating nature and the changing seasons
- The Circle of Talking – each participant shares whatever is on their mind, while the others hold space and listen attentively, without offering advice or criticism.
- The Circle of Listening – participants listen in silence for the ‘inner voice’ of Wisdom (Sophia), which they might choose to think of as their guardian angel, ancestor spirit, God/dess or Holy Spirit, or as their own higher self.
- Optional Invocation to Mariam and Yeshua
- The Circle of Creating – this could involve creating a collective artwork, a piece of writing, a vision or a project, or just weaving together insights acquired during the silent meditation.
- Optional Song of Sacred Union (which may be accompanied by a communion in the Essene style in which the bread is dipped into the wine) or sharing of food
- Closing the Circle – secular version
- Closing the Circle – Sophian-Essene version (see below)
Note: Songs 6, 8 and 10 are grounded in a mystical Christian tradition variously referred to as the Sophian, Essene or Nazarene Way, the Fellowship of Avalon, the Way of the Templars, the Cathar Way, or – by its detractors – the way of the heretics. These three songs, shown above in green, can be omitted by anyone who prefers a non-demoninational or secular Gathering,
More on the myths and tales underpinning the Sophian / Essene / Nazarene tradition
Learn more about the worship practice that we’re developing
Songs of Remembering homepage