May Newsletter

Greetings everyone as we approach our spirituality conference in Canada.  Please take the opportunity to visit this site and register today for an exciting and fulfilling pre-conference and conference time.    HYPERLINK “http://www.spiritualityandsocialwork.ca/” http://www.spiritualityandsocialwork.ca.

As we approach May, I researched some information that may be quite interesting to you.
May Day can refer to various labor celebrations conducted on May 1 that commemorate the fight for the eight hour day. May Day in this regard is called International Workers’ Day, or Labor Day.
May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls exactly half of a year from November 1, another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European pagan and neopagan festivals such as Samhain. May Day marks the end of the uncomfortable winter half of the year in the Northern hemisphere, and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations, regardless of the locally prevalent political or religious establishment.
The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian, with the festival of Flora, the Roman Goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the Maypole and crowning of the Queen of the May.
In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary’s head will often be adorned with flowers. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps.
Roodmas was a Christian Mass celebrated in England at midnight on May 1.

I look forward to seeing you in Calgary.  Please think about coming to our planning meeting where we can set priorities for the coming year.  Consult the schedule for the exact time and place of our annual planning meeting.

Blessings to you all,

Helen Land

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Sixth North American Conference on Spirituality and Social Work

Sixth North American Conference
on Spirituality and Social Work

Co-Sponsored by the Society for Spirituality and Social Work (USA) and
the Canadian Society for Spirituality and Social Work

June 23-25, 2011
The Catholic University of America
Washington, DC, USA

Conference Theme:

“Connecting Spirituality & Social Justice: Transforming Self & Society”

As Jim Wallis, religious leader and well-known author, has said in numerous interviews, “The two great hungers in the world today are the hunger for spirituality and the hunger for social justice…the connection between the two is what the world is waiting for.” This conference will bring together academics, practitioners, and students from social work and related fields to explore this vital connection at all levels of practice and professional education – including work with individuals, couples, families, groups, communities,  organizations, and global initiatives.  Sessions will include:

  • Keynote speakers
  • Scholarly papers and poster sessions
  • Experiential workshops and expressive arts
  • Panel presentations
  • Opportunities for diverse religious and spiritual dialogue
  • A closing interfaith service and celebration
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