Author: Lawrence Messerman

Sacred Fire Across the World: Always at Home by the Fire

by Lawrence Messerman, Sacred Fire Executive Director

It has been said that home is where the heart is. It could as easily be said that home is where the hearth is. In my role as Sacred Fire Executive Director, I travel often: within the United States, to Mexico, Canada and Europe.

Always, there is the Fire at the center, supporting the circle of people gathered in that place, whether for organizational leadership meetings, public events like Fire Speaks, or LifeWays programs that support women, men and emerging adults in their journey through life.

Time and time again, I find reaffirmation of the importance of our work in the face of a world that seems to be growing more cold and polarized. No matter how modest in size we may yet be, Sacred Fire is steadily spreading, helping to bring the transformative and connective gift of Fire to the world.

I am delighted to report that 2019 has been a very full, successful year. This is the result of focus, dedication and countless hours of volunteer work.

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Yearning for Something More

Growing up in the suburbs of Cleveland, Ohio, I can remember a vague sense that things weren’t quite right.

The new housing development we lived in seemed to have only the trappings of nature: ornamental trees and shrubs, and the ubiquitous lawns that required constant mowing, not to mention fertilizer and weed killer. My friends and I would inevitably seek out the sparse patches of wooded areas that still carried a shroud of mystery with their tangle of greenery, and the squirrels, opossums and occasional raccoon and deer.

These were places of discovery and wonder where I felt like a part of something bigger.

I was fortunate to spend most Sundays with my grandfather Charlie, who boarded horses near one of the many parks that ringed our county. I learned to groom ponies and horses, clean their stalls, saddle them, and best of all, ride competently alongside Charlie on the trails that wound their way through the nearby metropolitan park. Sitting proudly on his Tennessee walker, my grandfather—short, stocky, and with his ruddy complexion and jet-black hair oiled back, said very little. I was free to let my mind roam and to take in the beauty of the oak and maple forest that surrounded us, becoming a part of it all.

Eventually those days ended. The horses got sold. My grandfather’s health gradually deteriorated. I moved on to bikes and then to cars. I lost that sense of connection to nature and to a larger and more mysterious world. I got by, but life became a series of sometimes overwhelming challenges.

I began to yearn and wonder about that connection I had somehow lost.

That yearning continued for many years. Then I found my way to a sacred fire held by the ocean, often on the beach under a full moon. Here again I touched the mystery and the wonder! Sharing with others around the fire, I began to feel again the deep bond that connects us to each other and to the amazing world which surrounds us.

Sitting by the fire, I discover my fellowship with others. Together, we find our way home.

If you find yourself yearning for something more, something mysterious, something bigger than any one of us, please, come to a sacred fire and discover what has been forgotten.


Lawrence I. Messerman
Executive Director

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Sparks: Coming Soon

Around the Fire

Around the Fire is the newsletter of Sacred Fire and is published monthly.

If you’re new to Sacred Fire, here are three ways to learn more:

  1. Find a local Fire and experience it first hand.
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Around the Fire is published by the Sacred Fire Outreach team:

Sharon Brown

Strategic Direction
Karen Fernandez
Lawrence Messerman
Sharon Brown

Editorial Team
Erin Everett
Christine Staub
Linda Azar

Web Publishing
Sally Casper
Britt Espinosa

Graphic Design
Leticia Gamboa
Sylvia Law

Social Media
Erin Everett
Abigail Murray-Nikkel

Database Administrator
Linda Felch

Event Support
Heidi Griswold

Web Design and Development
Malowany Creative
Living Magic LLP

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