National Gathering #6, April 2012

All photos by Penelope Salinger (thanks!) 

From Kate Munger

To my mind (and heart) this was the most challenging and the most rewarding Gathering to date. Here are a few links to sites, songs, recipes and wisdom that were important during our time together.

1.  Stephanie Sugars was our guest on Tuesday night in the Chapel.  Here is her blog entry about that experience (

Photo by Penelope Salinger"Dearest holders of the threshold,

"Great gratitude for each and all of you. I receive your generous gifts of song and presence. I recognize you as sisters holding sacred space. I remember last night when we enacted archetypal rites.

"As a volunteer hospital chaplain, I met patients at the threshold and listened from my heart. Last night, I, the patient, transformed my heart, my whole being, into an ear-heart to hear the songs of your hearts pour into and through me. Love and light, pure beauty, grace and peace filled me. Beyond that, together in the that sacred space, I felt the spiritual world open and attentive—renewed, reconnected, received in/through/by us.

"Your music was a rainbow sound bridge. And like Iris, goddess of the rainbow, you carried messages from heaven into my cupped and listening heart-being.

"Great gratitude sisters of the threshold. You clearly and confidently hold the crossing. Your songs, your unique voices are earthly expressions of heavenly love. My heart listening receives you.

"Many blessings for your work. May your heart songs continue to bridge earth and heaven. May your listeners' heart-ears hear you. May you recognize, offer, and receive gifts of/ from the spiritual world.

"My love listening to your love singing,

2.  Kay Caldwell read Kay Ryan's poem "We're Building the Ship as We Sail It" at the Annual Meeting.

3.  Music and Memory…

The clips from the movie about music enlivening dementia patients are getting lots of viewers on YouTube. The movie is premiering tomorrow (Wednesday, April 18th) in NYC. While iPods are at the heart of this project, all their research, all the film clips, all the wisdom serves to enrich us all.

4. Penelope Salinger's New Song, "I Let the River (Carry Me Home)"

I Let the River (Carry Me Home)     [PDF]

5. Kathy Allen's First Song, "Release, Surrender, Trust"

Release, Surrender, Trust

I now release, I now surrender,  
I trust my holy self to be the presence of love.

6. Jane Chaudhuri's Song "I Will Hold You in Love"

I Will Hold You in Love     

7.  Boiled Orange Cake Recipe [PDF]

8.  "Sharing Sighs" (A Centering Practice) from Robin Rose (Seattle Threshold Singers)—Going around the circle, each singer sighs and the rest of the group sighs the same sigh. A great way to center before singing at a bedside.

9.  "Maybe Threshold Choir women start to dream together…"

10.  Two Good Questions:  

"Who needs to know I love them?  Who needs to hear I'm sorry?"

And some follow up items (4/24/12):

11. Diana Shapiro's email address is HERE.

12.  Kristin Masters' free-write prompts:

  • Junk- whatever is on your mind
  • Let a phrase from a threshold song come to mind—that phrase is your prompt
  • Something that happened in your (early) life that led you to involvement in threshold choir

13.  Annie Garretson's recording, "Soundscape at Bishop's Ranch"

Soundscape at Bishop's Ranch

14.  Penelope Salinger offers this video of the song "Ocean Breath" from the National Gathering:

15.  …and this video of the song "May Peace Be with You" from the National Gathering:


  1. Letter from Stephanie

    Thanks so much for these highlights, I love hearing these songs again. Stephanie's blog is by date, and she wrote to us on 4/11:

    [Stephanie's blog post copied into the summary above. Thank you, Claire, for capturing it. Best, Ellen]

  2. Love your highlights!

    I'm just digging into this section now — and the whole site more thoroughly! — and I LOVE your highlights! They are so "Kate."

    It made me feel all warm and cozy and anticipate our next gathering.

    I'll attach here my blog entry from my CA trip– that has highlights from the annual gathering. Of course, I've been meaning to step back into the blog and spell check and fill in the deeper wisdoms — but well, the beauty of a blog is that one gets to just put it out there – and let it be!

    And so it is:

    May we alway have highlights!

    Much love,


    1. My grateful heart to your note taking!
      Dear Susan,
      Thank you so much for mentioning the book, Blessing the Bridge in your blogpost. I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the healing work dealing with our dear pets that die. My cat that I adopted last spring at a shelter died recently and reading that book was a source of great inspiration. I sang to “Luna”, told him I loved him, sang a few threshold songs and that it was ok that he let go. What a lesson in compassion! I am so appreciative of the work that this singing brings to my life. It truly is spiritual work on so many levels. Blessings to your good listening ears Susan! Looking forward to seeing you again next spring!

  3. Thank you for sharing!

    I too love these tidbits and it's WONDERFUL to hear the new songs, share the "tidbits" as you call them, and imagine I too was able to attend.

    Thank you!

    love, Mathilda (Mattie) from Bellingham Threshold Singers


  4. Photos from the Gathering

    Here's the link to the photos I took at the National Gathering. (Access does not require signing up for anything, and you can download any photo without charge.)


    (I wish I'd been able to take more photos…)


    Penelope from Santa Barbara Threshold Choir



    1. Penelope’s photos

      These are lovely! It is so great to get yet another view of all the beauty. Thank you, Penelope,


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