LGBTQ health care leader offers spiritual salve, too

EDITOR’S NOTE: Most people know of Dr. Katie Imborek through her work helping to found the University of Iowa’s LGBTQ Clinic. Imborek is also an active member of Sanctuary Community Church, a non-denominational Coralville church leading the way in LGBTQ inclusion since 2016. Imborek offers occasional teachings at Sanctuary; here is an abridged version of a teaching she provided Oct. 14. At the start of this school year, my youngest son Will had to complete an “All About Me” collage. He tediously went through pictures on my wife’s iPhone to…

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‘Queers and Queens’ tarot deck captures LGBTQ diversity

As a self-described “dark-haired olive-skinned, queer kid,” Aerin Black felt they stood out among friends while growing up in Washington, Iowa. As an adult, Black began to identify as nonbinary and as a witch and tarot practitioner, and stood out even more. Moving from Washington to Kalona, they still feel conspicuous, even in liberal Iowa City. Yet, they choose to stay in small-town Iowa. “I’m very much the type of person who believes that I’m where I’m supposed to be, when I’m supposed to be there,” they say. “And I’ve…

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Veterans for Peace continues their timeless effort

Earlier this year, Air Force veteran Daniel Hale learned he may face 50 years in prison for giving information about weaponized drone attacks to a reporter. Two hundred years ago, Quaker Seth Laughlin was tortured by his fellow Americans when he refused to join the Confederate Army. These two situations, hundreds of years apart, illustrate that conscientious objectors against war are timeless. They are still saying “no.” And groups like Veterans for Peace in Iowa City are doing their best to ensure the rest of us remain aware. The VFP-161,…

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The anti-woman vibe of witch hunts

Being a practitioner of witchcraft has been a part of my life since I was a young girl. I always found comfort in the earth, singing in the rain, soaking up the sun, and  cleansing my spirit with warmth and light. Today, I continue to educate myself about non-conventional religious practices, learning new things about myself along the way. With this unique personal context, I am painfully aware of a new trend to exploit “witches” like me. I’m seeing headlines complaining about “witch hunts,” Geico commercials staging witches as broomstick…

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Cassandra Justine brings adventure, diversity to Fields of Yogis

Fields of Yogis, coming Aug. 23-25, aims to help yoga be accessible to everyone, regardless of physical shape or condition, spirituality, or experience level. Cassandra Justine is a practitioner based in Chicago who combines Reiki, sound healing, yoga and meditation. She fielded questions from Assistant Editor Cheryl Weatherford. This interview has been edited for brevity and clarity. What is a book that deeply influenced your practice and life’s work? “You Can Heal Your Life” by Louise Hay. The way that she speaks to the power of positive affirmations has helped…

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Yogis who defy stereotypes share their joy

Fields of Yogis is coming Aug. 23-25, and this year, the festival’s message is, yoga is for everyone. Check out Lindsey Flannery’s look at some yoga practitioners who defy the stereotype she describes below, and how this ancient practice aids in their physical healing and emotional/spiritual calming and support. Julie Cain is a mother of two, a high school Japanese teacher, a self-proclaimed “type A personality,” and an amputee. She also attends Breathing Room Yoga in Cedar Rapids, and turns to yoga for many benefits, physical and beyond. The Fields…

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Photo collection illustrates “All Bodies Belong” in yoga

The”All Bodies Belong” series is intended to showcase “real, everyday bodies, and the stories they tell.” “The images highlight all different shapes, skin colors, abilities, backgrounds, cultures, lifestyles, looks,” writes Sarah Driscoll, leader of the project. The project featured Heidi Eiffert at Studio U Photography in the New Bo Neighborhood of Cedar Rapids. Enjoy!       See all of Heidi’s pictures in “All Bodies Belong” here. You can also enjoy these accompanying articles: • Q&A with Cassandra Justine, among the premier presenters at Fields of Yogis coming Aug. 23-25.…

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The activist behind Iowa’s only MCC pulpit

QUAD CITIES – Rich Hendricks got his first job working as a clerk at Gruber’s Gladiola’s in the big building at 3019 N. Harrison St. in Davenport. Today, decades later, he is the pastor of a church in the same building. And not just any church: Hendricks leads Iowa’s only Metropolitan Community Church, a primarily Christian denomination openly serving mostly LGBTQ people. Founded in 1968 by the Rev. Troy Perry, the MCC denomination now has 300 congregations in 22 countries. But in Iowa, there is only one. It draws about…

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Crystal healing therapy, in person

If you’re looking to “let go” or have a feeling of meditative serenity, the crystal healing bed I experienced this month is not the way to go.     But if you’re seeking to bridge gaps of mind, body and soul, I strongly recommend the crystal healing bed offered by ReAlive Metaphysical and Repurposing in Marion.      I had the privilege of personally experiencing the bed thanks to an invitation from owner Korrina Dawson, who obtained the bed about a month ago and believes it is the only functioning…

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Fields of Yogis expands offerings for fest that begins Friday

Fields of Yogis is aiming to reach some key goals this coming year — all focused on making yoga more accessible to all of Iowa. “We want to have an accepting, diverse, all-encompassing festival,” says founder Ally Thompson. The Cedar Rapids yoga festival, happening Aug. 23-25, aims to attract more people new to yoga and create a sense of community around year-round wellness. The festival aims to reach farther throughout the state. And, it seeks to communicate the overall benefits of yoga, not just its physical benefits . “It’s not…

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