Workshops 2018-04-14T21:01:55+00:00

Sacred Earth ~ Sacred Work: Workshops

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Workshops


Focus on one aspect of Creation Spirituality the entire gathering, or explore all Six Essentials of Creation Spirituality through our six workshop tracks. Each of the Essentials will have an assigned meeting place where you will have the opportunity to add in your poems, favorite quotes, art, etc. to the room, building up our sense of that essential throughout the weekend.

Workshops will be led by a mix of Creation Spirituality community leaders and leaders from our host city, Asheville, NC.

THE UNIVERSE IS A BLESSING

  • A CODE OF BEING AND BECOMING: Cosmic Beatitudes for this Evolutionary Moment with Carol Kilby, Ontario

Carol Kilby. M. Div. D.Min Carol graduated from UCS in 2004. She retired from ministry in the United Church of Canada to become director of the Gaia Centre for Eco Spirituality and Sustainable Work. The most recent reinvention of her lifework is as a writer. At Gaia Farmhouse and across Ontario, she’s led retreats, workshops and more for three decades plus and is known as a courageous, caring, and creative leader.  

The Workshop:     Rituals create! Relevant rituals are essential to re-create these critical planetary times. This workshop, based on one of the original rituals in Kilby’s book, Out, In and On the Fringe – Dancing from Christianity to Evolutionary Spirituality ( pending publication). Experience and explore what is an evolutionary ritual and how the Creation Spirituality tradition can serve in these shifting times.

Based on the ways of Universe, the Cosmic Beatitudes show us there is a way forward. Participants will create a personal Code of Being by which to fashion a life-work that’s Gaia conscious, spiritually ethical, and socially responsible.  Here is the new science presented in an ancient liturgical form. In addition to word and movement there will be quiet and shared reflection. Wear comfortable clothing. Bring journal materials. Limited to 25.

  • PANEL: CREATING AND SUSTAINING A CREATION SPIRITUALITY COMMUNITY  with Bill Crowell, Judy Shook, Michael Dodin, Gail Ransom, Howard Hanger, and Mary Reaman

 

About the Panel: Bill, Judy, Michael, Gail, Howard, and Mary all design and lead weekly Creation Spirituality community gatherings, Prairie Jubilee! in Tulsa OK, Art in Ukiah, CA, Worship Jam in Pittsburgh, PA, and our hosts for this gathering, the Jubilee! Community in Asheville, NC.  Howard, Judy, Gail and Bill are participants in a monthly online conversation with other Creation Spirituality community leaders. Michael is on the Worship Jam leadership team in Pittsburgh, PA.

The Workshop:   Have you been thinking about starting a Creation Spirituality community in your area, but are unsure about how to get started? Or have you already brought a group of people together but are unsure of how to keep the group going? Each of the six panelists in this workshop has created and sustained a Creation Spirituality community in either Austin TX, Ukiah CA, Dayton OH, Tulsa OK, Pittsburgh PA.or Asheville NC. They will be offering you their hard-won advice on how to gather and sustain a Creation Spirituality community. They will share several of their celebration outlines, biggest mistakes,  and programmatic plans. This is the moment to ask your questions and get the advice of people who have been doing what you are wanting to do.  We hope to provide you with the tools you need to create your own Creation Spirituality community.

  • TELL THE CHILDREN WE ARE STARDUST with Jinny Easterday, Scotts Valley, CA

Virginia (Jinni) Easterday earned her DMin in 2001 from UCS in Oakland, CA.  Her passion is interspecies communications and she uses lessons learned from animals to teach the story of the universe. She has just completed her first book, Star Soup: Universal Lessons from Other Species.  Her strong bond with nature is also her inspiration as a cast glass sculptor.

The Workshop: This workshop synthesizes the Story of the Universe into eleven essential points that are easily accessible for children and adults of all ages.  Songs and activities will be provided to further illustrate and illuminate. After the Big Bang and the formation of the elemental powers FIRE EARTH WATER AIR, the plants, trees, and animals arrived.  If we take the time to look and listen deeply, these other life forms provide us with the answers we need to understand the natural and logical progression of how we arrived at this point and what we can do to assist with the outcome.

  • EMPOWERED BY THE COSMOS: NEW WORLD, NEW EYES with Penny Andrews, Cottage Grove, WI

Penny Andrews, DMin. After graduating UCS in 2001, reinvention of work meant becoming a board certified hospital and hospice chaplain, coordinating three Earth Charter Community Summits and guiding the MinGei Center for Creation Spirituality for 15 years.  Retired now, Penny is currently a regular presenter at Free Congregation of Sauk County (last Free Thought Congregation in the country) and using Permaculture Principals on her 10 acres in Cottage Grove, Wi. She has been a presenter at the national, state and local levels on aspects of spirituality and aging, the new cosmology, mindfulness and family caregiving in retreat centers, churches, universities and government agencies.

The Workshop: “The cosmological powers of the Universe are coursing through us moment by moment.  To become aware of these is to touch the source of life”.  Brian Swimme    The intention of this workshop is to extend awareness of our lives in the context of the unfolding story of the Universe. In it, you will experience a taste of Brian  Swimme’s Powers of the Universe through the lens of the visual, the mystical, and the right brain, using language, arts and ritual. Through these activities, you will explore Yugen, a Japanese term pertaining to a profound awareness of the Universe. It is a word which evokes feelings that are inexplicably deep and mysterious- as if the word itself is an extension of awareness.

  • CREATION/CREATION CARE CURRICULUM FOR KIDS with Vicki Garlock, Asheville, NC

Vicki Michela Garlock, PhD. is Curriculum Specialist at Jubilee! Community Church in Asheville and the founder of Faith Seeker Kids. She earned a Ph.D. in Psychology with dual specialties in neuroscience and cognitive development and worked as a full-time professor for over a decade. Since then, Vicki has developed a multi-year, multi-age Bible-based, interfaith curriculum for kids in preschool-8th grade.

The Workshop: During this workshop, I will share how we explore creation/creation care with the kids at Jubilee! Community Church. Our curriculum includes the Biblical creation stories, kid-friendly versions of the Big Bang and evolutionary theory, and stories from various ancient cultures (e.g., Chinese, Egyptian, Greek, Indigenous Australian, Native American, Sub-Saharan African, Nordic. Using cognitive developmental theory, I will show how we: 1) accommodate children of different ages (preschool through 8th grade), 2) incorporate experiential learning techniques (i.e., crafts and activities), and 3) provide kids with opportunities to share about their own experiences with nature and the world around them.

  • RECLAIMING THE WILD SPIRIT with Skylar Wilson and Jennifer Listug 

Skylar Wilson, MA is the founder of Wild Awakenings (wildawakenings.com). For 16 years, Skylar has led retreats focusing on ecological restoration, wilderness knowledge, meditation, and ceremonial practices. Skylar is director of the Cosmic Mass, a transformational ritual that builds community through music, dancing and the arts. He works for the Stepping Stones Project and Credo High School which hold Rites of Passage groups for teenagers using a community-based curriculum.

Jennifer Listug is a writing coach and publishing consultant and is also the co-director of Wild Awakenings Jennifer served on the Board of Trustees at the Unity in Marin Spiritual Community, as Board President for 18 months. Jennifer has led Rites of Passage groups for teenagers, and founded a young adult interfaith group committed to conscious connection, community service, and social activism.

The Workshop: “The doors to the world of the wild Self are few but precious. If you have a deep scar, that is a door, if you have an old, old story, that is a door. If you love the sky and the water so much you almost cannot bear it, that is a door. If you yearn for a deeper life, a full life, a sane life, that is a door.”  -Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Join Skylar Wilson and Jennifer Listug for a time of embodiment practices, silent reflection, song, dance, group processes and collective envisioning that will guide us into an experience of how it feels to live in the wild body and soul, and how to bring this sacred, vital wildness more viscerally into our lives.

  • FINDING SACRED WORK IN A SACRED WORLD with John Robinson, D.Min, PhD.  Fox Island, WA

Rev. Dr. John C. Robinson is a clinical psychologist with a second doctorate in ministry, an ordained interfaith minister, the author of nine books and numerous articles on the psychology, spirituality and mysticism of the New Aging, and a frequent speaker at Conscious Aging Conferences across the country. You can learn more about his work at www.johnrobinson.org.              

The Workshop:  Creation Spirituality, this whole wonder-filled orientation to a sacred cosmos, arose from humanity’s universal mystical  experience, and the mystics’ perennial vision has always been this: Heaven on Earth is already here, we are already divine, and all our work is sacred, literally! As I hope to demonstrate in this workshop, this is not just a happy metaphor, fantasy, or sentimental idea, it is our truest perception of reality. I have been exploring this revelation for over two decades and, as a mystic, I can tell you that this vision is not only true, it is critical to the human survival.

SPIRITUAL PRACTICE TO DISCOVER THE AUTHENTIC SELF

  • SELF CARE WITH CHINESE ACUPRESSURE with Ann Ehringhaus, Ocracoke, VA

Ann Ehringhaus, DMin. became certified in 1993 in this ancient healing folk art, from the Acupressure Institute in Berkeley, Ca.  She is also certified in Rosen Method Emotional Bodywork (1996)  and has been a Reiki Teaching Master since 1997. She sees that bodywork is such a beautiful pathway for healing and awakening in our time! Our bodies can show us many mysteries of being human, and open us to profound states of being.  NC  Bodywork license #1033. A 2006 UCS DMin graduate, She live on an island off the NC coast, where she owns a Bed and Breakfast, and is also an artist and bodyworker.

The Workshop: Together we will explore this ancient healing folk art. We will begin with some Chinese exercises, then explore the concepts of yin/yang and Chi.  Alone and with partners we will learn about the acupoints and energy meridians, and begin to find key points on ourselves and our class partners.  We will include important points for anxiety, sadness, anger, centering, and moving our energy more clearly.  Please join me in the fun and amazement of Chinese Acupressure! We will work with chairs, not massage tables.  Please wear comfortable clothing. All are welcome, and no bodywork experience is needed.

  • RESTORING THE HEART OF ABRAHAM: USING SPIRITUAL PRACTICES AS A CONDUIT FOR PEACE with Roxanne Whitelight  Kihei, HI

Rev. Roxanne Whitelight, DMin. is “refired” from a multi-faceted career as a psychotherapist, body worker, organizational development consultant and minister. In 2005 she achieved her DMin from UCS (Wisdom U) and her dissertation was “Reinventing the Rite of Ordination in service to the Creation Spirituality Community. She joined the CSC board in 2017 and has contributed to the development of the minister’s circle, ordination program and the Wisdom Retreat.

The Workshop: Homo Sapiens are very skilled at creating stories that both unite and divide us. One of the most powerful types of stories of both division and unity have been religious stories. Since 2005 Roxanne has been using spiritual practice as a way to heal pain that has come from our religious stories and maximize connection that these stories also offer. Specifically, in this workshop we will be exploring practices that are helpful in healing the fabric of religious stories between the three Abrahamic faiths, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. By sharing practices from each tradition and looking at the deeper and mystical basis for these practices invites participants to explore peace that grows through understanding, first on a personal level and as they are individually transformed to share what they have learned in a larger circle.

•  THE TRANSFORMATIONAL POWER OF SOUND: with Michael Dodin

Michael Dodin has studied Western classical music and composition on a variety of instruments, as well as classical Indian music and percussion on the Tabla. He also works with the Academy for Future Science (a UN NGO) as a Director of Multimedia, musician, audio engineer, and UN Youth Delegate. Michael’s musical compositions have been featured in the documentary “The Power of One Voice” by Mark Dixon, a film which details the life and work of the environmental scientist Rachel Carson. He also helped to present and perform at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2015 in Salt Lake City, UT with Gail Ransom and Tim Coles as representatives of Creation Spirituality and the First United Methodist Church of Pittsburgh.

The Workshop: In this presentation, Michael will share insights and current research into the special nature of sound as it relates to consciousness, creative expression, and physical morphology. You will also have the opportunity to share in musical meditations/prayers using the Names of God in the vibrations of the original biblical languages.
  • WRITING TO AWAKEN OUR SOUL with Candace Chellew-Hodge  Hopkins, SC

Rev. Candace Chellew-Hodge is the pastor of Jubilee! Circle in Columbia, S.C., and the author of Bulletproof Faith: A Spiritual Survival Guide for Gay and Lesbian Christians. She is a graduate of the Candler School of Theology and founded the only online magazine for LGBT Christians, called Whosoever, in 1996. She is a former journalist and now lives in Columbia with her wife, Wanda, and several canine and feline companions including a German Shepherd named “The Lord.”

The Workshop: In this workshop we will explore how writing can be used as a spiritual practice to move us from fear to love and compassion, not just for ourselves but for the whole world. Writing to awaken your soul means getting past the small, critical self to reveal the expansive, Divine Self within each of us. We will engage in writing exercises and discussion to learn the tools we need to become the kind of soul-awakened people this world needs.


DANCING THROUGH THE VIAS

  • CONNECTING WITH HOLY HELPERS with Mary Ann Maruska, Dmin, Gananoque, ON

A retired graphic designer and educator, Mary Ann Maruska began working in the style of traditional iconography to invite ancient saints into our contemporary consciousness. At UCS / Wisdom University she loved learning about the Universe story and the power of ritual. Her doctoral dissertation Archetypes in Science, Nature, and Design explored nature’s patterns and the creative strategies utilized by the cosmos.

The Workshop: Crossing the threshold into the darkened room you are surrounded by small icon paintings. You are drawn in by one of the Holy Helpers, a group of 2nd century martyrs invoked during the Black Plague to help ease the intense suffering. How might you align with their courage, compassion, and devotion? What healing or growing are you being urged towards? This workshop asks the participant to enter into myth and mystery as it revisits the tradition of seeking the intercession of saints and taps into the cultural heritage of iconography as a portal to the Divine.

  • NAVIGATING VIA NEGATIVA, A ANDEAN PERSPECTIVE with Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, PhD, Asheville, NC

Jeff Firewalker Schmitt, PhD– has been practicing, teaching, and advocating for Indigenous Wisdom traditions for over 20 years.  He is a former University professor and scientist with over 100 publications and patents. He is also a folk healer, tabaquero, ceremonialist, musician, and a walker-between-worlds who calls upon the folk healing traditions of Peru and North America to facilitate personal and planetary healing. Jeff is the co-founder of the Eagle Condor Council, which has become a leading light in the sharing of Andean Wisdom Traditions in the US and in Europe. Given nearly 200 presentation on South America and Andean healing arts (including a TEDx).

The Workshop:   Participants in this workshop will learn and experience the Andean Spiritual methods (Paqokuna) of exploring Ukhupacha (the shadow, the underworld, the Via Negativa). In the Andean cosmology, everything on this earth – whether it be a tree, an animal or an idea – starts its life in the darkness. And so the darkness (Ukhupacha) is where we must learn to navigate as part of our spiritual development and awakening. In this workshop we will also explore how we source energy and Wisdom from the Ukhupacha for healing ourselves and the planet. Through meditation and inner-energetic practices , we can learn to face those parts of ourselves that are buried from sight,  transmute that which needs healing, and liberate new energy for leading a happy, healthy life.

  • DANCING OUR SACRED EARTH, DANCING OUR SACRED WORD, THE SPIRITUALITY OF RITUAL LEADERSHIP with Michael Mansfield    

Dr. Michael Mansfield’s artful weaving of ritual, social justice, and the arts is the inspiration for several generations of Creation Spirituality leaders. His artistic intent is to put people into physical contact with their own body’s wisdom, their cultural heritage, and their imaginative world through a wide variety of contemporary and ethnic media and styles – from puppetry to improvised drama, and from tap to African-Haitian dance . He has created and led Body Prayer and Art as Meditation classes throughout the history of Creation Spirituality higher education, at prestigious universities across the country, and at many Creation Spirituality gatherings, constantly changing the way we treat our selves, one another, and our world.

The Workshop:  In his workshop, Michael will help you develop your own capacity for creating spiritual connection through movement through body prayer, sacred circle dance, improvisation, and ritual development and leadership.

  • CREATION’S VOICE – A SACRED LANGUAGE FOR THE SOUL with Carol Wimmer

After twenty-two years directing music and theatrical ministries, Carol Wimmer experienced an intense time of spiritual growth. Specifically, the text of Genesis 1 came alive through the lens of light, color, and image. The new insights drew her into the field of biblical research, with a focus on the language of Creation that flows consistently throughout sacred text.

The Workshop: This workshop focuses on the images of Creation described in Genesis 1 within the Hebrew Bible. Participants will view this text through the lens of light, color, and the images of nature. In doing so, 7 core voices of Creation will emerge followed by 7 complementary voices. You will be encouraged to visualize the divine connection between the core and complementary voices. The universality of Creation’s Voice will be celebrated as the images of nature speak within the human heart. The common language of Creation will be shown to transcend customs, culture, rituals and traditions that can cause division instead of harmony.

  • ARCHTYPES OF GENDER PARTNERSHIP IN VIA TRANSFORMATIVA with Dr. Carol Pearson

Carol S. Pearson is a graduate of Wisdom University, having done much of her work through the University of Creation Spirituality.   She is the author of The Hero WithinAwakening the Heroes Within, TheTransforming Leader (ed.), and Persephone Rising, and is the former President of Pacifica Graduate Institute.

The Workshop:  Archetypes shape the lenses through which we view ourselves and the divine.  This workshop will compare four spiritual energies as viewed through the ancient Greek Eleusinian mysteries and early Christian mysteries–two masculine and two feminine–with a focus on their contributions to creation spirituality emphases on gender partnership, social justice, and environmental sustainability.

COSMIC AGENTS OF CHANGE AS MYSTICS, ARTISTS, AND PROPHETS

  • IN THE PRESENCE OF DIVINITY – 65 MILLION REFUGEES with Joan Naylor, Barnardsville, NC

Joan Naylor is an Occupational Therapist and craft entrepreneur. Her passions are grand parenting, painting, hiking in the west, and working with refugees in partnership with her husband Andre. She has taught English as a second language in the jungle, in Calasi France (March 2016) and in New Bern, NC (2017). Joan and Andre have just returned from 7 weeks of volunteering with refugees in Lesvos, Greece and on the Serbia/Croatia border.

The Workshop: In this time in human history, there are 65 million people living as refugees, half of them children, Joan Naylor will be sharing her experiences and insights teaching English in refugee camps in France, Greece, and Serbia, as she experienced the starvation, disease, and unsanitary conditions that the people endure.  How do we protect and help?  How do we dispel fears in our own backyards? Where can we get up to date information? How do we advocate for them in America? How can we become refugee workers ourselves? Naylor will share lessons learned from children, and elders as she helps us determine how we might  stand up for the dignity of all humanity to honor each person’s sacredness, who carry the breath of God.

  • AUTHENTIC CUSTOMER SERVICE AS SACRED WORK with Majo John Madden

Majo John Madden has been doing customer service work for 45 years – first as a Ph.D. clinical psychologist and then as an organization development management consultant. For the last 35 years he has become the working class hero he was always meant to be. His customer service blog is Real Life in the Checkout Line, www.rlcol.com.

The Workshop: Most of us can participate in Authentic Customer Service – a dance between customer and server – almost every day.  As a server, we can reach down and express our true selves – and also see our customers for who they really are. As customers we can also initiate this dance – take the interaction from robotic to beautiful. This dance has four stages: 1)greeting, 2) connection, 3) affirmation, 4) blessing. We will practice each of these steps in the role of server and customer.

  • REVOLUTION IN 3 SOUND STEPS:  A BRIDGE TO PERSONAL, SOCIAL & SYSTEM HEALTH with Daniel Barber

B.J. (before Jubilee!), Daniel Barber, M.S. was a social worker, social scientist, video producer and political activist.  Since 2001, he has led Jubilee!’s World Beat Band, led a dance events band and performed with numerous musical and theatrical groups.  Drawing on the treasures of his varied background, he created Sound~Your~Self™, a unique, powerful and enjoyable healing modality for people hungry to transcend old patterns, liberate their creative genius and share their most authentic gifts.

The workshop:  Do you want to be a part of the solution, but the problem seems to live outside of your sphere of influence? Would you like to express your political views with people with whom you disagree with integrity and honesty without getting fired, arrested or into cage fighting?  Would you like to learn a new way to negotiate situations like that that promote connection and nurture appreciation and respect?

Come discover the primordial power of Daniel Barber’s radically fresh approach to political engagement.  We’ll look at things from a deeper and more empowering context.  This new perspective coalesces wisdom from activism, systems thinking, personal development, physics and Creation Spirituality into 3 powerful steps.  Come access your innate creative genius to navigate your way recharged and inspired to make your unique contribution.

  • THE FUTURE OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNITY with Joran Slane Oppelt

Joran Slane Oppelt is an international speaker, author, interfaith minister, life coach and award-winning singer/songwriter. He is the owner of the Metta Center of St. Petersburg and founder of the Integral Church. Joran is the author of Sentences, The Mountain and the Snow and co-author of Order of the Sacred Earth (with Matthew Fox) and Integral Church: A Handbook for New Spiritual Communities. Joran holds certificates in Religious Literacy (Harvard Online) and Sacred Storytelling (Multifaith Storytelling Institute). He serves as President of Interfaith Tampa Bay and Ambassador of the Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions. He has spoken around the world about spirituality and the innovation of religion at events like South by Southwest in Austin, TX; Parliament of the World’s Religions in Salt Lake City; Embrace Festival in Portland, OR and Integral European Conference in Siófok, Hungary.

The Workshop:  Religion in America is changing. In this workshop, Joran Oppelt, international speaker, author, and founder of Integral Church will lead you in exploring the role that interfaith and secular communities play in filling the gap created by shrinking churches, temples and mosques. You will discover where the younger generation is finding religious life outside of its institutions; and what innovative leaders can do to reconnect with them.


A DIVERSITY OF TRADITIONS

  • THE BUSH UNIVERSITY: ABORIGINAL SPIRITUAL LAW with Paul Taylor

Paul Taylor is an acclaimed Australian performing artist/educator and Director of the YDP Dreaming Project. He is mentored by Aboriginal Elder Yidumduma Bill Harney and celebrates indigenous wisdom as a national touring artist in education. With story, song, dance, painting and didgeridoo, Paul’s residencies are multi-disciplined featuring his award winning Caring For Country murals. State Finalist Award winner, Australian of the Year 2013 and 2015 WY Governors Arts Award winner.

The Workshop:  With Creation Story, ritual, song, dance, rock art, and video, Paul Jalala Taylor offers a gateway to illuminate the world’s oldest living culture, the Dreaming, the spiritual Customary Law, Caring for Country, Songlines, Singing the Land, Paying Attention, Totems… in what Aboriginal Wardaman Elder Yidumduma Bill Harney calls the Bush University. This is the world before there was money where business was to do ritual, to “make the land happy,” to keep the balance. This workshop will celebrate over 27 years of dedicated research as Director of the YDP Dreaming Project and the release of the Bush University DVD.

  • EXPLORING YOUR SACRED WORK IN THE CONTEXT OF MINISTRY with Paula Pociecha, Peter Lanzillotta, Roxanne WhiteLight, Gerry Paulsen, Gail Ransom, and Diane Sontum


Pociecha, Lanzillotta, WhiteLight, and Ransom
are members of the Creation Spirituality Communities Ordination Council, which guides and implements the CSC Ordination program. The Council is reinventing ordination for a post-modern, intermingled, eco-focused, evolving, non-hierarchical spirituality, calling for a new breadth and style of ministry.  WhiteLight, Sontum, Paulsen, and Ransom have been ordained to ministry through the Creation Spirituality tradition.

The Workshop: In this workshop, you will explore the nature of your sacred work,  how it allows you to participate in the rebuilding and restoration of the world, and how you might be called to expand, deepen, clarify, and empower that work.  We will look at our sacred work in the context of the CS vocations of Mystic, Creator/Artist and Prophet, and in the principles and practices of the Creation Spirituality tradition. Through inquiry and conversation, we will consider how Creation Spirituality ordination might be a support and benefit to you as you continue to develop and offer your sacred work to the world.

  • INTRODUCING CREATION SPIRITUALITY INTO YOUR CONGREGATION’S WORSHIP with Dr. Marcia McFee

Marcia McFee is an author, worship designer and leader, professor, preacher and artist and a keynote speaker at this event. Her engaging and interactive style has been called “refreshing,” “inspiring,” and “unforgettable.” Marcia combines her background and experience in professional companies of music, theater and dance with a variety of worship and preaching styles in order to bring a fresh experience of the Gospel to each worship setting. Marcia has provided worship design and leadership at numerous international and regional gatherings.

The Workshop: In this workshop, Dr. McFee will let you in on the process she used to develop the six Creation Spirituality based worship services which are being launched here this weekend. She will help you discern the needs of your own congregation and their capacity for incorporating Creation Spirituality elements into worship in accessible and inspiring ways.

  • REFLECT A DIVERSITY OF VOICES IN DECISION–MAKING with Michelle Smith

Michelle Smith calls herself a Societal Transformationist working to create a world that works for all in the tradition of Shariff Abdullah.  As Principal and Co-founder of Circle Forward, she provides coaching, facilitation and consultation for organizations and networks seeking to design their own inclusive and equitable governance systems around the principle of Consent.

The Workshop: Communities are complex systems of inter-dependent relationships.  Decision-making in complex systems is challenging to navigate if we’re using 18th & 19th century technologies. People often assume there are only two choices for how groups make decisions: majority voting or consensus. Circle Forward is a system of collaborative governance based on decision-making by consent, which allows for making quick decisions that reflect a diversity of voices. Learn this game-changing principle of collaborative governance, and practice some of the tools that enable groups to address power dynamics, generate more adaptive strategies, and make wise decisions.

  • IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD (VIEW)! THE RE-MAGINING LAB with Theodore Richards.

Theodore Richards (www.theodorerichards.com) is the founder of The Chicago Wisdom Project, a non-profit for youth on the south side of Chicago. He is the author of six books and numerous literary awards. His most recent book is The Great Re-imagining: Spirituality in an Age of Apocalypse. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughters.

The Workshop: In the Re-imagining Lab, we’ll examine the stories of the Modern world that no longer sustain us, bringing us to brink of catastrophe—ecologically, economically, culturally. Our troubles cannot be solved merely through technology, or even politics; rather, we need to re-imagine what it means to be human. We seek new stories, new poetics, new ideas—and we put our ideas and stories into action. All these practices come together through the creative work of our students, wherein they create a “new story”. We’ll do this in three stages: “Education”; “Culture & Psyche”; and “Cosmology & Ecology.”


THE SIX ESSENTIALS OF CREATION SPIRITUALITY

1. The Universe, and all life within it, is fundamentally a blessing.

2. It is through the work of spiritual practice that we move beyond fear into compassion and discover our deep and true selves.

3. The spiritual journey can be understood as a dance moving in and out of four mystical paths:

          – awe, delight, amazement, joy (known as the Via Positiva)

          – uncertainty, darkness, suffering, letting go (known as the Via Negativa)

          – birthing, creativity, passion (known as the Via Creativa)

          – justice, healing, celebration, rebirth, resurrection (the Via Transformativa)

4. Every one of us carries within us the capacity to be a mystic, to be creative, to be visionary, and to be an agent for positive change. It is our responsibility to cultivate these capacities for the benefit of Earth and all it’s creatures.

5. We rejoice in and courageously honor the rich diversity within the Cosmos which is expressed in every individual and embodies multiple cultures, religions, and ancestral traditions.

6. Ecological justice is our priority as an imperative for the healing, sustainability and harmony among our species and the entire Earth community.

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