Past Workshops (2016)

Winter Solstice: Hope is the Thing with Feathers

Wednesday, December 21, 2016
7:00 – 8:30 pm

“Hope” is the thing with feathers –
That perches in the soul –
And sings the tune without the words –
And never stops – at all –

These lines by Emily Dickinson inspire us as winter surrounds us. Come illumine the darkness by lighting candles, singing songs, celebrating, mourning, embracing. Deep in the dark and cold, we’ll wander inward, find a spark, and kindle hope for the season.


Praying the Advent Names of God

Tuesdays, December 6 and 13, 2016
6:30 – 8:30 pm

Join artist Ansgar Holmberg and prayer poet Joan Mitchell to reflect and meditate on the Advent names of God. A blend of words and images will invite us to transform the traditional O Antiphons from the Advent Liturgy of the Hours into the context of evolutionary cosmology, opening new space for us to anticipate Jesus’ birth in our busy lives and our planet in peril.


The Way of Our People: Conversation with D. Richard Wright, Ojibwe Elder

Thursday, November 10, 2016
6:30 – 8:00 pm

Join an evening of conversation with author Donald Richard Wright, who observed and studied the ancient ceremonies of the Aboriginal Ojibwe in Little Black River Reserve, Ontario, Canada. Its ceremony maker was a 94-year-old Ojibwe-Cree who lived in the mountains near Edmonton.

Wright wanted to experience and research the ceremonies in order to understand “the fundamental cultural strengths of the Indian who became copious drinkers of alcohol,” he says. “As an aspirant to the Archdiocese of St. Paul, Minneapolis Deaconate Program, if I was to counsel the drinker, then my ministry became to know a little about these beliefs.”


Half Day Meditation Retreat

Saturday, November 5, 2016

8:30 am – 12:00 pm

Have you wondered about meditation in the Christian tradition? Considered a meditation retreat but been concerned that it might be too intense? Have you simply sought a shorter retreat experience? If so, this half-day experience might be for you. The morning will provide an introduction to meditation according to the teaching of John Main, OSB, and a retreat experience of sitting and walking meditation, mindful movements, and chanting. Limited to 25 participants.


Marking the Days: Creating Our Way Through Life’s Changes

Wednesdays, November 2 and 16, 2016, from 6:30 to 9:00 pm, November 9 from 6:00 to 9:00 pm

Come reflect on a major change in your life in a three-part series using guided writing, guided calendar making, and guided book making. Noexperience necessary. Supplies and tools provided. Bring a chosen life event, a list of related dates and a willingness to let your own creativity lead you in cherishing, remembering and letting go. You’ll reflect in your own words on your turning point, create a prim stav (a centuries-old calendar system for marking significant days), and make a small hand-sized book to hold both the calendar and your event-inspired writing. The class can be used to reflect on life changes we have chosen as well as those that come to us unbidden.


A Festival of Women’s Voices on Jesus | Fall Soul Conference | The Strength of Her Witness: Theology in Women’s Voices

Friday, October 28, 2016, 7:00 – 9:00 pm

Saturday, October 29, 2016, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

In this globally interconnected, lopsided world—marked by disparities, discord and violence—what witness can the church bring to the many issues that divide us from one another and the shared ecology in which we live? We are in need of theologies that will lead us in new directions–from opposition and dominance to new community and mutual respect for one another and all living creatures of Earth.


The Ethic of Inclusion: Getting Un-Stuck

Wednesdays, October 12, 19, and 26, 2016
6:30 – 8:30 pm

During this highly politicized election year when exclusionary rhetoric often “shuts down” genuine conversation and cynicism too often “passes” for wisdom, come explore what is meant by “the ethic of inclusion.”
What ethical principles drive our thoughts and interactions on current issues? Ethics comes in more than one stripe. Ken Wilber’s integral paradigm and principles from the Arbinger Institute’s Anatomy of Peace will help illuminate the subtle ways we all get trapped in boxes of our own making that undermine our best intentions to actually be inclusive. Over a 3-week period, we’ll reflect on not only how we get stuck but how we can get un-stuck so that we can engage in more authentic conversation with others who have very differing views.


Writing the Sacred Journey: The Art and Practice of Spiritual Memoir

Saturday, October 8, 2016, 9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Spiritual memoir is the practice of listening deeply to our life experiences through the creation of artful, true stories. We come more alive when we accept how our experiences have formed us and when we form something from what we’ve experienced. By writing memories with intention, we can find holiness in the details, patterns that unify our sense of self, and deep personal healing. By crafting our stories to engage the inner life of readers, we can participate in transforming our world.


The Emergence of Islamophobia and the Importance of White Allies

Thursdays, October 6 and 20, 2016

6:30 – 8:30 pm

Waves of Islamophobia roiling the United States and Europe are unleashing fear and hate in our world. Cruel and inaccurate stereotypes are increasing while tolerance and civil liberties are threatened. As well, a new racial formation around “Islam” and the “West” seems to be emerging. Whereas in the past the notion of a Muslim Other informed a notion of a Western self among elites, today the fear of Muslims is deeply penetrating popular identity and giving rise to a fascist-like movement that threatens to tip us into a deep dive of racism that will be hard to overcome.