Friday, September 20, 2019
6:30 – 8:30 pm

A resurgence of Christian contemplative living by emerging young practitioners is creating a new framework for spirituality inside and outside of formal religion. Contemplation and Community: A Gathering of Fresh Voices for a Living Tradition, introduces these diverse voices, who reflect globally on the gifts, challenges, differences and commonalities of Christian contemplation today for communities and people of faith.

The Friday night event begins with a public conversation and book launch of Contemplation and Community. You’ll have the opportunity to talk with co-editors Jessica (Jessie) M. Smith and Stuart Higginbotham and enjoy readings and reflections from contributing writers.


Learn more about the Contemplation and Community Retreat Day
Saturday, September 21, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

COST:  Free. Please RSVP at 651-696-2788 or


Contemplation and Community began when founders of four contemplative centers—Fr. Richard Rohr of the Center for Action and Contemplation, Fr. Thomas Keating of Contemplative Outreach, Fr. Laurence Freeman of The World Community for Christian Meditation, and Tilden Edwards of the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation—invited twenty young contemplative leaders to wonder, practice, and peer together into the future of Christian contemplative life. Along with Shalem’s executive director Margaret Benefiel, the 24 leaders shared a week of conversation, reflection and practice that inspired the book.

These programs are made possible by a grant from the Trust for the Meditation Process, a charitable foundation encouraging meditation, mindfulness and contemplative prayer.


Additional co-hosts for these events with Wisdom Ways include St. Catherine University, Episcopal House of Prayer, and University of St. Thomas.


Brenda Bertrand is a chaplain at Fuller Theological Seminary and in the U.S. Army Reserves, who inspires people in the simplicity of prayer and helps emerging leaders narrow the gap between their spirituality and everyday life.

Thomas J. Bushlack serves as Regional Director of Mission Integration with SSM Health, a faith-based healthcare provider located in four states. He is an oblate of St. Benedict through St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN, and the host of the “Contemplate This!” podcast.

Spiritual director, yoga instructor, public speaker, and retreat guide Phileena Heuertz is the author of Pilgrimage of the Soul and Mindful Silence: The Heart of Christian Contemplation, and co-founder of Gravity.

Co-editor Stuart Higginbotham, an Episcopal priest, focuses on the intersection of contemplative practice, leadership development, and congregational ministry.

Bo Karen Lee is associate professor of spiritual theology and Christian formation at Princeton Theological Seminary, a spiritual director and author, and was a Mullin Fellow with the Institute of Advanced Catholic Studies.

Mark Longhurst, pastor of First Congregational Church in Williamstown, Massachusetts, writes and hosts the contemplatively themed blog Ordinary Mystic.

Mark Kutolowski is an Oblate of St. Benedict, a contemplative retreat leader, Centering Prayer teacher, and instructor in the traditional Russian martial art and health practice of Systema.

Leonard McMahon, doctoral student at the Graduate Theological Union at U.C. Berkeley, works through his nonprofit, Common Ground Dialogue, to bring divergent citizens into democratic conversation.

Co-editor Jessica (Jessie) M. Smith is deeply committed to spiritual practice, faith-based civic engagement, and theological reflection. As Senior Executive Director, Research, Planning and Spiritual Formation, she advises the United Methodist Church on strategic decisions related to ministry.

Adwoa Lewis-Wilson, an Oblate of the Order of Julian of Norwich, is interested in how the contemplative gaze purified in God, may recognize, affirm, and support equity for the radiance in marginalized people and a desperate culture.

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