Since the first retreat seeking guidance for the shape of this program, we were moved by a powerful sense of being called to live in, and witness to, the unhealed places from our pasts that we still carry. In the same moment, we saw in those places, our own “thorns in the flesh,” the places where God is powerfully alive and present. The astonishing power of that first worship has continued to inform our sense of what God is calling us to in offering “Participating in God’s Power.” (That initial worship included another Quaker, Anne Pomeroy, whose early discernment and presence was integral to the shaping and overall structure of the program. She later felt called out of this work.)
Members of the School of the Spirit Board, laboring with us over time to discern if this program was to be a School of the Spirit ministry, dubbed this central clarity of the human condition “broken and blessed.”
In response to this experience of God’s work in us, we are called to create a container, one woven of leaders and participants living in truth and grace, co-creating spaces of bravery and refuge to do the work we are called to, where the power of God to reveal and heal is present and lively.
We are called to extend this co-created container to those who ache to live in the Divine Center, and who want to live lives both grounded and on fire with the Spirit.
This weaving will include
- Inviting all into a deeper experience of God’s presence, and in the same moment accessing the places where we are broken and wounded.
- Connecting with the body- the spiritual wisdom to be found there, the wounds carried there which impede the Light, the felt sensation of deep and total surrender, the felt experience of being richly connected to one’s soul, to God, and learning to witness the bodily awareness of arising shame, fear, and the encroachment of the ego-self.
- Exploring how we project our rejected parts onto others, and how this damages us spiritually and relationally, decreasing the ability to connect with ourselves, with others, with God, and with creation
- Naming the connection of individual brokenness to systemic evil, and not stopping with the naming but also holding each other accountable for, and calling each other into, our individual internal work.
- Celebrating vulnerability and progress toward a more authentic integrated life each step of the way, a series of mini-resurrections as we do the work of Good Friday and Holy Saturday, waiting for the fullness of Resurrection Sunday.
Participating in God’s Power’s focus is on experiential learning, embodiment, learning to befriend one’s shadow and broken places, and seeking to be faithful to the first motion of our generation’s Lamb’s War- that of conviction, repentance, and healing, as a path towards living into a conversion, not just of manners, but of all that keeps us from being the whole self we were meant to be.
We have experienced God at work in us as we have been forming this container, and much of that work has been highly process oriented. We see the small groups, which would meet during the residencies and via video conference between residencies, as lab times of learning and processing in radical vulnerability, helping to ‘make sense’ of one’s spiritual, emotional and physical story to deepen connection with self, others, God and creation. As such, the initial emphasis in these groups will include learning how to frame stories, how to be radically present to one another, and how to enter into other’s stories and our own.
Angi and Christopher