Cynthia Bourgeault and Paulette Meier will be teachers at the third and fourth residencies for this year long Quaker based School of the Spirit. First residency takes place over President’s Day Weekend, February 15-19, 2024
Through 5 residencies and 4 virtual gatherings, over a 12-month period, with ongoing small groups and accountability groups, this program invites participants into a crucible of transformation. The program works with Quaker worship, structured exercises, and small group practices to allow opening more deeply and honestly to God’s presence, guidance, healing, and power.
Through this process-oriented program, participants gain awareness, skills, and support to live from that interior place where humanity and divinity meet. This surrendered, vibrant discipleship becomes more and more heart-centered, authentic, and grounded in real life. We envision that Friends thus equipped will go out and be seeds of transformation in our Society and in the wider world. The intent of this program is nothing short of furthering the love/power of God in the world.
The name of the program, Participating in God’s Power, draws in part from a quote by Saint Symeon the New Theologian who wrote “I have seen the Totality, received not in essence, but by participation. When you light a flame from a flame, it is the same flame that you receive.” It is through participating, through our actions in the flow of Love, that we become more and more aligned with that force. As these times become more and more perilous, many of us feel a deep need to have a right and positive impact in our world. By aligning ourselves with the Divine, listening for how we are led, and giving “legs” to those leadings, we hope to meet that hunger and have a positive impact–both within ourselves and on behalf of others.
This program welcomes any and all, whatever their religious tradition or desire to seek the Divine, on behalf of the common good.
School of the Spirit
The School of the Spirit Ministry is dedicated to helping all who wish to be more faithful listeners and responders to the inward work of Christ.
Within the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers), the traditional meetings of ministers and elders were sometimes referred to as a “school of the Spirit.” In gathered worship Friends learned to discern the movement of the Inward Teacher and test their discernment with one another. This practiced listening–this unceasing prayer–extended into every aspect of their lives.
This Ministry seeks to experience the living Word as it arises out of the precious and eternal silence. In the daily work of this Ministry we have the opportunity to reflect upon the presence of God in our lives and willingness to deepen our commitment to God’s comfort and guidance. Nurturing and practicing our capacity for compassion is essential for our inward preparation for ministry.
The residencies are all on holiday weekends to minimize time off from work. They run from Thursday afternoon through Monday lunch, except for the closing one, which is Friday afternoon through Sunday lunch. The residencies combine worship, experiential learning, building the Blessed Community, some didactic teaching, and time for small groups and accountability groups. There will also be enough unstructured time for the participants to absorb and process all they are encountering, and to informally hang out with one another.
Cynthia and Paulette Meier will be teachers at the third and fourth residency:
The third residency, “The Light of Conscience,” will take place Thursday evening through Monday lunch over the Labor Day Weekend, 2024, at Pendle Hill Conference Center. Residency themes include: seeking guidance; self and Self, practices to undermine the small-self lens on reality; un-numbing the conscience; differentiating between spiritual bypassing and freeing us of old wounds; continuing small and accountability groups.
The fourth residency, “Living Out an Integrity of Self,” will take place Thursday evening through Monday lunch over Indigenous People’s Day Weekend, 2024 at the Light on the Hill Retreat Center. Residency themes include: the relationship between Conscience and Consciousness; more on growing beyond self-referential reality; strengthening the Conscience; entering into the alchemy of suffering/ “the joy of the cross;” more time with small groups and accountability groups
School of the Spirit: