Sadness, Hopelessness & Anger

Being Present to the Suffering of a Nation & World

A retreat // September 20-22, 2019

 

“Ours is the task of telling the story, inviting repentance and initiating change.”

– Ravished By Beauty // Belden C. Lane


We have all turned on the TV to watch the news and have been over whelmed by the violence, inconceivable bigotry and racism dished up nearly every day.  On top of that, the sexual abuse scandals that have rocked trusted institution like churches, government, business and entertainment. All quickly followed by our own national inability to find ethical and civil ways to meet the complicated needs of citizens and neighbors alike.  If we are honest and perceptive, we too often see our gender, us men, at the lead of all this chaos and meanness. The temptation is to click the channel to some empty headed comedy and zone out. But what if we did not do this? What if we stayed in the moment of our frustration and invitation to compassion and let it teach us?  What if we did not zone out but remained in the painful moment? In a space that is a door way. A justifiable question would be, “To where?” The all too common response in men’s work is – to transformation. This too might surface a justifiable question, “How would this help?” An old Taoist saying suggests that, “A journey begins with the first step.”  This retreat hopes to help us awaken to the many first steps that we must take; in order for us to become what we want the world to become, paraphrasing something Mahatma Gandhi once said.

 

Register

Retreat Focus

This retreat hopes to help us awaken to the many first steps that we must take; in order for us to become what we want the world to become, paraphrasing something Mahatma Gandhi once said.

What Will I Learn?

The weekend will provide a safe environment were men can speak without being judged or shamed.

If we are honest and perceptive, we too often see our gender, us men, at the lead of all this chaos and meanness. The temptation is to click the channel to some empty headed comedy and zone out. But what if we did not do this? What if we stayed in the moment of our frustration and invitation to compassion and let it teach us?  What if we did not zone out but remained in the painful moment? In a space that is a door way. A justifiable question would be, “To where?” The all too common response in men’s work is – to transformation. This too might surface a justifiable question, “How would this help?” An old Taoist saying suggests that, “A journey begins with the first step.” 

This gathering will be enriched through teachings, rituals, individual time for reflection, small group gatherings, the Way of Council and through hearing stories and reflections.

 

Some quotes for reflection on the retreat theme:


“The Apprentice’s life is also a testament to the hope that springs from sacred gifts retrieved from inscrutable darkness, gifts that allow the human community to heal or become more vital and sustainable.”  Nature and the Human Soul, by Bill Plotkin

 

“Ours is the task of telling the story, inviting repentance and initiating change.”  Ravished By Beauty, by Belden C. Lane  

 

“Humankind may do well to listen to the wisdom of nature.”  We Are Home, by Shannon Jung  

 

“The transformative aspect of love of others is rooted precisely in the fact that is sometimes so difficult to do in action.”  The Way of Transformation, by Mark O’Keefe O.S.B.

Details and Location

September 20, 2019, 7:00 pm – September 22, 2019, 11:00 am 

This event will be held at Lawrence Lodge at the De Sales Center, 1124 Ventura Drive, Brooklyn, MI 49230

 


The retreat leaders:

Michael Whitman – Mike has led retreats and workshops for both young and old for 40+ years. He is an Elder on our Leadership Council and he’s also the Editor of our Spring and Fall Newsletter. He will lead us and be accompanied by three other men.

 

 

 

 

Gary Sielski – Gary is from Manistee, MI & spent most of his working career in custodial & maintenance work for the public school system in his home town.  He was also active in religious formation & youth ministry for his Roman Catholic parish & it’s Diocese. He is highly respected in these ministries & was the only one in his diocese who held the highest youth ministry certification awarded in the USA.  He is also one of four creators & leaders of a 5 day & 4 night social justice training program for youth called, Just Works.

 

 

Ron Span – Ron was ordained an Episcopal priest in 1971 for the Diocese of Michigan.  He founded an intentional community, which after 15 years in a Detroit parish, evolved into a veteran member of the faith based development movement.  Ron served for 15 years as a spirituality faculty member for the CREDO Institute and helped launch the Presbyterian CREDO. In retirement he serves as a spiritual director, director for the Christ Church Spirituality Center and Educator for the PRH Foundation.

 

 

Doug Kaufman – Doug is the pastor of Benton Mennonite Church in Goshen, Ind.  He is also Director of Pastoral Ecology at Goshen College. He became interested in ecological problems when baptizing people in the Elkhart River – when it was safe to do so between manure contamination.  He trains pastors to empower congregations to respond to climate disruption. He also has led the Hoosier Riverwatch group for 15 years.

 


We invite you to join us on this journey of illumination 
as we seek to become Learners and Elders.