Programs

Winter Programs 2017 

 New Cosmology Primer: Canticle to the Cosmos Part III with Margaret Walters

The Canticle to the Cosmos series is Brian Swimme’s first, comprehensive summary of what a new cosmology might look like, capturing many of the ideas of his 1984 book The Universe is a Green Dragon. He is young, full of passion and energy and very inspirational. It was this series that first captured my imagination and drew me into a deep exploration of this new way of looking at reality. Made in the 90’s, the basic ideas are still contemporary and it makes an ideal introduction to, or revision of, the main concepts of the new cosmology Swimme developed with Thomas Berry.

This course will offer the final four sessions of this 12 hour series with opportunity for questions and sharing: Fire in the Mind, The Timing of Creativity, The Human Story, A New Prosperity. Each session is distinct – no need to have watched previous ones.

Date: 4 Tuesdays, March 7 – 28, 2016
Time: 10 am – 12 pm
Cost:   $75 or $20 drop in
Location: Friends Meeting House (1831 Fern St.) Victoria

Register now!

Winter Programs 2017

John O’Donohue – The Four Elements; An exploration with Denis Donnelly

 Among the first works that theologian and poet, John O’Donohue ever published were four slim volumes exploring the relationship of humans to the elements that make up the Earth we live on. Although these were published in 1995, the wisdom expressed in these books, drawn from deep springs of Celtic tradition and thought, continued to infuse everything he wrote from then on until his untimely death in 2008. Denis has had the good fortune to walk with John many times through the mountains and valleys of Ireland’s Counties Clare and Galway, and to hear him speak of his thoughts and feelings of the land he loved. On this day of music, poetry, talk, and personal introspection, we will explore the legacy that John left us, and we will consider the question: how can we be fully human on an Earth of Elements.

Date: Fri March 24 & Saturday March 25, 2017
Time:  Fri 7 pm 9, Sat 9:30 – 3:30 pm
Cost: $70.00 Please bring lunch, refreshments will be served
Location: Friends Meeting House (1831 Fern St.) Victoria

Register now! 

The Longing of the Universe with Margaret Walters

We will watch “The Fundamental Order of the Universe” from Brian Swimme’s Canticle to the Cosmos series and explore together the rich dynamics of “subjectivity, differentiation, and communion” as the nature, values and direction of Cosmogenesis.

Subjectivity: Everything has an interior dimension, its own depth and resonance with the whole.

Differentiation: The Universe consists of articulated energy centers, each one different and unique

Communion: The Universe is ultimately a communion experience in a multiplicity of centers. “The ultimate aim of the universe is a fullness of differentiation, the deepest subjectivity, the most intimate communion . . . An intense desire for the communion experience generates the heat that burns off the superficialities and activates the dynamics of the universe.”

Collaborating with Canadian Memorial United Church

Dates: Saturday April 1, 2017
Time: 10:00 – 4:00 pm Please bring lunch refreshments will be served
Cost: $60.00
Location: Canadian Memorial United Church, 1806 W.15th Ave. & Burrard St. Vancouver

Register now!

Spring Programs 2017

A New Template for Christianity with Michael Morwood    

Three important questions in adult faith formation are:  What are you asking me to imagine?  From where did this imagination (as a picture of reality) arise?How does this imagination resonate with what we know today about our universe, the age of planet earth, and how life developed here?

It is not surprising that institutional religion, especially in its Christian, Jewish and Islamic formats, is facing its greatest crisis ever when such questions are brought to focus on what we have believed, whether we continue to believe it or not, and what we now believe.

The challenge for Christians is to re-imagine, in the light of contemporary knowledge, foundational faith topics such as “God”, revelation, salvation, Jesus, “the Christ”, worship, priesthood and prayer. 

 This re-imagining may lead us to discard what were once thought to be essential aspects of Christian faith. However, while doing that, it also has the potential to articulate faith that resonates better with reality, and, of great importance, to make Jesus and his message more relevant to the world in which we find ourselves today.

Collaborating with St. Aidan’s United Church

Date & time: Friday April 28 lecture 7–8:30; Sat, April 29 – workshop 9:30–3:30
Cost: Fri & Sat $68, Friday only $20, Sat only $50, Please bring your lunch, refreshments included
Location: St. Aidan’s United Church, 3703 St Aidan’s St, Victoria

Register now!

The Possibility in Conviviality: Telling We-Stories to the Future with Ian Wight

Conviviality has been been represented as ‘an already widespread practice that is integral to our long history’ but is also ‘an idea that is diffuse and not collectively recognised’ (Marc Humbert, Towards a Convivial Civilization, 2015). Greater awareness of it has been advocated: it is ‘the foundation of living together properly’ and a pathway to organizing ‘a future that is better than our present’. Is it time to bring conviviality more to the fore? What practices might serve us, in advancing this collective-life-affirming cause? We’ll consider the possibility in conviviality – of how we might more mindfully live well together – in these challenging times. We’ll experiment with some story-telling, to our heart-felt desired future, based on our own soul-stirring experiences of convivial practices – of decency, civility and delight, primed by inspiring poetry, prose and imagery [For more orientation, to help you consider if this program is for you, visit: http://ianwight.ca/the-possibility-in-conviviality/ – to link to a two-page pdf download].

Date: 4 Tuesdays, May 2 – 23,  2017
Time: 10 am – 12 pm
Cost: $75 or $20 drop in
Location: Friends Meeting House (1831 Fern St.) Victoria

Register now!

Becoming Intimate with the Earth: a Work and Play Shop with Pauline Le Bel

We have a new sacred narrative for the world – a scientific cosmology that redefines the role of humans and offers hope in these challenging times. Pauline Le Bel, in her book, Becoming Intimate with the Earth, offers powerful ways to live inside that story.

With wisdom, wit, poetry and music, Pauline will guide workshop participants through the Ways of Intimacy described in her book: Wonder, Emptiness, Imagining, Transformation and Community. Immerse yourself in Earth’s beauty and generosity. Experience how you are embraced by, and embedded in, the natural world. And come away with your own intimacy practices. Review:  “Science-rich, artful, soul-nourishing.” Michael Dowd, author, Thank God for Evolution

For those who would like to purchase the book before the retreat, please email Pauline at songspinner@shaw.ca or send a cheque for $25 to Pauline at P.O. Box 412, Bowen Island BC V0N 1G0.

 Collaborating with Bethlehem Centre

Date: Fri May 12 – Sat May 13, 2017
Fri 7 – 9 pm, Sat 10 am – 4 pm
Location: Bethlehem Centre, 2371 Arbot Rd. Nanaimo, BC          Suggested donation:  Residential $198: includes overnight, three meals and two snacks.
Please do not let cost deter you, call us about our scholarship fund
Register:  www.bethlehemretreatcentre.com

Sacred Circle Dancing the Universe power of INTERRELATEDNESS with Bernice Vetter, SC

This year, the annual day of dancing with the Powers of the Universe will highlight INTERRELATEDNESS.  This theme is familiar in its many forms but Brian Swimme speaks of relationship, i.e. care, from the point of view of the universe as well as in the human person.  There are negative as well as positive aspects to this energy and  some of our dances will include those that honour the Great Mother—the “nurturer” within ancient Earth traditions.

Date: Sat. May 27, 2017
Time: 10 am – 4 pm, please bring lunch, refreshments are provided
Cost:   $70
Location: Friends Meeting House (1831 Fern St.) Victoria

Register now!

A New Template for Progressive Religion   with    Michael Morwood

Three important questions in adult faith formation are:
What are you asking me to imagine?  From where did this imagination (as a picture of reality) arise?  How does this imagination resonate with what we know today about our universe, the age of planet earth, and how life developed here?

 It is not surprising that institutional religion, especially in its Christian, Jewish and Islamic formats, is facing its greatest crisis ever when such questions are brought to focus on what we have believed, whether we continue to believe it or not, and what we now believe.  The challenge for Christians is to re-imagine, in the light of contemporary knowledge, foundational faith topics such as “God”, revelation, salvation, Jesus, “the Christ”, worship, priesthood and prayer. This presentation will focus on these Christian perspectives, but will have relevance for Judaism and Islam as well. “What are you asking me to imagine? From where did this imagination (as a picture of reality) arise? How does this imagination resonate with what we know today about our universe, the age of planet earth, and how life developed here?” – and explore how contemporary evolutionary knowledge changes how we understand and articulate our faith.

This re-imagining may lead us to discard what were once thought to be essential aspects of Christian faith. However, while doing that, it also has the potential to articulate faith that resonates better with reality, and, of great importance, to make Jesus and his message more relevant to the world in which we find ourselves today.

Working together with Canadian Memorial United Church & St. Andrews Wesley United Church

Date: June 7, 7 pm – 8:30 pm
Cost: A donation of $10 is suggested – but come regardless!
Location: Canadian Memorial Church, Centre for Peace 1806 W 15th & Burrard St. Vancouver.

Register now!

Re-envisioning the Second Half of Life with Maria and Michael Morwood

Does your faith-life resonate with your inner wisdom and personal insights?

This retreat is an invitation to people in the second half of life to explore the source of their faith in the context of their lived experience. It is based on the conviction that people can avoid merely age-ing and choose instead to cultivate wisdom (sage-ing) by consciously choosing how they want to live their later years. The retreat focuses on the link between inner wisdom and a contemporary evolutionary Christian spirituality. It offers a range of reflective and interactive processes and tools that will enable participants to consider their unique journey of life.

As we contemplate the reality of the Divine and the processes at work in the universe bursting into clear moments of experience and insight in our lives, we might consider these thoughts from Thomas Berry:

We are out of touch with the energy “deep in the very structure of reality”.
We need “to create a new language, even a new sense of what it is to be human”.

This retreat will focus on the links between this energy, our inner wisdom, and a contemporary Christian spirituality grounded in the belief that the Divine “pervades, permeates and embraces all that exists” (Gregory of Nyssa).

 Recommended Reading:

Zalman Schachter-Shalomi and Ronald S. Miller, From Age-ing to Sage-ing: A Profound New Vision for Growing Older. Warner Books, 1995

Morwood, Michael. Faith, Hope and a Bird Called George. A Spiritual Fable. Twenty Third Publications, 2011

Collaborating with Canadian Memorial United Church & St. Andrews Wesley United Church

Date: June 8 & 9, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Cost: $115.00 Please bring lunch, refreshments are provided.
Location:  Canadian Memorial Church, Centre for Peace, 16th & Burrard St. Vancouver

Please do not let cost deter you. Ask us about our scholarship fund.

register now!