Spring Programs 2017

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: – 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 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

Sacred Circle Dancing the Universe power of INTERRELATEDNESS with Bernice Vetter, SC Cancelled.  We will reschedule.

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!