Loading Map....

Events Details

Date: June 3, 2019 - June 8, 2019
Time: 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Sponsor: Ecology of Awakening; The Chaplaincy Institute
Website: http://www.ecologyofawakening.org/eco-ministry-intensive
Flyer pdf: Download
Meeting Link:

Location Details

Event Location:
Occidental, CA (West Sonoma County), 15290 Coleman Valley Road, Occidental, CA, United States


Eco-Ministry Intensive:
Creating a resilient and thriving Earth community

June 3 – 8, 2019

Occidental (Western Sonoma), California

With Rev. Lauren Van Ham, Kerry Brady, Brian Thomas Swimme,
Brock Dolman, Melissa Nelson, Gopal Dayaneni

The Eco-ministry Intensive is rooted in the desire to create a resilient and thriving Earth community in support of a regenerative future. It is about courageously questioning our core beliefs and life styles and prophetically imagining what is life affirming for the whole. For many of us who are religious leaders, chaplains or spiritually grounded professionals, our call to ministry is being challenged by the anxiety and unrest that so many are experiencing in this time of disruption, injustice and uncertainty. In this intensive, we will explore what it is to embody a faith based activism rooted in the commitment to protect the sacredness of the Earth. We will respond to the invitation to open to the wonder of being part of a creative, living universe and to rediscover our deepest belonging—to ourselves, to each other, to the Earth and to the greater mystery.

The overall intensive consists of an initial Zoom call, a 6-day retreat in Western Sonoma County, California, and a final ½-day post retreat Zoom call to support our ability to bring what we have discovered into action in our lives, communities and ministries. There are three intentions for our time:

  • The first is to take an honest and deep look at the impact of living within a modern industrial, extractive and exploitive system, as we look towards what it is to create an ecologically and socially just framework—where all beings co-exist peacefully and freely in balance with a thriving Earth. Our guest faculty are dedicated to this work and will help us consider the challenges and opportunities of moving out of the predominant story of separation towards one of (inter) connection, equity and care.
  • The second is to ‘re-awaken’ to ourselves, to each other, to the land and to the impulse that calls each of us to contribute to the world in our unique way. When we awaken to our inherent place within the larger unfolding web, we reconnect with the same creative force (God – Life – Spirit) that unfolded over time to bring forth the Himalayas and the hummingbird, as well as each one of us. The invitation is to become more adept at listening and responding to this emergent creative force—our own deepest nature—and to directly engage with how this force is coursing through and informing each of us.
  • The third is to listen for emerging Earth liturgy that wants to be born in support of the communities we serve while exploring our roles in ministry and community care. As we open to how we might spiritually guide our faith groups into awakened connection and action, we will consider ideas for institutional and non-institutional eco-ministry service.

By coming together in community and engaging in mutually reflective encounters with the land and with each other, we will create a vibrant ecology that invites us to root in that which lies beyond our differences—that which continually adapts, intelligent and resilient, through the cycles of time and change—and connect with the impulse to become an enhancing and regenerative presence to all of Life. As a community, we will live and learn from the land, drawing from the new sciences, nature-based processes, listening meditation, inner and outer tracking, inquiry, dream-work, somatic resiliency work, council practices, ceremony and other time-tested processes that usher us towards dissolving our borders and embodying our deepest belonging.

Our first two nights take place at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC), an 80-acre research, demonstration, education, advocacy and community-organizing center in West Sonoma County that develops strategies for regional-scale community resilience and a just transition for biological and cultural diversity. At OAEC, we will see a wide array of permaculture systems in action and enjoy the newly renovated facilities, pond, hot tub and comfortable eco-dwellings. After OAEC, we will move to nearby Bohemian Preserve (Boho) where we will immerse in the rhythms and cycles of the land. Boho is a spectacular ecosystem marked by active waterfalls, coastal prairie meadows, old-growth fir and oak woodlands that dwell in serpentine soils. At both locations, we will be blessed with local, organic meals by fabulous chefs who will nourish us with their food and beaming presence.  

Join us to:

  • Re-member our deepest identity as vast, and intimately connected with all Life; and consider how our role as spiritual leaders might help others to do the same
  • Immerse in deep ecology and living systems in support of our ability to think and act in partnership and attunement with Life
  • Connect with like-minded souls dedicated to creating a world where all beings have the right to co-exist peacefully in balance with the Earth
  • Explore systems change and social transformation at individual and collective levels
  • Discover the power of ceremony and embrace Earth-attuning practices
  • Honor our grief
  • Learn skills that ignite our innate resilience and build our capacity to show up for these times
  • Be deeply nourished by local, seasonal and organic meals, in community

*WHO THIS IS FOR: The Eco-Ministry Intensive is for those theologically trained who have active congregations (widely defined, see below) or spiritual communities, as well as those in seminary. We encourage and include a wide range of ‘ministries’ such as: serving NGOs, federal agencies, religious education (faith communities or academic), community/interfaith organizing, sacred activism (protecting, advocating on behalf of land, water, particular communities of people), permaculture and/or Transition Town projects, as well as facilitating trainings for self-care, grief support and resilient communities.

DATES AND LOCATION: Monday, June 3, 10:00 AM – Saturday, June 8, 3:00 PM 2019; Occidental, West Sonoma County, California as well as a pre-retreat Zoom call with Brian Thomas Swimme on Wednesday, May 22 at 3:00 PM PDT and a post-retreat Zoom calls (Date TBD). Both Zoom calls will be recorded for those who are unable to make the dates, although we highly encourage you to be with us if possible.

GROUP SIZE: Maximum Number: 16

Event Posted by: Ecology of Awakening