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CHRISTIAN FORMATION

Spiritual Practices
Vocation

Practice Resurrection: An Introduction to Christian Spirituality

This course offers a holistic and practice-based introduction to Christian faith and spirituality that blends the "inward" journey of spiritual transformation and healing with the "outward" journey of participating in God's dream for a transformed world. Whether you have been a Christian all your life, or you remain skeptical of Christianity, this course offers a freshly nuanced and broadly ecumenical approach that invites participants to step into the radical paradigm shift at the heart of Jesus' proclamation of the "Kingdom of God," through a critical examination of our 21st-century cultural lenses, and a deeper understanding of the social and psychological patterns that keep us "stuck." 

This interactive, group-based learning experience is designed for those who want to embark on a deeper journey of self-discovery through a Christian lens, in order to learn how to integrate faith more fully into their everyday lives. This will include weekly reading assignments from contemporary authors like Richard Rohr, Elizabeth O'Conner, Walter Wink, Parker Palmer, Henri Nouwen, Dorothee Sollee, Ched Myers, Barbara Holmes, and Thomas Keating. We will also encounter voices from throughout history who speak to the contemplative dimension of Christianity, and its inherent relationship to how we live our outward lives. The course will briefly introduce a number of spiritual disciplines and models for self-awareness (including the Enneagram) as well as new models for being in relationship (such as Parker Palmer's circle of trust and nonviolent communication), in order to begin practicing what it means to be in deeper and more authentic relationship with God, ourselves, and one another.  

Note: This course can be taught in as little as 6 weeks or as many as 12 weeks, depending on the availability, needs, and goals of the group. It can be offered as a small group study (as few as 5 people) or as a larger class (as many as 30 people). It is the first class in a larger spiritual formation curriculum that is currently in development based on the Servant Leadership School model. 

Spiritual Disciplines Series

Learn about a variety of spiritual disciplines from the Christian tradition. This can be offered as a 8- to 10-week series that briefly introduces all of the spiritual disciplines, or a shorter class or workshop focusing specifically on one or more practices of your choice. Each discipline is situated within a larger framework of Biblical theology and Christian history. Participants will receive instructions for each discipline and have the opportunity for guided practice, questions, and reflection. 

The Daily Office
Lectio Divina (meditation on Scripture)
Contemplative Prayer/Centering Prayer
Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius
Praying with Beads (the Rosary)
Chant & Singing
Walking the Labyrinth
Iconography & Art 

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Liturgical Spirituality

Liturgical traditions are often perceived as being rigid, repetitive, and rote. Are we just "going through the motions"? This 4- to 5- week course looks at the history, symbolism, and deep spirituality within the Christian liturgical tradition, highlighting the ways in which ritual works to transform us at the level of mind, heart, and body. We'll look at the structure of our Sunday morning gatherings, The Daily Office, and the spirituality underlying the yearly cycle of "liturgical seasons" (Advent, Epiphany, Lent, Easter, Pentecost). We will see how liturgical form functions on a deeper psychological level to point us in the direction of healing, growth, and transformation. Discover how structure and repetition can create the conditions for spontaneity, creativity, and freedom. This course includes a number of practical suggestions for how to spiritually engage more fully in liturgical worship. Sample Flyer

Servant Leadership: Faith in Action

"Servant leadership" is a posture of faith that is lived in obedience to God's call for a transformed people and a transformed world. This course inspires participants to reflect on their own sense of call through holistic engagement with a variety of social justice issues, including poverty, systemic racism, immigration, education, health care, housing, food justice, and the environment. Each week, participants will hear from local "servant leaders" - people of faith working in each of these areas - and will have opportunities to brainstorm faith-based approaches that bridge the gap between responding to the immediate needs of individuals and addressing these issues in a larger and more systemic way.  Sample Flyer

Note: This topic can be offered as a 6- to 12-week class. 

Let Your Life Speak: Listening for Call

What is the "call" of your life? What do you care about most? What are your strengths? What is the particular piece of God's dream for a transformed world that has been specifically entrusted to you? What role can you play right now, given your current life circumstances? Are you being called to change your life circumstances? Drawing from Parker Palmer's Let Your Life Speak, we will explore these and related questions in this six-week course. Through prayer, reading, reflection, and a guided exploration of our unique gifts, we will support one another in our discernment as we begin to release our anxieties over "possessions, prestige, and power," and bring our lives into greater alignment with Divine will and purpose.

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Bible Study Topics: Gender & Sexuality

How did people in ancient times understand sex and gender? What is "Biblical marriage"? What does the Bible have to say (or not say) on the topic of same-gender love? This course/bible study looks at a variety of topics relating to sex and gender from within an ancient Hebrew and Greco-Roman context, in order to unpack some of the nuances and complexities of statements concerning gender and sex in the Bible that are commonly used in harmful ways. We will look more generally at the problem of proof-texting and the importance of reading Scripture contextually, and be introduced to feminist and queer readings of Scripture that challenge more traditional interpretations. The goal of this study is to help participants become better equipped to engage in an informed social discourse on these topics.

Note: This topic can be offered as a lecture or taught as a 6-week class.

Bible Study Topics: Science & Ecology

This course/guided bible study explores the agrarian context of the Bible and its ecological subtexts, offering a radical paradigm shift in terms of our understanding of what Scripture has to say about "the environment" and our relationship with the natural world. Through a careful reading of the Book of Genesis (particularly the stories of Creation, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Noah, and the Tower of Babel), as well as excerpts from Exodus, the Gospels, and the Book of Revelation, we will begin to hear anew God's call for us with regard to our planetary home, particularly in light of climate change and humanity's widespread habit of overconsumption and environmental destruction. How does Jesus' proclamation of the "Kingdom of God" point us towards a different kind of relationship with the Earth and our entire bodily, material experience? How do the teachings of Scripture reinforce scientific discovery, while also challenging us to move beyond our modern worldview of separateness from the Earth and the natural world? 

Note: This topic can be offered as a lecture or taught as a 6-week class.

Professional Background

I earned my Masters of Divinity (M.Div.) from Union Theological Seminary in New York City in 2014, where I studied Biblical interpretation, theology, and spiritual practices alongside students and faculty from every major Christian denomination as well as a variety of different faith traditions. 

 

My undergraduate work in communication studies and social psychology, my training as a spiritual director and years of engagement in a variety of psychotherapeutic modalities, and my relationships with marginalized people across multiple spectrums of race/ethnicity, economic class, gender, sexuality, disability, and neurodivergence have all deeply informed and my understanding and approach to the Christian faith. I deeply believe that every human being has something unique to offer, and is called to be transformed by love and to participate in God's dream for a transformed world. My goal is to help people connect with their deepest and most life-giving sense of call, so that they may become a beacon of light and life in their service to others. 

 

From 2007-2017, I was involved in a variety of different capacities with The Servant Leadership School of Greensboro (now Second Breath Center), an adult spiritual formation program that was rooted in the inward/outward formation program of The Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC (now The School for Liberation). My current work seeks to carry on that legacy in the classes, workshops, and retreats I offer.  

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