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Equipping people to be free, connected and engaged by building the capacity for companionship to create a compassionate world.

 SDCO’s Silver Service 2020 Workshops

Session One 

Jane Vennard, “Waking Up to White Privilege:  Telling Our Stories”

White people often experience race and racism as belonging to others rather than being our issue as well. We need to become aware that we as white people are an integral part of systemic, structural, and institutional racism. As we who have unearned advantages come to terms with our white privilege, we become more effective in dismantling institutional oppression and unjust systems. We are called to open our hearts and our eyes to the hidden parts of ourselves that have contributed to the continuation of racial oppression. This is soul work and it takes courage and the support of a spiritual community. Through story-telling, compassionate listening, and solitary reflection, participants will have the opportunity to integrate new insights into their ongoing and expanding understanding of who they are and who they are called to be.

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Cheryl Conklin, “Write Now:  Journal Keeping and Spiritual Practice”

Combining traditional contemplative practices such as following the breath or chanting with intuitive journal writing prompts and non-verbal techniques, participants experience how journal keeping can grant one access to inner quiet and one's relationship to the depth dimension permeating all being. These deceptively simple exercises may be incorporated into ones' own practice, passed along to those we companion, and used in our time together with our companions to open and anchor us in the heart of matters. To reduce performance anxiety and the tendencies to compare ourselves, participants are not asked to read from their pages, but instead to share the experience of the exercises. All within a prayerfully invoked intentional and potentially transformative container. 

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Lacy Borgo, “Spiritual Direction with Children”

We will explore the unique ways that children are wired for spiritual connection and how a listening companion can help to enliven spiritual connection. We will learn that children innately seek connection. Children are free from certainty, they engage with all the dimensions of the self, they speak play and imagination fluently and are attentive to the sacred. These ways of being enable a child’s unique spiritual knowledge. We will learn how to host spiritual conversations with children by practicing hosting spiritual conversations with the child who resides in each of us. We will practice seeing and identifying goodness, truth, beauty, wonder and awe in our everyday lives, not limiting our experience to shared words, but also to images, color and sound. Lastly, we will practice the various mediums for response to the sacred: silence, bodily engagement, divine conversation and art. 

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Session Two 

Carolyn Baker, “Spiritual Direction in Turbulent Times”

Increasingly, people around the world are facing climate anxiety and climate grief regarding our ecosystems, as well as profound uncertainty amid the overall chaos of our institutions and cultures. How do we teach people to become islands of sanity in a sea of chaos by drawing on both inner and outer resources? How do we model and instill resilience? In this workshop, we will use writing, group and individual exercises and discussion to help us integrate the inner and outer worlds in these times.

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Vie Thorgren, “Graceful Aging:  The Opportunities and Challenges of Being an Elder”

In a society that resists and fears aging, how is the aging of our population in fact a gift?  What is the difference between just getting old and becoming an Elder?  What is the significance of being in touch with one's story, of continuing generativity and of the elder as a "Keeper of Meaning?"  In what way are the physical challenges of aging real opportunities?  How does the presence of the Graceful Elder contribute to a society that is perpetually renewed? 

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Victoria Tonski, “Embodiment:  Somatic Spiritual Direction”

The topic of embodiment in the spiritual realm is rich with history and opportunity. This workshop will address the future of our work as spiritual directors as we increase our own capacity to embody spirit as well as be present to others as they experience the presence of God in body, mind and spirit. We will incorporate the practice of deep listening into the workshop attending to ourselves, the other and God. The workshop design will include time for presentation regarding the autonomic nervous system and response to trauma, practice in noticing and acknowledging the body in spiritual companionship and debriefing together following each opportunity to practice. Attention to creating a safe environment acknowledging the presence of the holy will underlie all of our time and exploration together. 

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Session Three 

Katie Fosselius, “The Unforgotten:  Short Term Strength Based Spiritual Direction for People on the Margins”

I am passionate about bringing spiritual direction to those living on the margins.  Whether it be homeless, persons who are incarcerated, or people who are aging, so very many are thirsting for spiritual companionship. How can we help others lean into the spirit that is already there surrounding them, in order to ease, comfort or enrich their daily lives? A strength-based model works with the spiritual tools we already have or have had in the past to enrich these skills and make them accessible on a daily basis. My model allows directors, when working with transitional populations, to hone in more easily and quickly on their directees spiritual strengths. In this workshop we will first learn the model then have the participants practice the skills. 

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Lis Griffin, “Practice Pausing:  How to Sit With Your Truth”

Unresolved grief can turn into acting out, substance abuse, overwork, or over-achievement. If grief’s pain becomes too much to sit with, it well may become self-harm.

During this presentation you and your group will discover:

The 5 powerful tools, available to anyone, that overcome grief and other painful emotions

  • How to “sit” with difficult emotions so the pain flows away
  • Why emotions like grief can lead to physical symptoms in the body and how to manage and relieve those symptoms
  • How to practice pausing, including an interactive experience that your group will remember
  • Determining the kind of support you need and how to find it 

Read presenter's bio HERE

Sandra Schrawder and JP McLaughlin, “Heal Ourselves, Heal Our World -- The Four Stepping Stones”

In our tradition, we call upon the Great Earth Mother, who in addition to being the Mother who never leaves us and never forsakes us, shows us that as we heal our selves, we heal our world. The Four Stepping Stones are Creating Sanctuary, Cultivating Gratitude, Manifesting Grace and Allowing Mercy and Forgiveness. By creating sanctuary for ourselves and others, we create safe places where we can be our authentic selves. By cultivating gratitude we open our hearts. We cannot be fearful and grateful at the same time. By opening our hearts and expressing gratitude, moments of grace manifest and we can recognize the peace and serenity that follows. These three things let us allow mercy and forgiveness into our lives.

Read presenter's bio HERE 

Spiritual Direction Colorado's Mission Statement:
We envision a Colorado where spiritual guidance permeates peoples’ lives, faith communities and human organizations, transforming life for all, especially the most vulnerable.

Spiritual Direction Colorado

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