• 20 Jan - 07 May 2023
  • Saint Paul, MN, USA

Circle of Trust Seasonal Retreat Series

These retreats combine the principles and practices of Circles of Trust, the abundance of seasonal metaphors, and the power of music (with singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen) to help us understand and live into our lives. This series will also serve as an introduction to the Circle of Trust process.

These retreats combine the principles and practices of Circles of Trust and the power of music (with Sara Thomsen) to help us understand and live into our lives. Developed by Parker Palmer, the Courage & Renewal® approach is distinguished by principles and practices intended to create a process of shared exploration where people can find safe space to nurture personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it. In the hands of knowledgeable and skilled facilitators, this approach has the power to transform individuals, families, workplaces and communities.

Winter Retreat:  Hidden Seeds of Darkness

“All that summer conceals, winter reveals” (from Annie Dillard; Excerpt from Winter). From nests in the trees to the softening of light, winter exposes that which was otherwise hidden in the abundance of summer. Might this be a season to explore wintertime and the lessons that emerge; barrenness, paradox, fear, dormancy, solitude, cold, shadows, darkness. As Barbara Brown Taylor explores in her book titled; “Learning to Walk in the Dark…No one had ever taught me to talk back to the dark or even to breath into it. The idea that it might be friendly was absurd.”

Spring Retreat:  Solitude and Songs

Early spring in the Midwest offers a time of in-between. In the natural world, we find ourselves watching and waiting for the green of new life to arrive – even as we stand amidst the muck and deadness of last year.  Join us in the paradox of spring. Through song, poetry and community, we will explore the seasons we are leaving and entering in our own lives.

This retreat will be facilitated by CCR faciliators Winton Boyd and Paula Pedersen along with singer and songwriter Sara Thomsen. Sara Thomsen is a singer-songwriter and weaver of community song. She is the founder/director of Echoes of Peace, a non-profit arts organization formed to inspire awareness, action and reflection on critical social issues through music and the arts. Increasing wonder and awareness, deepening spiritual connection, and widening social engagement through song is at the heart of her work. Sara’s ability to get people singing magically transforms gatherings into communities empowered with possibility. More about her music at: www.sarathomsen.com

A Series of Two Retreats.

Winter Retreat:
Friday, January 20, 4-8 pm,
Saturday, January 21, 9 am-5:30 pm,
Sunday, January 22, 9 am-12 pm

Spring Retreat: Friday, May 5 – 7
same schedule as winter retreat

The retreats will be held at the Carondelet Center on the campus of St. Catherine’s University in St. Paul, Minnesota. This will be a ‘commuter’ retreat with participants securing their own lodging.

Wisdom Ways, the sponsoring organization, was established in 1994 as a Ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet – St. Paul Province, who built their ministries based on the mission of “moving always toward the profound love of God and neighbor without distinction.”

Wisdom Ways creates open, accepting spaces that advance the spiritual growth, authenticity and fullness of life for all people. Our resources and offerings aim to help support movement into meaningful and impactful action to advance personal and communal well-being – and you won’t be doing it alone.

In a spirit of wisdom, We honor the inherent dignity, particularity, and wholeness of each human person. We believe that each of us can call forth healing, growth, integration and expanded freedom for ourselves and each other. We listen to and support the creative expression of spiritual wisdom across varied religious and secular ways of being. We commit ourselves to inclusivity, accessibility and liberating justice on behalf of personal transformation and the transformation of the world.


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