• 06 - 08 Sep 2024
  • Bangor, PA, USA

Friendship, Community, and Resilience in a Time of Turbulent Earth Change: A Circle of Trust® Retreat

We are calling an intergenerational, diverse group of people, who long to explore a generative approach to discovering the presence of community as we practice radical hospitality with self, other, and the natural world.

“Don’t ask what the world needs.
Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it.
Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.

– Howard Thurman

Do you long to feel alive and to sustain that feeling in your life and work? How are we creating friendships and community in a time of fragmentation and increasing isolation? What is breaking our hearts? What brings hope and inspiration? How does turning our senses toward Mother Earth affect how we perceive what surrounds us and what lives within? How do we then listen to each other and to what lives in our circle? How do we sense and co-create with the Living Earth a future where all have dignity, peace, and the ability to live full, meaningful lives? If any of these questions live in you, please join us.

We are calling an intergenerational, diverse group of people, who long to explore a generative approach to discovering the presence of community as we practice radical hospitality with self, other, and the natural world.

In this retreat, based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, we will take time away to listen to our inner teachers. We will explore how friendship and community grow, and become the backbone of resilience in our chaotic, uncertain times. Community extends to the other-than-human world – to stones, plants, trees, animals; to the spirits of the elements, the warmth and light of fire, the power of wind, the intelligence of water, and the living being of Earth. We are interconnected; we are part of a tapestry of “interbeing” as Thich Nhat Hahn named it. This interbeing includes the invisible world of nature as well as the universe where our ancestors and spirit guides are present for us, if we turn to them, with impulses for the evolution of all. Kirkridge is the perfect place to experience the mystery living within and around us: it is a place where the veil between the visible and invisible is thin, where the Earth invites us into collaboration and wonder.

Guided by the Courage & Renewal® approach, we create a sacred, confidential space in which to do our own inner work in solitude and community. This retreat will include Clearness Committees, a powerful two-hour discernment process from the Quaker tradition, where one person who wishes to think more deeply about an issue has an opportunity to be the “focus person” while a “committee” of four to six others listen and ask open, honest questions. Both focus person and committee members share a profound experience in this unique way of supporting another human being together in community.

This retreat will be facilitated by Courage & Renewal Facilitator Cat Greenstreet, joined by Rev. Cathy Bristow.

Rev. Cathy Bristow has a background as a business leader with responsibilities including contract negotiations, human resources, and quality process control. She facilitated dialogue across differences and created a diversity initiative in the financial service industry that focused on gender and racial equity. These experiences led to her co-creating courses for a diversity certification at Cornell University School of Labor Relations. Believing there was a spiritual foundation for her dialogue model, she became an ordained interfaith interspiritual minister through One Spirit Learning Alliance, where she remains active in their anti-racism initiative. In her Harlem community she has offered free workshops and seminars on contemplative practices to heal the wounds caused by oppression. She completed the requirements for Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity Seminary, where her demonstration project researched the healing and spiritual power of storytelling circles for Black women.

Kirkridge is located on a ridge of the beautiful Kittatinny Ridge of Northeast Pennsylvania, overlooking the Delaware Valley. It has served for over seven decades in that community, and is now – like so much else in the world – standing on its own precipice of transformation. For the past 75 years, Kirkridge has served a thriving Christian and interfaith community. Looking ahead, it is beginning to serve an even wider community of people of good faith, no faith, and interfaith – providing safe harbor to all. The historic motto of “picket and pray” has now extended itself “to protect, tend, and embrace.”


For more information about Kirkridge and Columcille Megalith Park next door see www.kirkridge.org and www.columcille.org for more information.


Sliding Scale $500, $375, $250. Shared indoor housing and some private rooms available for an extra $50. Healthy vegetarian meals provided.


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