• 12 - 14 Sep 2024
  • Franklin, Tennessee, USA

What’s Next? A Call to Elderhood for Turbulent Times

"Can one be passionate about the just, the ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so." (Mary Oliver-Excerpt from "What I Have Learned So Far") Consider joining us for this three-day in-person Circle of Trust® commuter retreat in the rolling hills of middle Tennessee, just a short drive from Nashville. We will explore the transitional what’s next question through the lens of aging and a call to elderhood as a societal imperative.

Psychologist Carl Rogers tells us what is most personal is also most universal. However, this truth regarding our experience of aging comes with a caveat. For each one of us, aging is universal, but how we choose to age is personal. Stephen Jenkinson, in his book, Come of Age: The Case for Elderhood in a Time of Trouble provides the following admonition.

Something has happened to aging. Something has happened to what it does, to what it means, and to what it asks of us all. There are more old people than ever before, and it seems that there are fewer elders than ever before, and it seems there could be a causal connection between those two things. Something in the fabric of life in North America inveighs severely against limit and ambivalence and not firing on all cylinders all the time, and this something is being driven to panic by the daily news, and in the panic, you’ll find the refusal to age. This something robs age of elderhood.

This negative view, predominant in our western consumer driven society, ignores the aging paradox, that as we age, despite physical declines, our mental well-being increases. We are not just growing old, we are growing whole, ready to embrace our spiritual gifts and step across the threshold to assume our roles as the elders our society so desperately needs.

Drawing on the Courage & Renewal® approach, including principles and practices of employing third things to inspire large group, small group, and individual reflection, a safe and trustworthy space will be created to “recall our stories, refine our place, renew our calling, and reclaim our purpose.”  (Leider & Shapiro)

This retreat will include an opportunity for Clearness Committees. Rooted in Quaker spiritual practices, this experience will provide access to both inner and communal wisdom in a search for clarity on a personal dilemma. The Clearness Committee can help you:

-to refine the skill of deep listening
-to learn the value of asking of asking open and honest questions
-to better access our own inner teacher,
-to be present to others and yourself, and
-to break the reactive habits of fixing, advising, saving, or correcting one another.

If you are interested in being a “focus person,” please include that information on your retreat application.
More information on Clearness Committees is found at these links:

More information on the work of Parker Palmer may be found at this link:   https://couragerenewal.org/parker-j-palmer/

More information on the values, Touchstones, principles, and practices is found at this link:  https://couragerenewal.org/courage-renewal-approach/

This retreat is for anyone, from any season of life, who might be asking, what’s next?

The retreat will be facilitated by John Smith, Courage & Renewal facilitator in preparation and Judy Skeen, Courage & Renewal Facilitator and John’s mentor in this process.

Thursday 09/12/2024 4:00 PM-8:00 PM (Snacks and Dinner Included)
Friday 09/13/2024 8:30 AM-4:00PM (Breakfast Snacks and Lunch included)
Saturday, 09/24/2024  8:30 AM 12:00PM (Breakfast Snacks Included)

All times are Central Time Zone, USA

The retreat takes place at a private residence, a small ranch outside Franklin, TN.  The address will be provided with registration.
The location is on the outskirts of metropolitan Nashville and just beyond historic Franklin, TN.  It is 45 minutes from the Nashville International Airport, and 10-15 minutes from lodging at Berry Farms.

Some local accommodations are:
-Residence Inn, Franklin Berry Farms
-Hampton Inn & Suites, Franklin, Berry Farms

-Bed and Breakfast options in Franklin and Leipers Fork area include:
Farmhouse in the Fork
Highland House of Historic Downtown Franklin

-One private retreat residence nearby: A local retreat accommodation for one- Poustinia. It is a place for solitude and silence and ordinarily those who stay do not come and go.
The owners are happy for one person who wants to use it along with attending these sessions to make contact. Email Lucyfmalone@msn.com or call or text Lucy Malone 931-505-1942.

-VRBO in Franklin, used by some past participants   https://www.vrbo.com/773206



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