A Retreat for Women
March 12-16, 2014
Coming home to a place where we are nourished, where we are understood, known, and accepted is a gift all of us need to experience and yearn to feel. Our “One-ing” with Divinity/Christ/Spirit is the promised sensation of such a homecoming. And yet we live everyday in the midst of estrangement, misunderstanding, hunger, and harm. Sometimes we are left wanting, wounded, and excluded from the very places and spaces that profess to be a place of welcome. Wandering Home is a place to bring your hunger, your vision, your practice, your whole self to encounter and reclaim, indeed to indigenize Christian community and practice in life-giving, home-coming, transforming ways.
Whether you are on the borderlands of Christian institutions or in exile or defecting in place Wandering Home is a place for you to come and be fed, to reclaim community and practice.
Wandering Home will take place at Avila, a non-profit, religious, ecumenical retreat center in Durham, North Carolina. Avila provides a quiet, reflective environment, home-cooked meals and Southern hospitality.
Wendy Farley is interested in the margins of Christianity, where people may feel both wounded by the church and attracted to the beauty of a tradition that sees the ultimate reality as love. She engages ways in which secular spirituality and inter-religious dialogue can enrich our understanding of contemplative practice. A professor at Emory University for 25 years, she teaches classics of religious thought, Christian-Buddhist Dialogue, Contemplative Theology, and feminist and queer theology. She has written several books on questions of suffering, marginality, and compassionate practice. Wendy has studied Christian forms of meditation, Buddhist and yogic meditation techniques and has been associated with Green Bough House of Prayer for 15 years. The path of transformation and healing involves the whole person and Wendy seeks ways to integrate the whole person through practices that engage the body, energy, mind, imagination, visualization, art, silence, nature, and community.
Maggie Kulyk uses her more than ten years of experience as a financial planner and her background in religious studies to help people explore their relationship with money and how it intersects with their spiritual lives. She sees financial planning as part of a holistic approach to lifelong well-being that includes attention to values, recognition of early experiences with money, goals for the future, and money as part of an overall spiritual practice. After working for six years in her family’s business, Rogers Brothers Corp. in Albion, Penn., Maggie pursued her interest in religion at Emory University. She received an MDiv from Candler School of Theology at Emory in 1996, then finished ABD from the Graduate School of Religion at Emory. Since 2002 she has worked as a financial planner, helping individuals and families put their money in the service of their dreams and values.
Marcia Mount Shoop is a theologian, author, and fourth generation Presbyterian minister. She preaches, teaches, writes, blogs, and leads retreats. Her book, Let the Bones Dance: Embodiment and the Body of Christ (WJKP, 2010), informs much of the work on embodiment, healing, spiritual practice, and theological reflection. Marcia has worked on issues of reconciliation and dialogue around difficult issues like race, political polarization, and religious differences in academic, church, and community contexts. She is the Dean of the Multicultural Institute at Montreat and serves on the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly as well as the current Commission on Mid Councils. She has chapters in Wide Open Spaces: Women Exploring Call through Stories and Reflection (Circle Books) and Women, Writing, Theology: Transforming Traditions of Exclusion (Baylor Press).
claim the practices of indigenous Christianity
and begin to see and feel your spirit relax
|3:00pm – 5:00pm||Registration|
|6:30pm – 8:30pm||Orientation and Opening Practices: Blessing the Circle|
|6:45am -7:15am||Optional Gentle Morning Yoga|
|8:45am – 12:00pm||Hour segments of meditation practice, embodied practice, theological reflection, and exploration led by Wendy, Marcia, and Maggie (an hour each morning, each day. Ten minute breaks in between each segment)|
|1:00pm – 4:00pm||Open time
There will be several options during open time including time to rest, art as prayer, walking in nature, intentional wandering, labyrinth, writing prompts, lectio divina, and allotted time slots you can sign up for spiritual companionship sessions with Wendy, Maggie, or Marcia
|3:30pm – 4:00pm||Optional Gentle Yoga Session|
|4:00pm – 5:00pm||Daily Check in and Processing
will include work in small groups and full group conversation
|6:00pm – 6:45pm||Worship|
|7:00pm – 9:00pm||Evening Gathering
These gatherings will include singing and simple time together. Bring your instruments if you would like
|6:45am – 7:15am||Optional Gentle Morning Yoga|
|8:45am – 11:15am||Hour segments of meditation practice, embodied practice, theological reflection, and exploration led by Wendy, Marcia, and Maggie.|
|11:30 – 12:00pm||Closing worship service|
|12:00pm||Lunch and depart|
If you register between September 2013 and January 2014 – $420
If you register between February 2014 and March 2014 — $450
We don’t want financial constraints to prevent anyone from attending.
Inquire about a scholarship.
Please hold off on registering until we work out the scholarship amount. We’ll give you a special code to use when you register.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I am not a practicing Christian, is this gathering for me?
Yes. This retreat is for people who seek religious practice beyond the edges of familiar Christianity. We welcome people who are comfortable with Christian language and practice but who also want to explore beyond what they already know about it. And this gathering is for people whose first religious language is Christian but feel alienated from some of its patriarchal, exclusive, or wounding imagery.
What are the accommodations like?
Simple, but not rustic. Comfortable, but not fancy. Our guests have always been quite content with the accommodations at Avila. Avila’s website has some information and photos.
What special diets can Avila accommodate?
When you register, please let us know about your dietary preferences. Avila will accommodate omnivores, vegetarians and vegans at meals. They also provide gluten-free options where possible, but usually cannot provide gluten-free breads and desserts. So you may wish to bring some of these foods to supplement what we have to offer. Note for those with severe food allergies or sensitivities: we’re sorry, but we cannot guarantee that any foods will be completely free of a certain allergen. We recommend that anyone with those concerns bring her own food. If you would like to discuss concerns about diet with the Avila staff, please call 919-477-1285, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I reserve a private room?
Yes, especially if you register early! However, all bathrooms are shared.
What if I need financial assistance?
Which is the nearest airport?
Raleigh-Durham International Airport is about a 30-minute drive from Avila.
Is there transportation from the airport to Avila?
We may be able to arrange a pickup. Please let us know if you will be needing a ride.
Are there handicap-accessible rooms at Avila?
Cottage A has 6 small rooms in it. The cottage is handicap-accessible and it has 1 full handicap-accessible bathroom. All main rooms are accessible. Please let us know what you need when you register.