Communities of Empowerment

We invite you to join us for Communities of Empowerment, a 5-session series to explore what is evolving in our Community of Communities at Holy Wisdom and how we can purposefully build each community into an inclusive, equitable Community of Empowerment team focused on the mission, vision, and values of the monastery. We are all interconnected.

These presentations are for all members of our Holy Wisdom Monastery communities. All sessions will be held at Holy Wisdom Monastery from 10:00-11:30 am but will be recorded for future use. There is no charge to participants for the sessions. Please register so we can send you materials from the sessions.

You are invited to stay after for midday prayer and lunch. If you are staying for lunch, we ask that you contact Brooke Livingston (, 608-836-1631, x100), two weeks before the date you will be joining us for lunch, so she can reserve your meal. Lunch costs $15.50/person.

Session 1 – Communities of Empowerment Overview 

Feb. 15, 2023

Session 1 – Recording – Feb. 15Session 1 – Slides – Feb. 15

The first session will focus on the inner structure of our Holy Wisdom Community of Communities. This structure, of course, could be adapted within essentially any organization.

Foremost is the necessity of identifying the elements, skills, talents and processes needed from members as together they cultivate the mission, vision and values integral to this living community. Let’s look at how each community within the integral group will share the responsibility or empower their members to achieve their purpose and to support the mission, vision and values of Holy Wisdom and to empower others beyond the monastery.

Session 2 – Worldview & Personal Transformation

March 14, 2023

Session 2 – Recording 1 – Mar. 14Session 2 – Recording 2 – Mar. 14Session 2 – Slides – Mar. 14

In the second presentation of the Community of Communities series we’ll dig into how our personal worldview is formed and how it evolves with new learning and experience. Remember, Evolution is a lifelong process of transformation.

Think about how you see prominent behavior visible in social media today. How often do you hope a person might think differently, respond or act differently to benefit others. Prompting them to redirect and align actions is a challenge. How would you start?

Understanding world views, the learning process and personal transformation will provide some insights, some motivation, perhaps.

Session 3 – Our Life with God: A Benedictine Perspective

March 28, 2023

Session 3 – Recording 1 – Mar. 28Session 3 – Recording 2 – Mar. 28Session 3 – Slides – Mar. 28

As we mature, we come to understand that faith is a process of life-long learning and becoming. Faith is not so much about being told the right answers as it is about sharing our questions, being vulnerable to mystery, sharing our stories and learning from one another. In this experience, we will reflect on our lives to explore how the practice of awareness of the Divine Presence, listening, community and humility aid us in growing an adult faith.

Session 4 – Transformational Leadership

April 25, 2023

Session 4 – Recording – Apr. 25Session 4 – Slides – Apr. 25

In the very first presentation we focused on the structure needed to form communities of empowerment. The next presentations dealt with the formation of a person’s world view and the transformation that results in growth and development, let us say, their personal evolution. The third presentation took another step in the growth process or evolution of our adult faith. This current presentation looks at the leadership characteristics necessary to mold a community of empowerment. How will a leader motivate, encourage and involve the members of that community, whatever their role? The individuals in the community of communities can be encouraged in their own transformation as well as the transformation of the monastery and beyond. That is the evolution of the spiritual person within whatever communities they are part of.

Session 5 – Mission, Evolution & Transformation

May 2, 2023

The final Communities of Empowerment session will give you a glimpse of the opportunities and risks of the evolution and transformation process since our decision to become an ecumenical Benedictine community.

The process to where we are now was not always smooth, but we’ve expanded members’ worldview and there is more to learn. We will see what the future has in store and project what we might accomplish in the years ahead.

Session 5 – Recording 1 – May 2Session 5 – Recording 2 – May 2Session 5 – Slides – May 2