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Ecology & Spirit: The Sacredness of Place

October 1, 2016 @ 6:55 am - 6:40 pm

Holy Wisdom Monastery and our partners and sponsors offer Ecology & Spirit for those who wish to learn about and experience the sacredness of place from dawn to dusk. All are welcome.

This unique program begins with an outside ritual on a hill overlooking the city of Madison and Lake Mendota and continues with breakfast and the keynote address The Spirituality of Place. Spirituality begins where we are, in interconnection with all the living communities that envelop us. Through meditation, reflection, and sharing, we will root ourselves in the sacredness of “place” to help us find where we are and what of God, or the Divine, is revealed to us there. How then do we partner with Creation to begin to heal the wounds of our precious Earth?

Choose from two breakout sessions in the morning and two in the afternoon featuring a Prairie Tour ending with an opportunity to collect and sow prairie seeds and two different Building Tours of the LEED-Platinum monastery building showcasing daylighting, solar energy and geothermal heating and cooling.

After lunch enjoy The Spirituality of Healing and Hope where we will explore the spiritual resources available to us as we confront our social and ecological problems with hope and empowerment. We will end with dinner and a closing ritual at dusk.

Holy Wisdom Monastery is an ecumenical Benedictine community of communities, located near Madison, Wisconsin. Prayer, hospitality, justice and respect for all of creation form the heart of these communities. The Benedictine sisters here have a long history of environmental stewardship. The monastery grounds consist of over 130 acres of land, including a small glacial lake, restored prairies, woodlands, gardens, orchards, nature trails and one of the ‘greenest’ buildings in the country.

Schedule

6:55 am – Opening Ritual – John Leonard and Lynn Lemberger
Gather on the hill for sunrise, opening ritual and time in nature

7:45 am – Breakfast

9:00 am – Keynote: The Spirituality of Place – Margaret Swedish
Spirituality begins where we are, in interconnection with all the living communities that envelop us. Through meditation, reflection, and sharing, we will root ourselves in the sacredness of “place” to help us find where we are and what of God, or the Divine, is revealed to us there. How then do we partner with Creation to begin to heal the wounds of our precious Earth?

10:30 am – Break/Small Group Conversations

10:45 am – Morning Breakout Sessions

  • Prairie Walk I – Greg Armstrong
    Caring for the earth through ecological restoration: sharing our space on the planet with the
    other beings of creation | Tour the natural lands of the monastery while learning about the
    history of land use and why the sisters care for the earth. Learn about ecological restoration
    first-hand by collecting and sowing prairie seeds on a new section of the prairie.
  • Presentation & Building Tour I – Mark Hanson
    Green buildings as a path to comfort, joy & energy efficiency | Tour our LEED platinum building
    and learn about incorporating daylighting and geothermal in a cost effective way in commercial
    and residential buildings.

11:45 am – Midday Monastic Prayer or Free Time

12:00 pm – Lunch

1:00 pm – Afternoon Breakout Sessions

  • Prairie Walk II – Greg Armstrong
    Caring for the earth through ecological restoration: sharing our space on the planet with the
    other beings of creation | See morning breakout sessions for description.
  • Presentation & Building Tour II – Mark Hanson
    Providing affordable solar in a green building | Learn about our on-site Solar System, how it was
    financed and how it has reduced our energy use and operating cost. Learn how solar energy can
    provide a significant portion of energy for a green building in a commercial or residential setting.

2:00 pm – Small Groups
What have we learned from the day about the essential elements of a spirituality rooted in place? How can it be lived here and now? These insights will be shared with the larger group.

2:45 pm – Break

3:00 pm – The Spirituality of Healing and Hope – Rebecca Meier-Rao and Lynne Smith, OSB
This talk and discussion is intended to explore the spiritual resources available to us so that we may confront our social and ecological problems with hope and a sense of empowerment, rather than with guilt or despair. A lot is at stake here, for, as Christian ethicist Cynthia Moe-Lobeda writes, “[w]here we experience no hope for change and no power to move toward it, ‘the way things are’ becomes ‘the way things simply must be.’” We look at spirituality, then, as the most important spring from which to drink as we seek hope amid ecological degradation and the imagination to envision a more life-giving way forward.

4:30 pm – Evening Monastic Prayer or Free Time

5:30 pm – Dinner

6:15 pm – Walk to Sunset and Closing Ritual – John Leonard and Lynn Lemberger

Speakers/Leaders

  • Greg Armstrong grew up in Cooksville, Wisconsin where he learned to appreciate nature. He studied
    Horticulture and Botany at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, The Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, and Smith College. Greg was the Director of the Botanical Garden at Smith College for 12 years and then the
    Director of the Arboretum at the University of Wisconsin-Madison for 21 years. Greg is now the Director of Land Management and Environmental Education at Holy Wisdom Monastery and is the staff liaison to the Friends of Wisdom Prairie environmental support group.
  • Mark Hanson, PhD is the director of sustainable services at Hoffman Planning, Design & Construction, Inc., the company that provided planning, design and construction management services for the monastery building. Mark’s work focuses on integrated design and project delivery, daylighting and lighting design, coordination of energy modeling and commissioning, HVAC systems review, renewable energy, and monitoring and verification. A Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Accredited Professional, Mark has participated in 18 LEED certified projects with three at Platinum and five at Gold certification.
  • Lynn Lemberger has been the director of worship and music at Holy Wisdom Monastery for the past 10 years. She received her bachelor’s degree in music from Silver Lake College, Manitowoc, WI and master’s of theological studies in liturgy from St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI. Prior to coming to the monastery, Lynn served worshiping communities in Fond du Lac and Milwaukee. The focus of her work has always been to help people pray through music.
  • John Leonard serves as professor and chair of Religious Studies at Edgewood College where he teaches courses on Spirituality, Ecology, Liberation Theologies, and Liturgy. An organic gardener and accomplished chef, John integrates homemade food and sustainable practices into classroom and departmental activities. Through The Daily Feast; Linking saints, soups & sustainability, (thedailyfeast.org ) John celebrates each day and season of the liturgical/agricultural year with morning and evening prayer and hints for sustainable living.
  • Rebecca Meier-Rao teaches in the Religious Studies Department at Edgewood College in Madison,
    Wisconsin. She received her M.A. from Boston College and Ph.D. from Marquette University, where she
    specialized in liberation and ecofeminist theologies. She currently places her work at the intersection between Christian theology, ethics and spirituality, covering such topics as social and structural ethics, feminist theology, and the relationship between justice and spirituality. Rebecca hopes to cultivate spiritual imagination among her students and peers to envision a more just and compassionate world.
  • Sister Lynne Smith, OSB has been a member of the sisters at Holy Wisdom Monastery since 2000. Prior to entering the monastery she served as an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (USA) with churches in Kansas and Iowa. Sister Lynne is a trained spiritual guide, loves working in the garden and the prairie and serves as co-director of formation at the monastery.
  • Margaret Swedish was co-coordinator and director of the Religious Task Force on Central America and Mexico in Washington DC from 1981-2004, a national organization founded by Catholic religious leaders that addressed issues of human rights and US military and economic policy in the region. Since 2006 her work has been focused on the ecological crises now confronting humanity, offering presentations, workshops, and
    retreats in many communities, mostly in the Upper Midwest. Special attention is given to the connections
    between spirituality and ecology and the need for humans to reexamine our “place” within the whole of
    Creation. Her work is sponsored by the non-profit, Center for New Creation, founded in 1979. She is also
    author of several books.

Cost

  • Students: $50
  • Non-students: $100

The cost includes program with breakout sessions, three meals and materials.

Registration

Registration closed.

More information

Contact Carolyn McGinley at info@benedictinewomen.org or 608-836-1631, x119 with any questions about the program.

If you would like to stay overnight at the monastery before or after the program, contact Amanda Conway at monastery@benedictinewomen.org, 608-836-1631, x100.

Details

Date:
October 1, 2016
Time:
6:55 am - 6:40 pm
Event Categories:
,

Venue

Holy Wisdom Monastery*
4200 County Road M
Middleton, WI 53562 United States

Organizer

Carolyn McGinley
Phone:
608-836-1631, x119
Email:
info@benedictinewomen.org

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Contact Info

Holy Wisdom Monastery
4200 County Road M
Middleton WI 53562
608-836-1631, x100
Office hours: 8:00 am-4:30 pm, M-F Email Us

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