Alumni Retreat 2020

Spiritual Giftedness in Community  
A Holy Dance

Dancing Feet

October 3, 17, 31, 2020

A Retreat “Mini-Course” Over Three Saturdays9:30am-1:30pm Pacific Time
With Chris Hall and Jan Wood, Guest Presenter and Elder

Registration Open!  Scroll to bottom of pageNo payment required at registration. 

Spiritual Giftedness in Community—A Holy Dance

  • Saturdays, October 3, 17, 31, 2020: 9:30-1:30pm Pacific Time
    • Content progresses each Saturday, not repeated
    • 30 minute break, and regular shorter breaks built in
  • Interactive, varied, collaborative, prayerful
  • Recognize and consecrate your unique spiritual giftedness
  • Discover how your gifts “fit” in the holy dance of God’s action between people.
  • Experience the freedom that comes with the interdependence of gifts.
  • Reflect with readings, dialogue, and guided exercises
  • Participate in koinonia groups and optional personal spiritual accompaniment with staff between Saturday sessions.
  • Fees: $450

What is Spiritual Giftedness?

From Jan Wood:
It is a piece of God’s heart and power flowing through us. It is a gift from the Holy Spirit for us to offer to others. It is given because God chooses it for us. It is God’s design to partner with God’s people in transforming/redeeming the earth and all its peoples. Our giftedness seems to be woven into the very fabric of our being. You can see it in small children. It is operative in folks who consider themselves religious and those who don’t. Observation would indicate that while everyone is gifted and are motivated by them in some fashion, the fullness of God’s love and goodness becomes a life-giving, artesian spring flowing through us when we are aware and intentional about being connected with God’s heart and Spirit. 

Who’s Invited? Alumni, Special Guests

Our Way of the Spirit alumni retreat welcomes invited guests again. The program is designed for people who have completed at least one year of Way of the Spirit, plus past presenters. We share a precious culture of spiritual exploration, authentic sharing, and mutual accompaniment immersed in God.

Maybe there’s someone you know who’s hungry for what we do together, or someone you’ve wished could have their own Way of the Spirit experience. Please consider these queries as you discern who to invite, then pass along the email invitation you received or link to this page. Questions? Contact Chris:

  1. Is this person hungry for a spiritual response to our times? Does the theme resonate with them?
  2. How would this person fit into our established culture of listening and accompanying each other?
  3. Would this person be comfortable with the ways we tolerate ambiguity—including our integration of the Christian-Quaker heritage, and the varieties of language we use for God?

Way of the Spirit Style Online

It’s a sweet gift to engage the Spirit of God between us across thousands of miles of digital connectivity. While we miss hugs and casual conversation over meals, the sense of Divine Presence still touches us and actively weaves us together. Through many days of online retreats, we’ve been leaning in to what possible, noticing the Life and way forward. We’ve marveled at the endless creativity of the Divine in online retreats.

Our unique Way of the Spirit approach to learning and spiritual growth continues online. We begin with a focusing theme, offer short presentations, guided exercises, collaborative “meetings for learning,” experiential stretching, varied prayer forms, quiet time for integration, and supportive spiritual accompaniment of each other… all woven in the Spirit. Our purpose is to put ourselves alongside the topic with God, and allow the Divine to teach and transform us.

Retreat from Home

  • How could you foster a prayerful space and time apart in your home? 

Before we gather, please reflect and pray around what you need to be more present to yourself, others and the Holy during our online retreat time.  When you cannot displace yourself physically from the ordinary sights and sounds of your life, how could you foster a kind of temporary alternative reality for our online sessions?

Consider the baggage that comes with “screen time”  in our society or less conscious expectations. Often screens ask little of the “viewer.” We listen or watch. We urgently track what’s happening in the world. Or maybe we are entertained and fill empty hours. Many of us have experienced too many tedious or chaotic online meetings. Plus, “Zoom fatigue” is a true physiological phenomenon. “Online” and “retreat”  can seem somewhat oppositional at best

Instead, imagine how the best retreats, whether residential or online,  invite your full presence to self, others, and God. We withdraw intentionally from ordinary time and space. Way of the Spirit retreats ask full engagement and active collaboration. How will you resolve the tension of expectations toward your best hopes for “retreat”? Your answer will be unique to you, your living situation, and resources.

Here are some possibilities gleaned from research and conversation with other Zoom retreat facilitators. They aim to help make online “retreat” different than other online meetings:

  • Abstain or “fast” from screens for a time before online retreat. The morning? A day before?
  • Allow no interruptions from other electronic devices during retreat sessions. No email, texting, phones etc.
  • Set up your screen in a different location, one not associated with regular online tasks.
  • “Close the door”: Arrange for private space and sound. No one else needs to see or hear your device. Jesus’ metaphor for the value of praying inwardly and privately applies to online retreats.
  • Light a candle.
  • Wear a prayer shawl.
  • Settle to prayer/worship 15-20 minutes before the session start. Our online meeting room will open early for silent centering.

Fees and Payment Details

$450 covers three online sessions and an optional spiritual accompaniment meeting with program staff.  Your registration fees help Way of the Spirit to be financially solid in the new online model.  With fees, donations, and Inner Light Soap sales, the high quality Way of the Spirit experience remains possible. Thank you!

No payment is required at registration. You can pay anytime before the retreat. Use a check, a credit card through PayPal, or online banking. Make a single payment, or plan installments that are more convenient to you.

  • Checks payable to Good News Associates, memo line “Way of the Spirit”.

    Mail checks to:
    Jan Wood, Good News Associates
    20403 Crawford Road
    Lynnwood WA 98036

  • Credit card through PayPal:

  • Donations to Scholarships: If you are able to donate more to help others attend the alumni retreat, please send a check to the address above, with memo line: Alumni Retreat scholarship. You may also use the PayPal DONATE button on the GNA website. Add a note re Alumni Retreat scholarship.
  • For online banking arrangements or payment questions, contact Jan Wood

Registration Form

Please register early if you plan to attend to help planning (no payment required at registration).

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