ENLIVEN!

Nurturing Abundant Spirits

Enliven is a series of virtual courses that create community and conversation around spiritual life, and encourage individuals to learn, grow and share together. Please scroll below and click on each course title to find the course description, details and faculty introductions.

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Program Foundations

  • Create welcoming virtual spaces to build community
  • Encourage the deepening of the Spirit
  • Celebrate diverse faith traditions and experience
  • Provide creative, experiential, participatory opportunities for learning and growth
  • Compliment congregational and chaplaincy ministries

Participant Requirements/Expectations:

  • Individuals need their own technology or access to a computer or iPad, preferably with video capability.
  • Participants need to have access to Wi-Fi to connect through Zoom and email to receive the session Zoom links.
  • Participants are required to register one time for each course series. Log-in information will be provided with the registration confirmation.
  • This log-in will be the same for all sessions which are a part of the course.
  • Since the goal is to engage all participants and build community around the course topics, attendance at all sessions within each course is strongly recommended.

Courses Offered Summer/Fall 2021:

 

FLOWING MOVEMENT FOR HEALTH AND VITALITY-Beginning on Monday, August 2

Beginning Monday, August 2 @ 10 – 10:30 a.m.

Continuing weekly through December 20, 2021 with the exception of Monday, September 6 (Labor Day)

Start your Monday mornings with the flowing movement of qi gong which helps to encourage the flow of energy throughout your body. You are encouraged to stand for 20-30 minutes of movement or participate from a seated position. Participation in every session is not necessary, but you are encouraged to join as much as you are able.

Rev. Rich Plant is a spiritual director who has served local congregations and on staff of Living Water Association, UCC. He began learning and practicing qi gong about 15 years ago and has since led this gentle practice of flowing movement in a variety of settings, both in person and on-line. There is no limit to the number of participants.

SUMMER SHORTS: FILM DISCUSSION GROUP-Beginning Monday, August 2

Beginning Monday, August 2 @ 1:00

Continuing on August 9, 16, 23, 30

Each week a short film will be shared in the group followed by conversation around the themes and observations with the film. The films explore a variety of topics including vulnerability and perseverance, creativity, self-expression and overcoming obstacles. Participants will be encouraged to have paper and pen handy and perhaps a few other items for specific weeks. You will be alerted ahead of time for the materials which you are asked to have handy. 

Rev. Beth Long-Higgins is the executive director of the Ruth Frost Parker Center for Abundant Aging and an ordained minister. She served as co-pastor for 25 years in two local church congregations. In addition to music and the arts, she enjoys films and documentaries.

 

Note:

August 2: Elgin Park

August 9: Sister Hearts  

August 16: Perfectly Normal

August 23: Carlotta

August 30: TBD

This course is limited to 25 participants.

GRIEF WALK 1: WALKING WITH GRIEF IN THE WAY OF LOVE-Beginning Thursday, August 12

Beginning Thursday, August 12 @ 12:30 p.m.

Continuing on August 19, 26, September 2, 9, 16, 23 and 30

For those of us walking with grief right now, these realizations are likely too apparent: our grief is insistent, persistent and enduring. The question for us has become: “What does it mean to learn to live with it?” The way of grief involves our learning to live within the paradox of both holding on and letting go. This group will meet for 8 weekly sessions as we companion each other along the way of love. 

Ordained in New York City on Pentecost in 1999, Rev Kristen Orion spent the next two decades in spiritual companionship with an incredible array of persons on many spiritual paths. A joyful and devoted disciple of an unbound Jesus, Kristen counts as treasure her travels near and far at His side, learning to “love God with all that we have, and all that we are, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Kristen’s pastoral service began in New York City the week of September 11th, 2001; serving in the wake of that tragic day has indelibly marked her with conviction that the heart of her ministry is to be Presence: affirming God’s Presence in every moment, and being Present in relationship with one another through whatever life may bring. Kristen’s last few years in ministry have been spent as a hospice chaplain; she presently serves as chaplain in a senior community in Michigan.

Limited to 12 participants. (This course will be repeated beginning October 7: Grief Walk II)

AGING: EMBRACING NEW REALITIES, RENEWING FAITH-Begining Tuesday, August 10

Beginning on Tuesday, August 10

Continuing each week, August 17, 24 and 31

This course will offer the small group the opportunity to explore themes around aging through a biblical lens. Participants will be encouraged to reflect and share with the group. A short resource page will be shared with the members prior to each session. The themes will include:

The Fullness of Age: exploring our purpose in life through our perspectives, finding the power in transformation

Growing into the Fullness of God: affirming our mission as older adults, connecting with the fruits of the Spirit

Choosing our Focus: adapting to change, coping with loss

Discovering Laughter: caring for ourselves, caring for others, learning to reach out and ask for help

Jan Aerie has returned to her original degree in gerontology after serving the church in a variety of positions from the local to national staff levels. Most recently she provides education and resources about aging for the UCC Conference of the Mid-South and for the Disciples of Christ region serving eastern Missouri and parts of Illinois.

No limit on number of participants.

SPIRITUAL CIRCLE OF CARE-Beginning Thursday, September 9

Beginning Thursday, September 9

Continuing every week September 16, 23 and 30

This will be an opportunity for participants to share experiences on various topics around aging. There is no preparation for the sessions which will be lead as group spiritual direction centered around short meditations offered by the facilitator. 

Jacquelyn Dean is a retired Mathematics educator, a Spiritual Director (2007 Wellstream Program), retreat leader, and a Commissioned Minister in Spiritual Direction and Formation in the United Church of Christ (2011).)  She is an active member of two philanthropic organizations, volunteer weekly at the Suicide Hotline and serve as one of two spiritual directors for the Board of the Spirituality Network in Columbus. She is a member of First Congregational Church, UCC, for over 45 years and currently co-teach the Confirmation classes.  And she is the mother of  three sons and the grandmother to 11.  Jackie loves to read (belongs to 2 book clubs), do puzzles, dabble in art and gardening and spending time with family and friends.

This group is limited to 10 people.

NURTURING MY SPIRIT-Beginning Monday, September 13

Beginning Monday, September 13 @ 11-12:15

And continuing for a total of 6 weeks: Sept 13, 20, 27, Oct. 4, 11 and 18

The focus is discovering the presence of God in our lives. Each session will include reading short passages and connecting the themes to our own lives. Prayer will begin and end the sessions. Written materials will be sent to participants before the start of the course. This course is based on the years of research and experience of Rev. McKay. She has led these conversations in a variety of settings—most recently with her church on Zoom and with residents of the retirement community which is now her home. 

The Reverend Bobbie McKay, Ph.D. is an ordained minister and a licensed psychologist. She has completed a large research study on “Spiritual Life in Mainstream Interfaith Congregations” with over 3,000 participants in the study.   From that extensive study, she created the “Spiritual Life Team Program” which enables people to identify and share their spiritual lives in a small group, non-psychologically oriented, setting.  She currently is the minister of Spiritual Life at the Glenview Community Church and celebrated her 50th anniversary of ordination in 2020.  Dr. McKay was married to Lewis Musil who died in 2019.  She has seven grandchildren and two great grandchildren!

This course is limited to 11 participants.

LOVE WAS THE MEANING: GOOD NEWS FROM JULIAN OF NORWICH FOR YOUR LIFE TODAY!-Beginning Tuesday, October 5

Beginning on Tuesday, October 5 @ 1:00

Continuing on October 12 and 19

“I saw that God is everything which is good and comforting to us. God is our clothing, who for love embraces us and surrounds us for tender love, which may never desert us, being all that is good to us, as I understand.”

Come hear Julian’s fascinating story. Learn about her presence as an anchoress in the medieval community of Norwich. And—most importantly—explore some of the transforming messages her deeply moving words can have for your life today. Each session will involve an introduction to her vision of hope, love and community as well as a discussion of the good news her writings have for the challenges of our own lives in this modern world.

Steven Geitgey is an adjunct faculty member at Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality in Pittsburgh, teaching in its spiritual direction certification program as well as leading adult faith formation groups in a variety of ecumenical settings. He has a PhD from Duquesne University focused on spiritual writing from the late medieval and early modern eras, as well as a post-graduate teaching certification in formative spirituality.

This course is limited to 15 participants.

GRIEF WALK II: WALKING WITH GRIEF IN THE WAY OF LOVE-Beginning Thursday, October 7

Beginning Thursday, October 7 @ 12:30 p.m.

Continuing on October 14, 21, 28, November 4, 11, 18 (+ one additional day TBD)

(This is a repeat of the course: Grief Walk I) For those of us walking with grief right now, these realizations are likely too apparent: our grief is insistent, persistent and enduring. The question for us has become: “What does it mean to learn to live with it?” The way of grief involves our learning to live within the paradox of both holding on and letting go. This group will meet for 8 weekly sessions as we companion each other along the way of love. 

Ordained in New York City on Pentecost in 1999, Rev Kristen Orion spent the next two decades in spiritual companionship with an incredible array of persons on many spiritual paths. A joyful and devoted disciple of an unbound Jesus, Kristen counts as treasure her travels near and far at His side, learning to “love God with all that we have, and all that we are, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Kristen’s pastoral service began in New York City the week of September 11th, 2001; serving in the wake of that tragic day has indelibly marked her with conviction that the heart of her ministry is to be Presence: affirming God’s Presence in every moment, and being Present in relationship with one another through whatever life may bring. Kristen’s last few years in ministry have been spent as a hospice chaplain; she presently serves as chaplain in a senior community in Michigan.

Limited to 12 participants. (This course is a repeat of Grief Walk I)

GRACE NOTES I-Beginning Wednesday, October 20

Beginning Wednesday, October 20 @ 1:00

Continuing for 4 sessions: October 27, November 3 and 10

Grace Notes I invites participants into conversations that ground and strengthen awareness of what gives them meaning and purpose. We will use the weekly themes of Gratitude, Affirmations, Healthy Spirituality and Examen of conscience as ways to experience God working in your everyday life. 

Rev. Peggy Thompson an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, holds certification in spiritual direction from The Cenacle Retreat Center and is board certified in The Association of Professional Chaplains. She is also a professional artist who paints in her studio in Minneapolis and at her family cabin in northern Minnesota.

This course is limited to 11 participants.

SHORT STORIES FOR THE SEASONS-Beginning Tuesday, November 23

Beginning Tuesday, November 23 @ 1:00

Continuing (every other week) on December 7, 21 and January 4.

Explore the themes of the seasons of Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas and Epiphany through short stories from a variety of authors. All of the stories are in the public domain and will be sent to participants prior to the start of the course sessions. Participants will be asked to read the stories prior to each session. 

Celebrate the holidays through some holiday-themed short stories relating to Thanksgiving, Advent, Christmas, and Epiphany.  In this course we will read and discuss short stories and poetry for personal reflection and spiritual formation.  We will be enjoying stories and poems accompanied by brief passages related to the spiritual themes and lessons, taken from great spiritual writers spanning the 2000 years of Christian history.  Sessions will involve brief introductions of the writers, followed by discussions of both the accompanying passages for reflection and the stories and poems themselves.  We’ll also begin each session with an appropriate piece of music!  There will be two weeks between sessions to allow plenty of opportunity for reading and reflection.  Not only does our time promise to be valuable spiritually; it will also be a fun way to celebrate the season together!

Steven Geitgey is an adjunct faculty member at Epiphany Academy of Formative Spirituality in Pittsburgh, teaching in its spiritual direction certification program as well as leading adult faith formation groups in a variety of ecumenical settings. He has a PhD from Duquesne University focused on spiritual writing from the late medieval and early modern eras, as well as a post-graduate teaching certification in formative spirituality.

This course is limited to 15 participants.

GRIEF CARE CIRCLE-Beginning Thursday, December 2

Beginning Thursday, December 2 @ 12:30

Continuing every week December 9, 16, 23, 30

Participants of the Grief Walk Courses offered in August-September and October-November are invited to participant in on-going conversations to companion them during the holiday seasons. 

Ordained in New York City on Pentecost in 1999, Rev Kristen Orion spent the next two decades in spiritual companionship with an incredible array of persons on many spiritual paths. A joyful and devoted disciple of an unbound Jesus, Kristen counts as treasure her travels near and far at His side, learning to “love God with all that we have, and all that we are, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” Kristen’s pastoral service began in New York City the week of September 11th, 2001; serving in the wake of that tragic day has indelibly marked her with conviction that the heart of her ministry is to be Presence: affirming God’s Presence in every moment, and being Present in relationship with one another through whatever life may bring. Kristen’s last few years in ministry have been spent as a hospice chaplain; she presently serves as chaplain in a senior community in Michigan.

This course is open to any who participated in one of the previous Grief Walk Courses.

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