Green Spirituality Retreat

Friday, 24 March 2017 - 6:30pm - Sunday, 26 March 2017 - 2:00pm

The retreat starts with supper at 6.30 p.m. on Friday 24th and finishes with lunch on Sunday 26th March. You can expect to get away by about 2 p.m. The cost is £100-165 (the Community asks that you discern what to pay on this scale).

What in the natural environment and in living sustainably inspires our faith? What are the roots of our testimony to live sustainably? This retreat will explore Quaker spirituality in relation to sustainable living.

“Becoming a low carbon sustainable community” – this is the challenge BYM adopted at Canterbury in 2011, and what a challenge. To paraphrase the famous quote often attributed to Einstein – we cannot change something by continuing to think, act and be as we did before wanting to make the change. To “become the change” we need to respond creatively and holistically, with heart, body and mind, as prompted by love and truth. In short, we need the help of the spirit.

This retreat is intended to help participants clarify and develop their own promptings towards sustainable communion with all the living beings who share the world with us. The retreat leaders will offer a range of Quaker and other spiritual practices that have nourished our witness on sustainability – including walking meditation, reflection on Quaker texts, silent meals, Godly Play, future vision and Experiment with Light. Participants will be encouraged to share any practices they have found helpful.

Sustainable living is one of the core aims of the Community. It has 11 acres of land including woodlands and fruit and vegetable gardens, set in one of the most beautiful spots in the Peak District with easy access to riverside and hill walks.

The weekend will be facilitated by Zee-Zee Heine, Ian Marshall, Laurie Michaelis and Andrew Taylor-Browne

Zee-Zee Heine was born a Quaker and has been interested in environmental issues for about 45 years, including leading a more sustainable life personally, engaging with her MP and being active in the local transition groups and other organisations. She says “this retreat brings together my two main passions: sustainability and spirituality.”

Ian Marshall recently retired from teaching Systems thinking and low carbon living at the University of Lancaster. Ian is inspired by the transformative power of spiritual practices from a wide range of faith traditions. In particular he will introduce some practices which highlight our connections with one another and with all other natural beings. Such practices can encourage us all to find ways to better express our love of God and ALL his creations. Ian is a trustee of North and Central Lancahire Area Meeting.

Laurie Michaelis has worked for over thirty years on sustainability in his own life and community and the wider world. He co-ordinates Living Witness, a Quaker charity supporting spirit-led approaches to sustainable living.

Andrew Taylor-Browne After a career as an academic, and another as a director of an international law firm, Andrew moved to a 60 acre farm in Cornwall where for the last 17 years, with his family and many volunteers, he has been planting a lot of trees, looking after a diverse collection of animals, growing fruit and vegetables, and exploring issues of permaculture, sustainability and spirituality. For more than 20 years he has been a Lay Minister with the Order of Buddhist Contemplatives.