February 9-12, 2018
As the granddaughter of American watercolorist Charles E. Burchfield, Peggy comes by her drawing and painting skills naturally. She focused on watercolor landscapes until the early 2000s when she expanded to “whimsical botanicals”, nature journaling, and visual journaling.
Session: Visual Journaling
This session will be a general introduction into just what Visual Journaling is. Commercial mixed media journals will be used as we delve into watercolor techniques that will be demonstrated in class. If time permits, we’ll use some simple drawing techniques on our newly prepped pages.
Recently tenured at Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington, Elena teaches health, fitness, and nutrition classes. This is her 5th year teaching full time at LCC, and before that she taught at both Centralia College and LCC as an adjunct instructor. Classes that she teaches include: Human Nutrition, Nutritional Psychology, Health Behavior Change, Health and Wellness, Food and Fitness, Outdoor Skills, Cross Training, Yoga, and more. She has a Bachelor’s degree in physical education and health from Pacific Lutheran University and a Master’s degree in Health from the University of Alabama. She has her Nutrition Certificate through WSU as well as other various fitness certificates. She lives in Castle Rock, Washington with her husband and their four children. She is involved with her local church, St. Paul Lutheran in Castle Rock, where she leads children’s activities, and sings and plays guitar. She enjoys spending time with her family and can be found hiking, camping, kayaking, snowshoeing, running, and cross-country skiing with her family.
Reforming Eating Habits: How can we nourish our bodies and our planet in today's food culture?
With the obesity epidemic, the processing of foods, and our current food culture, how can we continue to eat in a way that's nourishing to our body and sustaining to the planet, so that we are able to live life to our full potential? This session outlines the causes of our obesity epidemic, analyzes food culture, and puts into perspective how food processing has changed in recent years. Questions will be answered such as: What should we eat? How often and how much? Where should we get our food? How can we look at and think about food differently so that we can make food choices that nourish our bodies and our planet?
Reforming our Perspective on Physical Activity: How can we meet our physical potential for health, longevity and enjoyment?
In a day and age where sitting indoors (usually at a desk) for long hours every day is the norm, how can we get back to enjoying movement, exercise, and outdoor activities? Doesn't God desire us to live life to our full potential? How can being physically healthy enhance how we live our lives? Is exercise in nature more beneficial than exercise indoors? How can exercise enhance our relationships with others? These questions and more will be discussed in the session. This session also provides practical ideas for adding movement back into your day, and ways to find activities you truly enjoy. We will also discuss why physical activity is so important for the brain and body, and which types of activity stimulate muscles, heart and mood in different ways.
February 14-21, 2018:
Professor Hal Taussig
Hal Taussig is Visiting Professor of New Testament at Union Theological Seminary in New York, where he has taught masters and doctoral level studies since 1998. He also is Professor of Early Christianity at the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College in Philadelphia. He has retired from 30+ years as a United Methodist pastor, and now is specially assigned by his bishop as a consultant to local congregations.
Wild and Tender Ancient Songs and Stories for a New Kind of Lenten Practice
Are you in a spiritual rut or desert? Lent can be about something else than just “giving something up.” Instead of stale, self-negating drudgery, this Living Word session introduces a set of six wild, tender, and relatively unknown songs and stories from the early Christ movements to accompany us each week in Lent in re-orienting ourselves. Lent is just the right length of time (40 days) to give a spiritual re-orientation a real try, but not so long that such a try goes on too long.
Fresh Re-Thinking of the Early Christ Movements I: Not Quite Christian, but Barbarian, Alive, and Queer.
It’s surprising that the words Christian and Christianity were probably not even used in the first century; and only infrequently in the second century. Here we try to escape traditional and pious pictures of these early Christ movements, and learn how their spiritual and social searches played with refugee, wild, and multi-sexual identities.
Fresh Re-Thinking of the Early Christ Movements II: Wild & Humour-filled Early Christ Supper Clubs.
The last 50 years of scholarship have discovered that the first 200 years of early Christ movement “worship” was leisurely, emotional, multi-cultural, and multi-class festive meals. What would it mean to take this practice “seriously” as the heart of Christian beginnings?
Fresh Re-Thinking of the Early Christ Movements Iii: Replacing the Notions of an Orthodox-Heresy Story with Practice-Based Community-Building.
Conventional history says that Christianity settled on its identity by parsing what was orthodox belief and what was heretical belief. Studies of the last 40 years have broken new ground, noticing how confusing alleged differentiations between orthodox and heresy were and placing more emphasis on these groups seeing themselves in terms of their spiritual practice, belonging together in community, and rejecting Roman imperial ways.
Fresh Re-Thinking of the Early Christ Movements IV: The Messy Mix of Early Christ Movement Writings.
Although most of us assume that the New Testament fell from heaven in the first century, two discoveries now interrupt that thought. First, it turns out that the New Testament did not come into being until sometime between the fourth and the seventh centuries. Second, over 100 new writings from the early Christ movements have been relatively recently discovered. The result is a curious, fresh, and larger family of early writings produced by the communities of the first four centuries.
February 21-28, 2018:
John Thompson has a fine arts degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks. He started carving in 1990, making a carousel in Missoula Montana. He is now a printmaker that spends most of his time carving wood and some stone carving. He has been teaching printmaking workshops since 1980, and carving workshops since the early 2000s. You can see some of his work at www.hobbyhorsearts.com.
Session: Beginning Relief Carving
Session will focus on safety, learning a bit about the wood, designing what the participants wanted to carve, fine tuning designs, carving tips, how to sharpen tools and the types of tools one might want to buy, and how to finish a carving-sanding.
March 5-9, 2018:
Sharriah Armstrong is a language arts instructor-turned-yoga instructor working to bring calm and wellness into the lives of those who sacrifice their own health while caring for others. While on hiatus from the high school classroom, she continues to support classroom teachers as a teacher trainer for the Paideia Program at Augsburg University. She is passionate about the Paideia Program because of its impact on social justice in the classroom and its ability to give all students a voice while improving reading and critical thinking skills. Sharriah earned her B.A. in English from the University of Minnesota and her Master of Arts in Education from Augsburg University. Throughout her career she has enjoyed teaching in a variety of Minnesota districts including the Mounds View, Edina, and Minnetonka as well as pre-licensure experience teaching EFL in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Returning to the Art of Face to Face Conversation Using the Paideia Discussion Method
In a world reliant on devices that divide us under the guise of connection and in a political climate that is dangerously polarized, we are rapidly losing the skills needed to engage in meaningful face to face conversations. This three course series introduces participants to the Paideia discussion method; dedicated to the exploration of ideas generated by a common text that is broken down in a safe and rule concerned discussion circle where that group guides the learning. Paideia allows participants to explore these ideas and talk through them using a common text; a story, a biblical verse, a song, or a painting. The method retrains discussants to listen for a possible shift in their own thinking, rather than listening to the intent to refute and debate.
March 5-14, 2018:
Anna Mercedes teaches contemporary theology, gender studies, and peace studies at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John's University in central Minnesota. She has loved doing theology in or near the outdoors since her childhood experiences of outdoor ministry. She is a candidate for ordination in the ELCA. She wrote a book called Power For: Feminism and Christ's Self-Giving (T&T Clark, 2011).
Reforming Welcome: Sexuality and Justice in the Churches
This session explores the themes of hospitality and sexuality in tandem, with the aim of discerning justice and welcome amid a contemporary culture inured to gender based violence.
Reforming Norms: Gender, God, and Shalom
This session discusses narrow gender norms--in Paul's writings and in contemporary church and society--reaching for ways to resist and transform them.
Reforming Ourselves: Self-giving and self-renewal
This session invites participants into feminist theology and explores the image of Christ as doula.
March 12-19, 2018:
Anna Czarnik-Neimeyer, MA, is a social justice educator & writer, and founder/CEO of Bridgebuilder Consulting, bridging divisions to build better organizations. Czarnik-Neimeyer cultivates unlikely comrades through trainings, keynotes, courses, scholarly writing, and popular press, towards innovation at corporations, schools, churches, nonprofits, and publications. Former board member at the bell hooks Institute at Berea College, KY and OUT There Adventures, her own work has been published through Ms. Magazine, American Camp Association, USA Today, Sojourners, Teaching Tolerance (Southern Poverty Law Center), Religion News Service, and Parker Palmer's Center for Courage & Renewal. In 2017 she hit the road on a yearlong global consulting tour, "Tour d'Justice." Czarnik-Neimeyer is from the Midwestern United States, but finds homes and loved ones around the world, especially in Washington state and New York City.
Could the World be About to Turn? Social Justice Renegades, Right Now + Coming Soon
Engaging BOTH grounding Lenten practice AND prophetic justice strategies from brilliance on the margins, we'll consider:
- the STATE of our souls in the troubled world
- the CALL of our hearts to act from where we are
- the VISION of what can be
1) Nations Rage: Grounding the Soul in times of International Trauma
"Though the nations rage from age to age, we remember who holds us fast: God's mercy must deliver us from the conqueror's crushing grasp."
From Deportations to Demonstrations to De-funding: our country and the world are in a time of trial. What happens to our bodies and souls when they are in triage and trauma mode? How can we recognize the disproportionate impact that injustice has on particular communities, even while acknowledging that systems of oppression hurt ALL of us? Learn from experts how we can remain healthy overall, even amidst chaos, and practice what you learn in the session.
2) Though I Am Small: Courage/Humor/Brains for Honest Dialogue on Power & Racism
“Though I am small, my God, my all, you work great things in me, And your mercy will last from the depths of the past to the end of the age to be.”
Most of us feel we are good people doing mostly good things, just trying to get by. Yet we also see terrible injustice, both in recent news and in the structures we’re part of: our schools, our churches, our families, our government. We may want to act and engage dialogue across difference, but aren’t always sure how to do it “right,” be heard, and start difficult conversations. It can feel scary & challenging. We’ll discuss creative ways to uncover, critique, and understand power structures, learn from scholars and activists doing this work, and consider the question: “How am I genuinely called to authentic action & courageous dialogue, starting right here, right now?”
3) About to Turn: Worldmaking in Woman of Color, Queer, and Disabled Communities
“My heart shall sing of the day you bring. Let the fires of your justice burn. Wipe away all tears, for the dawn draws near, and the world is about to turn!”
In activist, academic, and religious circles, “futurity” is on the rise. That is: even as we practice critiquing age-old unjust systems, we can also collaboratively invent a just future, honoring insight from past justice movements and making up new, never-before-seen solutions grounded in freedom, not oppression. This exciting vision is already germinating in Woman of Color-led prison abolition; Afrofuturism (think Marvel’s Black Panther!) & feminist science fiction; queer and disabled maker-spaces; and beyond! In this experiential session, we’ll learn/discuss these movements, from the brilliant fore-founders working long ago to the innovators doing “worldmaking,” AKA building a better reality for us all. (90 minutes)
April 29-May 5, 2018:
Chris Hoke is a jail chaplain and pastor to gangs and violent offenders in Washington’s Skagit Valley. He is the founding co-director of Underground Ministries and cofounder of Underground Coffee, both connecting those from the underground of incarceration to communities for mutual transformation. Hoke and his Co-Director José “Neaners” Garcia—a former gang leader and solitary confinement prisoner—travel and speak on the mutual transformation we experience when we open ourselves to the realities repressed within ourselves and to the lives buried in the national subconscious: prisons On the “outside,” they are organizing church denominations in WA State to respond to an age of mass incarceration with a new OneParishOnePrisoner initiative. On the “inside,” Hoke is exploring how Eastern Orthodox theology and trauma-informed monastic practices might be applied by inmates repurpose their time and cells for spiritual resistance and renewal deep within society’s dumpsters.
Hoke received his BA from UC Berkeley and his MFA in creative nonfiction from Seattle Pacific University, and he is the author of WANTED: A Spiritual Pursuit Through Jail, Among Outlaws, and Across Borders. Hoke’s work has been featured on NPR and in The Sun, Image, Portland, Sojourners, Modern Farmer, and Christian Century.
Molotov Cocktail Spirituality
Prisoners, and those in captivity worldwide, know how to repurpose whatever material they have for brilliant new purposes. During Hoke’s years working as a pastor with gang members and those in maximum-security facilities, he has seen their creative reuse ethic as kin to a sacramental imagination. How do we set the ordinary things and spaces already in our lives ablaze with a surprising, divine love, to toss into a mean world? Based on stories of surprising ways men in prison have defied the walls within and around them to find communion, participants will explore in three sessions how we might recover a rogue sacramental imagination to reconnect 1) with God, 2) the incarcerated today with our communities and congregations, and 3) with our own “underground” hurt, fury and isolation. This mix of social justice engagement and mystic/monastic spirituality will be deepened by an examination of the Early Church’s iconic emphasis on Christ’s ekklesia being founded not to escape to heaven, but to help us join heaven’s descent into Hades itself—socially, psychologically, and cosmically—for mass resurrection.
April 29-May 12, 2018:
Rev. Dwight Dubois
Rev. Dwight Dubois is a parish pastor who has been through a personal re-formation. Returning to seminary several years ago to earn an STM (in missiology), Dubois sought to understand the mission of the church with an eye toward how the church might be renewed. As the director of Grand View University’s Center for Renewal he was led to a re-examination of the priesthood of all believers. His recent book, The Scattering: Imagining a Church that Connects Faith and Life, summarizes his findings: “the church” is first and foremost “the people” (not the institution) and more ministry takes place in our daily lives than could possibly take place in the institution, yet we rarely give people credit for that ministry or equip ourselves for it. In recent years, in addition to experimenting with this topic as an interim pastor, Dubois has also been teaching pastors, seminary students, and lay people at Wartburg Seminary, Luther Seminary, the Des Moines Pastoral Counseling Center, and through a variety of speaking and consulting engagements. He seeks to reform the church so that the service by the baptized in the arenas of daily life becomes the central focus of the church’s mission.
Session: The Unfinished Reformation: Fulfilling the Promise of the Priesthood of All Believers
In the waters of baptism God frees us all to be agents of love, reconciliation, hope, and service. While this call is familiar, the unfortunate reality is that we often limit these acts to what we do in and through the church. Both the re-forming of the church and the re-forming of our lives will be possible when we live into a central component of the Reformation that remains unfulfilled: the priesthood of all believers. In our time together we will explore the wide varieties of ways in which God is already at work in our lives—daily—and how we might become as confident about God’s presence and activity in our daily lives as we are when we serve in and through the church.
May 12-17, 2018:
Professor David Canon
David Canon is a professor in the political science department at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He served as chair of the department from 2014-2017. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and previously taught at Duke University. He also served as the Distinguished Fulbright Chair in Tübingen, Germany in 2011-2012 and Debrecen, Hungary in 2003-2004. His teaching and research interests are in American political institutions, especially Congress. His more specific research interests include election administration, racial representation, partisan realignments, political careers, and the historical study of Congress (especially congressional committees). He is author of Race, Redistricting, and Representation (University of Chicago Press, 1999, winner of the Richard F. Fenno award for the best book on legislative politics), The Dysfunctional Congress? The Individual Roots of an Institutional Dilemma (with Ken Mayer; Westview Press, 1999), Actors, Athletes, and Astronauts: Political Amateurs in the U.S. Congress (University of Chicago Press, 1990), American Politics Today (with William Bianco, WW Norton, 2017), several edited books, and various articles and book chapters. He co-edits a book series on legislative politics with the University of Michigan Press and also served as the Congress editor of Legislative Studies Quarterly. In September he will be the editor of the Election Law Journal. His has won several teaching awards, including the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.
He has been married to his wife Sarah for 30 years and they have three children. David and Sarah are members of Advent Lutheran Church in Madison.
Polarization in American Politics
We will discuss polarization in American politics, focusing on differences between polarization among our political leaders and in public opinion. I will also discuss the reasons for polarization today and conclude by outlining possible reforms to address political polarization. This topic has taken on a new sense of urgency given the divide between President Trump’s supporters and his opponents, concerns about “fake news,” and our ability to have rational discourse in the face of “alternative facts.” One of the biggest challenges we face is that polarization makes it more difficult for people to talk to each other about politics. This makes it more difficult to find common ground to solve our nation’s problems.