A Fall Renewal Retreat for Clergy and related fields.
This is a Full Day Retreat designed for clergy, sponsored by the River Valley District of the United Methodist Church. It is also open to other clergy and laypersons interested in Hildegard of Bingen.
This seminar invites you to retreat into the wisdom of Hildegard of Bingen who was not only a remarkable woman of her time but a monastic leader, an inspiring theologian, philosopher, composer, and naturopath. If you are looking for a day apart offering you space for learning, reflecting, journaling, contemplating, and rejuvenating this might be the day for you:
At the transition to Fall we will learn about Hildegard's understanding of the cycle of life, which is maintained by viriditas, the greening power, life force of all creation. We will learn and explore how this understanding can enrich our own understanding of life and creation and how it speaks into our life across the seasons.
Our learning will be structured by a series of questions and explorations, e.g.: What does a mystic voice from the 12th century have to say to us about our place in the world, our soul's journey, our longing for healing and wholeness, as well as our care for God's people and the earth? And more personally, what can Hildegard's wisdom provide for our own soul nourishment? In doing so we will participate in the rhythm of Benedictine spirituality: the prayers of the day, a shared meal, learning, laughing, resting, and walking.
Place and Cost
This full day retreat is especially designed for people in ministry and related fields who are looking for a time to rest and rejuvenate. It takes place at the UMC Pine Island. Cost is $20 per participant (please bring your own lunch and something to share).
Almut Furchert, Ph.D. holds graduate degrees in philosophy of religion (Dr. phil.), psychology (Dipl. Psych.) and adult education from German universities and has worked in private practice in Germany for many years. Her husband Charles Huff, Ph.D. is professor of psychology and ethics at Saint Olaf College and also a practicing Benedictine Oblate at St. John's Abbey, MN. They lead Cloister Seminars combining teaching, learning, retreating and contemplating.
The retreat will be framed by a simplified version of the Benedictine prayer life that Hildegard shared, centered on the contemplative reading of the Psalms. It will be begin with a short morning prayer and end with an early evening prayer. Lunch will be preceeded by a short noon prayer.
The morning session will introduce some of Hildegard's life and philosophy, and also what has been called her "eco-spirituality." We will focus on her concept of "viriditas" which will lead us into contemplating her illumination on the "journey of the soul and its longing to set up its tent" leaving you time also for some structured personal contemplation.
After lunch there will be a time for meditative walking, with suggestions for your personal spiritual practice. In the afternoon we will concentrate on Hildegard's cycle of the seasons, learning some more about her theology and cosmology. Her image of God embracing the world is a very powerful message that will lead us into meditating on how God embraces each of us. The day will end with a short form of evening prayer, and conclude with a blessing, allowing you to receive what you usually give.