Blessings of October and the Feast Day of St. Teresa of Avila! (October 15th.)
Summer days are behind us, and now that we have entered fall, there is so much to grapple with in our world. So much heartbreak, so much need for hope. Having traveled to Israel and Palestine in the past few years, my heart goes out to all those who are suffering trauma and the devastating effects of violence.
We live our small lives, and at the same time, we are called to be part of our big world, and to dedicate our lives to the path of peace. Sometimes, we fail miserably! And yet, as people of faith, we come back to our practices that cultivate peace, and lead us to actions of solidarity that foster peace in our world. Dancing and song are our ancient practices of prayer. When I am at a loss, sometimes I just start singing the decades-old tune, “Peace is Flowing Like a River.” Or I join with St. Teresa in praying – “Let nothing disturb you, let nothing frighten you, everything changes, God alone remains.” May peace flow through me, through us!
This June, I had the opportunity to co-lead a pilgrimage to Spain, and to follow in the footsteps of St. Ignatius Loyola, while also visiting shrines of St. Dominic and St. Teresa of Avila. Being a pilgrim is a joy and a challenge. I came home from my dancing through Spain with a case of COVID! But, luckily, I was able to make it through without too much illness, and pray with gusto and beauty in such significant spots.
To share a bit of the journey, I created a collage of dance-prayer images from our trip to Spain! The video includes a special Circle Dance for Peace that we led for all our pilgrims in Arevalo, (where St. Ignatius studied for war.) This dance was developed in 1980 by my dance mentor, Greg Reynolds, in Washington, DC and was first danced around the Washington Monument with people from all over the world!
Please check out the offerings in the upcoming months in the newsletter below. And join us this Monday on Zoom for a special Book and CD release party!
(If you’d like to watch the full version of my preaching on St. Teresa while in Avila, that link is here. But you’ll hear a snippet in the video below.)
May we all be Pilgrims for Peace!
The Love of Thousands Book, Album, and Prayer Cycle Launch
Exciting news! Here at Abbey of the Artswe have a new Book, CD, and Prayer Cycle to celebrate! I have the distinct honor of being the producer of our CD, and assembling songs to help enflesh the material in Christine Paintner’s publications. As we enter the fall, the theme of praying with Angels, Saints and Ancestors is quite poignant and potent! I am so jazzed to share this new album of 21 songs by 16 different composers. Christine and I were joined some of the talented musicians featured on the album for a sweet gathering of story and song.
SpiritPlay Classes in Seattle – Still Room to Join Us!
SpiritPlay has become a staple of Seattle’s InterPlay offerings! Now in our 23rd year, we have developed a wonderful community of faith and foolishness. This monthly LIVE series is for those grounded in Christianity who so long for the spontaneity of InterPlay to help us navigate the wild and whacky, sometimes rocky, humble and holy journey of our lives. We’ll be diving into the lectionary, exploring sacred stories, dancing through the cycle of seasons, singing our souls and improvising in prayer. Calling all angels – let’s dance, play and pray!
8 Sessions meeting the second Tuesday (mostly) of every month – 9:30 – 11:45 am.
April 21-26, 2024 | St. Andrews Retreat House in Hood, WA
with Kayce Stevens Hughlett and Betsey Beckman
This LIVE experiential retreat is one of our signature courses at Abbey of the Arts! Do you have a calling to explore and deepen the skills to bring the arts to your soul-care ministry? This program gives you an immersion in various art-forms that build upon one another to help you explore and integrate the arts in your life and profession.
It is such an honor to lead this program with my friend and colleague, Kayce Hughlett. We love to support you in diving in, laughing, crying, exploring, releasing, growing and witnessing. We love to coach, coax, teach, and help you discover and listen to the creative spirit in you!
Many of you have come to know my good friend, Soyinka Rahim from our dance and musical collaborations through the past few years. Come spend a couple hours being guided and uplifted by her special gifts of music, chant, and inspiration! I’ll be there to join in the playful and prayerful morning!
Earlier this fall, I chose to do a stem cell injection for my hips! So, I’m taking it a bit slow in the next couple months to allow for some healing and regeneration for my osteoarthritis. Send some prayers for my dancing hips – whee!
Meanwhile, I wanted to share this simple poem-dance from InterPlay Summer Camp with poet, Francine Walls. May we savor the simple things in the journey of life!