Deepening Our Relationship
with the Divine
A Retreat for Women
with The Rev. Rachel Rivers, D.Min.
February 1-3, 2019
Retreat Theme Jesus’ relationship with God was personal, intimate, trusting, loving, and joyful. God seeks such a partnership with each one of us. In this retreat, we are encouraged to deepen our bond with the Divine, each of us in our own unique way. Created exclusively for women, this retreat will integrate scripture and journal writing with meditation and prayer in order to explore our unique experience of connection with God. Through presentations and group discussion Rachel will introduce practical methods for entering into and deepening this most personal and life-enhancing alliance. Whether you already have a deep spiritual practice or wish to explore such an intimate relationship with God for the first time, all are welcome! Wherever you find yourself on this journey of discovery, this retreat can serve as a time and a place to nurture this most intimate, healing, and joyful of relationships.
Director's Bio The Rev. Rachel Rivers, D.Min., is a long time minister of the Pacific Coast Association of the Swedenborgian Church and simultaneously has a career as a psychotherapist. She served as a parish pastor for twenty-five years, in both urban and rural churches. Presently, in addition to her counseling practice, she provides spiritual direction, teaches on-going classes on Swedenborgian spirituality, and is a workshop and retreat leader, specializing in guiding people in developing and deepening their relationship with the Divine.
A Silent Retreat
with Hildegard of Bingen
Co-Directed by Devi Mathieu and
The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, Ph.D,
Vicar of St. Columba's
March 8-10, 2019
Retreat Theme Hildegard of Bingen, 12th Century Benedictine Abbess, is renowned as a mystic, poet, composer, dramatist, doctor, counselor, and scientist. Gifted with astounding visions throughout her life, she authored several volumes of inspiring writings and illustrated them with captivating illuminations that represent her visions. She also composed dozens of gorgeous musical works, including a full-length liturgical drama titled Ordo Virtutum (Order of the Virtues). Hildegard’s contemporaries described her music as “chants of surpassing sweet melody” and “strange and unheard-of music." Throughout our weekend retreat, deep silence will be punctuated with five calls to communal prayer in which participants will be guided in singing chants from the Ordo Virtutum coupled with the Liturgy of the Hours. Retreatants also will be invited to immerse themselves in some of Hildegard's deeply moving writings and to reflect on her hauntingly beautiful illuminations.
Director's Bios This retreat will be co-directed by Devi Mathieu, a specialist in medieval song who has immersed herself in Hildegard's music and mysticism for the past 25 years, and Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, Vicar of St. Columba’s.
Devi Mathieu teaches and performs medieval, traditional, and contemporary music in the US and Europe. She teaches Hildegard's music in the same oral tradition Hildegard used when sharing her music with those around her. It's a restful, nourishing process of listening and singing together that brings out the best in every voice, including the voices of those who are hesitant or believe they can't or shouldn't sing. Singing Hildegard's music is a powerful and direct way of experiencing her mystical teachings and everyone, regardless of musical background, can participate. Devi facilitates ongoing song gatherings in Santa Rosa www.numinacenter.org and San Rafael www.santasabinacenter.org, and collaborates on a variety of musical projects with pianist, author, and composer W.A. Mathieu, www.coldmountainmusic.com.
Fr. Vincent Pizzuto founded New Skellig Contemplative Christian Community in 2006 and serves as a Professor of New Testament and Christian Mysticism at the University of San Francisco. Drawing upon his rich academic and theological background, Fr. Pizzuto works for the advancement of contemplative Christianity through his many workshops, lectures, sermons, and retreats given at St. Columba's annually. His most recent book, Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life, was published in April 2018 by Liturgical Press. In its pages he seeks to bring his readers into a lived realization of the Christian doctrine of “Deification” – that is, the affirmation that through the Incarnation we have all been made partakers of the divine nature. It is this theological conviction that underlies his mission and ministry at St. Columba’s.
A Triduum Retreat
The Paschal Mystery and
Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday
April 18-21, 2019
Retreat Theme Join Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, Vicar of St. Columba's, for our third annual retreat immersion into the sacred mysteries of the Easter Triduum (i.e., Holy Thursday through Easter Sunday). The themes and activities of the retreat will open the way for reflection on Paschal Mystery through the lens of a contemplative ecology. This is a retreat for those who love the beauty of ritual, the transformational power of the liturgy, and the spiritual depth of the Paschal Mystery. A synthesis of active participation in the liturgies, as well as group and personal reflection on their meaning for ecological justice, weave these holy days into an experience of community-building, contemplative reflection, and climate action. Among the activities retreatants will be invited to engage are the liturgical celebrations, personal faith sharing, contemplative reflection, trail hikes, and a beach clean-up and meditation. Join us in the rustic and cozy comfort of St. Columba’s Church and Retreat House nestled in the beautiful environs of Point Reyes National Seashore.
The retreat begins on Thursday evening, April 18th with a light supper at 6:30 pm followed by a celebration of the Holy Thursday liturgy at 8:00 pm. Retreatants are welcome to attend all of the liturgies for Good Friday, the Great Vigil of Holy Saturday, and our Easter Sunday Eucharist at 10:00 am. The retreat ends with a communal Sunday Brunch after the morning Eucharist.
Director's Bio The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, founded New Skellig Contemplative Christian Community in 2006 and serves as a Professor of New Testament and Christian Mysticism at the University of San Francisco. Drawing upon his rich academic and theological background as Vicar of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church and Retreat House Fr. Pizzuto works for the advancement of contemplative Christianity through his many workshops, lectures, sermons, and retreats given here annually. His most recent book, Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life, was published in April 2018 by Liturgical Press. In its pages he seeks to bring his readers into a lived realization of the Christian doctrine of “Deification” – that is, the affirmation that through the Incarnation we have all been made partakers of the divine nature. It is this theological conviction that underlies his mission and ministry at St. Columba’s.
AWAKENING TO OUR TRUE NATURE
"As the Father loves me,
so I also love you.
Remain in my love."
"I teach suffering and the end of suffering"
A Retreat with William Haardt,MA
July 5-7, 2019
Retreat Theme Jesus Christ and the historical Buddha inspired religious traditions that opened the door for people to awaken to their true nature. In the Christian context, which of course is grounded in the Jewish tradition of Jesus, we speak of union with God as the primary goal of the tradition. As we come to experience that union more and more fully and consciously, we begin to live into that saying that Paul offers us in Galatians 2:20, "yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me." As Christians we are called to live out of that deep center, that intimacy with God, which Thomas Merton and Thomas Keating call the True Self which is most clearly seen by how we love.
In Buddhist language, the theistic references are dropped but not denied. Given the Hindu tradition that the historical Buddha - Siddhartha Gautama - came out of, it is important to remember that the Buddha focused on the unsatisfactoriness he experienced in his daily life and the deep desire to find peace and freedom. Through his devotion to meditation and mindfulness practice, he woke up to the reality of the present moment and realized peace and liberation.
Given the similar journeys that both Buddha and Christ model for us, this retreat will be grounded in silence and meditation and from this silent ground, we will explore the core teachings of the Buddhist and Christian traditions through a few of the great spiritual teachers of these traditions, including Thich Nhat Hanh, Father Thomas Keating, Adyashanti, Pema Chodron, Thomas Merton, and Bernadette Roberts. This retreat will be held in silence with specific time for contemplative dialogue.
Director's Bio William Haardt, MA, is the author of The Soul’s Journey: Finding Our Way Home, which highlights the 6 major stages of the spiritual journey as seen through the lens of Christian and Buddhist mystics such as Thomas Merton and Adyashanti. Mr. Haardt hosts his own website on the theme of contemplative spirituality at www.contemplatives.org and has taught in Quaker and Catholic high schools for the past 23 years. He also leads adult formation through the Jesuit Schools Network in Ignatian Spirituality and is a recent graduate of Richard Rohr's The Living School. The aim of Mr. Haardt's work is to aid in the continuing discovery of the Divine Source at the center of all reality so that we may create a world that truly models the Heaven on Earth we are called as humans to embody.
Praying by Mary Oliver
It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.
A Taize Retreat
with Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D.
Friday, August 16 - Sunday, August 18
Retreat Theme A contemplative retreat focused on finding the "still small voice within". Each day will weave together contemplative Celtic prayer services with the poetry of Mary Oliver and music of Taize. We will discover the inspiring spiritual journeys of both Mary Oliver and Brother Roger Schutz (founder of Taize) and engage in spiritual practice ranging from Lectio Divina to nature walks, centering prayer to contemplative chanting, guided journaling and yoga.
Director's Bio Kayleen Asbo, Ph.D. is a musician, scholar, writer and spiritual director. She has been a pilgrim to Taize, France seven times and has led hundreds of Taize services over the past fifteen years. As the director of Mythica, she leads retreats, workshops and pilgrimage around the world that introduce modern ecumenical seekers to ancient contemplative practices. Learn more at: www.kayleenasbo.com
The Gospels and the Interior Life
A Book Retreat with
The Rev. Vincent Pizzuto, Ph.D,
Vicar of St. Columba's
September 20-22, 2019
Retreat Theme The incarnation has made mystics of us all. What if we read the gospels as if that were true? Join Fr. Vincent Pizzuto for an in-depth exploration of his book, Contemplating Christ: The Gospels and the Interior Life (Liturgical Press, 2018). Throughout this retreat participants will explore ancient mystical themes and meditative practices in new and surprising ways. Without sentimentality or over-simplification, this retreat equips us spiritually to confront the global crises we face with the love, beauty, and unquenchable optimism of the Gospel. Through a combination of presentations, contemplative listening, and opportunities for deep personal reflection, participants will be invited to gradually unfold the Christian mystery of deification to which the whole of the Christian spiritual life is ordered: through the incarnation, we have all be made ‘other Christs’ in the world. This, indeed, is the meaning of deification: that each of us are incarnations of Love itself. All participants are encouraged, but not required, to have read Contemplating Christ, in advance of the retreat. Alternatively, copies of the book will be made available at the Retreat House for an additional $20.00.
Director's Bio Fr. Vincent Pizzuto, founded New Skellig Contemplative Christian Community in 2006 and serves as a Professor of New Testament and Christian Mysticism at the University of San Francisco. As Vicar of St. Columba’s Episcopal Church and Retreat House, Fr. Pizzuto works for the advancement of contemplative Christianity through his many workshops, lectures, sermons, and retreats. Drawing upon his rich academic and theological background, his most recent book, Contemplating Christ, was published in April 2018 by Liturgical Press. The doctrine of deification explored in his book articulates the theological conviction that underlies his mission and ministry at St. Columba’s.
Initiation into the holy
A Retreat with The Rev. John Michael Hayes, PhD, ABPP, Priest-Psychologist-Psychoanalyst
Retreat Theme No one gets through this life without some experience of trauma. Trauma overwhelms our capacity to cope and implodes our sense of reality, our imagined narratives of what life is and should be. Trauma thrusts us into that far country of pain, confusion, and despair where sometimes only grace can reach us.
Healing demands that we overcome our fear and come to terms with the reality of the trauma. We have to be willing to suffer through the pain and grief of it all. Then we can ultimately reconnect with life in a new and vital way. Meaning has to be reconstructed more than restored, before we can love again without fear, and trust again in life's inherent goodness.
All the great religions have narratives, images, metaphors, and rituals in which to re-discover meaning and renew our connection to self, others, and God. Christianity uniquely has trauma as its central symbol and narrative. In this retreat we are invited to find ourselves in the great drama of the gospels and to reimagine the potential of trauma to deepen our understanding of ourselves and God’s purposes in our lives.
Director's Bio John Michael Hayes is a priest of the Episcopal diocese of Maryland who has also had a long career as a psychologist-psychoanalyst in the Baltimore-Washington area. He pastors a small inner-city church in west Baltimore, teaches pastoral care and spirituality at the Ecumenical Institute of St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and offers spiritual direction and retreats. He also is attending psychologist at Retreat at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, psychoanalyst in private practice, and supervises psychiatry residents and candidate psychoanalysts.