Circles of Resilience
Course Synopsis: Circles of Resilience is a new name with a modern take on the ancient practice known as Lectio Divina or Divine Reading. Originating in the 3rd century as Scriptural reflection, it was formalized as a monastic practice by St. Benedict. The new name is an attempt to make the ancient process more accessible.
The weekly contemplative practice follows a routine that opens us to the spiritual work of our daily lives. Each week, we read, meditate and reflect on a unique metaphor identified in Scripture and its personal meaning in our lives. We practice being in the present moment and opening ourselves to a dialogue with the Divine. What is it God wants us to hear? What is it we are called to do? Richard Rohr says, “It is living in the naked now, the ‘sacrament of the present moment,’ that will teach us how to actually experience our experiences, whether good, bad or ugly, and how to let them transform us…’ When you can be present, you will know the Real Presence.”
Text: There is no required text for this offering. There is no text or outside preparation, however, one does need to bring the willingness to practice vulnerability and compassion as we struggle to come closer to being the change we want to see in the world.
Registration: Class is limited to 18 and closes to new students on January 28.
Facilitators: Lee Williams and Carol Husbands
Lee is a cradle Episcopalian and has benefitted from many educational offerings in the church such as Education for Ministry, Godly Play, Jungian studies, School of Wisdom, spiritual direction and dream work. She originally participated in Lectio Divina in Wimberley at St. Stephens and has started groups in Traverse City, MI; Norman, OK; and now San Marcos. Lee has a BS in education from Texas State University. Lee has worked in community education for 25+ years teaching adults, coordinating programs, and providing professional development.
Carol attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a BA in Education (1969). During the 1980's and 90's she was a student, then mentor, in the Education for Ministry extension course from the School of Theology of the University of the South at Sewanee. After completing the Spiritual Director Internship at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio (1995), Carol went on to earn her Masters of Pastoral Ministry with a focus in Spiritual Formation from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (2002). Currently, Carol is active on the Parish Adult Spiritual Formation Committee, helps with adult spiritual formation classes, and sings in the chancel choir.
Wild at Heart: Becoming a Living Sanctuary
Course Synopsis: Do you want to deepen your prayer life? Do you hunger for a closer relationship with God? Are you open to new ideas and enjoy discussing your discoveries with others? If so, join us for “Wild at Heart” led by guest instructor, Suzanne Broussard, and assisted by Diana Beardsley. Some of the topics in this spring offering include Becoming a Living Sanctuary, Silence, Solitude, Repairing the Soul, Connection with the Divine, Attachments, Dark Night of the Soul, Compassion, Grief, and The Truth of Who We Are. Although the material builds on prior weeks, having to miss a week or two during the term is not critical, although regular attendance is. Class format includes time for opening/closing meditation, teaching, sharing/discussion and integration of material, as well as an introduction to materials for the following week.
Text: There is no text for this class. However, participants should plan to spend an hour daily five days a week for meditation/reflection/prayer, reading, practice (spiritual life journaling, visio divina, lectio divina, etc.). Working with a spiritual director is highly encouraged and participants will be assisted in finding a director if they do not already have one.
Registration: Class is limited to 12 participants and will close on January 28.
Facilitators: Suzanne Broussard (Gardener’s House of Prayer) and Diana Beardsley
Suzanne is a certified spiritual director with 25 years of experience in clinical settings; religious education, spiritual and retreat ministries with a focus on the holistic development of adult spiritual formation in ecumenical and interfaith settings and with both individuals and groups. She founded Gardener’s House of Prayer in 2004 which includes a small retreat house. Suzanne encourages and supports the awakening of those who desire to open to the ever available presence and guidance of the Sacred in their lives. She presently mentors/supervises spiritual director trainees, is a small group process facilitator for the Forest Dwelling Program at Oblate School of Theology and is a praying member of two contemplative prayer communities. Suzanne's interests include prayer, gardening, the study of the early desert mothers and fathers, mystics, monastics and contemplatives; social justice and the company of good friends.
Diana has had a passion for understanding spirituality and world religions since her late teens. She became a member of the St Mark’s after studying in the School of Wisdom and has since developed and facilitated classes for the School. In addition to her involvement with the School of Wisdom, she is deeply involved in several contemplative gatherings in Central Texas.
Men Searching for Light and Women Clothed in the Sun:
Exploring Spirituality in the 19th and 20th Centuries
Class Synopsis: The Rev. Karl Brown and The Rev. Dr. Michael Miller will alternate weeks in an exploration of men and women who are lesser known Christian social activists, spiritual leaders who were ahead of their time or leaders in movements that don't quite fit into the larger picture of the faith. These will include women like Simone Weil, Joanna Southcott and Melinda Rankin and men such as Walter Rauschenbush, The Rainbow Spirit Elders, and Henri Nouwen. Readings will be distributed two weeks in advance to allow time for reading and consideration prior to class conversation.
Text: Short printed readings two weeks ahead of each session (there is no text for this class).
Registration: NOW CLOSED (Class maximum of 20 students has been reached.)
Facilitators: The Rev. Karl Brown and the Rev. Dr. Michael Miller
Karl is a retired United Methodist minister whose career was spent primarily in ecumenical campus ministries at three universities, the last thirty years at Texas State University through what is now known as UCM-Wesley. His formal education includes: Lockhart High School, the University of Texas at Austin (B.S. in Chemistry); Perkins School of Theology at S.M.U. (MTh); and New College at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland (Post-graduate studies in Theology). During his campus career he taught university credit courses, developed programs for students and faculty, and offered numerous continuing education courses at U.T. Austin.
Michael holds degrees from Baylor (BA in English and History), University of Texas (MA in Mexican History), Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary (MDiv), and Texas A&M University (PhD in Mexican History). He also served a Seminary Internship in the Church of England in Southampton, UK. Dr. Miller served as campus minister, seminary professor, and Associate Executive for Higher Education for the Synod of the Sun, Presbyterian Church USA. He currently serves as pastor at La Iglesia Presbyteriana Mexicana in San Marcos and teaches Freshman Seminar at Texas State.
The “Old” Testament – A Jewish Perspective
Course Synopsis: This two term course is open to new students and taught via DVD by Professor Amy-Jill Levine, Ph. D., of Vanderbilt University. The Old Testament, or TNKH, was written in ancient Israel over a period of 1,000 years by many authors. What can this book teach us about the ancient Israelites? What does our faith find in new scholarly understanding?
As Professor Levine observes: "The Old Testament is endlessly fascinating because it offers everything to explore: myth, saga, and history; tragedy, comedy, and farce; economics and politics; literature and poetry of surpassing beauty; court intrigue and prophetic morality; heavenly miracles and sometimes heavenly silence; questions of theodicy; answers that satisfy and answers that may not; destruction and rebuilding; despair and hope." Her commentary thoughtfully explores selected passages from the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, or the TNKH.
The method of the course is to discuss especially interesting or prominent passages from a cross-section of all the genres the Old Testament contains, using each passage as an example of how to apply a particular method of interpretation to the Bible.
Text: This is a DVD-based course; there is no required text, although a Hebrew version of the “Old Testament” (TNKH) would be helpful.
Registration: New students are welcome at any time. There is no limit to class size.
Facilitator: The Rev. Gary Gooch.
Gary graduated from Oklahoma State University with a B.S. (1957) and M.S. (1967) in Chemical Engineering. He worked for Phillips Petroleum Company as a Process Development Engineer and then as Senior Engineering Analyst in their computing department. He also served in the US Air Force as a weather officer and forecaster and was discharged with rank of Captain, USAFR. Gary graduated from Nashotah House Cum Laude (1974) and was ordained Deacon in June 1974 followed by ordination as a priest in December 1974 by Bishop Chilton Powell of Oklahoma. He has served as curate, vicar, rector and pastor of churches throughout Oklahoma and Kansas. After “retiring” in 1996, he and his family moved to San Marcos. He continues his ministry through Partners in Ministry, is an active member of St Mark’s Episcopal Church and a regular facilitator with the School of Wisdom
Wisdom on Wednesdays
Living Buddha, Living Christ
Class Synopsis: The Buddha and Christ are perhaps two of the most pivotal figures in the history of humankind. Each left behind amazing teachings and the spiritual traditions that evolved from each legacy has shaped the lives of billions of people over the course of 2000 years.
Journey this spring with Thich Nhat Hanh, a revered Buddhist teacher and peacemaker, bridges the dialogue between East and West. In his seminal book, Living Buddha, Living Christ, he brings us a deeper appreciation of how these two traditions meet while reawakening a depth of understanding about the Christian faith. Brief weekly reading with companion questions will be assigned as homework, and time set aside in class to discuss the awakening that comes from this cross-pollination.
Text: Living Buddha, Living Christ is available from your favorite book seller
Registration: Offering closes to new students on February 6. Class size is not limited.
Facilitators: Carol Husband and Brandon Beck, PhD.
Carol attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a BA in Education (1969). During the 1980's and 90's she was a student, then mentor, in the Education for Ministry extension course from the School of Theology of the University of the South at Sewanee. After completing the Spiritual Director Internship at Incarnate Word University in San Antonio (1995), Carol went on to earn her Masters of Pastoral Ministry with a focus in Spiritual Formation from the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest (2002). One of the founding members of the School of Wisdom, Carol regularly facilitates classes for the School and sings in the chancel choir at St. Mark's.
Brandon is a member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church. He earned a B.A. in English from Rice University, an M.Ed. in Elementary Education with a cognate in History from Texas State University, an M.Ed. in Special Education with a cognate in Gifted Education from Texas State University, an MFA in Creative Writing (Poetry) with a minor in Literature Studies from Texas State University, and a Ph.D. in Education concentrated in Adult, Professional, and Community Education.