Dates: September 13 & 20
Title: Spirituality in Chaotic Times
Description: How do we center ourselves and find the Holy when the world seems to be spinning out of control? What can we learn from spiritual mentors from the past to help us deepen our own spiritual practices during this time?
Facilitator: The Rev. Dr. Leslie Veen is the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs for Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, an ordained pastor in the PC(USA), and a Parish Associate here at Seventh Avenue Presbyterian Church. Leslie has a deep desire to help people discern and follow God’s calling for their lives and to deepen their connection with the Divine as they do so. She has been a resident of San Francisco for over 25 years and loves finding new ways to appreciate the beauty and creativity of the area every day.
Dates: October 11, 18, & 25
Title: Roots, Identities, Blind Spots, and Visions
Description: This three-part series will draw on the ideas of several insightful thinkers to seek fresh perspectives on the turmoil we see every day at the juncture of religious and political conflicts in North America. Busting through the myth of blue states and red states, we will find new understandings of how we have gotten to where we are and where we need to go now. How are religions and regions a lot like human beings in terms of psychological development? How is God calling the church to change and adapt to new realities in our splintered country?
Facilitator: Carol Campbell has been thinking a lot lately about history, a subject she majored in at college. She is starting to feel somewhat historic herself as the candles no longer quite fit on the birthday cake. She is writing a memoir to clarify the meaning of her own history, and is fascinated and often horrified by the history unfolding in the larger world today. She lives in shameless optimism and gratitude in Oakland with her wife Jane and has been part of SAPC since 2012.
Dates: November 8, 15 & 22
Topic: Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter: “Fratelli Tutti” – We Are All Brothers and Sisters
Description: This three-week series, “We Are All Brothers and Sisters,” will explore Pope Francis’ latest Encyclical Letter: “Fratelli Tutti”. Challenging us to recognize and move away from certain causes of our world’s brokenness, the Encyclical is particularly timely for citizens of the United States. Join the conversation on November 8th, 15th and 22nd via Zoom at 11:30am.
Facilitator: The Rev. Fr. Dale Trunk was a Capuchin Franciscan Friar for 25 years. After ordination, the Order sent him to Rome for graduate study in Franciscan Spirituality. Returning to California, he served as seminary director, hospital chaplain, and associate pastor. In 1998, after cycles of burn-out, he “retired” from the Order and the priesthood. Currently, Dale ministers as a Flight Attendant, spiritual director, and gardener.
Date: January 10, 17 & 24
Title: Three Musical and Spiritual Journeys for the Winter
Description: In these three sessions, we will explore different aspects of the way in which music can open and enhance our spiritual experience. In the first session we will explore a stunning composition which delves into the depths of human emotion experienced by Mary the mother of Jesus. In session 2 we will experience the way in which instrumental music without words can transport us to a place beyond verbal expression. In session 3 we will consider the important role of hymnody and congregational worship music in our spiritual experience. What happens when old words are set to new music? We will discuss how our worship music can both comfort and challenge us.
Facilitator: John Prescott holds a PH.D. in musicology from U.C. Berkeley. He is also a spiritual director, having completed training at the Spiritual Direction Institute at the Mercy Center Burlingame. John is an Episcopalian and a Third Order Franciscan. He has led retreats on music and spirituality since 2002.
Dates: February 21 & 28
Topic: On Stress
Description: Anticipation might be another word for Lent, the 40 days between Ash Wednesday and Easter. Often, our anticipations are fearful, and perhaps in this season we might learn how to fast from unhelpful fear.
Facilitator: The Rev. Robin Crawford is a retired Presbyterian minister and retired attorney. He has led many retreats, two of which are “Friendship as a Spiritual Path” and “Finding God in your Anger.” He has a Master of Arts in Creative Writing and his Ph.D.is in pastoral care, with an emphasis on fostering conscious contact with God. Robin has been married for 48 years. His wife, Nancy, is a retired Montessori first grade teacher. Raina and Char, their adult kids, have found partners and careers they love.