Awakening to Our Place
in the Universe Story
An Autumn Sabbatical
This eight-week sabbatical offers a contemplative experience that will nurture within each participant a sense of one-ness with all of creation and a renewed vision of life anchored in the Universe Story. The sabbatical blends education, contemplation, art, and ecological field trips.
Located at The Well Spirituality Center in LaGrange, IL, we are ideally located in the woodlands west of Chicago with close access to many museums and other ecological & cultural resources.
The sabbatical is under the leadership of Bridget Sperduto, Executive Director of The Well who will also teach the Universe Story classes. Other facilitators include John Surette SJ, Mary Southard CSJ, Pat Bergen CSJ, and Kathy Sherman CSJ.
Sabbatical Sacred Universe Core Content
Walking with God in Our Sacred Universe
Discoveries in science have led to the emergence of a new worldview influencing every aspect of living. Discussion will bring this emerging worldview into conversation with the Christian tradition, including implications and applications for prayer, justice, and everyday life activities.
Finding Our Place in Our Sacred Universe
Grounded in our place in the Universe Story, we will explore the planetary implications of the new story and the invitation for humanity to consciously enter into a wisdom and consciousness that matches our growing power and presence on the planet.
Empowered by Our Sacred Universe
The ten powers of the universe—concentration and exhilaration, attraction, creativity, maintaining achievement, destruction, working together, changing the self, changing the whole, care and magnificence—will be brought into dialogue with the Christian tradition resulting in new understandings of the role of humanity at this time in history.
Living in a Christified Universe
Teilhard de Chardin suggested that evolution is a process of Christogenesis or the birthing of a Christified cosmos. We are living in Christogenesis at the present time but have yet to explore what this means for us. What is Christogenesis? Who is the God of a Christogeneic universe? We will explore these questions and more as we seek to understand the meaning of Christian life in a world of evolution and complexity.
Music of the Cosmos
Everything in the universe works together in perfect harmony, creating a symphony of unity. Discussions this week will address the question: What holds everything together? Revelations coming from our elegant and awesome universe will be explored in the light of our Christian tradition.
Come and Paint
This popular paint/prayer experience is facilitated by renowned artist and spiritual guide Mary Southard, CSJ and Carol Cummins. Painting and reflecting will be in the context of the Universe Story and its impact on our sense of meaning at every level. Painting provides a way of more deeply entering into and experiencing an unfolding within our own souls. Painting is done in silence, providing a holy space and a heightened and shared energy. Artistic ability is not needed to participate fully in this experience.
Other opportunities include Body/mind/spirit options—yoga, drumming, healing gong, Reiki, massage, multi-sensory prayer rituals. Field trips include visits to the Morton Arboretum, Chicago Botanical Gardens, Adler Planetarium and others.