News & Events

ESR Annual Spirituality Gathering

Leaps & Bounds: Faith, Ecology and the Global Economy

An ESR Spirituality Gathering

Richmond, Indiana
Sat., March 5, 2011


Leaps & Bounds: Tevyn East

The Affording Hope Project presents Leaps and Bounds, a one woman show which explores the intersection of faith, ecology, and the global economy. Developed and performed by Tevyn East, this show circulated among a variety of faith communities and institutions of higher learning in 2010.

Using a number of creative tools including storytelling, song, poetry, prayer, movement, and music, this work of theater sheds light on the driving factors of our ecological crisis while awakening the imagination to a new way of living with and relating to Earth. Grounded in theological reflection, Leaps and Bounds, embodies an adventure, searching for the values that would support an economic system that promotes human well-being and ecological health.

The Affording Hope Project accesses the transformative power of art to inspire the Christian church to be a prophetic witness to alternative economic systems of sufficiency and solidarity.

Our Keynote Speaker

Artistic Director and Performer for the Affording Hope Project, TEVYN EAST is touring the country for the second time, presenting Leaps and Bounds in churches, colleges, and seminaries. With a background of seven years in collaborative professional dance projects, Tevyn integrates her creative talent with a deep faith, passion for justice, and intelligent social analysis. Leaps and Bounds is born out of her experience with Church of the Saviour and the Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, two organizations addressing the root causes of injustice, accompanying the vulnerable and marginalized, and speaking truth to power in the heart of the United States Capitol.


To register, print and complete the registration form, and send with payment to the address given. For questions contact Mandy Ford or 1-800-432-1377. Visit our Contact page for information on our location.


The Nature of our Place

Our identity is entangled in the nature of our place. How do we understand ourselves within (and because of) the landscape in which we live and grew up? How have we shaped and been shaped by the earth that has always surrounded us? In this workshop we will explore these questions through journaling, a few simple yoga postures and art. We will work to remember and reclaim the mutuality we share with our environment. Summer Cushman is an artist, spiritual director and yoga teacher. She earned her Master of Divinity with an emphasis in spirituality from Earlham School of Religion. Summer has led retreats and workshops throughout the country on such topics as spirituality, creativity and embodiment.

Recovery and Transformation

Wendell Berry stated, “The great obstacle is simply this: the conviction that we cannot change because we are dependent upon what is wrong. But that is the addict’s excuse, and we know that it will not do.” Personal and social transformation requires that we take a serious look at the pathology of domination underlying our cultural narrative. This narrative has become so ingrained, that we have nothing less then a recovery process to engage. This workshop will draw upon the wisdom of the 12 step program to shed light upon the work of supporting deep, lasting, and liberating change; change that honors the limits of the Earth and the health of our local and global communities. Led by Tevyn East.

Spirit in Nature Walk

Contemplative/meditative walking is a way to experience spirit in nature. We will walk trails through the Earlham College woods and by nearby ponds. During this time we will focus our senses as we listen with open hearts to what the spirit in nature has to share with us. We will also read scripture and poetry. Dress for winter weather with hat, gloves, coat, and boots that can keep you warm and dry in snowy conditions. Dave Wunker is completing his Master of Divinity at ESR. He has felt the spirit in nature all his life, is an experienced mountaineer and wilderness backpacker, and has worked in the environmental and forestry fields.

The Dancing Spirit

We will explore the meeting point of dance and the spiritual world. We will dance Kathak (a North Indian classical dance) as well as personal interpretations of both music and poetry. Anita Kumar, originally from South Dakota, has danced since she was 4 years old. In college she learned Kathak and through it had her first experience of spiritual dance. In addition to dancing, she has choreographed several dances that were performed at the Lang Performing Arts Center in Swarthmore, PA.

Speaking Truth to Power: Communicating about Eco-Spirituality

Often our passion to advocate for a spirituality that embraces creation care gives us an urgency to speak out about saving the planet. However, the people who most need to hear our message may be the least receptive to the language we use. In this workshop, we will share what we value most about eco-spirituality, brainstorm loving ways of communicating our passion and role play talking to people who may misunderstand our spiritual/ ecological concerns. Diane Reynolds is a second year student at ESR in the ministry of writing program.

Clearing Away The Haze

Yoga is a practice of clearing away the unhealthy films that cover our lives. We call attention to the habits and thoughts that are detrimental to life and reconnect with health, truth, and unity. Through breath work, postures and meditation we realign ourselves with the rhythm of Life. Denton Krietz is drawn to the spiritual and philosophical side of yoga and finds the fundamental connectedness of the world to be revealed through his practice. He appreciates the focus yoga puts on the body and breath and continues to explore the depths of asana and pranayama. Denton has a Master of Divinity from Bethany Theological Seminary and he received his Hatha yoga certification at CITYOGA in Indianapolis.

Inner Ecology: The Prayer Practice of Taize Chant

The Taizé Community is an ecumenical Christian monastic order in France deeply devoted to world peace and justice through prayer and meditation. Thousands of young people from around the world make pilgrimages to Taizé each year and are inspired to live in the spirit of kindness, simplicity and reconciliation. Dagmar Bollinger and Linnea Stifler will introduce Taizé chanting to participants as a form of contemplative prayer which promotes inner peace and goodwill. Linnea, a second-year M.Div. student at ESR, hopes to be ordained in the Episcopal Church to serve in parish ministry. She loves to sing. Dagmar, a third-year student, is on the ordination path with the Swedenborgian church. She hopes to teach contemplative practices and develop spiritual formation programs for secular environments.

Midrash Journaling

Did you ever wish that Jesus and everyone who had a personal interaction with Him had written about it in a personal journal? Imagine what Christianity would look like. Well, they didn’t but there is a way to fill in those gaps in our history that is personal, imaginative, and fun. Putting ourselves in the stories of the Scriptures, becoming the characters, and then journaling about that experience will help those interactions come alive in our minds, souls,and hearts. Pat DeWitt-Thomas is a third year seminary student at ESR. She spent several years in church leadership, doing youth ministry and leading retreats. She is a retired camp director and is working on being a writer and retreat/workshop facilitator.

Principles for Economic Discipleship

In the 40 years of RSWR’s experience, three principles have arisen which are central to a successful micro-enterprise project in the “developing” world: local self-reliance, sustainability. and mutual support and accountability. We feel that they are also a challenge to those of us living in the “developed” world. With the help of women’s self-help groups in RSWR projects, we will experientially, and through discussion, explore the meaning of these principles, especially as they apply to our lives. Roland Kreager has been the General Secretary of Right Sharing of World Resources since 1993. A Quaker organization, RSWR supports women’s grassroots income-generating projects in south India, Sierra Leone and among Friends in Kenya. Cindi Goslee is RSWR’s Program Director. She also is a psychotherapist with private practices in Cincinnati and Richmond.

Schedule of Events

8:15 am

Registration & Breakfast

9:00 am


9:45 am

Keynote: Leaps & Bounds, Tevyn East

11:30 am


1:00 pm

Workshop I

2:30 pm

Workshop II

4:00 pm

Closing gathering

Event Date: 
03/05/2011 - 8:00am - 4:30pm