“Our Evolving Story: Integrating Religion and Science” Retreat at Church of the Palms

From Rev. Paul A. Whitlock, Senior Pastor, Church of the Palms, UCC: 

February 22–24, 2019 at Church of the Palms, $25

“Our Evolving Story: Integrating Religion and Science” Retreat is coming to the Northwest Valley and will be held at The Church of the Palms. It’s coordinated by the Lifelong Learning Board who has contracted with Sr. Sharon Zayac, OP for a weekend presentation.  Sr. Sharon’s ministry has focused on the new Cosmic Spirituality and Eco-Spirituality. She is recognized nationally and internationally as a teacher and preacher on this topic.

Program schedule: Friday, February 22, 6–8 pm with reception to follow and Saturday, February 23, 9 am–3:30 pm (lunch/breaks included).  Sunday morning Sr. Sharon will be speaking at Church of the Palms.

Tickets are $25; pre-registration is required as there is limited seating.

Registration is open! Tickets are available online for your convenience; click HERE to purchase.

OR click here for a paper registration. You may also register at Church of the Palms in person.

Sr. Sharon has shared an outline for the retreat:

Title: “Our Evolving Story:  Integrating Religion and Science”

We are in the midst of a cosmic shift in understanding who we are as persons, as people of faith, as a human species. What is this newly emerging consciousness? What does it teach us about who we are, how we are related to the whole, and how we image Holy Mystery? Using The Cosmic Story as our context, we will find inspiration and hope as we explore and reflect upon its deeper meaning.

Friday evening, 6–8 p.m.: An introduction to the weekend, speaking about Story, its power and role in the evolution of our species.

Saturday, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.: Two sessions with time for reflection and sharing. Includes breaks and lunch; if a vegetarian lunch is desired, please email or call 623-977-8359.

Part I  Evolutionary Consciousness (what it is, what characterizes it, what its implications are for understanding who we and where we are going).

Part II Exploring the two particular universal powers of cataclysm and emergence (where we find currently find ourselves embroiled) and the promise and hope they offer.

Sunday, 10 a.m.: Sr. Sharon will speak at the Palms’ worship service.

Below is the biographical information for Sr. Sharon Zayac, OP and URL links to hear her speak and review her work as Founding Director of Jubilee Farm for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL.

Sr. Sharon Zayac – a Dominican Sister in Springfield, Illinois – was founding Director of Jubilee Farm, her congregation’s 164-acre center for ecology and spirituality located near Springfield, Illinois.  A writer and lecturer, she speaks on many ecological topics, but her passion is sharing the Universe Story and its implications for life and faith.  Her book – Earth Spirituality: In the Catholic and Dominican Traditions –  which compares Judeo-Christian traditions that cause a disregard for nature as well as those that support a respect for Earth. The book focuses on evolutionary consciousness as an emerging worldview.

Jubilee Farm Center for Ecology and Spirituality is a sustainable farm developed under the leadership of Sr. Sharon.  The farm’s ministry is grounded with the philosophy of sustainability that is foundational to this ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois. The farm was purchased in 1999 to “honor the Year of Jubilee and its biblical injunction to let the land lie fallow, to honor Earth and support the delicate bioregion.”  “Climate change isn’t a political issue; it’s a faith and moral issue,” states Sr. Sharon.

The farm is a spirituality and ecology center where they raise llamas and alpacas, grow chemical-free fruit and vegetables, and offer walking trails, a labyrinth a retreat house, and education programs open to the public.

She participates in The Climate Project, which has trained 2,500 volunteers in the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Spain and the United Kingdom to lead presentations about climate change. Sr. Sharon is a member of Sustainable Springfield Illinois Inc’s Board of Directors. She received the “2018 Outstanding Member Contribution to Sustainability Award” from this organization.

She has presented across the United States and in Europe, New Zealand; and returned to Ireland this summer to continue presentations on this topic. Read more.

Moral Compass: Responding to Climate Change video (45 min)