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Sewanee Contemplative Exchange

Jan 26, 2018

The deadline for registration will be April 15 in order to arrange for meals and lodging, but space will fill up quickly.  

APRIL 29, 2018 – MAY 2, 2018

The Sewanee Contemplative Exchange – Bridging the Gap Between Contemplation and Compassionate Action: The Creative Encounter of Howard Thurman

We live in a world saturated by dualisms, categories in which we place people and things in order to grant them worth and priority. We separate ourselves from each other-and God from ourselves-resulting in persistent tension and frustration, pain and grief. For too long we have separated-even if in our minds-the spheres of contemplation and action, of silence and embodiment, of prayer and reconciliation. When these two vital aspects of our lives are pulled apart, our contemplation easily becomes an insular escape and our compassionate action becomes reactive and driven by anger.

We are invited to integrate ourselves, to seek wholeness in our spiritual practice, In Christ, we see a reconciliation of all aspects of our being. In his personhood we see the potential for an authentic religious practice in which silence nurtures justice. We encounter a space where contemplation and compassionate action are no longer competing with each other; rather, they exist in a circular relationship in which silence grounds action and justice leads us to further prayer. We find hope and wholeness in our union with God and with one another.

Leadership for this event comes from a collaboration of colleagues from:  The Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation, Washington D.C.; The Beecken Center of the School of Theology, The University of the South; St. Mary’s Sewanee:  The Ayres Center for Spiritual Development; Mary and Martha’s Place, Atlanta, Georgia; Grace Episcopal Church, Gainesville, Georgia; and a consortium of clergy from The Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta and beyond, community and seminary leaders, spiritual directors, and teachers. 

Special Guest:  Dr. Lerita Coleman Brown, Ayse I Carden Distinguished Professor Emerita of Psychology, Agnes Scott College, will lead a series of guided meditations on the writings of Howard Thurman, weaving times of silence and prayer with reflection and a pilgrimage to the historic Highlander Folk School.

For questions and information, please contact: The Rev. Dr. Stuart Higginbotham: or Rebecca Parker:

When: Sunday 5:00 PM – Wednesday 10:00 AM
Fee: St. Mary’s Hall: $305.00 (Single), $260.00 (Double), The Anna House: $425.00 (Single), $370.00 (Double), Commuter: $150.00 (Single)