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Desert Spirituality II - Going Deeper: The Seeker and The Saint

Desert Spirituality II - Going Deeper: The Seeker and The Saint

April 9 – May 18, 2018
Rev. Dr. Brenda K. Buckwell, Obl. OSB, Instructor
2 CEU’s | $200.00

Have you ever wondered how God’s presence is manifest in the chaos of our world? Are there people, places and things which lure attention away from God? Do you desire to go deeper in your faith? 

In the early days of Christianity there were seekers that wrestled with questions like these and more.  Those seekers sought out mentors, guides, and spiritual elders to challenge and invite them to faith growth.  Often this journey took the seeker into the arid wilderness of the desert.  There the seeker found the Ammas and Abbas of Christian wisdom. 

During this six-week class you will have the opportunity to “get to know” some of these ancient sages of Christian wisdom; hear their stories of God’s miraculous presence in life and contemplate their wisdom sayings.  Each week you will experience a prayer practice from St. Benedict’s tradition of Desert Wisdom.

Through discussion forums, you will plumb the depths of the themes: pilgrimage, obedience and listening, compassion, stability, prophetic freedom and the gifts of the desert.  Together we will discover how God yearns for us through 21st century chaos into the quietude of our souls.

This class is completely asynchronous, so you can do the weekly readings, praxis and discussion forum posting at times most convenient for you.

Required textbooks:

Swan, Laura, 2001. The Forgotten Desert Mothers: sayings, lives, and stories of early Christian women. (Paulist Press: New York). ISBN  #0-8091-4016-0

Merton, Thomas, 2004. The Wisdom of the Desert: Sayings from the Desert Fathers of the Fourth Century (Shambhala Library: Boston) Hardcover Deluxe Edition ISBN #0-87773-976-5

Rev. Dr. Brenda Buckwell, Obl. OSB

As founder of Living Streams Flowing Water online and onsite Spiritual Formation ministry (www.livingstreamsflowingwater.com), Brenda is one who seeks earnestly to experience God’s presence. Her great desire is to companion others as we share God’s prayer and deepen awareness of God amid personal life and within community. As an ordained elder within the United Methodist tradition, she additionally trained as a spiritual director and supervisor of spiritual directors at Mercy Center in Burlingame, California. (www.mercy-center.org) and has received the United Methodist Certification in Spiritual Formation. Further, Brenda has her ICF (International Coaching Federation) certification for spiritual coaching (www.coachfederation.org).

Brenda has a deep passion for spiritual formation within the church. With an online teaching certification, she has taught the practicum in spiritual direction as a guest instructor at United Theological Seminary (UTS). Brenda is adjunct in spiritual formation and prayer at Ashland Seminary (www.seminary.ashland.edu )

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Brenda graduated with a BA from Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, Ohio, Masters of Divinity from Boston University School of Theology and received her Doctorate in Theology and Leadership from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary. Brenda is an Oblate in the Benedictine Methodist Monastery, St. Brigid of Kildare. (www.kildaremonastery.com)

In addition to spiritual direction two of Brenda’s favorite spiritual disciplines are swimming and ballroom dancing. The delight of her life is her grandchildren for whom she strives to be Amma.