Join us for the final edition of Seasons of the Sacred. A special winter meal and shared moment of sacred time and place. Guests will be guided through a participatory programme of conversation, reflection and ritual, connecting to the primal wisdom of the season. With guest contributors Peter Owen-Jones and Lead to Life.
Bare / harsh / longing / comfort / community / protection / nourishment / desolate / hearth / snowdrops / vulnerable / naked / minimal / bleak / ice / completion / celebration / dormant / darkness / water / completion / healing
Join us for an intimate and experiential journey into Winter.
The evening will bring guests together for a special winter meal, and shared moment of sacred time and place. With reverence for soil and soul, guided by a programme of conversation, ritual and reflective practice, each element will weave a winter story inspired by the primal wisdom of the season.
We’re delighted to be joined by guest contributors Peter-Owen Jones (Anglican priest, writer and TV presenter) as well as Bronte Velez and Kyle Lemle (founders of Lead to Life).
In many stories, folktales and myths, winter is a descent into the underworld. In Greek mythology, Persephone, daughter of Zeus and Demeter, is abducted by the God of the underworld Hades, and forced to return there for four months each year. During this time the earth begins to change and becomes a barren realm of darkness; flowers wilt and die, the grasses fade, trees bear no fruit and the weather turns hostile to life. For the Greeks, the underworld was the Spiritual World, representing a connection to this inner spiritual self.
Trees with branches naked of leaves, and landscapes bare and desolate, everything in nature is stripped back to its vulnerable core. In the silence and stillness of winter, spending more time indoors and in darkness, we are invited into the underworld, into the core of our spiritual selves. We are reminded of the true qualities of our soul, and our deepest innermost longings. What must we pass through to get there? What is the jewel that lies deep within? How can we offer this essential light as healing to a world in darkness and need?
Seasons of the Sacred is a four-part series of events offering a remembrance of spiritual ecology, and exploration of sacred time and place. Each event invites participants on a journey into the season through the shared rituals of food, stories and practice, inviting us to step back into the ancient and newly emerging story of earth as sacred.
How can we re-enter the primal rhythms of soil and soul, nourish and be nourished by the earth once more? How can we become intimate with our land; with the beauty, abundance, dreams and sorrows of our living earth? How can we make practices of reverence, stewardship and celebration in our communities and lives?
Brontë is guided by the call that “black wellness is the antithesis to state violence” (Mark Anthony Johnson). as a black-latinx trans-disciplinary artist, designer, trickster, and wake-worker, their eco-social art praxis lives at the intersections of black feminist placemaking & prophetic community traditions, environmental justice, and death doulaship.
They embody this commitment of attending to black health/imagination, commemorative justice and hospicing white supremacy through serving as creative director for Lead to Life design collective, media director for Oakland-rooted farm and nursery Planting Justice , and quotidian black queer life-making ever-committed to humour & liberation, ever-marked by grief at the distance made between us and all of life.
An organiser, facilitator and musician born and raised in the Bay Area, Kyle works to catalyse the impact of organisations working at the intersections of environmental justice, forest restoration, and spiritual ecology around the world. A former leader of CA RISE for Climate and SustainUS UN Climate Talks delegate, he is currently Director of Distributed Organising with GreenFaith. Kyle is also the co-founder & program director of Lead to Life, a collective of artists transforming environmental and systemic forms of violence. Channeling his passion for justice into original music, Kyle performs at festivals, conferences and direct actions across California as founder and co-director of the Thrive Choir, whose mission is to sing the music for the revolution.
Peter Owen Jones is a maverick 21st century priest, ecological thinker and champion of ethics who, as a celebrated BBC TV presenter, has explored the world’s vast pantheon of religious and spiritual ideas and distilled essential wisdom for contemporary modern life and business.
At this poignant time in human evolution when the world’s economic, political and social paradigms are at a tipping point of major change, Peter has innovative advice for organisations, schools, universities and businesses on how to move with the times and become more responsible, ethical and purposeful.
Over the last eight years Peter has presented a number of award winning TV documentaries for the BBC, including Extreme Pilgrim, Around the World in 80 Faiths, and How to Live a Simple Life. Extreme Pilgrim was nominated “the best religious programme ever made” (Daily Telegraph). He has also written five highly acclaimed books: Bed of Nails: an advertising executive’s journey through Theological College; Small Boat Big Sea; Psalms; Letters from an Extreme Pilgrim; and Pathlands.
Peter’s latest book Pathlands (published April 2015), shares a collection of nature walks he has made across the UK which have been featured in a series of articles for the Sunday Times, but expanded with reflections on walking and pilgrimage in modern Britain. His next book, The New Humanity, about the environment, explores our need to care for the planet so we leave our grandchildren a world to inherit that’s worth living in.
Born and raised in the UK, Peter left school and went to work as a jackaroo in Australia, before becoming a copywriter and ultimately creative director in London’s advertising industry. Disenchanted with the material rat race and eager to follow a life imbued with service and meaning, in his late 20s he joined the clergy, becoming ordained in 1992. He served as a rector of three parishes just outside Cambridge and is now a house for duty priest on the Sussex Downs.
Amrita Bhohi is a spiritual ecology facilitator and educator. Her work offers experiences to reconnect people, the living world and the sacred. She co-founded the spiritual ecology programme at St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation & Peace in London, developing the curriculum, as well as co-leading an innovative leadership training for millennials. She holds an MA in Ecological Economics from Schumacher College, is a fellow of St Paul’s Institute, and a trustee of Hazel Hill wood.
Vilma Luostarinen is an artist and designer exploring the sacredness, healing and spiritual dimensions of food, cooking and and rituals of eating. Through meals, menus, workshops and installations, she aims to inspire a deepened sense of care, attention and interconnectedness. In the last few years, Vilma has studied diverse temple and monastic food traditions, and, in particular, returned to a Benedictine monastery in Italy, working in their kitchen. She holds a masters degree in Narrative Environments from Central Saint Martins. For more info, see vilmaluostarinen.co.uk
Ruby and Christabel Reed
Ruby & Christabel co-founded Advaya Initiative. Advaya is an educational and experiential social change platform that explores solutions to the interconnected crises of ecological collapse, consumerism and mental health. They are organisers, facilitators as well as yoga teachers interested in the intersections between ecology, healing and social transformation.
Our food philosophy
Our menu will be:
• Simple but beautiful
• A celebration of the current season, a seasonal feast
• Focused on plant-based foods (with small quantities of dairy)
• Healthy and nourishing for both body, senses, mind, soul
• A moment of togetherness, presented in a way that encourages sharing and conversation
• Prepared with care and compassion
• Sourced from local farmers and producers, including foraged or surplus ingredients where possible
• Presented in a way that connects guest with origins of food
• Combining flavours, colours and textures in interesting ways
….and obviously, delicious!
We can cater for specific dietary requirements, please email Amrita@stethelburgas.org with your information.
St Ethelburga’s is a ‘maker of peace-makers’. We inspire and equip individuals and communities to contribute, in their own particular contexts, to activating a global culture of peace.