Facilitator Susannah Crolius
The arts have shaped me for as long as I can remember. I come from a long line of potters. My mother was a painter, actress and flute player; my father a writer. I was a serious ballet student for many years, attending a performing arts high school. Community theater has been a central part of my life. These days, the making of altars, shrines and memory boxes from found objects is my personal creative and spiritual practice.
For many years, I was an Intentional Interim minister in the United Church of Christ, a progressive Christian denomination with a strong social justice focus, guiding congregations through periods of transition, and in some cases, crises. I remain an ordained UCC pastor, and deeply informed by my Christian faith, though the “work” that I now inhabit intentionally has no building, no congregation and is broader than any one denomination or expression of spirituality. There are many ways to do justice, love mercy and encounter the divine.
For me, the lines between work, personhood, spirituality, and creativity are blurred. I am most deeply interested in mining the essential questions, stories and experiences of our common—and unique—human stories at a time when we are seemingly so far apart from each other.
I believe the practice of creativity shifts us from the relentlessness of our thoughts to the sacred space of instinct; from head to soul, and there, we rediscover our best, most compassionate selves. Ritual, that ancient communal rhythm what we have all but forgotten, is the act that binds together in this commonality, creating sacred space that reminds us once again that indeed, we are all kin.