Before art + soul began as a whisper in 2010 and a clear invitation in 2012, I served for over 20 years in traditional forms of institutional ministry as an ordained pastor in churches in the United Church of Christ denomination and as a Hospice Chaplain, Bereavement Coordinator and Death Educator.
art + soul was an extended experiment (nine years) in paying attention to the movement of the contemplative Spirit in and of my life. I chose to close the door on institutional ministry and community to wander, imagine and engage more fully and authentically in the intimate, sacred weaving of the spiritual, contemplative and the creative.
In those nine years, art + soul blossomed from a timid, hopeful idea into a full-fledged incubator of groups, retreats, workshops, and public art installations, as well as individual spiritual companioning, program development and consultation to many organizations. Hundreds of people found their way to art + soul; it was a gathering place for those who seek inner hospitality, the communion of other curious ones and the peace of sanctuary for nurturing, contemplative space simply to be.
The COVID pandemic was a turning point for art + soul. A host of eclectic virtual offerings extended art + soul's reach much wider than its local constituencies, gathering people from many places into healing refuge. The pandemic revealed just how many unanswerable questions there are and, at the same time, has reoriented us toward the essential ones of Being.
In October 2022, art + soul was retired. In early 2023, I will be launching a virtual community for nurturing spiritual imagination. Sifting through many ancient sources and languages of wisdom to both ground and hold,
this virtual community will be attentive to emerging or unexpected edges of where the bones of old stories may become the seeds for new ones:
new meanings for words, alternative dialects, images and practices of Spirit that call us forth into the wisdom necessary for engaged spiritual well-being.