We are pleased to be collaborating with a sister organization, Prairiewoods, to bring you this program series by Karen Hering. Karen has long offered programs at both retreat centers; we are grateful for this new series opportunity and to connect in shared mission with others on this path of learning and service.

On the Cusp of Change: where memory and imagination meet

Online programs and in person retreats

with Karen Hering, author of Trusting Change

Life is made of change. It always has been. But in the 21st century, the changes come faster and closer together. How can we pause to make sense of our changing world and to better understand our choices in living with change, whether it’s personal or global?

“On the Cusp of Change: where memory and imagination meet,” is a yearlong online series of 12 stand-alone programs, cosponsored by the Christine Center and Prairiewoods. Taking a deeper dive into Karen Hering’s book, Trusting Change, it emphasizes how to engage our imagination and memory when encountering the uncertainties of the present day. The opening online retreat, attuned to the start of a new year, introduces an overview of the dynamics of living with change, Saturday, January 6, 10:30 am – 1 pm CT. On the second Tuesday of each month, 7-8:30 pm CT thereafter, Karen will lead an online session of embodied practices, guided reflection and conversation with a specific focus of how to make change more trustworthy.

 

Registration is available for individual sessions through the Christine Center and Prairiewoods ($15/session). Participants can attend every month or a single session.

The yearlong series also includes in-person retreats, at the Christine Center and Prairiewoods, in the spring, summer (a focused retreat for writers) and fall. Retreat participation is open to all, whether they’ve participated online or not.

Karen Hering

Karen is a writer and teacher who has been immersed in the work of words for most of her life. She is an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister and author of Writing to Wake the Soul: Opening the Sacred Conversation Within and Trusting Change: Finding Our Way through Personal and Global Transformation, newly published in 2022. As a consulting literary minister based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Karen leads guided writing sessions, retreats and programs about living well in the midst of change in community, congregational and workplace settings, and online. She also serves as a companion and guide for people and organizations on the threshold of significant change. Her writing has appeared in literary journals, periodicals and meditation anthologies.

On the Cusp of Change: where memory and imagination meet

2024 Retreat Schedule

Online Retreats

January online Saturday retreat will launch a year of online sessions (2nd Tuesday of each month from 7-8:30pm, February through December).

**Additional Registration Step Required for Online Sessions**

Once you have registered and paid, you will subsequently receive an email confirmation with a Zoom registration link. This will confirm your registration and you will receive another email from Karen with the Zoom meeting link for that month’s online session.

January |On the Cusp of a New Year: where old and new meet

Saturday, January 6, 10:30am – 1pm, CT

$25

Every day is a hinge in time, connecting past and future. In this online retreat, attuned to the start of a new year, we’ll explore the threshold dynamics of change – and how to engage those dynamics to discover and create a more welcoming future. Led by Karen Hering, author of Trusting Change, we’ll be gently guided in reflection and small group conversation, as we find grounding and support for living on the cusp of great change, whether it’s personal or global.

A collaboration between Prairiewoods or the Christine Center, this retreat launches a year of monthly online sessions, available as individual programs, offering support, encouragement and companions as you live through change.

February | On the Cusp of Change: Letting Go

Tuesday, February 13, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

It starts in our youngest days as we take our first uncertain steps and continues through the rest of our lives. We are encouraged and required, in words and nudges gentle or abrupt, to let go. Not only must we let go of what we no longer need, but astonishingly and painfully, we are repeatedly required to loosen our grip on what we love most.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering)

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

March | On the Cusp of Change: Grieving

Tuesday, March 12, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

Grief loosens our grip, helping us bow to the impermanence of the living world. Then our awareness of the living world—of ourselves and others in it—can become more spacious, connecting us in surprising new ways to what we have left behind as well as to the possibilities that lie ahead, as yet unseen.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering)

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

April In-Person Retreat at the Christine Center!

What If: imagining the new stories we are living into

April 19-21
at the Christine Center

Limited to 12 participants

The question “What if?” encourages us to step beyond our current narratives to explore the vast landscape of what could be. By asking ourselves this simple yet profound question, we open the door to new possibilities, healing, and growth. It can be a first step towards living into the beautiful, unfolding story of our lives.

What are the stories you tell yourself and others about who you have been and who you are now? Are these stories big enough for who you are becoming? Do they offer healing? How might you open the next chapter of your life, the one beginning now, in a way that allows for more possibilities, greater kinship, new directions, and a healthy involvement of your imagination? In this in-person retreat, we will each ask ourselves the powerful question “What if?” as a door opening to the beautiful stories we are living into.

The weekend is intentionally limited to 12 participants to provide a personal and transformative experience. Whether you’re navigating change, seeking clarity on your life’s direction, or yearning for a deeper connection with yourself and others, this retreat offers a sanctuary for exploration and renewal. We’ll engage embodied practices, and creative reflection in words and image, silence and conversation to awaken our imaginations and embrace the potential for new beginnings.

April | On the Cusp of Change: Practicing Equanimity

Tuesday, April 9, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

Practicing equanimity “is not denying the realities of our circumstances or our world; nor does it ask us to step back when we are called to speak out when we or others have been wronged. Rather, it equips us to step forward because when the future is not already decided, it can still be influenced by our own response to the present.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering).

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

May | On the Cusp of Change: Taking Part in Stillness

Tuesday, May 14, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

“This is the stillness of the chrysalis. This is the pause on the threshold. A lifted foot in the march of time that might come down in an entirely new direction. It is stillness preparing to spring into action, a pause that is not powerless but a gift of temporary suspension in which any number of futures are possible.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering).

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

June | On the Cusp of Change: Navigating the Unknown

Tuesday, June 11, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

Navigating the Unknown “is the skill of remaining in relationship with the unknown, greeting it, letting it change us instead of trying to change it….We are asked to companion our fears so that we can companion the unknown and the future itself. Evoking a spirit of curiosity and exploration while rejecting the impulse to conquer.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering).

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

July | On the Cusp of Change: Preparing for the Journey

Tuesday, July 9, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

“In the pause between what is no longer and what is not yet, we might discover our greatest need… is for time and space where we can dissolve our old ways of being, … [where] we are able to let go of old structures and wait a while for the new ones to emerge…. [a place] made of the relationships, elements, and interactions that will support and protect our becoming.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering).

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

August

To be announced: month of rest or guest facilitator will be announced.

September | On the Cusp of Change: Claiming Companions

Tuesday, September 10, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

When naming our threshold “journeying companions, often the first ones that come to mind are contemporaries, those physically or virtually present in the here and now. When we widen our invitation to include those who came before us and those who will follow after, we gain a steadier balance supported across a greater span of history.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering).

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

October | On the Cusp of Change: Moving On

Tuesday, October 8, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

“When we step into the present moment without attachments to what we’ve known before and what we’ve expected or desired for the future, we are opening the way for many emotions, including joy.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering).

 

 

 

 

Registration Coming Soon!

November | On the Cusp of Change: Imagining a Way

Tuesday, November 12, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

“The facts of my situation, and the logic and reason I use to arrange them, will only take me to edge of what I know. Even using my five senses will only extend as far as the range of my sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch. But imagination has the ability to reach farther by accessing the deeper well of the unconscious and creatively rearranging what I’ve known before. The uniquely human capacity to imagine is a valuable threshold skill that can open a way into and through the unknowns of the not yet.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering)

Registration Coming Soon!

December | On the Cusp of Change: Widening What We Trust

Tuesday, December 10, 7-8:30pm, CT

$15

“In our thresholding, not only does our current identity include the years we have already lived through; it also includes the future we are living toward. Just as the acorn carries within it all the potential—crown and roots and trunk—of a large oak tree to come, so too, our own future growth is folded within us. Being fully in the present moment, we can find strength in expanding our wholeness to include past and future, roots and crown and seed together, in an ever-growing identity reaching toward the light.” (From Trusting Change, by Karen Hering).

Registration Coming Soon!

Join your fellow thresholders for an evening of embodied practices, guided writing, reflection and conversation led by Karen Hering.

In Person Retreats

What If: imagining the new stories we are living into

Stranger than Fiction: a writing retreat on the relationship between truth and lies in any genre

When the Veil Is Thin: connecting with our ancestors in times of change

April 19-21
at the Christine Center

Limited to 12 participants

July 19-24 (Friday-Tuesday)
Christine Center in-person writing retreat
October 24-26
Prairiewoods in-person remembering retreat
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What are the stories you tell yourself and others about who you have been and who you are now? Are these stories big enough for who you are becoming as you live through change? Do they offer healing? How might you open the next chapter of your life, the one beginning now, in a way that allows more possibilities, greater kinship, new directions, and a healthy involvement of your imagination? This in person retreat, we will each ask ourselves the powerful question “What if?” as a door opening to the beautiful stories we are living into.

Read full description

Every story is a meeting point between truth and lies, fact and fiction, memory and imagination. Or, as Timothy O’Brien put it, “story-truth is truer sometimes than happening-truth.” In a time when the difference between truth and lies is especially important, what are the writer’s responsibilities and options for sharing and illuminating truth? This writing retreat invites you to explore the complex relationship between truth and lies – in human experience and in your own writing. Whether you’re writing for publication or for yourself, whether you’re embarking on a new project or continuing to work on a writing piece started long ago, this retreat will provide encouragement, centering, and creative practices for engaging the struggles, joy and compassion of the human heart as you put pen to page or fingers to keyboard.

The retreat is for experienced and emerging writers alike, and for writers of fiction, memoir, poetry and other forms. It offers: personal time for your own writing projects; optional daily guided writing sessions to spur your muse; gentle qigong and tai ji to listen to your body; and community meals and daily circles for abundant conversation, insight and laughter in creative exchanges with writing friends, new and old. Attend on your own, or with a writing partner or group. Together, we’ll share the gifts and challenges of the writing life, supported by the Christine Center’s generous hospitality, delicious and nourishing meals, peaceful natural setting, and opportunities for silent meditation and spiritual direction or unleashing creativity in the arts studio. Register early to reserve a housing option of your choice.

Registration Coming Soon!

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