Do you have questions about what is happening in your spiritual life? Have you found yourself having doubts, asking questions, feeling as if you don’t ‘fit in,’ or perhaps even feeling that your faith is slipping through your fingertips? How would it feel to know that what you may be experiencing is completely normal and may even be a sign of growth in your life with God? What if you were in the midst of an invitation into deeper intimacy… a “holy shift”?
This cohort offers you an opportunity to explore this shift – to give words to it, to understand it, and to know that you are not alone. You will examine the whole of your journey so far and have a sense of where you may be heading. You will be invited to process your story in a safe, compassionate, and encouraging environment.
There will be a maximum of eight persons in this cohort. The cohort, based on the book The Critical Journey by Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich, will meet for five 2-day retreats from 9 am to 5 pm each day over an eight month period.
This will be an intense experience as it may involve unearthing some painful memories and experiences. It will also be renewing and may even be healing, both spiritually and psychologically, as you begin to see God’s hand in your entire spiritual story and as you resonate with the stories of others.
In this cohort we take an in-depth look at your own spiritual journey through the lens of The Critical Journey, a book written by Janet Hagberg and Robert Guelich. They have mapped out six stages that can be part of a transformative spiritual journey.
We look at these stages as part of your past, your present and your future. They are:
Stage One Discovering God – you acknowledge that there is a God. This is awakening to the fact that there is Someone greater than yourself.
Stage Two Learning about God – you want to learn all about God and be in a community that can support this learning and also believes the same way you do. In this stage, acquiring knowledge about God and belonging are the most important elements of this stage.
Stage Three Working for God – this is the stage where you actively do things for God and for the benefit of your “spiritual” community. You love the community and feel confident in what you believe. There is fidelity to the doctrine and theology of what your church teaches. You may feel the need to defend what you believe and struggle with what others believe as being valid.
Stages One through Three: These are primarily outward stages meaning they express themselves in learning and doing. These are the stages that are well supported in most churches. In fact, these stages encompass the work of the church and defines it as well. Stages One through Three are based on knowing what you believe and having all the answers.
Many think this is the height of the spiritual journey – but there is so much more….
Stage Four Rediscovering God – this is a stage of deconstruction where either your way of sensing or engaging God is changing or sometimes, through an upheaval in your life, you begin to question, doubt and/or have curiosity about things that were at one time rock solid for you.
Because Stage Four usually leads a person into a place of doubt and questioning that is not easily answered with Christianese or a few Scriptures, it is not always a welcomed (nor recognized) stage in the church. Stage Four is the beginning of the realization that you don’t have all the answers, in fact you seem to have more questions than ever. For this reason, people in Stage Four will sometimes find themselves no longer comfortable in the church and some will leave.
The Wall Your Will Meets God’s Will – this is the place of ultimate surrender to the work that God is doing internally. It is an intense healing journey. The Wall is embedded within Stage Four.
The Wall is a place of surrender. It is a place where you recognize you have come to the end of all you know to do. The old ways of doing things that used to bring relief no longer work. It is ultimately a place of deep invitation to trust – to trust God on a level you have never experienced. It is a letting go of the known and a journey into the unknown. But how do you recognize that you are even facing The Wall? How do you move through it? What does that look like?
Stage Five Surrendering to God – coming through the Wall brings you to a place of greater love, compassion, capacity to forgive, etc. This is a place of deep personal integrity and of being part of a community of mutual love and respect.
Stage Six Reflecting God – you find that you have a very intimate relationship with God that informs who you are and everything you do. The life of Jesus – fully living in intimacy with the Holy.
Stages Five and Six – In Stages Five and Six, you begin to live out of the truest part of yourself. You explore living a life of generativity – giving back to the world in a unique way that uses your gifts in specific ways. All this occurs in the context of a generous orthodoxy that offers love and compassion to yourself and to others.
This deeper journey invites you to a place of freedom and openness. You release the confines of doctrine and dogma and focus more on the love and life of Jesus and what it looks like to live that life yourself.
If you see yourself or your journey reflected in Stages Four through Six, we’d invite you to be a part of this cohort.
1. Interested persons must have completed The Intimacy Project. Any exception to this prerequisite will be at the discretion of Deb Turnow based on her personal interview of an interested person.
2. Once accepted to a cohort, participants will pay a $200 non-refundable deposit to secure their space in the program within two weeks of confirmed acceptance.
3. Since this program is highly experiential and intense, there is an expectation that participants will attend all retreats. Attendance is important for each individual for their own spiritual journey as well as for the health of the community they are entering into.
4. All participants should be meeting with a spiritual director on at least a bi-monthly basis. Guidelines and help in finding a director are available if a person does not have one.
The cohort will meet via Zoom on the following dates from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Each day is comprised of a repeated rhythm of brief presentations via Zoom, private reflection time (on your own, off Zoom) and a return to our Zoom call for group processing. The next cohort with available spaces is scheduled for:
October 16-17, 2021
December 4-5, 2021
February 5-6, 2022
April 2-3, 2022
May 21-22, 2022
There is limited space (maximum of 6 persons) as we feel this work is best done in small groups so there is the opportunity to build intimate community.
Prepare for this ONLINE community by ...
- Choosing and preparing a space to spend the evening: Ideally it will be quiet and comfortable, with splashes of beauty and perhaps some chocolate or other special treats.
- Communicating with others in your household: Clearly and graciously, let other household members know what space you will be using during the class. Explain how very grateful you will be to them for respecting your class time by not interrupting you!
- Gathering your materials: You will want your journal (or something to write on if you don't have a journal) and any documents sent to you prior to the class.
- Preparing for our Zoom calls: Set up your laptop or tablet in a place where it can remain plugged in for the duration of the call so that you don't get disconnected due to a dead battery. Adjust your device so approximately one-third of your upper torso and your head show on the screen. When the camera is further away, it is difficult to see your facial expressions and when it is closer, it is challenging to see your body language. Choose a spot where light from a window or lamp shines on your face. Avoid having your device's camera pointed toward a strong source of light; your face will be darkened and others will have a harder time seeing you. If you have never been on a Zoom call before, please download the free necessary software at https://zoom.us/download sometime before retreat day. You will receive a link to join the group Zoom one day prior to each class session.
“Having known Deb for five years, I’ve had the privilege of working very closely with her in several settings, most recently as a mentor for CenterQuest. I've been witness to her passion and vision for Kavanna House and the direction and shape it’s currently taking...One can only expect excellence from Deb and nothing less. You won’t be disappointed!” ~ Wil Hernandez, PhD, Obl. OSB, founder and president of CenterQuest