The Intimacy Project
The Intimacy Project is an eight-month experience to explore your life with God. You will learn or re-discover a variety of spiritual practices that will position you to awaken to the presence of God in your everyday life. The components include retreat weekends, weekly journaling check-ins, suggested readings, and invitation to more than 20 spiritual practices. During the five retreat weekends you will engage with a rhythm of learning contemplative practices, spending time alone in reflection, and processing your experience in a safe group setting. This is so much more than educational exposure; it is an invitational experience. This course speaks to the heart and spirit. It opens you to changes in your inner life with God and with yourself, which changes your outer life with God and others. Awareness deepens. Perspective shifts. Healing occurs.
You may find a good fit with The Intimacy Project if you…
- yearn for more closeness, more intimacy, and more freedom in your relationship with God.
- are sensing there must be more to this spiritual life.
- are weary and have become tired of “doing."
- need time and space to reflect and rest.
If you have already completed a spiritual formation program or perhaps are a spiritual director, you will discover fresh invitations. Although some of the practices won’t be new to you, the way they are offered is new and you are in a different place than when you first learned them. And this is a time for you. Instead of learning something to offer to someone else, this is an opportunity to immerse yourself in your own love relationship with God. Being a part of The Intimacy Project would reserve five weekends set aside to just “be” with God. Imagine what space that might open up in your own soul to truly rest and receive.
There is limited space as we feel this work is best done by building intimate community in small groups. There are a total of eight (8) spaces in each scheduled cohort.
Many respected authors have written about the need for us to reclaim some of our spiritual practice heritage that has been lost through the years. They remind us that transformation does not happen simply by doing good things and serving, but by placing ourselves in a posture that will welcome the work of the Spirit. This course focuses on some of the Christian practices that help us become open and receptive to that process of transformation.
Intro to Course/ Presence You will begin to notice God’s presence in places and ways you had not before, ultimately recognizing that God’s presence is always with you.
Streams/Pathways This practice will help you gain an understanding of how you uniquely connect with God.
Group Process You will learn a group process that creates space for each participant to share their own experience with the practices in a safe environment, without judgment.
Journaling Journaling is an excellent practice to help you process and thoughtfully consider how God is present in your daily life.
Silence and Solitude You will learn and begin to practice the discipline of becoming quiet before God and learning to hear God’s still small voice.
Lectio Divina Lectio divina is a way to be in Scripture that will move you into transformation as you consider how God wants to speak to you uniquely through the Word.
Prayer You will expand your definition of prayer as you practice different types of prayer, including the prayer of examen, breath prayer, and praying with Scripture.
Grand Examen A grand examen is a process to help you reflect on the movements of God in your life in the past year.
Longing This practice will help you discern what your deepest longing is with God and what God’s longing is for you.
Creativity in Spiritual FormationYou will explore ways of infusing creativity into your life with God.
Spiritual Formation and the Body God invites us to experience spirituality in our body. You will explore practices that move you towards a more embodied spirituality.
Stages of Spiritual Growth Using the book, The Critical Journey, you will begin to understand the stages of your faith journey.
Discernment This practice will help you come to a place where you can begin to trust God’s leading as you make decisions in your life, both big and small.
Spiritual Direction/Companionship You will discover several different types of meaningful spiritual relationships that will help you process and pay attention to the movement of God in your life.
Sabbath and Retreat These practices explore designing a day of rest and also longer periods away for reflection.
Rule of Life This practice will help you develop a rhythm of life that helps you to maintain the spiritual practices and rhythms that allow you to be more aware of God’s presence in your life.
1. Interested persons will complete an application and have an interview with The Intimacy Project facilitators.
2. Once accepted to the program, participants will pay a $200 non-refundable deposit to Kavanna House to secure their space in the program within 2 weeks of confirmed acceptance.
3. Since this program is highly experiential there is an expectation that participants will attend all retreats and will do the practices, the readings, the weekly journaling assignments as well as the monthly reflection papers on what they are experiencing. All of these pieces are important for each individual in their own spiritual journey as well as the health of the community they are entering into.
4. By the second retreat, participants are strongly encouraged to have a spiritual director. Guidelines and help in finding a director will be made available.
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 2021-May 2022 Cohort Retreat Dates
Prepare for this ONLINE cohort by ...
- Choosing and preparing a space to spend the retreat weekends: 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 retreat days. Explain how very grateful you will be to them for respecting your retreat 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 retreat weekend.
- 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 retreat weekend.
"My experience of IP was life changing. I had experienced a mid-life breakdown after several very difficult years and I found myself very stuck spiritually and emotionally. This program helped to restore my relationship with God. I went from hiding from Him to delighting in Him. This program helped me to re-enter life."~ Diane S.
"Words fail to describe the significant impact and value of The Intimacy Project. The IP retreats were life changing and so powerful in drawing out areas of my life that caused me to be stuck in growing in intimacy with God. I received tools that were beneficial in giving life and meaning. Additionally I received grace and walked in freedom of condemnation. IP was life giving and life transforming. I am enjoying wide spaces in my relationship with God." ~ Program Participant
"I came to Kavanna House tired, worn out by life and discouraged. God 'wooed' me here to provide both a physical and spiritual space to soothe my soul and restore my life and joy again. The extravagant nature of God's love and grace for me have imprinted themselves in my soul." ~ Heather G.
"I highly value The Intimacy Project experience, as it has been instrumental in taking me deep into my loving God's presence over the course of its nine month term. The feedback carried significant meaning to me as I am drawn into my 'friend's' presence. It feels to me kind of like I've been an electrical cord lying next to the electrical outlet for many years and that the cohort facilitator (with the Holy Spirit's urging) gently pointed me to the reality that God's Presence and Power are right there for me to plug into, and all I need to do is connect myself to Him. It then seems so clear to me that His presence is freely given and there for the experiencing and empowering and healing and friendship and - so much more. I am truly grateful for the resources provided to me in The Intimacy Project and would recommend it to others who are seeking to press into a deeper relationship with God."~ Curt Stutzman
"There are many callings in life, but the most profound are those in response to God. I didn't know much about The Intimacy Project, however I felt God calling me to engage. Through that engagement, I stepped into a sacred space with a group of people who lovingly, openly, trustingly journeyed to a place of discovery. The Intimacy Project invited me to dig deeply and center my life on God. Through the guidance of sensitive and insightful leadership, I experienced a transformation." ~ Pamela Clayborne
"I am half way through The Intimacy Project and it has changed my life already. Life comes with challenges and pain as I deal with past trauma and, as we care for foster children in our home. The challenges do not change, but my take on it has changed during The Intimacy Project: I have learned to surrender all to an amazing faithful Heavenly Father and embrace all aspects. Carrying life’s challenges today is different and lighter as God does a deep work through the Spiritual Practices. Receiving a scholarship for The Intimacy Project has made all this possible as we were not able to afford it on our own. Grateful forever for people who provided this for me." ~ MaddyChristine Hope Brokopp
“This is good work. It is beautiful work, flowing from insight and wisdom into intensely practical, experiential learning. Students of The Intimacy Project do not just learn about spiritual practice, they sample disciplines and tailor their own spiritual practice based on the best of all that has gone before. But the real proof is in the outcomes. Each of the graduates of the program may come from a variety of backgrounds, but those I have met all exude a real depth of spiritual maturity and the unmistakable Fruit of God’s Spirit. This is true spiritual formation rooted in authentic Christian spirituality.” ~ Todd Long, Former Director of the Sustainable Faith School of Spiritual Direction
“The Intimacy Project is a solid, well-led, powerful program to help anyone who wants to go deeper with God and become more like Jesus. Blending learning and experience with spiritual practices in good balance, I commend it highly and hope many will participate for their sake and for the sake of the world.” ~ Rev. Bill Haley, Executive Director, Coracle