A GladdeningLight Retreat
“The retreat was nourishment for our souls.”
The Retreat was hosted by:
Dr. Marcus J. Borg, Oregon State University’s Hundere Chair Emeritus of Religion and Culture and bestselling author of twenty books on the historical Jesus, religion and Christian spirituality
The Rev. Canon Marianne Wells Borg, Director of the Center for Spiritual Development, Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon
Billy Collins, America’s most beloved living poet and our nation’s Poet Laureate from 2001-2003, the author of eight volumes of poetry including Ballistics (2008) and Horoscopes for the Dead (2011)
“There are not words enough to express my gratitude and appreciation for the ‘Seeing’ experience at Brasada Ranch this past August. It was everything and so much more that I hoped it would be. I am someone who strives to constantly wrap herself in hope – emotionally, psychologically and spiritually – but also a person who needs time to appropriately reflect upon the experiences of my life in order to speak well about them, and continue this journey with quiet joy and hopeful perseverance.
The three presenters were an inspired choice in my opinion. As you know, Billy was the huge draw for me. Poetry is the art form that most enhances, broadens, sustains and nourishes my personal spirituality. Music is a close second. I didn’t know of the Borgs before seeing the ad for the retreat but once I signed up, Marianne was next in line for me as a draw to the event. This is because of my own experience as a woman working in ministry for twenty years in the Catholic Church. (For many years, I have strongly disagreed with my own church’s teaching on women and ordination.) I was delighted to experience both Marcus and Marianne in their lovely home, and happy Marcus used poetry in his presentations and Marianne, music.
The venue at Brasada Ranch could not have been better – from the lovely physical setting, to the staff, to the food and drink. I was very impressed with the well-organized flow of the evening social time, meals, and the food & drink that was enjoyed by all. It goes without saying that it took a lot of planning and effort to make it happen with such seeming ease. I also appreciated the roster of participants. Each day, I kept learning unique things about other retreatants and feeling pleasure being with like-minded people!
The afternoons with Marianne presented key opportunities to drink in wisdom from others and to perhaps share some of my own with them. It was an opportunity to ‘break open’ two of my own beliefs about sharing poetry: that it is generally most meaningful if read aloud and that in some instances it can be a powerful form of prayer. I believe its use in prayer can contribute greatly to the ‘eye-opening’ reality.
Randy and Pat, my life is richer and much better because of the whole retreat experience and I shall be forever grateful to you both for it.
With a heart full of gratitude, Sharon”
– Sharon Beshoar