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Center for Action and Contemplation

Alumni Quarterly — Winter 2020

Monday, January 6, 2020

Dear Living School Alumni,

The new Alumni Quarterly is here—and this issue’s theme is Rhythm of Life, with a particular focus on contemplative solidarity. This electronic magazine exists to resource your daily lives at the intersection of action and contemplation, to keep you in touch with one another, and to inspire us toward lives soaked, ever more deeply, in the love of Christ.

I want to take this opportunity to share several pieces of news: I have recently accepted a position on staff with the CAC as the Managing Editor of Daily Meditations. I have loved editing the Quarterly and connecting with alumni, and yet I will be stepping away from my Quarterly role in order to focus my time and energy on the Daily Meditations. I am grateful to you all for your submissions, insights, encouragement, and friendship. It inspires me to see the CAC and the alumni community continuing to grow and evolve. The CAC’s new Engagement Manager, Brandon Strange, brings with him a passion for dynamic communications opportunities for the alumni. I look forward to seeing how the CAC will build upon the Quarterly to enhance alumni community and continue to feature alumni-generated content.

I also hope to see many of you at the Alumni Gathering before *CONSPIRE 2020 on May 14th in Albuquerque! This will truly be a special event for alumni friends from around the world to connect with each other and the Living School core faculty. The gathering will also be the first public opportunity to welcome and interact with a recently expanded teaching faculty featuring Barbara Holmes and Brian McLaren alongside Richard Rohr, Cynthia Bourgeault, and James Finley. For alumni who may not have studied with the new faculty, they are tremendous teachers. Holmes weaves reflections on contemplation seamlessly with piercing insights on racial justice and cosmology while McLaren brings a contagious passion for spiritual transformation, church renewal, and social justice. The Alumni Gathering is free and there’s room for all Living School sendees! Please note that to allow CAC time to prepare for these significant events, we have decided that there will not be a Spring Alumni Quarterly. Stay tuned for more on the alumni program.

This Winter Quarterly gives alumni a look inside the August 2019 Living School Symposium and takes up a recent evolution of the School’s Rhythm of Life. Students and alumni alike are encouraged to enact contemplative solidarity, which goes beyond contemplative service, in their lives and unique contexts. To highlight this theme, I speak with Fr. Richard about Brazilian educator Paulo Freire’s “five conversions.” I also interview Oregon Court of Appeals Judge Darleen Ortega (’19), who has long worked on issues of race, equity, and belonging, and who helped shape a powerful ritual at the Symposium called Centering the Margins.

There are further Rhythm of Life touchstones throughout the issue: an invitation to visio divina with Julie Ann Stevens’ (’15) paintings, a Symposium audio opportunity to chant and sit in silence with Cynthia Bourgeault, a report from an alumni community in Northern California, a remarkable Bible-translation project that Andrew Breitenberg (’17) is undertaking, and more.

The Team behind the Quarterly hopes you will slow your pace, sip your favorite hot beverage, and, through conscious reading, allow your heart to connect with this global contemplative community.

I pray that this Quarterly inspires you in your rhythm of life—and that all our rhythms may bend toward divine grace.

Mark Longhurst's signature

Mark Longhurst (’15)

*The dates for CONSPIRE have changed due to the impact of COVID-19. For updated information about CONSPIRE, please visit our main CONSPIRE page here.

Download the Quarterly in one of these formats:

This issue features:

Editor’s Note

Monk in Midlife – Ali Kirkpatrick

Contemplative Practice

  • Visio Divina with Julie Ann Stevens
  • Morning Practice with Cynthia Bourgeault

Contemplative Study

  • From Service to Solidarity – Interview with Richard Rohr
  • The Pilgrim Bible: Translating the Living Word — Andrew Breitenberg

Contemplative Community

  • Photos from the 2019 Symposium
  • Update from the Northern California Contemplative Community – Linda
  • Williams and Colette Lafia

Contemplative Solidarity

  • Centering the Margins — Interview with Darleen Ortega
  • Power in Play — Sarah Giffin

Debonee’s Film Corner

  • Christopher Robin

Alumni News

CAC News


Morning Practice with Cynthia Bourgeault (click here to download or listen below)


Interview with Richard Rohr (watch below; read the transcript)


Interview with Darlene Ortega (listen below; read the transcript)


Guidelines for Submissions to Alumni Quarterly

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