CONSPIRE 2021: Conference Details
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CONSPIRE 2021: Conference Details

Me / Us / the World

Living Inside God’s Great Story

An interactive online event featuring conference presenters James Finley, Barbara Holmes, Jacqui Lewis, Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, and Mirabai Starr.

THE FINAL CONSPIRE
A Global Online Conference
Presented by the Center for Action and Contemplation
Friday, Sept. 24 – Sunday, Sept. 26

Registration for CONSPIRE is now closed. Thank you to everyone who registered!


 

Experience

Discover your place among the emerging contemplative movement as six of the most prolific spiritual teachers of our time unite Richard Rohr’s seven themes of alternative orthodoxy in an exploration of the Great Story Line connecting us all in the One Great Life.

  • Participate in contemplative sits led by Fr. Richard Rohr each morning.
  • Connect with other participants around the globe.
  • Deepen your experience with presentations, workshops, and book talks.
  • Learn about opportunities to nourish your path of transformation and live into new ways of thinking and being.

Registration for this online event is $375.

The 2021 Living School Alumni Gathering will take place on Thursday, September 23, and is open to Living School students who have completed the program.

*Conference details are subject to change.

Conference Schedule

The final CONSPIRE will take place over three days, from Friday, September 24 – Sunday, September 26.

For more detailed session information please read the main session or workshop session sections.

Please note all times below are in Pacific Time (PT).

Friday, September 24

8:00–8:30am: Opening Welcome

8:30–9:45am: Good Theology creates good Politics (Richard Rohr)

9:45–10:00am: Break

10:00–10:30am: Contemplative Practice

10:30–10:45am: Break

10:45am–12:00pm: Experiencing God in the Thin Places: Teaching Beyond Boundaries (Barbara Holmes)

12:00–12:15pm: Break

12:15–12:45pm: Contemplative practice

12:45–1:15pm: Break

1:15–2:15pm: Workshop Sessions

2:15–2:45pm: Break

2:45–3:15pm: Weaving it Together (Brian McLaren)

3:15–3:45pm: Closing Practice

Saturday, September 25

8:00–8:30am: Daily Welcome & Morning Sit (Richard Rohr)

8:30–9:45am: The Contemplative Dimensions of Healing Trauma (James Finley)

9:45–10:00am: Break

10:00–10:30am: Contemplative practice

10:30–10:45am: Break

10:45am–12:00pm: Meeting the Mystics in the Landscape of Loss (Mirabai Starr)

12:00–12:15pm: Break

12:15–12:45pm: Contemplative Practice

12:45–1:15pm: Break

1:15–2:15pm: Workshop Sessions

2:15–2:45pm: Break

2:45–3:15pm: Weaving it Together (Brian McLaren)

3:15–3:45pm: Closing Practice

Sunday, September 26

8:00–8:30am: Daily Welcome & Morning Sit (Richard Rohr)

8:30–9:45am: I Am Because We Are: Ubuntu and Healing the Soul of America (Jacqui Lewis)

9:45–10:00am: Break

10:00–10:30am: Contemplative practice

10:30–11:00am: Break

11:00am–12:00pm: Workshop Sessions

12:00–12:30pm: Break

12:30–1:30pm: Weaving it Together (Brian McLaren)

1:30–1:45pm: Break

1:45–2:45pm: Invitation to Communion (Jacqui Lewis, Richard Rohr, and Mirabai Starr)

3:15–3:45pm: Closing Blessing & Drumming

*Conference details are subject to change.


Main Sessions

Good Theology Creates Good Politics

In this seventh and final CONSPIRE conference, Fr. Richard sums up why and how the seven themes of Alternative Orthodoxy emerge from the Perennial Tradition and create a coherent and compelling worldview.  Yet, as a whole, they were seldom mainline Christianity in the first 2000 years. This session will be followed by a contemplative practice.

  • Presenter: Richard Rohr
  • Day/Time: Friday, 8:30-9:45am PT

Experiencing God in the Thin Places: Teaching Beyond Boundaries.  

Barbara will be reflecting on ways the mystery of God is revealed in people and places in our world. This mystery can be experienced in Thin Places, and through teachers and artists who create out of an inner experience of Holy presence. These revelations are invitations to us all to discover the mystery of God present in our own lives and all around us. This session will be followed by a contemplative practice.

  • Presenter: Barbara Holmes
  • Day/Time: Friday, 10:45 – 12:00pm PT

Weaving it Together

Brian McLaren will reflect on the day’s teaching and its meaning for our lives individually, collectively, and for our world, moving us toward a vision of Christian renewal. This session will be followed by a contemplative practice.

  • Presenter: Brian McLaren
  • Day/Time: Friday, 2:45 – 3:45pm PT; Saturday, 2:45–3:45 PT; Sunday, 12:30-1:30pm PT

The Contemplative Dimensions of Healing Trauma

Learning to be a healing presence in an all too often traumatized and traumatizing world. This session will be followed by a contemplative practice.

  • Presenters: James Finley
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 8:30 – 9:45am PT

Meeting the Mystics in the Landscape of Loss 

In this teaching, Mirabai explores how opening our hearts to death and grief grants us direct access to the sacred. Using stories from mystics such as Teresa of Avila, Julian of Norwich and Hildegard of Bingen as examples of intimacy with the divine presence in the midst of our most harrowing losses, we are invited to claim our own experiences of shattering as opportunities for transformation and invitations to ever greater service to creation. This session will be followed by a contemplative practice.

  • Presenters: Mirabai Starr
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 10:45 – 12:00pm PT

I Am Because We Are: Ubuntu and Healing the Soul of America

I am because we are. This ancient Zulu philosophy asserts the inextricable connection among human beings. Our thriving and surviving are caught up together. This spiritual wisdom is imbedded in all the world’s major religions. How do we excavate this wisdom — these Ubuntu PThics — for our time? This will be a talk on healing our souls and the soul of our nation. This session will be followed by a contemplative practice.

  • Presenters: Jacqui Lewis
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 8:30 – 9:45am PT

*Conference details are subject to change.


Workshop Sessions

Friday, September 24

Q&A with Barbara Holmes

Barbara Holmes will listen and respond to participant questions.

  • Presenter: Barbara Holmes
  • Day/Time: Friday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Poetry: A Doorway to Contemplation

In this session, Drew Jackson will take us on a journey into the world of poetry, exploring why the biblical writers so often used it and unpacking what Fr. Richard means when he calls poetry “the undefended doorway into deeper consciousness.”

  • Presenter: Drew Jackson
  • Day/Time: Friday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

An Invitation to Spiritual Direction & Companionship – We Need Not Travel Our Journeys Alone

In this workshop, facilitated by Spiritual Directors International (SDI), you’ll learn more about spiritual direction and companionship, how to find a spiritual director/companion to work with you, and how this contemplative modality can help you grow in awareness, presence, peace, and service. Bring your questions!

  • Presenters: Seifu Anil Singh-Morales & Matt Whitney
  • Day/Time: Friday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

From Prayer to Protest: Lessons in Socially Engaged Contemplation

Given today’s crises the world over, we can no longer afford to hide all our contemplatives in monasteries. We need to reunite contemplation and action. We need spiritual activists and, indeed, spiritual warriors on the streets of our cities and in all our professions and institutions who can reinvent them with spiritual values and see every person in need, every structural imbalance, every cry, including the cry of the earth, as a call to be answered.

Through personal stories and lessons on socially engaged contemplation, Adam will invite us to learn from experiences and people who taught him, be it homeless youth he mentored, courageous priests he met as a youth growing up in Poland, or spiritual elders who helped him to discover how to “practice contemplation on the streets”.

  • Presenter: Fr. Adam Bucko
  • Day/Time: Friday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

12-Step Meeting (QFaith)

QFaith originated with people who were Questioning. Questioning the current models of church, the established doctrine and whether recovery could work for those without identifiable addictions, amongst other things. QFaith follows a 12-step process. If you’ve been curious about what attending a 12-step meeting would be like, if you need a meeting, or if you’re looking to connect with like-minded people at the conference, you’re welcome to join. QFaith uses Breathing Under Water by Father Richard Rohr as a basic text as well as other recovery approved literature. Founded in 2012, with members attending all over the world, QFaith is rooted in both the teachings of Jesus and the recovery movement. For more information and access to the QFaith preamble and values statement go to: http://qfaithcommunity.com.

  • Presenter: Rev. Jennifer Dawn Watts
  • Day/Time: Friday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT
Processing & Reflection (General)
Open to all. Join in for a facilitated spiritual processing session. This is an opportunity to connect, share and grow with each other in a safe environment. Session will include breaking out into small groups.
  • Presenters: Eric Evans
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Centering Prayer & Our Basic Core of Goodness

Centering prayer, as developed by Thomas Keating and others, is a receptive method of Christian prayer that prepares us to receive the gift of contemplation. We will practice centering prayer and explore its principle that all beings are created with a basic core of goodness. This basic core of goodness is capable of unlimited transformation and union with the Divine. The acceptance of our basic goodness is a quantum leap in the spiritual journey.

  • Presenters: Mark Dannenfelser, MA, MPS, LPC
  • Day/Time: Friday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Living With/For/As Earth

It is said in my culture that as the female of our kind, I am synonymous with Earth, synonymous with Life. As Thicht Nacht Hahn indicates we are “Interbeing.” Both of these understandings point to a simultaneous consciousness between Earth, Human, Life and Spirit. How does this expand our understanding and our possibility?

  • Presenter: Pat McCabe (Weyakpa Najin Win, Woman Stands Shining)
  • Day/Time: Friday, 1:15 – 2:15 PT

Saturday, September 25

Q&A with Mirabai Starr

Mirabai Starr will listen and respond to participant questions.

  • Presenter: Mirabai Starr
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Q&A with James Finley

James Finley will listen and respond to participant questions.

  • Presenter: James Finley
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Creativity & Context

Rose B. Simpson, an Indigenous professional artist from Santa Clara Pueblo, NM, speaks of her process in relationship to culture, community, and a Great Spirit.

  • Presenter: Rose B. Simpson
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Engaging with Money as a Doorway to Spiritual Transformation

What if our financial resources were aligned with the ancient wisdom of spiritual transformation and right action? The contemplative stream of Wisdom Christianity offers practices that aid both the inner healing and the opening of the heart that bring us and our money into resonance with higher knowing.  In this session, Rose Feerick and Steven Bonsey invite you into an experience of Lectio Divina that opens to reflection on our relationship with money.

  • Presenters: Rose Feerick, Steven Bonsey,
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

History, Organization & Values of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival

In 1968 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King launched the original Poor People’s Campaign with the goal of bringing the poor and dispossessed together across lines of division to lead a transformative movement for change. He saw how we had to move away from, “a thing oriented society,” toward society oriented around the value and dignity of all people. Today the US is home to 140 million poor and low income people (43% of the population), representing every race, religion, age, geography, sexual orientation. Join leaders from today’s Poor People Campaign to learn and discuss the history, organization, values, and ongoing activities and actions of today’s Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival.

  • Presenters: Rev. Kazimir Brown, Dr. Adam Barnes
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

12-Step Meeting (QFaith)

QFaith originated with people who were Questioning. Questioning the current models of church, the established doctrine and whether recovery could work for those without identifiable addictions, amongst other things. QFaith follows a 12-step process. If you’ve been curious about what attending a 12-step meeting would be like, if you need a meeting, or if you’re looking to connect with like-minded people at the conference, you’re welcome to join. QFaith uses Breathing Under Water by Father Richard Rohr as a basic text as well as other recovery approved literature. Founded in 2012, with members attending all over the world, QFaith is rooted in both the teachings of Jesus and the recovery movement. For more information and access to the QFaith preamble and values statement go to: http://qfaithcommunity.com.

  • Presenter: Rev. Jennifer Dawn Watts
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Processing & Reflection (General)

Open to all. Join in for a facilitated spiritual processing session. This is an opportunity to connect, share and grow with each other in a safe environment. Session will include breaking out into small groups.

  • Presenters: Eric Evans
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Processing & Reflection (BIPOC)

Open to those who identify as BIPOC. Join fellow BIPOC in a facilitated spiritual processing session. This is an opportunity to connect, share and grow with each other in a safe environment. Session will include breaking out into small groups.

  • Presenters: Larry J. Morris III
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Processing & Reflection (LGBTQIA+)

Open to those who identify as LGBTQIA+. Join fellow LGBTQIA+ in a facilitated spiritual processing session. This is an opportunity to connect, share and grow with each other in a safe environment. Session will include breaking out into small groups.

  • Presenters: Rabbi Myriam Klotz
  • Day/Time: Saturday, 1:15 – 2:15pm PT

Sunday, September 26

Q&A with Jacqui Lewis

Jacqui Lewis will listen and respond to participant questions.

  • Presenter: Jacqui Lewis
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

Q&A with Brian McLaren

Brian McLaren will listen and respond to participant questions.

  • Presenter: Brian McLaren
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

Embracing Transformation: Contemplative Outreach (un)Limited.

As a world-wide community of Centering Prayer practitioners, the fundamental purpose of Contemplative Outreach (CO) is to further the knowledge and experience of God’s love in the consciousness of the human family.  This session will explore the myriad ways in which CO is serving this purpose, including the unique way in which our work complements that of CAC in addressing the deep social and spiritual concerns of our time. In the words of our founder, Fr. Thomas Keating: “We are called to start, not with old-world contracts…we should begin a new world, with one that actually exists”.  Examples of this ‘new world’ will be offered, along with an opportunity for participants to reflect on their own knowledge and experience of God’s love and the transformation process.

  • Presenters: Mary Jane Yates, BScN, MSc
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

Becoming the Men We Are Meant to Be

For most men, the question of what it means to be a man is perplexing—many long for the support and guidance of other men in their journey towards masculinity, maturity, and a deeper experience with the divine. This session will explore how Illuman uses ritual, teaching and ways of communicating to create an environment where men can explore what matters to them most, transforming themselves and each other through a power greater than our own.

  • Presenters: Bob White, Giovanni Perez, Ned Abenroth
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

12-Step Meeting (QFaith)

QFaith originated with people who were Questioning. Questioning the current models of church, the established doctrine and whether recovery could work for those without identifiable addictions, amongst other things. QFaith follows a 12-step process. If you’ve been curious about what attending a 12-step meeting would be like, if you need a meeting, or if you’re looking to connect with like-minded people at the conference, you’re welcome to join. QFaith uses Breathing Under Water by Father Richard Rohr as a basic text as well as other recovery approved literature. Founded in 2012, with members attending all over the world, QFaith is rooted in both the teachings of Jesus and the recovery movement. For more information and access to the QFaith preamble and values statement go to: http://qfaithcommunity.com.

  • Presenter: Rev. Jennifer Dawn Watts
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

Processing & Reflection (General)

Open to all. Join in for a facilitated spiritual processing session. This is an opportunity to connect, share and grow with each other in a safe environment. Session will include breaking out into small groups.

  • Presenters: Rebeka Moeljono
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

Processing & Reflection (BIPOC)
Open to those who identify as BIPOC. Join fellow BIPOC in a facilitated spiritual processing session. This is an opportunity to connect, share and grow with each other in a safe environment. Session will include breaking out into small groups.

  • Presenters: Larry J. Morris III
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

Processing & Reflection (LGBTQIA+)

Open to those who identify as LGBTQIA+. Join fellow LGBTQIA+ in a facilitated spiritual processing session. This is an opportunity to connect, share and grow with each other in a safe environment. Session will include breaking out into small groups.

  • Presenters: Rabbi Myriam Klotz
  • Day/Time: Sunday, 11:00am – 12:00pm PT

*Conference details are subject to change.


Financial Assistance

We are able to offer financial assistance for a limited number of individuals attending the final CONSPIRE thanks to the generosity of Center for Action and Contemplation donors. Please keep in mind:

  1. You will need to apply for financial assistance before registering for CONSPIRE.
  2. You should get a status update within 5 business days of submitting your application.
  3. Submitting a financial assistance application does not reserve your seat for CONSPIRE.

Applications for financial assistance for CONSPIRE are now closed.

Interested in donating to the final CONSPIRE scholarship fund? You can do so when you register.


Cancellation Policy

Written notice of your cancellation must be received by the CAC on or before August 30, 2021. Each cancelled registration will be assessed a processing fee of $50, with the remainder refunded to the credit card used for registration.

Unfortunately, we are unable to refund cancellations made after August 30, 2021.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

General Questions

Will there be an in-person component to the final CONSPIRE or is it only online?
We chose to make the final CONSPIRE a completely online event in order to help keep our teachers, staff, and community safe from the risk of COVID-19 infection. A virtual event is also more inclusive, being accessible to a wider global audience.

Who will be presenting at the final CONSPIRE?
The final CONSPIRE conference presenters are James Finley, Barbara Holmes, Jacqui Lewis, Brian McLaren, Richard Rohr, and Mirabai Starr.

Will there be a Living School Alumni Gathering?
The Alumni Gathering is scheduled for Thursday Sept. 23, the day before CONSPIRE begins. Detailed information will be shared via email and posted to our website as soon as it is available.

What is the cost to register?
Registration is $375.

Will I need multiple registrations for more than one person in my household to participate? How many people can I share my login with?
Every person who registers will get a link and login that can be used on one device at a time. Each person wanting to participate on a separate device will need a separate registration.

Are there still scholarships available to attend the final CONSPIRE?
Applications for financial assistance for CONSPIRE are now closed.

What’s the difference between a webcast and a virtual event?
A webcast is a one-way broadcast of what’s happening on a stage or screen, whereas a virtual event is much more dynamic and interactive. There will be opportunities to connect with other people as well as to participate in workshops and discussions.

I can no longer participate in the event live, but would like to access the recordings. Is there an option to view a replay later on?
Registrants will have access to recorded conference materials for a period of time after the conference (TBD).

Will CONSPIRE be recorded?
CONSPIRE will be recorded. Breakout rooms, 12-Step sessions, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, General Spiritual Process sessions, and Table Topics will not be recorded nor available for replay.

Technical Questions

How many hours will participants need to spend on the CONSPIRE website each day?
We expect the main conference programming to be around 6 hours a day. Participants will also be able to sign up for some optional activities (as capacity allows). Information about specific times, activities, and schedules will be posted on our website as soon as we finalize the details.

What online platform will be used for virtual event?
The final CONSPIRE will be an interactive online conference experience. Attendees will receive details on how to access the conference website via email in early September.

What type of accessibility accommodations will be available via the virtual event?
The virtual event will have a closed caption option for participants.

How will the conference work for those in other time zones?
The conference will be live for anyone who’d like to participate live. All posted times are for Pacific Time.

What are the technical recommendations for my computer?
For the best experience, we recommend using Google Chrome on a Windows or Mac laptop or desktop device. The website is tested in Edge, Chrome, Firefox & Safari 14+ on Desktop, Safari 14+ & Chrome on iPad, Safari 14+ & Chrome on iPhone and Chrome on Android.

The website may work on other browsers, devices, or software versions, but performance may be affected. Please note that the Story Booth feature will only work with a Google Chrome or Firefox browser.

How do I reach technical support?
If you need help during the event, please click on the Help Desk in the lower right-hand corner of your browser window while logged into the CONSPIRE website and the support team will be happy to assist you. Please click here if you are having trouble logging onto the site. You can also reach support from our Community Engagement team by calling (505) 247-1636.

Cancellation Questions

I can no longer attend the event, how do I cancel my registration?
You can contact our Community Engagement team through our contact form or via email at [email protected].

Is there a cancellation fee?
Written notice of your cancellation must be received by the CAC on or before August 30, 2021. Each cancelled registration will be assessed a processing fee of $50, with the remainder refunded to the credit card used for registration. Unfortunately, we are unable to refund cancellations made after August 30, 2021.

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