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Center for Action and Contemplation
A photo of a window with an old brown frame with the words “Living into the Hidden Story: Mystery, Meaning, and You, An Online Summit with CAC Faculty, Staff, and Friends”

Living into the Hidden Story: Mystery, Meaning, and You

An Online Summit with CAC Faculty, Staff, and Friends, Nov. 18

As we walk the contemplative path, our deepest discoveries emerge by uncovering truths hidden in the wisdom of our own lives. This year CAC’s events explored the narratives that shape us — from trauma and healing stories, to biblical story patterns, and stories of mystical wisdom.

We invite you to experience the culmination of this theme in our half-day online summit, Living into the Hidden Story: Mystery, Meaning, and You, LIVE online on Saturday Nov. 18 from 10 am – 2 pm PT (Pacific Time). This event explores the role of contemplation as a resource, practice, and gathering place for those who walk a deinstitutionalized path to spiritual wisdom. This event will be recorded. All those who register by Nov. 16 will have access to the replay for one full year.

Nov. 18, 2023, 10 am – 2 pm PT, Recorded Replay Available for Registrants
Richard Rohr, Brian McLaren, James Finley, CAC staff and friends 
$95, $30, $10, $5 

“Only when we contemplate and engage new stories can we discern where and how God is calling us to act.”

—Richard Rohr

In this summit, participants will reflect on contemplation as a spiritual practice with a storied history and transformative potential. A form of meditation that encourages deep listening, contemplation reveals hidden truths that lead us to the beating heart of Christianity. Join us in embracing contemplative wisdom that says every life and every story belongs—including our own. 

Event Details

Through specially curated teachings, conversations, and practices, summit participants will unpack topics like: 

  • What is the story of contemplative Christianity? 
  • How is contemplation an act of storytelling?   
  • How do you find your story in this story?  

We will conclude with a closing contemplative practice. A detailed agenda and event access will be sent closer to the event date. Participants will need a device with reliable Internet access, such as a smartphone, tablet, or computer to access Zoom. 


Past participation in CAC events is not required for attending the summit. Registration for this event is open from October 11 through November 16, 2023. This event will be recorded. All those who register by Nov. 16 will have access to the replay for one full year. 


The cost of attending this online gathering is $95. We believe that finances should not be a barrier to participation. For that reason, we have made three additional price levels available at $30 or $10 or you can choose any amount above $5. We encourage you to select the price you are most able to afford.  

“If our framing story tells us that our lives can have profound meaning if we align ourselves with a good, wise, and loving God, then our society will take a radically different direction, and our world will become a very different place.”

—Brian McLaren 

Join us to uncover the essence of Christianity through contemplative teachings and practices from CAC faculty, Staff, and Friends. The summit’s key presenters include: 

Brian McLaren

Former evangelical pastor Brian D. McLaren is a champion for a more loving, inclusive and contemplative Christianity. A faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation, he teaches ways to reconnect with the message Jesus lived and died for—unconditional love. He is the author of Faith After Doubt, The Great Spiritual Migration, and host of CAC’s podcast Learning How to See. 

James Finley

Student of Thomas Merton and clinical psychologist, Dr. James Finley teaches how connecting to our Divine indwelling can transcend fear and shame and awaken to our True Self. A faculty member at the Center for Action and Contemplation, he is the author of Merton’s Palace of Nowhere and The Contemplative Heart, and the host of CAC’s podcast Turning to the Mystics. 

Richard Rohr

Franciscan friar and ecumenical teacher, Father Richard Rohr bears witness to the deep wisdom of Christian mysticism and traditions of action and contemplation. Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, Father Richard teaches how God’s grace guides us to our birthright as beings made of Divine Love. He is the author of numerous books, including The Universal Christ,The Wisdom Pattern, Just This, and Falling Upward

Guest Teachers

Joining the faculty, CAC staff will present alongside thought-provoking contemplative teachers, including: 

Randy Woodley

Dr. Randy Woodley is the author of Shalom and the Community of Creation: An Indigenous Vision  and host of the podcast Peacing it all Together. Dr. Woodley and his wife, Edith, operate  Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice and Eloheh farm near Portland, Ore., where he is a distinguished professor of faith and culture at Portland Seminary.  

Carmen Acevedo Butcher

Carmen Acevedo Butcher, Ph.D., is the author of Practice of Presence and has an award-winning translation of The Cloud of Unknowing. A Carnegie Foundation Professor of the Year and Fulbright Senior Lecturer, Acevedo Butcher teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, in the College Writing Programs. 

Jacqui Lewis

The Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis is the senior minister of Middle Collegiate Church in New York City. Dr. Lewis is a nationally sought-after preacher and activist on racial reconciliation, LGBTI equality, and economic justice. She co-founded The Middle Project, is the author of Fierce Love: A Bold Path to Ferocious Courage and Rule-Breaking Kindness That Can Heal the World, and host of the podcast Love Period

We hope you will join us on Nov. 18 (or watch the replay) to uncover a contemplative path toward healing and wholeness. Event details are subject to change. Due to a change in circumstances, Dr. Barbara Holmes will no longer be participating in this event. We invite you to experience her wisdom on our podcast The Cosmic We, with new episodes released regularly.

If you have any questions, contact our Community Support team.   

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