I recently finished teaching a workshop in writing about your faith. It was 14 weeks long and we had a core group of 12 participants, with a few that attended off and on. It was held at Whitehorse United Church, funded by the Herb and Doreeene Wahl Memorial Fund, which made the class FREE for anyone who wanted to take it.
The class was designed for beginners, but was accessible for those who had had some writing experience (as a few of the attendees were those who had either published or had taken writing workshops). We read excerpts from Anne Lamott, Andre Dubus, Kathleen Norris, Virginia Stem Owens, Lauren Winner, E.O. Wilson, Annie Dillard, and others. We wrote about our first spiritual experiences, times that challenged our faith, sacred places, people of faith in our lives, and a few of us tried our hands at fiction.
Classes were informal, with a potluck every night! (I think the college model should reflect the church model here!) And since the schedule was set pretty early, people could pick the lectures they wanted to attend. When it came time for the workshop, folks were asked to commit to writing and submitting a piece or two for the group to look at. It was an encouraging and insightful bunch. We represented different denominations, different spiritualities, and different beliefs, but we all agreed that talking about faith and about spirituality was important. We bonded as a class. And we are continuing the workshop far beyond the scheduled time.
We are currently reading “An Altar in the World” by Barbara Brown Taylor for a retreat in August.
I thank the United Church for inviting me to teach for them.
Writing Faith, the workshop, had a previous incarnation at Wayland Baptist University, in Plainview Texas, and I’m thankful that they allowed me to develop the class and try it out there first.
The curriculum is portable and I can teach this class at your church. If you are interested, let me know.
(photo: from Grigory Kravchenko, Flickr, “Olya telling me the Russian Faith and Light Movement story,” creative commons license.)