The Soul of Aging is a four-day institute for those who have experienced one or more Courage & Renewal programs and want to lead a small group, based on the Circle of Trust® approach, in their congregation or community that addresses the spiritual dimensions of aging.
“Beautiful young people are accidents of nature, but beautiful old people are works of art.”
– Eleanor Roosevelt
In this program, we will creatively approach “the art” of aging intentionally, and the many soulful invitations our maturing years offer us. In a time when so many congregants and people of faith are entering the last season of their lives, we are excited to offer this program to provide fellowship and a soulful, trustworthy exploration in community.
This retreat welcomes people from all religious traditions and walks of life.
Upon attending The Soul of Aging, you will:
- Receive a user-friendly curriculum for small-group programming that you can adapt in your home community.
- Practice leading the curriculum and gain feedback from your peers and facilitators. Download the introductory session of the curriculum here.
- Experience a community of mutual support with fellow clergy, congregational leaders, and institute attendees.
- Develop your capacity to build the relational trust needed in congregational and community life.
- Explore how to lead and serve out of a place of courage and wholeness.
- Receive a discount of $100 if you are an alumni of our Geography of Grace institute and want to bring another Courage & Renewal curriculum into your congregation or community.
- You’ve experienced the Circle of Trust® approach and are ready to make the move from participant to practitioner.
- You long to lead courageous conversations in your spiritual community around the topic of aging that speak to the whole person, build trust among peers, and transform tensions within and between generations.
- You would enjoy learning from the writing of Parker J. Palmer and other writers on the inner work of the soul, as well as learning with a community of kindred spirits who will journey with you on retreat.
Themes of the Curriculum
One cannot live the afternoon of life according to the program of life’s morning, for what was great in the morning will be of little importance in the evening, and what in the morning was true will at evening have become a lie. — C. G. Jung
The Soul of Aging curriculum is designed to be led in ten, 2.5 hour sessions, or twenty, 1.25 hour sessions. At the Soul of Aging institute, participants will familiarize themselves with the curriculum and brainstorm how to adapt it for their particular faith context. Below is the working table of contents:
Introductory Session – Calling in the Ancestors: Visions of Aging
Session Two – Spiritual Formation Across the Lifecycle: Living Into the Soul’s Calling
Session Three – The Courage to Name and Claim Your Unlived Life
Session Four – Pathways to Wholeness
Session Five – Truth & Forgiveness: The Call to Completion
Session Six – Enlightenment in Slow Motion
Session Seven – Stories of Divestment: The Foreign Currency of Change
Session Eight -The Wisdom of Living In Deep Time
Session Nine -The Final Stage of Growth
Session Ten – Generativity, Legacy and Harvesting our Lives
Meet Your Facilitators
Georgia Noble, Courage & Renewal Facilitator, co-authored “Soul of Aging”, 25 years in private practice as a Marriage & Family Therapist. She is a trained Spiritual Director and Lay Staff within the Episcopal Church for 10 years.
Faye Orton Snyder, Courage & Renewal Facilitator for 11 years and a congregational pastor for 30, co-authored “A Geography of Grace”, currently leads Circles of Trust retreats for clergy and congregations. She and her husband, Steve, celebrate life with their 7 children and 17 grandchildren.
Paula J. Pedersen, Courage & Renewal Facilitator, psychologist, consultant and professor, Director of Education for Inclusive Excellence at the University of Minnesota. She sings with the vocal trio Three Altos and will facilitate and provide back up with her spouse Sara Thomsen for our retreat music.
Increasing wonder and awareness, deepening spiritual connection, and widening social engagement through song is at the heart of singer-songwriter Sara Thomsen’s work. She is the founder and director of the Echoes of Peace Choir. She will be our song leader for the retreat.