The Art of Sacred Words: Writing As Spiritual Practice

Live in-person
WEEK 2 July 17-22
M-Th 9AM-12PM

Just like prayer, meditation, yoga, or chant, writing offers a powerful way to deepen our lives of faith. Spiritual writing is writing that honors process over product. Writing that opens up possibility, asks probing questions, and challenges easy assumptions. Putting our “sacred words” to paper can be a pathway to exploration, confrontation, healing, celebration, and lament. In this generative workshop, we will read and discuss some masterful examples of spiritual writing, and we will do a LOT of writing ourselves, guided by “free-writing” exercises and prompts; meditations on Scripture, poetry, and icons; and collaborative conversation. We will talk about how to begin and sustain a writing practice in the midst of our busy lives. We will experiment with a variety of forms and genres. We will consider how to shape our personal experiences of the numinous, the painful, the mysterious, and the transcendent into writing that draws us closer to God. At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees who wish to share a brief piece of their creative work will be welcome to do so during an “open mic” reading.

This workshop is for anyone who wants to write about their spiritual lives, but needs some support and inspiration to get started, as well as for long-time writers who want to deepen their practice, get a lot of writing done, and benefit from the company of fellow writers. Attendees who like to write longhand should bring a notebook (or plenty of loose-leaf paper) and their favorite pens/pencils. If you wish to compose on laptops or other electronic devices, you are welcome to bring them along.

Debie Thomas

Debie Thomas is a columnist and contributing editor for The Christian Century, and a staff writer for Journey with Jesus: A Weekly Webzine for the Global Church. Her first book, Into the Mess and Other Jesus Stories, is forthcoming from Cascade Books in Spring 2022. Her published work includes spiritual memoir, book reviews, and reflections on the Revised Common Lectionary. She also serves as the Minister of Lifelong Formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Palo Alto, California, where she lives with her husband and two children. Debie holds a Masters in English Literature from Brown University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from The Ohio State University.

5-day Workshop with Lunch Commuter Rate: $75
Workshop with Meals & Overnight Stays: $625
Learning Grant Rate: $125