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Continuing Education

Entering the Heart of Wisdom: Joining Soul & Role for the Second Half of Life

Date: September 11, 2014 Location: First Presbyterian Church, 230 NE 9th St, Bend, OR 97701

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First Presbyterian Church, 230 NE 9th St, Bend, OR 97701

In this contemplative, nonresidential women’s spiritual retreat, using the Circle of Trust process based on the work of Dr. Parker Palmer, we will explore the intersection of our souls and roles in the “second half” of our lives, whether we are in our 50’s, encountering caretaking for our elders and children while still engaged in the work world, or approaching our later years with its challenges, new invitations, and demands.

Some compare aging to adolescence, a second “coming of age” where our bodies, inner lives, homes, status, work and future are all in the process of change, often with little support or acknowledgement.  In this retreat, we will create a compassionate, confidential, trustworthy community in which to explore some of the deeper issues related to conscious aging and the call of the soul at this time in our lives.  We invite you to join us as together we examine what was true in the morning and what is important as we move into the evening of our lives. 

Based on the understanding that each of us comes into life with a charism, or calling, a charge to contribute, grow, learn and become, in this retreat we will look honestly at who we are now, what brought us here, and how to embody our gifts, our faith, our essence in this season of our lives, approaching aging as a time of intensifying and honing our souls, seeking an intentional, generative, meaningful way of living into the years ahead.

In many indigenous cultures, elders have traditionally served various significant roles as keepers of the ancestral stories and cultural memories, guides and mentors to the family, youth, and communities, esteemed visionaries, seers, and leaders of the tribes.  Eldership was considered a time of grace, dignity and authentic power, and the elder considered a living treasure.  In this retreat, we want to claim the spirit of eldership as an active time that deserves attention, care, and commitment.  We hope you can join us on this journey.

Retreat Details & Registration

Dates: Thursday-Saturday, September 11-13, 2014

Location: First Presbyterian Church, 230 NE 9th St, Bend, OR 97701, (541) 382-4401

Cost: $325

Click here to download the application form (PDF). Applications and full payment are due by July 31, 2014

If you have questions, please contact Caryl at or Joanne at

About the Facilitators

Joanne Cooper, Ph.D., is a professor emeritus from the department of Educational Administration in the College of Education at UH Manoa.  She taught adults of all ages and has been teaching for over 27 years, with experience in the public schools, in community colleges and at the University of Hawai’I where she taught from 1990 until her retirement in 2011.  She has been a Courage & Renewal facilitator in Hawaii since 2007 and is excited about exploring this new phase of her life.

Caryl Hurtig Casbon, aninterfaith minister, spiritual director and writer, works through the Center for Courage & Renewal, leading circle of trust programs for clergy, health care providers, and leaders in education that address Reconnecting Soul & Role, Befriending the Unknown, and Embracing Eldership.

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