Friendship, Community, and Resilience in a Time of Turbulent Earth Change: A Circle of Trust® Retreat

Friendship, Community, and Resilience in a Time of Turbulent Earth Change: A Circle of Trust® Retreat

Rev. Cathy Bristow & Cat Greenstreet

Details & Online Registration

Program information

Cost: Sliding Scale $500, $375, $250. Shared indoor housing and some private rooms available for an extra $50. Healthy vegetarian meals provided.

“Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

Do you long to feel alive and to sustain that feeling in your life and work? How are we creating friendships and community in a time of fragmentation and increasing isolation? What is breaking our hearts? What brings hope and inspiration? How does turning our senses toward Mother Earth affect how we perceive what surrounds us and what lives within? How do we then listen to each other and to what lives in our circle? How do we sense and co-create with the Living Earth a future where all have dignity, peace, and the ability to live full, meaningful lives? If any of these questions live in you, please join us.

We are calling an intergenerational, diverse group of people, who long to explore a generative approach to discovering the presence of community as we practice radical hospitality with self, other, and the natural world.

In this retreat, based on the work of Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, we will take time away to listen to our inner teachers. We will explore how friendship and community grow, and become the backbone of resilience in our chaotic, uncertain times. Community extends to the other-than-human world – to stones, plants, trees, animals; to the spirits of the elements, the warmth and light of fire, the power of wind, the intelligence of water, and the living being of Earth. We are interconnected; we are part of a tapestry of “interbeing” as Thich Nhat Hahn named it. This interbeing includes the invisible world of nature as well as the universe where our ancestors and spirit guides are present for us, if we turn to them, with impulses for the evolution of all. Kirkridge is the perfect place to experience the mystery living within and around us.

Guided by the Courage & Renewal® approach, we create a sacred, confidential space in which to do our own inner work in solitude and community. This retreat will include Clearness

Committees, a powerful two-hour discernment process from the Quaker tradition, where one person who wishes to think more deeply about an issue has an opportunity to be the “focus person” while a “committee” of four to six others listen and ask open, honest questions. Both focus person and committee members share a profound experience in this unique way of supporting another human being together in community.

See more website information about the beautiful and sacred space of Kirkridge Retreat Center, Bangor, PA on the Appalachian Trail and Columcille Megalith Park next door.

Rev. Cathy Bristow has a background as a business leader with responsibilities including contract negotiations, human resources, and quality process control. She facilitated dialogue across differences and created a diversity initiative in the financial service industry that focused on gender and racial equity. These experiences led to her co-creating courses for a diversity certification at Cornell University School of Labor Relations. Believing there was a spiritual foundation for her dialogue model, she became an ordained interfaith interspiritual minister through One Spirit Learning Alliance, where she remains active in their anti-racism initiative. In her Harlem community she has offered free workshops and seminars on contemplative practices to heal the wounds caused by oppression. She completed the requirements for Doctor of Ministry from Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity Seminary, where her demonstration project researched the healing and spiritual power of storytelling circles for Black women.

Cat Greenstreet, M.Ed. has been a Courage & Renewal® Facilitator since 2006. She was an educator for 30 years and devoted the last 20 of those to Waldorf® education as an elementary and middle school teacher, a high school English and drama teacher, a teacher educator, and a school leader. In 2013 she helped co-found Hidden Water, an organization that offers a restorative justice approach for all who are impacted by childhood sexual abuse. She currently offers Circle of Trust® retreats, workshops, and one-on-one clearness conversations, based on Clearness Committees. A thread through all of her work has been creating spaces in which people of all ages can be in touch with their core selves, heal, and realize their full potential. Cat also loves to walk in the forest, garden, play the electric bass, nap, and dance.

Contact Cat Greenstreet at with your questions or for more information.