The “center” is not so much a building, though the facilities of First Baptist Church of Asheville will be where most of the gatherings will happen. “Center” is, instead, the overall term for a cluster of educational and formational experiences aimed at connecting the challenges, opportunities, and callings of life with the resources of wisdom, beauty, and practice found in the Christian faith.
Our mission is to explore theological imagination, nurture vocation, and encourage engagement by offering gatherings and convening conversations at the intersection of church and world.
Four distinct approaches will be employed to address our mission:
Learning Gatherings for Education, Exploration, and Conversation
Annual Speakers & Artists Series
Spirituality Events – including Retreats, Pilgrimages, and Labyrinth Walks
School for Theological Study – Seminary Level Theological Education for All
Spring 2021 Courses
The Home Place: Exploring Race & Our Relationship to Nature
Tuesday, May 18. Book Discussion. Onsite, Chapel.
Saturday, May 22. Contemplative Hike. Onsite, Montreat. Trailhead to be determined.
How do we experience belonging to place? How does our racial framework impact it? This 2-part Spiritual Formation workshop will draw from Dr. Drew Lanham’s beautiful memoir The Home Place: Memoirs of a Colored Man’s Love Affair with Nature.
In an initial online discussion around The Home Place, we will explore the intimate connection between our belonging to the natural world—God’s creation, and to one another, and consider the crucial role that race plays. A contemplative hike will offer an embodied opportunity to cultivate belonging through listening, noticing, and celebrating the beauty and particularities of the local landscape and its wildlife. Contemplative dimensions will include poetry readings from Dr. Lanham’s work, Psalm 104, and the spiritual practice Lectio Divina in Nature.
Through our reflections online and on the trail, may we experience the hope that loving land can heal and reconcile us to one another, moving us into deeper belonging and flourishing.
Bio: Dr. Lanham grew up on a farm in Edgefield, South Carolina. He is Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology at Clemson University, ornithologist, author and poet, and a self-described ‘wild, wandering soul’.
The Home Place is available at Malaprop’s Bookstore as well as on Amazon.