Spiritual Care Summit

Spiritual Care For Human Wellness: Making Spiritual Care Accessible for Everyone, Everywhere

Breakout Sessions

Bones and Seeds: Spiritual Care and the Arts

There are many languages of the soul longing for expression. Creativity is invitation, portal, encounter, hospitality, and medicine for the deeper stories that want and need to be told. The inherent intimacy of spirituality and creativity will be explored, as well as the unpacking of certain words we tend to ossify in our own spiritual vocabularies. We will reflect on how creative process unfolds into spiritual practice if we invite our hearts to open and quiet our judges. Together, we will practice Spiritual Imagination as both personal practice and a tool in one’s toolbox of spiritual care methods. Susannah will offer resources for further exploration. Those who are quite sure they are neither “artsy” nor “creative” are particularly invited to participate in this circle.

Meet the Facilitator:

Susannah Crolius, M. Div. (she/her) is a Spiritual Companion, teacher, workshop/retreat leader, altar, contemporary icon artist and writer deeply interested in cultivating Spiritual Imagination. Susannah was an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ for 25 years before stepping outside of denominational identity to explore more generative and contemplative forms of spiritual community and practice. Susannah has membership in Spiritual Directors International, International Expressive Arts Therapy Association and is a certified Spiritual Literacy facilitator through the organization Spirituality & Practice.

Being and Doing: Spiritual Practice and Activism

Many of us seek a spiritual path as a respite from trauma and turmoil. And, when we finally arrive at a sense of tranquility we cherish it deeply, because it has been so hard won! As a result of our spiritual practice, we also experience the myriad manifestations of the divine — a sense of connection, love, and compassion for all beings. But for many of us a tension remains. Since many spiritual traditions exhort us to renounce the world and turn to our inner lives as a way to transcend, we don’t quite know how to integrate these two aspects of our spiritual lives. How can we stay connected to the vastness of universal love as it manifests in our being and try to actualize love and compassion in the world by enacting social justice?  Often, when we engage outwardly, things turn messy! This might send us scuttling back to our sanctuary of peace. Beating such a retreat can foster despair with ourselves and the complexities of our world. In this workshop, Dr. Vaishali Mamgain will work with this edge — the non-doing and the engagement! Participants will journal, draw, and do somatic work to get more familiar with this tension, to experience how this trajectory plays out in their life, and learn how to sustain themselves in this ongoing dialectic toward a more complete integration. 

Meet the Facilitator:

Vaishali Mamgain is an Associate Professor of Economics and the Director of the Bertha Crosley Ball Center for Compassion at the University of Southern Maine. She received her PhD in Economics from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; her past research focused on the contributions of (im)migrants and refugees in the Maine economy; her current research is in contemplative pedagogy. A leader in the field of contemplative education, she also facilitates compassion training and anti-oppression workshops for corporate and nonprofit organizations in the US and abroad, specializing in somatic and immersive nature training to undo (internalized) oppression, and help vision different, more equitable, loving societies. She has been faculty and is on the Board of the Courage of Care Coalition where she helps design and deliver trauma informed courses to support folx engaged in social justice. A working contemplative, she has meditated, wandered and ‘retreat’ed for many years. In 2017, she completed a three-year meditation retreat at Samten Ling Retreat Center in Crestone, Colorado and now lives on an island in Maine where she enjoys swimming in the sea, admiring seaweed, running, hiking, singing, and cooking. 

Chaplaincy in a Climate-Changed World

As the effects of a climate-changed world are felt more keenly by a wider swath of the population every day, chaplains serving in every sector and setting are called to offer responsive, skilled, compassionate spiritual care to address the short- and long-term needs affecting every aspect of human and other-than-human life. In this session, we'll explore how climate is “showing up” in participants' particular settings and share stories about spiritual care connecting with the climate crisis in very real ways.

Meet the Facilitator:

The Rev. Alison Cornish serves as the Coordinator of the Chaplaincy Initiative at The BTS Center. Following seminary, CPE, field education in interfaith work and parish ministry, and ordination in the Unitarian Universalist tradition, Alison served congregations on Long Island while also embarking on studies with the Buddhist teacher Joanna Macy and Dominican sister Miriam McGillis. Alison became a GreenFaith Fellow in 2013, and a Climate Reality Project presenter in 2017. She has served as Senior Director of Programs at Partners for Sacred Places, Executive Director of Pennsylvania Interfaith Power & Light, Director of Seminary and Congregational Initiatives at Interfaith Philadelphia, and as the Affiliated Community Minister at First Unitarian Church, Philadelphia. A Program Consultant for The BTS Center since 2021, her work has focused on ecological and climate grief, religious imagination, and chaplaincy in a climate-changed world.

Spirituality with Infertility and Loss

Few medical experiences touch on spiritual issues of purpose and meaning-making more than infertility and pregnancy loss, yet spiritual care is rarely if ever offered to patients on this path.  Spiritual listening and companionship on the rocky road to family building has the potential to dramatically shift an experience that can otherwise be very isolated, devastating, lonely, and confusing.

Meet the Facilitator:

Rev. Abby Hall Luca is a Certified Professional Midwife and Ordained Interfaith Chaplain from Fryeburg, Maine who specializes in chaplaincy work around pregnancy, birth, infertility, pregnancy loss, and issues of family-building.  Though she works with all people, Abby is passionate about making spiritual care more visible, accessible, and relevant to the "spiritual but not religious" demographic.