The Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative is offering a day-long
workshop on May 5th, 2018 in Black Mountain titled, “The Work That
Reconnects,” modeled from the work of the renowned Joanna Macy, PhD. We stand
at the threshold between the unraveling and destruction of our planet, or a
Great Turning toward a life affirming society. What we do with this time will
determine the outcome.
This workshop prepares us to open
our hearts and our actions towards the Great Turning, to be a force of active
hope, and to go forth with more clarity and purpose. This experiential workshop
sets out to help us come alive to this present moment. We will begin by making
room for our gratitude, then honoring our pain for the world, which will allow
us to see this time through new eyes, so we can go forth. The workshop will be
held on Saturday, May 5, 2018 from 9:00am-5:00pm in Black Mountain, NC.
Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative is a local nonprofit based in Black Mountain that
provides support for environmental and social justice activists through
pastoral counseling, mediation, facilitation, and conflict transformation.
Founded by Buddhist Chaplain Sarah Vekasi, M.Div., the Eco-Chaplaincy
Initiative has worked with hundreds of people throughout Appalachia, primarily
in communities impacted by surface mining and mountaintop removal, as well as
throughout the country. Sarah Vekasi is a longtime student and friend of Joanna
Macy, and has brought this work to communities all over the region. She will be
supported by co-facilitator Banta Whitner, local psycho-therapist with an active
practice and a focus on eco-therapy.
About the Facilitators:
M.Div., is the founder and director of the Eco-Chaplaincy Initiative, which
provides inner resiliency training and pastoral support services to
environmental and social justice activists, as well as polarized communities.
For the past ten years Sarah has worked as an Eco-Chaplain throughout central
and Southern Appalachia, primarily with communities fighting mountaintop
removal coal mining and working for a more sustainable future. Currently based
out of Black Mountain, NC, Sarah is also a potter. Eco-Chaplaincy comes
directly from Sarah's own experience as a direct action activist, a
tree-sitter, a longtime community organizer, and several years living in Japan
as a Zen Buddhist monastic. Sarah is a student and close friend of Joanna Macy,
and brings The Work Reconnects into Eco-Chaplaincy work on a daily basis.
LCSW, has been a practicing psychotherapist for more than thirty years, using
modalities that are trauma-informed, inclusive and holistic. She was a co-founder
of the community-based Women’s Center of Jacksonville (FL), a nonprofit
organization, offering education, support and advocacy to survivors of all
genders and ages. Since coming home to Black Mountain, Banta has incorporated
ecotherapy and spiritual ecology into her practice. She has studied with Anne
Stine, MA, founding director of Wilderness Rites in Ashland, Oregon, and with
Joanna Macy, root teacher and founder of The Work That Reconnects. Biodynamic
gardener, wheel walker and writer, Banta has written for Plough to Pantry and The
Laurel of Asheville, and is author of This
Congruent Life: A Spiritual Ecology Practice (2010).