Spiritual Listening. Sacred Response.

The Guild

The New Issue


A Message from the Editor, Christina Carlson AP XIX

A year ago this month, the Guild for Spiritual Guidance hosted its first pilgrimage to the Isle of Iona. This year, that experience feels distant in more than just time and place; Covid-19 has separated us from that reality as surely as an ocean or a calendar year. Looking back, the things that defined that experience—gathering, maskless, in chapel (or in circle time, or for that matter, on a bus!), face to face conversations, shared meals sitting elbow to elbow, hugs as a normal form of greeting—seem impossible, almost magical, from our current vantage point. We all knew we would have to leave Iona eventually, but at that time, no one could have predicted we would also have to abandon the everyday social practices we no doubt took for granted. I would be lying if I said I didn’t mourn it all, not just the standing on ancient, sacred ground, but sharing a room, or passing the salt as well.

And yet, that experience is not lost to us. Iona stays with me, more than just a memory; if I close my eyes and settle myself with a few deep breaths, I can be there—smell sea air and sheep, touch damp stone, place myself in the silence of St Oren’s chapel, or gaze out at Columba’s Bay. Iona lives in me, and I am grateful for its presence there. The same might be said for the Guild community. We do not always see or talk to our fellow apprentices, but the bonds we forged during our two years remain. And as years pass after our graduations, we feel ourselves connected to the larger Guild membership through a common experience, even if we haven’t met. 

As we observe the autumnal equinox, we mark six months of life under Covid-19. Surely, we are weary of mask wearing, constant vigilance and social distancing. We may feel hopeful that a vaccine will soon help us return to normal, but grateful too, for the ways in which the pandemic has given us space to rethink that norm and make different choices. And perhaps we feel empowered by what we do know about the virus and how to protect ourselves, and we may also feel a sense of wonder at the ingenuity we see all around us as people find ways to work around or within the constraints the virus imposes. 

As the days get shorter and the air turns cooler, and we find ourselves heading back indoors, the Guild is offering a variety of creative ways to maintain our connections with each other and to explore the wisdom of the strands. Last weekend, we had a second successful Zoom graduate retreat. The AP program continues to meet using a virtual format, which we introduced before Covid, confident that spiritual listening and sacred response can indeed take place in cyberspace! And in October, we are offering no fewer than four new programs via Zoom…the return of the coffee café, a poetry workshop for kids, a pilgrimage for a pandemic, and a speaker’s series workshop. We also have our new website, designed to help you keep in touch with what’s going on, and we encourage you to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as a new FB group for Guild graduates. And because we remain hopeful in the face of the pandemic, we are planning a return to Iona in 2022. Please continue reading for information on each of these offerings.

Like Iona, the Guild resides inside me, as a spiritual reality and sense of connection, regardless of where I am. I hope you feel the same, and will feel moved to tap into that sense of connection through some of our offerings this fall. See you there…

Coming In October:

Poetry For Kids
Offered by Global Outreach

Exposure to free verse poetry offers an opportunity for children to address feelings of loneliness, anxiety, compassion, joy, inclusion, and hope. Along with the rhythm of words and a discussion of the content, children will be exposed to a meditative practice of art for expression. Creativity allows one to find their unique voice, listen deeply and experience their somatic wisdom. Featuring Newbery Award Winning Book Full Cicada Moon.

Join us via Zoom from 4-5:30 on Mondays in October: 10/5, 10/13, 10/19, and 10/26.

Recommended age: 10-16

The cost is $40; Donations are also accepted.

You can register here.

Any questions? Reach out to Denise Tangney at

Virtual Coffee Cafe
Offered by Graduate Circle

Virtual Coffee Cafe is back! Our offering for Guild Graduates will take place on Tuesdays at 10 AM.

Here is the link that you can save and use every Tuesday:

Pilgrimage for a Pandemic
Offered by the Sacred Travel Committee

Combining the Guild practice of circle sharing with the technology of Zoom, and the narratives of Boccaccio with the model of lectio divina, we are offering a program in which we will use storytelling, others’ and our own, as a way to process the experience of living during a time of pandemic. With the image of Boccaccio’s young storytellers wandering the countryside in mind, The Guild’s Sacred Travel Committee invites you to participate in an event inspired by the Decameron. While Boccaccio’s characters told stories as a way to avoid and escape the plague, we imagine an opportunity for Guild members to enter into the challenges of living in the time of Covid-19 through storytelling.

The Program will run on Wednesday evenings in October at 7:00 PM.

The cost is $50; Donations are also accepted.

You can register here.

For more information, contact Christina Carlson at

Wisdom in the Midst of Chaos
Offered in collaboration with Wisdom House

What can we do in the midst of chaos?  Many of us feel upset with the increase of confusion and violence on our planet.  Chaos is everywhere. 

Join us for a weekend retreat to expand your awareness of the Christian Wisdom path and its relevance to our realities today.  Br. Mark will guide you in contemplative ways of knowing and growing, with a variety of perennial wisdom texts and practices.  You will have an opportunity to look into sacred stories, art, and poetry, and experience personal story-sharing and spiritual practices that take a penetrating look at the world as it truly is, in all its beauty and gift (as well as its pain and injustice).  And, you will leave with ways to be mindful, with gratitude, to connect and learn with others on the journey toward living in a Wisdom way.

Our teachers will include wisdom sources as diverse as biblical Wisdom God literature, Christian Monasticism, Sufism, Thich Nhat Hanh, Teilhard de Chardin, Richard Rohr and Cynthia Bourgeault, the intersection of faith and science, and Bill W.’s Twelve Steps.  

Saturday, October 10th, 9:30-3:00, via Zoom

The cost is: $25

You can register here.

A Guild for the Digital Age
Connect with us via our online platforms!

The Guild is furthering our online presence. In addition to our regular Facebook activity and new website, the Guild is now increasing our presence on Instagram. Furthermore, we wanted to connect more with you, our spiritual community. So we have set up a Facebook group for Guild Graduates. This will be a space for you to connect with us, as well as your fellow graduates. It will be a place to share your endeavors, questions, and thoughts while also keeping up to date on what offerings we have for you. All of these resources will be linked below.

Find us on Facebook
Join our Graduate Guild Facebook Group
Follow us on Instagram

AP XXI: Virtual Community

From Dianne Disston, AP Coordinator

APXXI had a challenging start to Year 1 which began the weekend of March 13-15, 2020.  Opening Weekend at Wisdom House, normally a 3-day and 2-night retreat, was reimagined and offered via Zoom!  The next in-person weekend was scheduled at Wisdom House on September 18-20.  After much soul-searching and listening to the science, we aired on the side of caution for Staff and Apprentices (some of whom would be travelling to Connecticut from New Mexico and Colorado) and held the weekend once again via Zoom.

Dorothée Caulfield (Assistant for the AP) and I have found that to build our Apprenticeship Community during this time of pandemic we need to focus on content that can be balanced with safe and intimate participant engagement.  This is accomplished in the large group, quads, trios and dyads in Zoom break-out sessions as well as time spent alone in silence while walking outside, meditating, journaling and creating through art, dance, music & poetry.  

As Staff and Leadership in The Guild we never would have chosen this model of gathering and yet, we find creating sacred space is quite comfortably achieved. We begin our times together with a reading and music, move into silence and out of that silence share from our hearts.  We have meditation in the mornings, quad time, Cultivators and Presenters who come to teach the Strands.  We listen deeply and spiritually to one another, ourselves, our teachers and the Divine.  

The AP is a rich formational process that shifts our way of being in the world.  We listen to the sacred in ourselves, one another, our community and our planet.  We ask participants to respond to that sacred listening and commit to companioning our world through a 2nd year Practicum.  We hope that some of you will consider volunteering to mentor an Apprentice during this Practicum preparation.  

We are both amazed and grateful that The Guild and The Apprenticeship Program were prepared and practiced to meet the challenges of this unprecedented time of physical distancing.  We pray that this ability will guide us into the future to meet the needs of our Guild members and the needs of our world.  

For when we meet again face-to-face...

A return to Iona -- August 12 - 21, 2022

Register now to engage the practice of pilgrimage with your Guild friends and family on the Island of Iona in 2022.  A $100 deposit will ensure your accommodation at Bishop's House.

Pilgrimage is holy, set apart time, where you are invited to Pause and to Practice the Art of Paying Attention with Holy Curiosity.   Ample space will be given to pondering the deeper meaning of a global pandemic and climate change; to considering the ways we grew and changed, and to challenging ourselves as to the on-going growth and change that is still needed.   Each day will offer a suggestion for spiritual practice and adequate free time to explore the island and to engage in the nourishing solitude that draws seekers to pilgrimage time. 

Pilgrimage Facilitators:  

Rev. Cari Keith, Guild member, Spiritual Guide, Mystic

John Keith, Environmentalist, Musician, Hiker

Pilgrimage Cost for registrations received before December 31st, 2020:

$1850 shared room, $2250 private room

Pilgrimage Cost for registrations received from January 1, 2021

$2000 shared room    $2400 private room

Cost includes all ground transportation in Scotland, accommodations for nine nights, all meals (with the exception of four lunches), boat trip to Staffa, taxes and gratuities.   For more information, please contact Cari Keith at 201-321-7216 or

~Who's Who at The Guild of Spiritual Guidance~

Chair:  Holly Moore, AP XV
TreasurerStephen Allen, AP XVIII
SecretaryPaul Carbone, AP XVIII
Christina Carlson, AP XIX
Cari Keith, AP VII
Cindi Mitchell, AP XX 
Apprenticeship Program Coordinator: Dianne Disston, AP XX
Global Outreach Coordinator: Denise Tangney, AP XII
Graduate Circle CoordinatorSusan Robinson, AP XVII 

Stephen Allen, AP XVIII
Paul Carbone, AP XVIII

APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAM (also non-voting members of the board)
Coordinator:  Dianne Disston, AP XX
Assistant to the Coordinator:  Dorothée Caulfield,  AP XIX

Christina Carlson, AP XIX

CoordinatorSusan Robinson, AP XVII
Steve Allen, AP XVIII
Laura McEvoy, AP
Cari Keith, AP VII

Denise Tangney, AP XII
Bernice Marie-Daly AP III
Brian Tucker AP XII


Holly Moore, AP XV 
Bernice Marie-Daly, AP III

Denise Tangney, AP XII
Brian Tucker, AP XII

Christina Carlson, AP XIX

Katherine Conner

Christina Carlson, AP XIX
Mark D'Alessio, AP XVII
Denise Tangney, AP XII

Dianne Disston AP XX
Jacque Reed, AP XIX
Holly Moore, AP XV
Dorothée Caulfield, AP XIX

Dianne Disston, AP XX
Dorothée Caulfield, AP XIX
Christina Carlson, AP XIX


Katherine Conner

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