The Guild for Spiritual Guidance

December 2022 Newsletter

Blessing for the Longest Night 
All throughout these months
as the shadows
have lengthened,
this blessing has been
gathering itself,
making ready,
preparing for
this night.

It has practiced
walking in the dark,
traveling with
its eyes closed,
feeling its way
by memory
by touch
by the pull of the moon
even as it wanes.

So believe me
when I tell you
this blessing will
reach you
even if you
have not light enough
to read it;
it will find you
even though you cannot
see it coming.

You will know
the moment of its
by your release
of the breath
you have held
so long;
a loosening
of the clenching
in your hands,

of the clutch
around your heart;
a thinning
of the darkness
that had drawn itself
around you.

This blessing
does not mean
to take the night away
but it knows
its hidden roads,
knows the resting spots
along the path,
knows what it means
to travel
in the company
of a friend.

So when
this blessing comes,
take its hand.
Get up.
Set out on the road
you cannot see.

This is the night
when you can trust
that any direction
you go,
you will be walking
toward the dawn.

© Jan Richardson from The Cure for Sorrow: A Book of Blessings for Times of Grief.

Welcome to New Board Members
Jean Blackie and LaNelle Haydon

The Guild for Spiritual Guidance welcomed two new members to the board in November: Jean Blackie and La Nell Haydon.

Jean Blackie is a graduate of AP XXI and feels blessed to be asked to serve on the board of the Guild for Spiritual Guidance. A former environmental scientist, her second career is in rural parish ministry in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Originally from Philadelphia, Jean finds herself loving small town and country life with her husband, Bill. Jean says, “The AP program was an amazing spiritual growth experience for me. I look forward to learning about the work of the board and discovering where my niche to help will be.”

LaNell Haydon is a graduate of AP XXI.  She has experience in non-profit board memberships and extensive volunteer work. Her past volunteer work includes Animal Defenders International in Peru, W.O.L.F. Sanctuary, Peaceful Prairie Sanctuary, and Dignity Hospice in Colorado. In her spare time, she writes short fiction, Haiku, and maintains a blog LaNell works in the legal field and currently resides in
Arvada, Colorado.

Attend the Guild Annual Meeting 
December 4
 7 - 9p.m.

We are pleased to offer our Annual Meeting via zoom again this year.  Please plan to join Guild members for this important time of information sharing – and there is much to share.  We need your voice, your insight and your wisdom.

We will begin in the Guild way with silence, a reading, sharing of our covenant, and personal sharing.  We look forward to hearing where your journey has taken you and where your passions are today!

Guild Up-dates and new developments:
  • Apprenticeship class XXII is the most diverse in Guild history

  • Engaged Wisdom Programming offers expanded opportunities for  pilgrimages, webinars, and book clubs

  • Graduate Circle continues to offer opportunities for Guild Graduates to participate in weekly Coffee Cafes discussions, zoom and in-person retreats, book discussions, and weekly silent meditation.

  • Two year long programs are now available!  Spiritual Guidance Supervision and “Re-Wilding,” a program of eco-spirituality

  • On – going diversity training with Dr. Fanny Brewster

Guild business:

  • Honoring with much gratitude those Board members who have served the Guild with heart and wisdom and who have sadly tended letters of resignation:  Steve Allen for his years as Guild treasurer (effective January 15, 2023); Lou Anne Bulik for her service as Board secretary (effective Dec. 31, 2022);  Cindi Mitchell for her service as Board corresponding secretary (effective August, 2022); and Katherine Connor who has served as  administrative assistant (effective Dec. 31, 2022).

  • Affirming with much care and gratitude current board members and officers:  Christian Carlson,  Cari Keith (Chair),  Phyllis Huber (Fund raising chair), Laura McEvoy, Susan Robinson (Grad Circle co-ordinator), Denise Tangney (Engaged Wisdom co-ordinator).  Dianne Disston continues to serve the Guild as AP co-ordinator and non-voting board member.   Dorothee Caulfiend continues to serve the Guild as assistant to the AP co-ordinator.

  • With joy and gratitude we affirm newly nominated board members LaNell Haydon and Jeanne Blackie

  • Treasurer’s Report, Steve Allen  

  • Announcing Guild Board approval of Surendra Shah, as the new Guild Treasurer.  Surendra is recently retired from a 44 year banking career with expertise in finance and accounting.  He is married to Alice DeNormandie, Guild AP XIII 

  • Reviewing fund-raising and finances, Phyllis Huber

An important appeal:  The Guild is currently seeking an administrative assistant who will assure that website information remains current, newsletters and correspondence are created and arrive in a timely manner, Guild directory and documents are properly filed and maintained, and will assist program directors with publications and publicity and participation tracking.  

Please join us.  We can be present together in the noosphere, even though we must remain apart in the geosphere!  Join from anywhere!  Come with your question and your comments.  We’ll be expecting you!

Please join us at this zoom link.
If needed, the meeting ID and passcode are below.
Meeting ID: 820 0306 0668
Passcode: 680446 


Rewilding Our Story with the Evolutionary Dancer
 January 17, via Zoom, 7-9 p.m. ET

Carol Kilby, author of Evolutionary Dancer: Out, In, and on the Fringe of the Church, will
present this first Engaged Wisdom course of the new year.

Carol notes that this evolutionary moment calls for the rewilding of our story! The stories of nationhood, religion, and culture have separated us from our larger selves and our relationship to the universe and the earth.

In this time of planetary crisis, it is time for an exodus, time for a new story. Inspired by Sadie Allen Moon’s observation that Jung saw the source of every society’s renewal in individuals whenever they navigate beyond the walls of their culture and bring back to it some novel insight for the collective’s development, the course will investigate how evolutionary rituals, personal practices, and rites of passages can ground our story in the ways of cosmos and nature empowering us to consciously and positively step into the earth’s dance of transformation. 

In addition, participants will discover evolutionary rituals that draw on climate science, new cosmology, ecology, and an evolutionary spirituality that re-member our wild and wonder-full selves. Through rewilding our stories, rituals, and selves in the dance of becoming, individuals who contribute to the evolution of the collective.

The course is open to all, both Guild members and non-members.
The fee is $30.
Register here.


Book Discussion on Race and the Cosmos, Jan. 22

All Guild graduates are invited to discuss theologian Barbara A. Holmes’ book, Race and the Cosmos: An Invitation to View the World Differently, on Sunday January 22, 2023 at 6 pm EST. This fascinating book explores the question of what it means to be human through the intersecting lenses of the cosmos, indigenous wisdom, unfolding scientific learning, and divine love. It offers ideas that help dismantle old racial constructs and give hope for new ways of embracing anti-racism in our cultural context.  

There is no cost to participate but please register here in order to indicate your interest and receive the zoom link for the January 22 discussion.


Explore the Natural Cycles of the Earth Community with “Rewilding with Creation: Living the Rhythms of the Seasons” Beginning January 2023

Guild members and friends, come delve into the natural cycles of the earth and our embedded experiences of them in a new year-long Engaged Wisdom program, Rewilding with Creation, starting in January 2023.

Rewilding with Creation ask participants to consider the following questions:

  • How do we participate in the natural cycles of the earth community?

  • How do we develop and support our capacities to co-create with the earth?

  • Is there one consciousness embedded in creation?

  • How do we relate to the synergy of the deep cycles of the earth?

  • How do we receive and celebrate that relatedness? 

If these questions resonate with you, consider registering for this in-depth, 12-month course. You will explore your local bioregion, journal about your experiences with nature, and employ contemplative practices. 

“Rewilding with Creation” covers four modules of three months each: Season of Dormancy to Quickening from January through March; Season of Life Bursting Forth from April through June; Season of Harvest from July through September; and Season of Preparation for the Dark from October through December.

Guild member, environmental educator, and longtime staff member with the Vermont Wilderness School Amy Hyatt will lead the program.
Learn More

Join Us on a Pilgrimage to Assisi: May 2023

Time is drawing near to finalize our list of registrants for “In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare”, the Guild’s Pilgrimage to Assisi in May 2023. We strongly encourage you to reach out now to guarantee your room.

“In the Footsteps of Francis and Clare”, the Guild’s Pilgrimage to Assisi in May 2023, is an opportunity for you to call forth what is deepest within you as you experience the marvels of Assisi and beyond. You can join Pilgrimage A and encounter Francis and Clare through their life experiences and writings as you visit major sacred sites within Assisi. You can choose Pilgrimage B, and journey beyond Assisi to four cities with Franciscan heritage – Perugia, Gubbio, Greccio, and La Verna. Or join us for Pilgrimage C, which combines both A and B. You will enjoy a glorious two-week immersion experience in Assisi and beyond!

Our current registrants recently gathered on November 19 for a pre-pilgrimage Zoom meet up. During our time together, we addressed FAQ’s (frequently asked questions) and shared some heartfelt reasons for joining the pilgrimage. Many have a strong desire to experience Francis and Clare in a more personal and meaningful way, beyond what the culture at large maintains. For example, by moving beyond the “backyard birdbath” symbology of St Francis to a deeper, more intimate understanding. On a less lofty but no less compelling note, there is a shared enthusiasm for Italian food.

Register today! Some single and double rooms are still available. ALL are welcome! To register and for more details, click on the button below. 

To contact your pilgrimage facilitators, you can email Paul Kimmerling and Br. Mark
D’Alessio at

Register Now

Join the Virtual Coffee Cafe Tuesdays at 10 am 

Guild graduates, if you love the idea of connecting with friends from your Apprenticeship Program and other Guild graduates, join the Coffee Café every Tuesday morning at 10 am. There are people who would love to see you and reconnect.

There is no cost to attend the Coffee Café.
Join us via Zoom.

Silent Meditation Tuesday Evenings and Thursday Mornings

Gather for silent meditation and prayer on Tuesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. EST and/or Thursday mornings at 6:30 a.m. EST. There is no program as such. Log on, settle in, breathe, and sit together with our Guild family, holding the world, the Guild, our lives in holy space. There is no cost for the silent meditations.

Join us via Zoom.

How Do You Connect with the Guild? 

Do you feel connected with the Guild since completing your apprenticeship program?
Please respond to the email that you received on this topic in November.

Regional Get Togethers

If you are interested in hosting or coordinating a regional Guild get together, please contact Cari Keith at Philadelphia area members, contact Lou Anne Bulik at

 Upcoming Programs at Wisdom House

Wisdom House is an interfaith retreat and conference center presenting programs in spirituality, wellness, the arts, and ecology, while offering hospitality to academic, civic, nonprofit, and business organizations. Wisdom House hosts in-person weekends for the Guild Apprenticeship Program and Graduate Guild Retreats.

Check out these upcoming programs at Wisdom House
  • Advent Women of Hope, December 9-10, by Guild Member Mark D’Alessio
  • Advent Fireside Reflection, December 12
For More Information

Upcoming Courses at Deep Time Network 

Contemplative Cosmology: Moonbathing, December 2

Deep Time Network Course Information

Writers and Artists Wanted

Would you like to write a reflective piece for the newsletter? Would you like to share your poetry, artwork, or remembrances of what made the Guild such a special experience for you? Would you like to write a profile of a Guild member for the newsletter? If so, please contact Lou Anne Bulik. 
You’re receiving this because you’re a member of the Guild or a Guild member has recommended you because of shared interests. We hope you enjoy hearing from us, but if you would prefer not to receive this, then feel free to unsubscribe at any time.   Shalom. Salaam. Peace.
December 2022
Copyright 2021, Guild for Spiritual Guidance, All rights reserved.
Header Photo Credit, John Keith

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The Guild for Spiritual Gudiance · 25 Gordon Avenue · Briarcliff Manor, NY 10510 · USA

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