Buddhist, Pagan, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Agnostic, Atheist—we all have a belief system–”faith” in something, a set of beliefs, a god, gods, guiding principles, morality. It’s hard to express sometimes WHY we believe these things, or HOW they guide us, or how we know they are TRUE. Sometimes we’ve been hurt by religion, disappointed by faith. We want to talk about that too. Maybe we want to pass our beliefs, our experiences down to our kids. We want to explain it to ourselves, sometimes. We’d like to keep a record. But pinning down the inexpressible nature of faith and belief is difficult.
WRITING FAITH SEMINAR AND WORKSHOP
Come join a writing workshop that explores how we talk about faith. Starting this Saturday, Feb 2, we’ll have a one day seminar/workshop from 10-4 that explores Writing Faith with writing tips, games, exercises, and a few readings that map out the basic writing techniques of writing about Faith. Then Feb 8-March 22, join us on Fridays from 5-8 (potluck snacks), at the Whitehorse United Church to explore more in depth how others write about their faith and get some good feedback on writings you may write about your faith. The group is always ecumenical and eclectic and supportive of new writers. It has been a successful group four times now, three in the Yukon. We teach mostly memoir, but fiction as well.
We don’t teach theology here; we teach writing. We are including writings beyond Christian writings this time around—mostly from the Best Spiritual Writing 2013 that just came out. We aim to be inclusive. We have readings from Pulitzer prize winning author, Annie Dillard, as well as Anne Lamott, Andre Dubus, E.O. Wilson, Langston Hughes, Jhumpa Lahiri, Ron Hansen, Thich Nhat Hanh, and other writers covering a broad spectrum of spirituality—for techniques. We play writing games. We’re kind of like a summer camp for writers. Only in the winter.
For the one day seminar only, FEB 2, 10-4: $50 with lunch included. You may just want the basics, to talk to others who are interested in faith and diversity. However, you may want more. If you would like to join the workshop—and experiment even more with your own writing from Feb 8-March 22—seven sessions—it is only an additional $100. If you can’t come to every Friday from 5-8, it’s okay. They’re modules that are complete in themselves. You will learn how to write about your own experiences, how to write about the lives of others, how to fictionalize faith, and especially you’ll learn how to help others talk about their faiths.
Come join us on Saturday to see what it’s like. We attract Catholics, Pagans, Agnostics, former Buddhists, former Christians, former atheists—and people who just don’t know how to describe yet what they believe. We are a welcoming and affirming group.
FEB 2: Saturday, 10-4— UNITED CHURCH
FEB 8-MARCH 22: Fridays, 5-8pm— UNITED CHURCH
WRITING FAITH WORKSHOP: where the act of writing is sacred
Jerome Stueart has a PhD in English (Creative Writing) and has taught writing for 20 years to adults, college students and high school learners in churches and colleges and libraries. His work has been published in Geez, Geist, Joyland, Yukon North of Ordinary and heard on Definitely Not The Opera. His science fiction and fantasy has been published in Fantasy, Strange Horizons, several Tesseracts anthologies, and other magazines and anthologies. His 4 CBC series have been heard across Canada and one, Leaving America, was heard across the World. He maintains an online blog, Talking Dog, full of gay Christian resources, for individuals and churches. This year he will participate as an author for the third time in the Yukon Writers Festival/Young Authors Conference. He’s lived in Whitehorse nine years now and is a landed immigrant. His birthmother is a spiritualist who reads runes and is a medium-in-training; his father is a Southern Baptist Minister. He’s dated a Buddhist, a Lutheran, a Catholic, a Baptist and an eclectic Pagan. After coming out, Jerome joined the United Church of Canada.
[feel free to pass this along to anyone you think might be interested]