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Pathfinding in an Age of Polarization

Awakenings 2018 is a Springtime Interfaith Study Conference in Western New England, held in Holyoke, MA. Bring your head, heart and spirit for pathfinding in an age of polarization.

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Thank You for Your Support! Our Conference is possible because of the time and dedication from our church, our congregation, our community, our attendees and speakers, and our social media followers. Check out United Congregational Church of Holyoke at www.uccholyoke.org and on Facebook and Instagram at @uccholyoke.

 

The 2018 Awakenings Conference theme will be “Pathfinding in an Age of Polarization.”

Dr. Bart D. Ehrman
Dr. Bart D. Ehrman
Speaker

“How Christianity Took Over the World: The Demise of Ancient Religion” at the Delaney House on Thursday Evening, April 26

“From Persecution to Power: The Church in the Age of Constantine” on Friday Morning, April 27

Bart will search the stories of faith and early church history to show how communities found new pathways in polarizing times.

Website Bio
Dr. Deena Elana Grant
Dr. Deena Elana Grant
Speaker

“The Implications of the Hebrew Bible’s Command to Love God” on Friday Morning, April 27

Deena will draw us into the life of the Torah to hear God’s role in shaping the paths of ancient Israel.

Website Bio
Dr. Tara Hyun Kyung Chung
Dr. Tara Hyun Kyung Chung
Speaker

Friday, April 27th at 2 pm

Dr. Chung will discuss facts regarding the North Korea and US-Korea relationship in the big spiritual point of peace-making, reconciliation and forgiveness.

Website Bio
Dr. Peter Rollins
Dr. Peter Rollins
Speaker

“Pints and Parables” at Gateway City Arts on Friday Evening, April 27.

“Losing the Lost Object: On Scapegoating, Ideology and Subtraction” on Saturday Morning, April 28

Peter will stretch our traditions past the old boundaries and let them speak to this age of polarization.

Website Bio
Rev. Carol Howard Merritt
Rev. Carol Howard Merritt
Speaker

“Healing Spiritual Wounds: Why Religious Trauma Can Feel So Damaging: Finding Hope Even When We Have Been Hurt” on Saturday Morning, April 28

Carol will look at places where polarization has allowed them to be places of hurt, and suggest paths toward wholeness.

Website Bio
Rev. Don Remick
Rev. Don Remick
Workshop Leader

“Welcoming the Flawed, Fantastic, and Funky: Will We Be Changed if They Come?”

Rev. Don Remick is the Associate Conference Minister for the South East Area and
Church Development, Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Website Bio
Rev. Todd Weir and Rev, Sarah Buteux
Rev. Todd Weir and Rev, Sarah Buteux
Workshop Leaders
“How to Have Brave and Bold Conversations in the Church”
Reverend Todd Weir is the Senior Pastor at the First Churches of Northampton.
The Rev. Sarah Buteux is the Associate Pastor and Minister of Christian Education
and Outreach at the First Churches of Northampton.
Website Bio
TJ Harper
TJ Harper
Workshop Leader

“Make America More Racially Inclusive (Again??)”. This workshop seeks to provide small actions individuals can take to make America more racially inclusive.

TJ Harper serves as the Massachusetts and Connecticut Conferences’ Associate
for Racial Justice Ministries.

Website Bio
Alan Gilburg
Alan Gilburg
Workshop Leader

“From Inspiration to Implementation” 

You are inspired and yearn to implement some of the ideas you have heard. Well work on discovering what inside you may be holding you back and help you come up with a plan to get past your own limitations.

Alan Gilburg is in his third career as a “professional volunteer”.

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Esteniolla Maitre and Carlos Rojas Alvarez
Esteniolla Maitre and Carlos Rojas Alvarez
Workshop Leaders

“Transforming and Connecting Communities Through Radical Listening”

Youth on Board’s ListeningWorks project invites you to learn about the power of  listening to strengthen organizations, build bridges between divided communities and create a shared vision of unity. In the current political climate, we believe this is more important than ever.  

Esteniolla Maitre and Carlos Rojas Alvarez are Project Managers of ListeningWorks.

Website Bio
Vitek Kruta
Vitek Kruta
Workshop Leader
“THE HISTORY of the FUTURE or Domine Quo Vadis?” Friday Evening, April 27 at Gateway City Arts

Opening a Window to Our Collective Consciousness in the Context of Historic Preservation.Observations from Vitek’s personal journey starting with the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, through the underground movement during the era of a collapsing Communist dictatorship, intoexile in Western Germany, the USA and finding a new home in Holyoke, Massachusetts. Vitek’s workshop will take place at Gateway City Arts on Friday evening, followed by Peter Rollins’ presentation.

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Rabbi Justin David
Rabbi Justin David
Workshop Leader

Activism as a Spiritual Practice 
How is activism not a “thing to do,” but a way of being that flows from our yearnings, aspirations, and deep sense of connectedness? Join us for this workshop as we consider some texts that explore this question as we reflect on the intersection of our own spirituality and justice work.

Website Bio
Jeff Rock
Jeff Rock
Workshop Leader

Story Your Way Through Bullying in Groups and Organizations
Bullying is another form of harassment and misuse of power. It is endemic in groups and organizations. The #metoo movement is shining light on how pervasive this problem is. Stories are how we learn and make sense of the world. But how do we take oppressive stories and turn them into generative ones? In this workshop, you will learn how to choose your stories, restore your confidence, cultivate story listeners, and develop the community of support you need to move forward.

Website Bio
Anne Kelly and Sue Fish
Anne Kelly and Sue Fish
Workshop Leaders
Fair Trade: Solidarity in Action
Explore the power of the individual to advance social, economic and development goals. Learn about how fair trade works and its impact on communities worldwide.
Website Bio
Dr. Fran Bogle and the Just Peace Players
Dr. Fran Bogle and the Just Peace Players
Workshop Leaders

Working for Justice by Welcoming LGBTQQIA People to your Community

Through their original music and drama, the Players will help you discover how and why welcoming LGBTQQIA folks is a work of love and justice. Take part in a drama, learn to create resources for you community and take our plays home to use!

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Mak'hela
Mak'hela
Musicians

Performing Thursday evening, April 26th at the Delaney House

Mak’hela is a professionally led mixed voice chorus performing music from a variety of Jewish traditions, time periods and languages.

Website Bio
Bob Sparkman Trio
Bob Sparkman Trio
Musicians

Performing Friday, April 27th

The Bob Sparkman Trio performs blues/jazz with a soft touch that twists rhythms and harmonies.

Website Bio
Janet
Janet "J" Vecchia
Workshop Leader

Meditation and Mindfulness, a Brief Reprieve from Information Overload and Opportunity to Breathe Deeply & Rest.

Come for five minutes or the full hour.

Website Bio
Rev. Bob Marrone
Rev. Bob Marrone
Artist in Residence

Our Better Angels

The Rev. Bob Marrone of Petersborough, New Hampshire, returns to Awakenings as the Artist-in-Residence for the conference.  He will display a number of recent works and bring several new landscapes and seascapes, many of which will be available for sale. He will also be painting during the conference.

Website Bio

The 2018 Awakenings Conference is April 26th through April 29th. It’s a 3 1/2-day study conference in beautiful western New England.

Thursday, April 26

2:00–5 PM Registration,

2:00-5 PM Informal gathering space/internet café/ marketplace

2:30 – 4:30: Workshop: Transforming Communities Through Radical Listening, Listening Works

4:30–5 PM Travel to Delaney House

5–5:50 PM Hors d’oevres

5:50 PM Seating, welcome from Mayor Alex Morse

6–7 PM Plated dinner, Mak’hela to sing 6:30-7:30

7:15 PM Bart Ehrman, 1st presentation

Friday, April 27

7:30 – 10:45 AM Registration

8 AM Marketplace, Centering Prayer–Lance Humphrey

8:45 AM Gathering Music–Bobbie Morkin

9 –10:20 AM Bart Ehrman, 2nd Presentation

10:20 — 11 AM Break

10:45 AM Gathering Music–Bob Sparkman Trio

11:00 AM — 12:20 PM Deena Grant Presentation

12:30 — 2 PM Lunch and marketplace

1:45 — 2:00 PM Gathering Music — Bob Sparkman Trio

2 PM Tara Chung Hyun Kyung Presentation

3:20 — 3:40 PM Break

3:40 — 4:40 PM Breakout Workshops/Facilitated Discussion/Yoga/Meditation

4:40 — 5:00 PM Travel to Gateway City Arts

5:00 — 5:50 PM Hors d’oevres / Cash Bar / Conversation

5:50 — 6:00 PM Seating

6:00 — 7:00 PM Buffet Dinner

6:30 — 7:00 PM Bob Sparkman Trio Performs

7 PM Peter Rollins, 1st Presentation, “Pints and Parables”

Saturday, April 28

7:30 – 10:45 AM Registration — Sanctuary Narthex

8 AM Marketplace, Centering Prayer — Lance Humphrey

8:45 AM Gathering Music — Bobbie Morkin

9:00 — 10:20 AM Peter Rollins, 2nd Presentation

10:45 AM Gathering Music — South Congo Combo

11:00 — 12:20 PM Carol Howard Merritt, 1st Presentation

12:30 — 2:00 PM Lunch and marketplace

1:45 — 2:00 PM Gathering Music — South Congo Combo

2:00 – 3:20 PM Tara Chung Hyun Kyung, 2nd Presentation

3:40 — 4:40 PM Breakout Workshops

5:00 — 6:00 PM Light Dinner

6:15 — 7:30 PM Alan Gilburg, What Will You Take Away?

Sunday, April 29

10AM Festival Worship Service

11:30AM Light lunch / Departure

Looking for hope and new energy going forward? Faith communities are called to lead the way. Even in this age of polarization, our ancient myths and emerging stories still offer abundant resources for pathfinders.

Let’s explore them together.

Register now for Awakenings, April 26-29, 2018. It’s a 3 1/2-day study conference in beautiful western New England. The 2018 theme will be “Pathfinding in an Age of Polarization.”

This is our fourth biennial conference. Each one brings together thinkers, musicians, consultants, artists, and visionaries. We gather around tables for conversations and meals. We offer presentations, workshops, a bookstore, a marketplace — and plenty of time to meet up with people from communities across the continent. Each year we listen, laugh, learn, sing, wonder, and feast.

Your full conference registration includes noon and evening meals (plus snacks in between) from Thursday afternoon through Saturday, with vegetarian and gluten free options. Refreshments will also be available Sunday after worship. Daily registrations also include all the meals on that day. Enrolled students are half-price

Holyoke’s Homewood Suites offers a limited number of rooms at a special conference rate of $119 per night plus tax, including breakfast and a shuttle to and from conference events for persons without a car.

This is an all-suites hotel, located across Highway 91 from the Holyoke Mall. The hotel is about five miles (11 minutes) from the church. Reservations can be made by phoning the hotel front desk (413) 532-3100 and mentioning that you are registering as an Awakenings participant.

Let us know you’re planning to attend. Pathfinders will find a way!

The Awakenings Conference is held at the United Congregational Church of Holyoke, UCC and is located at 300 Appleton Street, Holyoke, MA.

Travel to Holyoke

  • Plane: We are 40 minutes north of Connecticut’s Bradley International
    Airport on highway I-91.
  • Automobile: we’re located near the intersection of routes I-90 and I-91.
    Click Here for Driving Directions.
  • Bus: Peter Pan Buslines come to the Holyoke Transportation Center, just three blocks from the church on Maple Street.
  • Train: The north/south “Amtrak Vermonter” stops in Holyoke a halfmile from the church. The newly renovated rail station in Springfield, MA, has additional trains.

Lodging

Holyoke’s Homewood Suites offers a limited number of rooms at a special conference rate of $119 per night plus tax, including breakfast and a shuttle to and from conference events for persons without a car.

This is an all-suites hotel, located across Highway 91 from the Holyoke Mall.  The hotel is about five miles (11 minutes) from the church.  Reservations can be made by phoning Susan Concepcion at (413) 532-3100 and mentioning that you are registering as an Awakenings participant.

Parking

The church parking lot is located on Maple St. across the street from the main sanctuary entrance. There is on street non-metered parking on Maple St. between Appleton and Cabot streets.

Area Attractions

Come early or stay late! The Pioneer Valley which is rich in history and natural beauty is a great tourist destination. Explore what Western Mass has to offer, after the conference.

Thank you for your interest in the 2018 Awakenings Conference.

We would love to hear from you. Please use the form or information on this page to contact us.

The United Congregational Church of Holyoke, UCC
300 Appleton Street
Holyoke, MA 01040
(413) 532-1483
Website

Conference Resources

2018 Registration

2018 Poster

2018 Pocket Brochure

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