Elder Wisdom: Staying True to Gravity, Grace and the Given

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A virtual online Circle of Trust® retreat over four weekend sessions

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an online Courage & Renewal® Retreat 

4 weekend (Saturday & Sunday) sessions: 20th & 21st March and 24th & 25th April 2021

£130(Equivalent to $170 or €145 approx.) 


                                                        “Enough. The job is done.

                                                  Whatever’s been uprooted, let it be

                                              Seedbed for the growing that’s to come.

                                             I ploughed to unearth last year’s reasons –

                                          The farmer ploughs to plant a greening season.”

                                                                                                        (Parker J. Palmer) 

                                                                                                                                                                                                     In former times, our ‘elders’ were keepers of wisdom, and were our leaders through times of change and evolution. They kept hold of the stories that kept communities and society safe and provided touchstones for well-being and a sense of identity. True elders are soul travellers – not just chronologically, but also spiritually and intellectually: reaching back and reaching forward, reaching in and reaching out into the world and the human ecology that connects us.

During these days of great uncertainty, change and transformation, the wisdom of our elders can be grounding; providing guidance, illuminating the paradox of change (the grief and the possibilities), especially with those who have never experienced challenges on such a universal scale. What do these times call us toward? How do we take this journey as elders together? How do we stay faithful to what is calling us forward, and trusting of our own inner voice as we age into elderhood? How do we remain true to ‘gravity, grace and the given’? 

Join us for some days of gentle and spacious reflective time from the comfort of your own home.  We can connect with our soul’s journey into elderhood, into wisdom, and into our own time of change and transformation. As individuals on our own soul journeys and with our own stories, this retreat is an opportunity to share our learnings, hopes, responsibilities and perspectives in life-giving ways; to reflect on ‘the art of aging intentionally’. Through conversation, creative process and deep listening we hold space for each other to (re)discover our elder wisdom and how explore how it might guide and sustain us in the continuing unfolding of our lives.

A word from the facilitators…

We are delighted to be able to offer this ‘Elder Wisdom’ retreat for a second time in a virtual onlone format for Spring 2021. We aim to hold space for our own wisdom and insight to speak, as we reflect on the unfolding of our lives as we age. We welcome people of all ages to this retreat who seek to explore the panorama of their lives and find a renewed sense of purpose in times of change. We hope that the scheduling will allow you to join us, wherever you are living. Join us for what promises to be a rich and relaxing few days!

                                                                                                                                            Barbara & Kirstin

Courage and Renewal® retreats: 

  • Renew heart, mind and spirit through the exploration of the inner and outer landscapes of one’s life
  • Reconnect to one’s identity and integrity; identifying and honouring gifts and strengths, and acknowledging our limits
  • Create a context for careful listening and deep connection with others and the challenges they are meeting
  • Help participants create trustworthy spaces where they can reflect on their sense of vocation and purpose
  • Explore the connection between attending to the inner dimension of our lives and the impact we have on communities within which we live and the working communities of which we are part.


Who should participate:

The retreat welcomes individuals seeking the opportunity for reflection and renewal as a means of illuminating their own life journey, or enhancing their leadership role in work, organisational or community settings. We welcome people of all ages, and the language of the retreat will be English.

This retreat is based on the work of Parker Palmer and the U.S.-based Center for Courage & Renewal’s ‘Soul of Aging’ programme. The Center’s approach to ‘personal formation’ and personal / professional development is founded on the belief that good leadership, in its very widest sense, - the ability to genuinely be of service to others in the various communities of which we are part, - flows from the identity and integrity of the individual. The retreat process invites participants to explore wholeness of self and clarity of vocation in times of transition while making connections between the renewal of one’s spirit and the revitalization of the communities and social networks.

Dates and times:

The retreat comprises 4 X 3 hr sessions on two weekends (Saturdays & Sundays) as follows:

  • 20th and 21st March: 9:00-12:00am PST / 12:00-3:00pm EST / 4:00-7:00pm GMT* / 5:00-8:00pm CEST
  • 24th & 25th April: 9:00-12:00am PST / 12:00-3:00pm EST / 5:00-8:00pm BST* / 6:00-9:00pm CEST

If in the US/Canada, please adjust as appropriate in relation to PST and EST times given; if in the UK/Ireland, please look at BST and GMT times; if in continental Europe / African continent please look at CEST times and adjust if needed. Note that daylight savings hours apply in the UK and Europe at the end of March, and so please note that our March schedule is slightly different to our April schedule.

Our digital 'venue':

We will be using a communications package called Zoom for our online sessions. You may already be familiar with this. If not, we will send you full details beforehand so that you are clear about what to expect. To be able to connect with and get the very best from our online sessions, you will need to have access to a computer or laptop with speakers/a set of headphones/earbuds and a microphone. You will also need to have an internet connection, and a relatively quiet/private place in your home or elsewhere where you can be comfortable and uninterrupted for our sessions.

Retreat fee: £130 (equivalent to US $170 or €145 approx.)*

Your fee includes retreat materials and facilitation. Prior to the start of the retreat and before each session, participants will receive email copies of retreat materials.

Please note that as the finances for this retreat are held in the UK, fees are stated in UK £. When you pay online using Mastercard/Visa an automatic currency conversation will be made for you. Exchange rates do vary, so the figures given above cannot be exact.


Please register for the retreat and pay online here on this page or by logging back into our event page:


You will be asked to make your payment when you register. Payments may be made using Mastercard/Visa. 

Please note that registration will close on 6th March 2021. 


After registering you may withdraw your registration up to 2 weeks prior to the event start date (6th March 2021), at which point you will be offered a refund, minus an administration fee amounting to 25% of the retreat fee. If you cancel your place within 2 weeks of the event commencement date (i.e. after 6th March 2021), we regret that it may not be possible to offer any refund. 

In the unlikely event that we need to cancel or postpone, a full refund of the retreat fee will be offered. Please note that our liability is limited to the retreat fee only. 



Barbara Reid, PhD, is a UK-based facilitator and retreat leader specialising in personal and professional formation. She has been prepared by the Center for Courage & Renewal in the U.S. to lead retreats based on the work of Parker J. Palmer, which she has been doing for the past 5 years. With a long-standing commitment to reflective practice, she has worked in a variety of settings with people involved in change and transformation in themselves, in their organisations and their communities. She is also a teacher of Mindfulness Based Approaches and taught part-time at the Centre for Mindfulness Research & Practice at Bangor University until the end of 2017. With a background in university teaching and research, Barbara has led vocational degree programmes and managed research projects for many public services and third sector organisations. Now through her supervision and training practice, she is passionate about creating open and trustworthy spaces that support dialogue, learning, and community building. She is currently writing a memoir about family life as experienced through car ownership called ‘Across Europe in Second Gear’. Barbara lives in north Cambridgeshire on the edge of the Fens with her partner.

Kirstin Anglea, EdD, is a US-based facilitator and retreat leader with the Center for Courage and Renewal , and committed to working to create a more just, compassionate and healthy world by nurturing personal and professional integrity and the courage to act on it.  She has over 30 years experience in K-12 education and nonprofits, as a teacher, administrator and university professor.  With a passion for education and a desire to understand the essential qualities that support the development and sustainability of thriving learning communities, Kirstin explored the concepts of reflective practice and relational trust, earning her doctorate in Educational Leadership with a focus on Reflective Practice in Education.  She co-founded Nourish Courage in 2017, a consulting business that provides mentoring and coaching to teams, families and individuals striving to live and work aligned with their core values. In addition, Kirstin serves on the Board of Citizens4Community, a nonprofit in her community dedicated to developing and implementing tools, projects and events that encourage respectful communication, strengthen trust and build local community and leadership. When not working, you’ll find Kirstin kayaking, exploring the wilderness, or cooking with her family in Sisters, Oregon. 

Additional information:

If you have any questions about registration or about the Circle of Trust approach / the Center for Courage & Renewal, please contact:

In the UK: Barbara Reid: +44 (0)7970 877092 or email beereid@gmail.com.

In the US: Kirstin Anglea: 414-550-9520 or email kirstin@nourishcourage.com  

Preparing for the retreat:

If you are unfamiliar – or even if you are familiar with the work of Parker Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, you might like to look at some of Parker Palmer’s books – “A Hidden Wholeness”, “The Courage to Teach”, and “Let Your Life Speak”. Of particular relevance to our theme is Parker's recent book "On the Brink of Everything - Grace, Gravity and Getting Old".  Another new book, 'The Courage Way', authored by the Center for Courage & Renewal and Shelly Francis is also a great introduction.  Further information is available on the Center for Courage & Renewal’s website - www.couragerenewal.org

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