The Roots of Celtic Christian Spirituality

The Roots of Celtic Christian Spirituality
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Date(s) - 04/07/2018
All Day

Peace Tree Spirituality Center


The Roots of Celtic Christian Spirituality

Roots that run deep. Branches that reach wide. The Tree of Life speaks to the heart of Celtic Spirituality and Peace Tree Spirituality Center alike – a symbol for a God that cannot be contained within the walls of a building or a day of the week!

We are thrilled to host our first Celtic Christian program with Celctic Way Creative Director, Scott Jenkins. This day-long retreat illuminating the roots of Celtic Christian Spirituality. We will dig into these interrelated themes, learning and growing together:

  • God’s Presence within All Things
  • In the Image of God
  • Sacred Community
  • The Cycle of Time

God’s Presence within All Things

Where is God? How does God commuincate with creation? This path will touch topics such as revelation, contemplative walks in nature, the twin voices of scripture and creation, and ecology.

  • The Divine Within All Things

  • Two “Books” of Revelation: Nature and Scripture

  • Respect and Awareness

  • Interconnectedness – Synchronicity

The Image of God

One of the most important contributions from Celtic Christianity is the belief that we are created and continue to live out of the image of God. We may find this belief diverges from what we know of Christianity, emphasizing sinfulness over likeness to God. We move within the Celtic mystical tradition as we also discuss our loved ones “on the other side” and significant sacred spaces called, “thin places.”

  • What does it mean to be human? Created in the Image
    (and likeness) of God

  • The Influence of the Eastern/Coptic Churches

  • Beyond the Veil: Saints

  • Thin Places – Iona and Lindisfarne

Sacred Community

Our world, our country, much of the fabric of our daily lives is marred in one way or another by painful divisions. The impact upon us is often a feeling of powerlessness. How can one person make a difference? Perhaps, a possible solution might be found in community. “Community is first of all a quality of the heart. It grows from the spiritual knowledge that we are alive not for ourselves but for one another. Community is the fruit of our capacity to make the interests of others more important than our own (see Philippians 2:4). The question, therefore, is not “How can we make community?” but “How can we develop and nurture giving hearts?” Fr. Henri Nouwen

  • Hospitality – God in the Other

  • The Anam Cara or Soul Friend

  • Spiritual Practice – Spiritual Direction

The Cycle of Time

In my house growing up there was Marine Corps time – if we were not early, then we were late! Today we live in digital, synchronized time, so very carefully measured. We in the contemporary western world tend to see time as linear, one thing happening after another in a line of progression. But it was not always this way. The seasons were the time markers. Events such as planting, harvesting and the birthing of lambs and calves told the “story” of time. Could the cyclical passing of the seasons have a good word for us in this life? What about beyond this life?

  • “Round and Round” – The Gift of Cyclical Time

  • Winter – Samhain

  • Spring – Imbolc

  • Summer – Beltane

  • Autumn – Lammas

  • Winter as Returning Home

Scott Jenkins, Creative Director of Celtic Way in Denver, CO

One would think that after four years as a Biblical Literature student in college, four years of graduate school and over twenty five years of pastoral ministry that my episodes of theological upheaval would be in the rear-view mirror. Thank God that was not the case for me!

On a cold, snowy night at the tail end of a long day, my wife, Kris and I attended a presentation by a Celtic scholar by the name of John Philip Newell.

I was tired and a little resistant about attending but Kris insisted since we had been given the tickets. When we arrived, the room was full and we ended up sitting close to the front. When John Phillip began speaking I was energized and completely focused on his every word. I couldn’t believe my ears! Here was an ancient yet fresh presentation of the Christian faith that just so gripped me that I felt overjoyed, disoriented, and enlivened all at the same time. I could not write fast enough to keep up with the presentation or all the questions that were arising almost instantly.

What to do? My comfy belief system was turned upside down. At the time I was in my mid-fifties and privately laughed that this was happening to me now! The internal struggle which ensued was intense for a little over a year.

I read as many books pertaining to Celtic Christianity as I could afford to buy.

What I discovered was an ancient form the Christian faith that embraced the goodness of humanity, a revelatory place for nature within Christian thought and prayer, a healthy way to relate to other spiritual traditions, and the gift of all of life being inter-related in God.

Today, I am staring my 64th birthday in the face. Joyfully, I might add. I am excited and energized to engage in this Celtic Way with you through acts of charity, prayer, and presentation.

Celtic Way’s Mission

We are a collaboration of people moved to bring a fresh vision to the spiritual life by nurturing a vibrant, evolving and sustainable life in God with nature.

Make your retreat an Overnight

If you would like to make this retreat an overnight to enjoy the quiet of Peace Tree’s Center and Grounds, contact us at Stay for a special Celtic worship service Sunday morning.

You are invited to “Breaking Bread the Celtic Way”

Join us Sunday, April 8th at 10:30, for a Celtic service of Breaking Bread. This service is free and open to all – those who attend “The Roots of Celtic Christian Spirituality” and the wider community. More information coming soon.