Thank You from Executive Director Greg Cochran

Gratitude upon gratitude! This only begins to express the depths of gratefulness I feel toward all those who supported the Well in the last fiscal year with your financial gifts and with your gifts of presence, spirit, wisdom, and thought.

We would not be able to make a difference in the world without your support.

15 years – 15! In July we began our 15th year as a community. Our 15th year of providing a safe sacred place for people to come – wherever they are on their spiritual journey – and explore, question, grow, be challenged, be nurtured, be changed. Our 15th year of helping and encouraging others to incorporate the spiritual part of who they are into their daily living. Our 15th year of listening and discerning to see where we are invited next. Our 15th year of being with and walking along side you, and you us. Thank you for helping to sustain us as we seek to help sustain you! I look forward to the next 15.

With gratitude,

Greg A. Cochran

Executive Director

Well for the Journey Launches New Website August 1

Well for the Journey is excited to announce that its new website will launch on August 1. Final touches are being made now to the new site, which is streamlined and better reflects the Well’s mission, as well as its branding as a safe, inclusive space to explore one’s daily spirituality. The site address will remain www.wellforthejourney.org.

The new site was created by Eleanor Lewis, the Well’s communications manager, and Michelle Jordan, the Well’s freelance print/web designer, with input from Well staff and volunteers. “Our site had become outdated and had a lot of extraneous pages that were hard to maintain,” Eleanor explains. “I wanted to create a simpler site structure that helps people find what they need quickly, and also share the Well’s message from the minute people come to the site. Michelle listened and responded with a design that helps resolve those issues and complements our brand too.”

Maggie Lears, Well Board member and Marketing/Communications Circle chair, says, “It’s exciting that we have so many new participants, programs, and events at the Well. I’m confident that our new and improved website will provide a welcoming and informative landing place for newcomers as well as our longtime journeyers.”

The new site’s Donate section has a Support Spiritual Wellness fundraising page that explains how donor support is used to live out the Well’s mission. There is a donation link on most of the website’s pages. A Resources feature on the homepage includes links to frequently used pages, including the Well Program Scholarship form, Frequently Asked Questions, and Inclement Weather Policy.

While the current site has a blog, it was hard to find; on the new site it’s included on the homepage and offers an email subscription option. “We hope to post on a regular basis, and the blog will include our Quench articles, features on our volunteers and donors, and reflections from the Well community,” Eleanor says. If you’re interested in writing for Quench or the Well blog, please email eleanor@wellforthejourney.org.

Executive Director Greg Cochran adds, “The Well’s web presence in a spiritually hungry world is crucial. Our website provides a path in which new relationships can form and existing relationships can deepen. The Osprey Foundation has been a key factor in allowing us to enhance our ‘web path’ – we are so grateful.”

Please visit our website at www.wellforthejourney.org (and be sure to “like” our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/WellfortheJourney).

Editor’s Note – Quench, Summer 2017

The subject of this issue, Citizens of the World, leads me directly to an issue I am passionate about – working with refugee girls who come to the US from a number of war- torn nations. Atlanta, and more specifically the small town of Clarkston, GA, is a hubbub of refugee activity. Chosen in the early 2000s by the International Rescue Committee as one of the best places in the US to send refugees (due to a large stock of vacant garden apartments), Clarkston has boomed into a fascinating, diverse refuge for people from all over the world. All of these people struggle to learn a new language, and a new, overwhelmingly abundant way of life.

Early on, it was noticed by a group of volunteers teaching young teens English on Saturdays that the girls were reticent, less likely to ask questions, and more likely to fall behind. Statistics in the public schools backed that up – refugee girls from countries in which women are subservient were dropping out at record rates. These volunteers in GA decided that changing their focus to intensively tutoring young women in English was the wisest (and most asked for by the families) course of action.

Thus, the Global Village Project was born. Global Village is now an accredited girl’s middle school, with a team of wonderful teachers and volunteer tutors who work with the girls every day. Tuition is free. Every girl is assigned a mentor, who helps her throughout the rest of her schooling and often helps the entire family navigate our complex American system – from paying rent, to filing taxes, to buying their first car.

My mentee, Ehsoe Moo, comes from Myanmar – a country she has never seen, as she was born in a refugee camp in Thailand. Her people, the Karen, are being ethnically cleansed from their homeland. It has been my great pleasure and privilege to work with Ehsoe and her family. Such hard-working future Americans impress me daily. They are now homeowners with full-time jobs, contributing mightily by working in a chicken processing plant – a job average Americans don’t want to do. This summer, five years will have passed and citizenship is around the corner. Ehsoe is a junior in a competitive high school with straight A’s. We are college shopping!

Success stories like this are woven into the fabric of America. I pray that we continue to cherish each and every one of the threads that make up that beautiful tapestry we are lucky enough to call home.

Wishing you the best, always.

– Robbin Marcus

 

 

 

Six Questions with… Bev Gorman

Bev GormanBev Gorman is a registered nurse who began a journey into self-discovery and awakening several years ago through the aid of the spiritual tool of the Enneagram. Bev has discovered profound truths about herself through the Enneagram, which invites us to look deeply into the mystery of our true identity and our divine Essence. She is currently in the process of becoming a certified Enneagram teacher through The Enneagram Institute. She teaches both classes and retreats on the Enneagram. Bev has been married for 30 years, and has four children and three grandchildren.

How did you become involved with Well for the Journey?

I first started attending Women at the Well classes nine years ago. I had heard about the incredible programming through friends at my church and decided to learn more about what the Well offered. It was one of the best decisions of my life in terms of my spiritual growth and development.

What do you wish more people knew about the Well?

I love that the Well offers such a wonderful variety of programs for seekers on any aspect of their spiritual journeys. There is ample opportunity to participate in so many varied offerings at the Well and a very welcoming open reception to fellow sojourners. The Well offers many workshops, classes, group spiritual direction, retreats, and pilgrimages. No matter what denomination, belief system, or religious background, the Well is a place of spiritual nourishment.

When did you first begin working with the Enneagram? 

I was first introduced to the Enneagram through marital counseling nine years ago. It has been one of the greatest gifts given to me in terms of helping me understand who I am and why I am here. It gives me the language to describe my inner landscape – the direct experience of my thoughts, desires, motivations, and frustrations. When first learning about my type, I felt as if someone had gone inside my heart, mind and body and described perfectly how I think, feel and react to all of life.

The Enneagram is an ancient typology that maps out nine fundamental personality types of human nature and their complex interrelationships. In its current form, it is a mix of modern psychology that has roots in the spiritual wisdom of many different ancient traditions.

The heart of the Enneagram is the universal insight that human beings are spiritual presences incarnated in the material world yet mysteriously embodying the same life and Spirit as the Creator. Behind the veil of illusion, the light of Divinity shines in every individual.

How does the Enneagram apply to daily spiritual life?

One of the paths to remembering our Divine DNA is through self-knowledge. St. Augustine prayed, “How can you draw close to God when you are far from your own self? Grant Lord, that I may know myself, that I may know thee.”

The Enneagram is a spiritual road map that helps us awaken and remember our true self- the Essence of our Being. The gift of the Enneagram is learning and understanding the transformative tools that are available every moment of the day – Presence, which is awareness and mindfulness, the practice of self observation – gained from self knowledge and understanding what one’s experiences mean. Being supplies the first, you supply the second, and the Enneagram supplies the third.

What Well events are you looking forward to attending this year?

I love the Well by the Sea women’s retreat and look forward to it every year. It is so refreshing to be in community with such delightful women who are opening their hearts, minds, and bodies to spiritual renewal.

What are your favorite hobbies/leisure activities?

I love spending time with my grandchildren- they give me joy beyond words. I thoroughly enjoy tennis and yoga. I  love the beach, especially the Jersey shore where my heart lives most of the time. I enjoy reading spiritual books of all types.

Learn more about Bev’s upcoming class (Saturday, Apr. 1), Excavating Yourself with the Enneagram and Creativity, co-led by Becky Slater. This class is open to those new to the Enneagram as well as those with Enneagram experience. The class is sold out; however, there is a waiting list.

Learn more about Bev’s Going Deeper with the Enneagram series (beginning Tuesday, Apr. 18, 6:30-8:30 pm) for those with Enneagram experience.

 

Campaign Update February 2017

To date, Well for the Journey has received $67,030 in cash and pledges from 135 generous donors toward our Reaching Out, Inviting In campaign. Thank you!

However, while we’ve raised 56% of our $120,000 goal, we are behind in giving totals compared to this time last year. Please help us achieve our goal by June 30.

Your financial support makes it possible for us to reach out and invite in – to develop and offer innovative programs, produce our quarterly Quench newsletter and Well-come program booklet, fund staff salaries, pay for day-to-day expenses, and rent our beautiful space (we do not own the house at 400 W Pennsylvania, so rent is an essential part of our budget).

We can’t do it without you!

Help us continue to be a reconciling, healing force in our world – a place where individuals and community gather to satisfy a thirst for a deeper connection to wholeness.

If you haven’t made a donation, or would like to make an additional donation, we hope you will consider doing so today at www.wellforthejourney.org/giving/donate. If you’d like to write a check, please make it payable to Well for the Journey, and send to 400 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Towson, MD 21204.

Thank you for all the ways you support the Well.

If you’re walking, just walk. If you’re eating, just eat.

By Maggie Lears

Maggie will facilitate Eating with a Spiritual Compass: Mindful Eating on Saturday, February 11, 9:30 am-3:30 pm. Learn more and register.

Creating two simple habits can significantly improve your daily life. All you need to do is mindfully practice two everyday activities – walking and eating.

Mindful walking is being consciously aware of moving in your environment. Some of the benefits of walking mindfully are deepening your connection to the present moment, to your body, and to nature. It naturally slows you down physically and mentally allows your mind to quiet. Mindful walking also builds mental muscle by increasing your ability to concentrate and not be distracted by noises in the surroundings.

So notice your posture, feel the earth beneath your feet, take a few deep belly breaths and begin. With every step, be aware of the gentle heel-to-toe rhythm of each foot as it touches the ground. Take in as much of the periphery as possible. Listen to the sounds of life.

Now that you walk mindfully, let’s look at eating. How can you find what is sublime in your everyday experience with food? Many have forgotten that food is a way that we are both socially and spiritually nourished.

Mindful eating is about experiencing food more intensely – especially the pleasure of it. It’s about paying close attention to the sensation of each morsel, eating slowly and relishing each bite. It involves all the senses – e.g. colors, textures, scents, tastes, even the sounds of drinking and eating. Mindful eating is a way to rediscover one of the most pleasurable things we do as humans.

In addition, research shows that eating with an awareness of the mystery of life in food and connecting with it via mindfulness actually enhances your physical health.

Here is a simple summary on getting started –  the 5 S’s:

  1. Sit Down – This focuses attention.
  2. Savor the Food – Look at the beauty of the food. Say Grace – thank the animals, plants and people who provided this food. When you eat, just eat (no TV, no Internet.)
  3. S-l-o-w D-o-w-n – Chew each small bite 20 times. Pace, don’t race.
  4. Simplify – Place healthy foods where you can see them.
  5. Smile – Put down the utensil and smile between bites (a little Buddha smile).

 

So why not begin today? Walk mindfully to work or to the store. Spend at least the first five minutes of one meal everyday eating mindfully. Be present. Congratulations, you are now on your way to greater emotional, mental, and physical health.

Campaign Update: January 2017

Women at the Well 20140918cThank you to our 128 generous donors who have given $66,345 to the 2016-17 Reaching Out, Inviting In Campaign. Our goal is to reach $120,000 by June 30.

Today, in a hurting nation and world, when it feels like diversity wanes, when it seems like divisiveness reigns, when anger and rage seems to constantly lace our language, when relationships are broken, when fear simmers beneath our soul – people need a place like Well for the Journey more than ever. The Well is a source of spiritual health – a safe, sacred space where individuals delve deeper into the whole person they are created to be.

Your gifts allow us to be a reconciling, healing force in our world – a place where individuals and community gather to satisfy a thirst for a deeper connection to wholeness.

If you haven’t made a donation, we hope you will consider making one today at www.wellforthejourney.org/giving/donate. If you’d like to write a check, please make it payable to Well for the Journey. Our address is 400 W Pennsylvania Avenue, Towson, MD 21204.

DSC_0007Your generosity helps us do what we do — from developing and offering programs, and producing our quarterly Quench newsletter and Well-come program booklet, to funding staff salaries, day-to-day expenses, and rent for our beautiful space (we do not own the house at 400 W Pennsylvania, so rent is an essential part of our budget).

We can’t do it without you!

Thank you for all the ways you support the Well.

Wholehearted Living: A Daring Way™ Workshop for Church Leaders

“Our sense of worthiness — that critical piece that gives us access to love and belonging — lives inside our story.”
                                                          -Brené Brown

By Rev. Arianne Weeks

Those of us in pastoral leadership are pulled in a myriad of directions daily, often assessing and evaluating “success” based on the opinions of others and circumstances of our culture that are beyond our control.

On Saturday, February 25 (10 am-4 pm), I’ll be leading Wholehearted Living: A Daring Way™ Workshop for Church Leaders. The workshop will be held at Church of the Good Shepherd, 1401 Carrollton Avenue in Ruxton. The cost is $75 and includes lunch. You can register here.

In this supportive workshop we will learn how we can use the practical concepts Dr. Brown introduced in two of her bestselling books, Daring Greatly and Rising Strong, to examine how our story impacts how we lead, specifically:

  • The power of vulnerability
  • How to cultivate a compassionate inner voice
  • New ways to engage challenging situations in our context

You can learn more about Brené Brown here.

The Rev. Arianne Weeks is an Episcopal Priest, rector, and Certified Daring Way™ Facilitator. She has led multiple workshops in Brené Brown’s methodology for laity and clergy since 2015.

Campaign Update (Jan. 3, 2017)

Thank you to our 120 generous donors (including 29 new donors) who have given $58,920 to the 2016-17 Reaching Out, Inviting In Campaign. Our goal is to reach $120,000 by June 30.

If you haven’t made a donation, we hope you will consider making one today at www.wellforthejourney.org/giving/donate

Why is reaching our goal so critical? Your support helps us do what we do — from developing and offering programs, and producing our quarterly Quench newsletter and Well-come program booklet, to funding staff salaries, day-to-day expenses, and rent for our beautiful space (we do not own the house at 400 W Pennsylvania, so rent is an essential part of our budget).

We can’t do it without you!

You can make a secure donation on our website now at www.wellforthejourney.org/giving/donate.

If you’d like to write a check, please make it payable to Well for the Journey. Our address is 400 W Pennsylvania Avenue, Towson, MD 21204.

Thank you for all the ways you support the Well.

Women at the Well Winter 2017: A Daily Cup of Compassion

Have you ever considered that you are a vessel for divine love? What if we moved through our daily lives recognizing that God is using us to bring about goodness? What if we were able to share God’s compassion with everyone we encountered?

This winter, our Women at the Well groups will explore the multidimensional theme of compassion and discover practical steps for how to bring compassion into the messiness and beauty of our daily lives.

You are uniquely created by God to love and be loved. In our journey together we hope to become more aware that we are vessels for God, capable of being filled with greater compassion and able to share that compassion with others. Using the symbol of the cup, we hope to make a holy space for compassion, aligning our spirits to God’s desires for us and for our world.

Our sessions will cover the following topics:

Gathering 1: Vessels for Love

Gathering 2: Who is My Neighbor?

Gathering 3: Being Kind to Myself: Self-Compassion

Gathering 4: Forgiveness is For Giving

Gathering 5: Steeping

Gathering 6: Compassion Café

Choose from our Wednesday morning group (begins Jan. 18), Monday evening group (begins Jan. 30), or Thursday morning group (begins Feb. 2).

Cost: Register at least one week in advance and pay $150. Late registration is $180.

Questions? Please call the Well for the Journey office at 410-296-9355.


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