Chimayo and the Bloody Knees of Jesus

56521694_33e573d4a0_z“I want a holy experience!” I say to my companions, Amy and Danielle, leaning toward them in the cafeteria of St. John’s College in Santa Fe. We are all spending a week away from our children and husbands at the Glen Workshop to get some time to write and explore the area.

They seem mildly amused by my outburst, possibly because they are used to my naive, idealistic longing for a mystical encounter. We continue discussing a place called Chimayo—about a forty-five minute drive away—that is supposed to have holy dust.

Ooh, holy dust, I think. I want to touch it. I want to feel the holy. [Read more…]

Sitting Together: A Week at the Glen Workshop

14066373_10206865453981792_9089818213749029625_oI’m an introvert who loves to talk, an often confusing combination that can leave me drained in spite of myself, or perplex my friends when I suddenly slink off after an hour of raucous guffawing.

But I just spent a week in Santa Fe at the Glen Workshop, a gathering of writers, artists, and musicians who meet at St. John’s College every summer to hone their craft, eat and worship together, and listen to some of the world’s most inspiring creative people share their work. And it was there that I experienced several moments of healing and energizing silence.

Coming of age in evangelicalism, I heard Jesus’s words, “where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them,” quite a bit. But those words often evoked images of Bible studies, group prayer, worship services, or other intentional, structured activities designed to move me from point A to point B on the spiritual growth chart.

It never occurred to me then, that sometimes just sitting together can fill us with the Holy Spirit more than a flashy program. [Read more…]

Barry Moser: I Knew I was Home, Part 2

glenGuest post by Barry Moser

The following post, continued from yesterday, is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

A few years after my first Glen, the drawing class convened once again. One of the members of that class was a woman from Florida named Patricia Oetting, a registered nurse.

She had never drawn before, and obviously had never had the experience of drawing from live models. But she was game and was taking my instruction with seriousness and the mandatory good humor. And she was getting a real kick out of the fact that she had worked with naked patients most of her life, and knew the anatomy of the human body quite well—better than I, but had never actually looked at a naked person in such an honest, forthright, and casual way. [Read more…]

Barry Moser: I Knew I was Home, Part 1

barryGuest post by Barry Moser

The following post is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Ten years ago, Greg Wolfe asked me to teach drawing out here at Glen West. I was an admirer of Image journal but I nevertheless looked into the Glen West workshops before accepting the invitation. And while I found nothing remotely off-putting, I was, nevertheless, shall I say, hesitant.

I spent the better part of three years as a fundamentalist Methodist preacher—licensed, not ordained—while I was in college. I was a resolute Biblical inerrantist when it came to the Bible (King James, of course), and I was certain that I was right, by God, and anybody who did not believe the way I did was gonna suffer in the eternal fires of Hell.

That juggernaut was going along well enough when a girl in my youth group got pregnant.

And you know what happened? [Read more…]

The Ardent Whisper of God

12glenGuest post by A.N. Muia

The following post is adapted from a talk given at the 2014 Glen Workshop in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

I came to the Glen Workshop while on sabbatical. For fourteen years, I’ve served as a minister to Mexican migrant workers, jail inmates, and addicts at the ministry of Tierra Nueva in Washington State.

The sabbatical was my chance to finally focus on writing, a lifelong passion that had gone dormant during the busy years of ministry. My inner voices told me that it was difficult to justify writing fiction when people are struggling and dying from addiction. Ministry updates became my primary genre. And testimonies. And grants.

But a novel about Baja California—a world of colonial missions, priests, soldiers, indigenous, pearl divers and saint-makers, the roguish and the devoted—lay dying in my drawer. [Read more…]