What happens when women from diverse religious traditions come together with deeply spiritual women no longer affiliated with religion? What kind of synergy and collective impact can grow from seeds planted in the common ground that they share? How will the world change when individual women step more fully into their natural spiritual leadership and weave enduring connections with other women who share their passion for a better world? Is women’s spiritual leadership the key to transforming the future of faith, of its enduring institutions and of faith’s role in the world?
These are just a few of the questions stirring at the heart of a dynamic women’s event being anchored November 7-10 at the San Francisco Bay Sofitel by Women of Spirit and Faith. Alchemy: Occupy Your Sacred Self will bring together 240 women representing diverse faiths and spiritual perspectives for four days of connection, co-creation and cross-pollination. This gathering is designed to build the collective impact of women’s spiritual leadership and nurture the individual women who make up the diverse organizations, networks and communities already engaged at the intersection of feminine spirituality and transformative women’s leadership.
Alchemy has already begun activating a powerful network of women and organizations. Among the organizations who have participated in meetings and conference calls over the past year as co-creators of Alchemy are Women’s Task Force at the Parliament of the World’s Religions, Global Women’s Initiative at the United Religions Initiative, WAVE at Association for Global New Thought, Patheos.com, Odyssey Networks, Women’s Interfaith Institute, Anglican Women’s Empowerment, National Council of Churches, California Institute of Integral Studies, Sophia University, Auburn Seminary, Women of the ELCA, We Are Enough, Gather the Women, Millionth Circle, Foundation for Women and Daughters of the Earth. Experience some of the interesting responses to “Why are you coming to Alchemy?” at the Women of Spirit and Faith Blog.
The innovative design for Alchemy grows from a commitment to shared leadership and a profound belief that every woman in the room is equally valued as a leader. Rather than the usual conference structure built around keynote speakers and panels of experts, Alchemy will unfold through a series of circle dialogues designed to invite, harvest and illuminate the wisdom emerging in the room. These generative conversations will be interspersed with breakout sessions and open space designed to invite women to “occupy their sacred selves” – through movement, music, poetry, journaling, meditation, nature walks, rituals and lively discussions on juicy topics.
This intergenerational event will actively invite the participation and nurture the leadership of young women leaders. Special events, activities and conversations will offer young women an opportunity to explore the issues that matter to them. Laura Paskell-Brown, a member of the Young Leader’s Council at Women of Spirit and Faith says, “Alchemy is juicy for me because it gives me the chance to embody my words. Can I be a feminine spiritual leader? Can I come from my heart? Can I listen deeply? Can I act with courage in the face of a world that tells me I need to stop caring and be more practical? I come from a generation saturated and bombarded by words. This is where we fall into the silence – together – and see how we do. “
To learn more about Alchemy: Occupy Your Sacred Self and to take advantage of the summer registration discount (ending September 15!), visit http://womenofspiritandfaith.org/alchemy/ .