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Geography of Grace

By December 18, 2017February 20th, 2018No Comments

You’re Invited to the
Geography of Grace Event

Saturday, February 24th, Illiopolis

What is Geography of Grace?

Geography of Grace is a twelve-session curriculum which draws upon the metaphors of natural landscapes to explore the landscapes of our souls.  Through poems, essays, and other writings, participants are invited to listen to how their own inner teacher is guiding them.  The curriculum utilizes the circle of trust approach to provide a safe and confidential environment for sharing.  All that is shared is by invitation rather than demand, providing participants with the freedom to grow in their own ways.  Drawing upon the work of Parker Palmer, Geography of Grace provides an opportunity to heal whatever brokenness we experience through finding a hidden wholeness within ourselves.

What to expect:

  • a time of spiritual practice
  • an understanding of methods to be in this world in a way that honors self and others.
  • an appreciation of others in their uniqueness, while embracing your own true self

What to experience:

  • an overview of Parker Palmer’s work, Hidden Wholeness
  • learning about the Touchstones which guide and undergird the practice of Circles of Trust, which is an opportunity to be fully present with other folks in such a way that we listen deeply to our own inner voice, and give space for others to find and listen to theirs.
  • the gift of learning to ask open, honest questions to help others dig deeper within themselves, while also having the opportunity to receive open, honest questions yourself to help you dig deeper.
  • time to let go of worries, demands, and responsibilities for a few hours!

What to leave with:

  • a renewed sense of self and spirit
  • perhaps some deeper understanding of ideas you have been weighing.
  • new friends
  • Information on how you can be part of a Circles of Trust group using the Geography of Grace curriculum.

Our gifted leaders for the day:

Bryan Burris

Minister at Carlock Christian Church – I was born and raised in Central Illinois.  After graduating from the University of Illinois law school, I practiced law for ten years working both as a federal law clerk and as a litigator.  After obtaining my M. Div., I was ordained in May 2016 and serve as minister of Carlock Christian Church.  I have been married to my wife Kathy for 11 years and have a five-year-old son, Pax.

While attending the Geography of Grace facilitator training, I recognized the unique ability of this curriculum to assist people in listening to the voice of God within themselves. Utilizing the circle of trust approach, Geography of Grace provides a safe space for sharing and for self-exploration to a degree I have not found elsewhere.

Melissa Ebken

Minister at Illiopolis Christian Church and Niantic Christian Church – I grew up in Central Illinois, and obtained a biology degree from the University of Illinois – Chicago. After time spent in the IL Army National Guard and teaching high school biology, I obtained an M. Div. from Lexington Theological Seminary in Lexington, KY.

Since mid-2001, I have been serving as pastor at the Christian Church of Illiopolis. In 2012, I began as pastor of Christian Church of Illiopolis and Niantic Christian Church. Serving yoked congregations has been a unique privilege. I have been married to Andrew for 11 years, and have an eight year-old son, Devon.

I appreciate the Geography of Grace curriculum and the circles of trust approach, as they are excellent tools for discernment and self-discovery and growth. These tools have provided benefits for me individually, and after pursuing facilitator training, will be indispensable for groups and congregations. I see many opportunities for my congregations to address issues in each community, as well as enriching the spiritual lives of members within the churches.

Allison Lundblad

Minister at Christian Church of Arlington Heights – – I’m from Asheville, NC. I attended Oberlin, College in Oberlin Ohio and then received my M.Div. from the University of Chicago Divinity School. Since then, I’ve served as a chaplain resident at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and now as the pastor of the Christian Church of Arlington Heights.

I am grateful for the way that the Circles of Trust approach works teaches practices that help us to honor each other. It asks participants to trust that God is at work in every person around the circle, and to listen with humility and openness rather than trying to fix others or offer advice.

Registration for this event is closed

And read about Geography of Grace at