Visit the Abbey of the Arts online retreat platform to access your programs:

Upcoming Events

A busy week ahead, I start teaching “Contemporary Christian Spirituality and Prayer” at Seattle U’s School of Theology and Ministry Tuesday morning. I am excited to be working with students from the MDiv and MA programs there.  I love teaching people new ways to pray and helping them prepare for ministry by finding a spirituality and set of practices that are sustaining and nourishing.

Our first session of the Awakening the Creative Spirit Program will be on Friday-Saturday October 6-7 (there are still a couple of spots left if you want to join us!)  We have a wonderful group of women already signed up, I can’t wait to get them all in a room together!  A great experience of really immersing yourself in the creative process and connecting to a community of fellow explorers. 

Our next Monthly Gathering will be Friday, October 13 (click on the link for time & location).


FALL-ing is like this… Come to the October Gathering where we will explore the season of Fall as it relates to our own spiritual journeys. Beginning with a short “walkabout” we will take time to connect the transformative power of season. Continuing with journaling, art-making and sharing we will reflect on what we are being called to fall into, or fall away from…like leaves releasing themselves from the trees to glide on the wind, we will consider where we want to glide to in our lives.

Our facilitator will be Rev. Crystal R. Sygeel, a liturgical artist and dancer of 20 years. Crystal is currently serving as the Associate Pastor to First UMC Seattle. She has a passion for empowering people to use their creativity as a gateway to understanding God, the human family and themselves. Crystal graduated from Union-PSCE in Richmond, VA with a dual M. Div and MA in Christian Education. Her next workshop will be at Covenant House on the University of Washington Campus, September 20th -October 30th, where young adults will engage their transition from high school to college as a spiritual rite of passage.

Crystal is also a board member of The Creating Space.  I am delighted Crystal will be leading us in this exploration of the spiritual significance of autumn!

Coming on the blog. . . I have mentioned here before I am working on a book on lectio divina. So I thought this week I would write a couple of posts on lectio and ways of using this ancient, contemplative practice to pray with other “texts” such as art, music, poetry, dreams, and life experience.

-Christine Valters Paintner

You might also enjoy

Monk in the World Guest Post: Meg Munro

I am delighted to share another beautiful submission to the Monk in the World guest post series from the community. Read on for Meg Munro’s reflection and paintings on her relationship with the Beloved Mother-Virgin. I had been despairing that my passion for painting was

Read More »

4 Responses

  1. Thank you wise and holy women, I am truly blessed by such a wonderful group of readers. I soak in your blessings and enthusiasm!
    I hope you enjoy the lectio series this week, I just posted part one. I hope to do at least two more posts on using lectio in different ways.
    Blessings to each of you, Christine

  2. Christine, May God continue to truly bless you by teaching others. Rev. Sygeel sounds like a very talented and gifted teacher as well. I too would come if I lived closer. I’m very excited to read your upcoming ‘lectio divina’ posts. Keep smilin’…..Bette

  3. Really looking forward to the Lectio Divina posts Christine : ). It is like curling up in God’s lap as a child and hearing Him read you a wonderful fairy tale is how I feel it as (the deepest of fairy tales of course, more real than real). I just love Lectio Divina : )

  4. Such rich experiences you write of! I wish Seattle were just a few miles from Michigan rather than on the other side of the country. Yet in reading this I’m gaining more clarity of what I yearn for ~ so now I trust that I will know where and how to focus my searching and energies. May the rich blessings of autumn “fall” upon your week! Cathleen