Walk a mile in my shoes: Arizona five day Academy for Spiritual Formation

May 04, 2023 | by Admin

Walk a mile in my shoes: Arizona five day Academy for Spiritual Formation

The Desert Southwest Conference will be hosting an Academy for Spiritual Formation entitled A Mile in My Shoes: Immigration and the Bible, from October 22-27.

The Academy for Spiritual Formation is a program developed by The Upper Room in the early 1980’s for the single purpose of helping people grow in their relationship with God. The daily schedule is very balanced between the academic (lectures and discussion) and the formative (silence and worship), hence the name “Academy for Spiritual Formation.” Both “head” and “heart” are engaged during this retreat.

The typical Five Day Academy has about forty participants, clergy and lay. Because this Academy is sponsored by a United Methodist Conference, many will likely be Methodist, but we particularly welcome people from other denominations. Our faculty presenter in 2023 is Karen Gonzalez, a Lutheran laywoman raised by a Pentecostal grandmother and Catholic parents. About half of the participants will likely be new to the Academy; others will have gone to an Academy before.

Karen Gonzalez was selected as primary faculty presenter because of her knowledge of scripture, her personal story as an immigrant and her work with other immigrants. Her writing is clear and accessible to lay and clergy, and hers is a dynamic faith journey. We believe she will stimulate us new insights and perspectives, like fresh water flowing into a dry land.

The staff of Arizona Justice for Our Neighbors bring local knowledge and focus to the context we are exploring – the US-Mexico border. AZ-JFON is a United Methodist agency providing legal counsel, advocacy, and community education.

While faculty and consultants are important in creating a learning environment, this particular Academy offers many points of engagement and dialogue.

The total cost for 2023 is $925 for a single room. This covers all expenses (except books):  lodging, meals, tuition, and fees. The cost for those who sharing a shared room is $875 per person. A $200 deposit secures your reservation, with the balance to be paid by September 15, 2023.  
Every effort is made to make it possible for people to attend, regardless of their ability to pay. Clergy may apply for continuing education funds through Conference or their local church. Scholarship funds for lay people and for clergy who don’t have access to Conference funding, are available by contacting Jerry Haas at jndhaas@gmail.com.

For more information on registration contact Jerry Haas, Jndhass@gmail.com.