Writing about vocation that centers our own distinct identities holds power to transform individuals, communities, and the world. In our time together, we will draw from our own deep wells, wherein lie stories, images, and artifacts handed down from our ancestors to help us live into a better future.
As a group of scholars and practitioners writing from faith perspectives, we will bring a range of writing projects, including vocational autobiography, congregational studies, ethnography, personal essay, sermons, poetry, and memoir. We will explore the power of writing from our lived experience to help others – young people coming after us, peers navigating their own vocations, faith communities in which we lead and participate – to explore the “why” of their lives with intention and creativity.
Our learning community will begin each morning in group-led ritual or spiritual practice. We will share works-in-progress and meet one-on-one with writing coaches. We seek applicants who are working to center the voices of oppressed and marginalized communities and/or grappling with power and privilege as an element of vocational discernment.
This writing workshop will be held online due to the Covid-19 pandemic:
- Friday, June 18: Welcome and Orientation Session (time to be announced)
- Monday, June 21 – Friday, June 25: Virtual Writing Workshop (times forthcoming)
Patrice Gopo draws on her experience as the child of Jamaican immigrants, born and raised in Anchorage, Alaska. She enjoys exploring issues of race, immigration, and belonging. Patrice is a firm believer in the power of personal narratives to create pathways of connection and understanding in society. As a result of this belief, Patrice is passionate about empowering others to write and share their personal stories in pursuit of healing in society and a more equitable world. Patrice’s teaching emphasizes the personal essay as a vehicle for social change. Through a mixture of writing activities, class discussion, and example essays, Patrice will help participants find entry points into their own work.
Patrice lives with her family in North Carolina. Her essays have appeared in a variety of publications, including Catapult, Creative Nonfiction, Gulf Coast, Full Grown People, and online in The New York Times and The Washington Post. Her radio commentaries have appeared on Charlotte, North Carolina’s NPR Station WFAE 90.7. Her work has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and she is the recipient of several Regional Artist Project Grants. She is the recipient of a 2017-2018 NC Arts Council Artist Fellowship, and her essay collection, All the Colors We Will See: Reflections on Barriers, Brokenness, and Finding Our Way (Thomas Nelson, 2018), was a Fall 2018 Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers selection.
Dori Grinenko Baker is passionate about helping others expand the genre of stories, images, and artifacts for helping people find meaning and discover purpose. She is an educator, activist, and scholar focused on feminist theologies, young adult culture, leadership development and spiritual practices that sustain activism. She serves as Senior Fellow for the Forum for Theological Exploration. Baker’s first career as a journalist led to seminary, ordination, and a PhD in religious studies. Her scholarship centers religious formation in faith communities and emphasizes cultural studies, critical race theory, ethnography, and vocation.
Her most recent book is Another Way: Living and Leading Change on Purpose, co-authored with colleagues at FTE, Stephen Lewis and Matthew Wesley Williams (Chalice Press, 2020). Among her other publications are: Doing Girlfriend Theology: God-Talk with Young Women (Pilgrim Press, 2005, 2020); The Barefoot Way: A Faith Guide for Youth, Young People and the Adults Who Walk with Them ( Westminster John Knox, 2012); and Greenhouses of Hope: Congregations that Grow Young Leaders Who Will Change The World (Alban, 2012).
The program is limited to 8 participants. Due to the Covid-19 public health crisis, the Collegeville Institute will host Our Own Deep Wells as a virtual writing workshop.
The application deadline has now passed.