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Kh. Krista West lectureLectures & Retreats

I love to give lectures and retreats focusing on various aspects of beauty and the Church and I now travel around the country visiting many parishes. My goal is to inform and inspire, helping people to experience a deeper appreciation of the myriad forms of beauty in the Church and in our lives as Orthodox Christians. My most popular retreats are:

  • Envisioning the Kingdom: the Why and How of Beauty in the Orthodox Church (retreat)--this retreat focuses on explaining why we have beauty in the Church and what it looks like in various forms. It includes lectures on ancient color perception and features of Orthodox Christian Aesthetics. It can also include a "church walking tour" session in which we explore these principles in the church setting (highly recommended!). A great presentation to inspire your community towards more beauty!

  • Restoring the Image: Women, Beauty, and the Church (retreat)--this women's retreat begins by exploring how the physical and spiritual are intertwined in Orthodox Christian theology and how this informs our approach to beauty, and then continues to build on this topic through a series of "how to" sessions which focus on subjects such as our response to society's negative beauty messages, living in community, mentoring, and ornamenting our environment.
  • Honorarium and travel expenses--I do not ask for a set honorarium but leave that to your discretion. I do bring a table of embroideries and books to sell which helps offset my costs. I ask the hosting community to reimburse airfare round trip from Portland OR (I will take care of the booking).

    Scheduling--if you are interested in hosting me for a retreat or speaking engagement, please email me to reserve dates (I am currently booking for Fall 2018). If you would like to see me "in action", please visit the Video page of the website or tune into Ancient Faith Radio and listen to my podcast "The Opinionated Tailor." If you have any questions or additional topics you are interested in, please contact me at kristamwest@gmail.com.


    Embroidery Workshops

    I can also give all-day embroidery workshops on Greek embroidery. Known as "counted cross-stich" here in the US, this style of embroidery takes on a whole new expression when worked on high-quality linen or handwoven cotton ground cloth using traditional color palettes and designs. The workshop typically runs from 9am to 3pm on a Saturday and each workshop is limited to 12 students. Following a 45-minute lecture on traditional Orthodox embroidery, complete with a display of my private collection of antique photos of Russian village embroidery and samples of my own pieces, the remainder of the day is spent hands-on learning how to work on counted handwoven cotton (each student is provided with cloth, floss, and a traditional design). An inspiring and enjoyable day spent with a master embroiderer, this workshop is a delight for those who want to learn these historic techniques, for use both in the home and church settings.

    To book a lecture or workshop, please contact me at kristamwest@gmail.com


    greek embroidery

    greek embroidery