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). If you would like to host a retreat but are unable to afford to do so, I occasionally have donors willing to underwrite the costs of having me visit your community, so please contact me for availability.

    Scheduling--if you are interested in hosting me for a retreat or speaking engagement, please email me to reserve dates. If you would like to see me "in action", please visit the Video page of the website and click on the "Lecture on Orthodox Aesthetics, San Francisco 2016" 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 feel free to contact me.

    2017-8 Lecture Schedule:

  • Oct 25-26 Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church, Ashland OR: Orthodox Aesthetics lectures
  • Nov 10 Embroidery demonstration, Needle in a Haystack, Alameda CA
  • Nov 11 St Christina Orthodox Church, Fremont CA: "Envisioning the Kingdom" retreat
  • Nov 17-19 St Ignatius Orthodox Church, Madison WI: "The Birth of Beauty in the Universe: Reflections on the Incarnation"
  • Dec 1-3 Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church, Tacoma WA: embroidery workshop
  • Jan 26-28 Southern California parishes: "Restoring the Image" women's retreat
  • Mar 3-5, 2018: St George, Hartford NY "Restoring the Image" women's retreat
  • Mar 16-18, 2018: Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, Cincinnati OH: "Envisioning the Kingdom" retreat

  • 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

    greek embroidery

    greek embroidery