Lectures & 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 review the calendar below and email me to reserve dates (let me know if you would like a date not listed here). Ideally, we begin Friday night with a 60-min session followed by Q&A and then have 2-3 sessions on Saturday. 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:
May 12-13 St George Greek Orthodox Church, Oklahoma City OK: "Envisioning the Kingdom" reatreat
Oct 6-8 National Conference of Greek Orthodox Presvyteres, Newport Beach CA: "Restoring the Image"
Oct 15-17 St Vladimir's Seminary, Yonkers NY: "Towards an American Aesthetic: Three Case Studies in Church Ornamentation", seminarian wives lecture
Oct 25-26 Archangel Gabriel Orthodox Church, Ashland OR: topic TBD
Nov 4-5 St George Antiochian Orthodox Church, Portland OR: "Restoring the Image" retreat
Nov 10-12 St Christina Orthodox Church, Fremont CA: "Envisioning the Kingdom" retreat
Dec 1-3 Holy Resurrection, Tacoma WA: embroidery workshop
Feb 23-25, 2018: Christ the Savior-Holy Spirit Orthodox Church, Cincinnati OH: "Envisioning the Kingdom" retreat
Mar 16-18, 2018: date available
Mar 23-25, 2018: date available
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 firstname.lastname@example.org