Program Series:
We Are All One and Share Kinship With All of Creation

Learn, Be Inspired and Act Through The Following Two Virtual Programs

Eating Together Faithfully

November 9th, 2021
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Our approach to eating can be part of a spiritual practice embracing the connectedness of creation. Eating with God's intentions for all creation can help us lean into the relationships we have with all our neighbors and work towards a more just and flourishing life for all. Life Around the Table, whose mission is “Equipping Christian communities to participate in the flourishing of all creation by cultivating practices of faithful eating and Sabbath delight” will present.

Presenters: Jimmy McKinnell, Ministry Engagement Coordinator for Life Around the Table, is from Tallahassee, Florida and studied at Florida State University, earning a BA in Environmental Science and Spanish. Jimmy received his Masters in Divinity at Duke Divinity School, and has experience in community gardening and working at local farms. Rev. Laura Hamrick, Ministry Engagement Coordinator for Life Around the Table, is a graduate of U-Chapel Hill and Wesley Theological Seminary. She is ordained as an Elder in full connection in the Western NC Conference of the United Methodist Church.

To register, please email [email protected] with Eating Together Faithfully in the subject box.

This program is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.


Planet or Plastics

November 16th, 2021
4:00 - 5:30 p.m.

Sea birds are dying because their bellies are full of plastic trash. Microplastic particles are in the air we breathe, the water we drink and some of the food we eat. Plastic recycling has been an epic failure and plastic production contributes to climate change and major pollution in low-income communities and communities of color. Learn about these issues and what you can do to help us move beyond plastic.

Presenter: Judith Enck, Environmental Policy Expert, and founder of Beyond Plastics, an effort to end plastic pollution through education, advocacy, and institutional change. She teaches classes on plastic pollution as a Senior Fellow and visiting faculty member at Bennington College.

Co-Sponsored by Mercy Ecology and the Sisters of Mercy Institute Justice Team

To register, please email [email protected] with Planet or Plastics in subject box. 

This program is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.


Upcoming Programs in 2022

Registration for all 2022 programs will open January 12th

Praying with Sweetgrass:
Re-Indigenizing our Relationship with the Creator and Natural World

February 19th, 2022 
10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Lunch included

We are learning to re-connect to all that surrounds us in the natural world and Indigenous people are leading the way. In Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants, Potawatomi botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer helps us to see other species as relatives. In this retreat, we will examine the main themes of Braiding Sweetgrass and further develop the spiritual implications of these relationships. Through Nicholas Black Elk, the Lakota holy man and candidate for sainthood, we will examine Indigenous spiritual insights and uncover their presence within the Judeo-Christian tradition, including a sacred Northern European plant: sweetgrass.

Presenter: Damian Costello received his Ph.D. in theological studies from the University of Dayton and specializes in the intersection of Indigenous spiritual traditions, Catholic theology, and colonial history. He is an international expert on the life and legacy of Nicholas Black Elk and the author of Black Elk: Colonialism and Lakota Catholicism. Costello's work is informed by five years of ethnographic work on the Navajo Nation and is the Director of Post-Graduate Studies at NAIITS: An Indigenous Learning Community. He is a founding member and the American co-chair of the Indigenous Catholic Research Fellowship (ICRF) and a frequent contributor to U.S. Catholic and America Magazine.

Location: Mercy Ecospirituality Center, Benson, VT 
Cost: $30
Accommodation: 20 people

Artwork courtesy of Bro. Mickey McGrath

Celtic Spirituality Retreat

March 20th - 25th, 2022
Arrival for dinner on the 20th
Departure 3:30 p.m. on the 25th

This retreat is a pilgrimage through the heart and inspiration of Celtic spirituality and how this ancient tradition can nourish us. We will touch upon themes that characterize the early Celtic Christian spirituality. Our guides will be the Celtic saints. The Celts looked to nature as the first book of revelation. In the beauty of Vermont renew your spirit, kindle your soul, and reconnect with creation. This retreat is for anyone seeking God in the ordinary of everyday life.

The retreat is silent and includes daily presentation, communal prayer, Celtic prayers and poems, and time for individual reflection.

Presenter: Anne Curtis, RSM, Executive Director of Mercy Ecology

Location: Mercy Ecospirituality Center, Benson, VT
Cost: $500 - $100 non-refundable requested with registration
Accommodation: 6 people

Everything Ablaze Weekend Retreat

May 13th - 15th, 2022
Arrival for dinner on the 13th
Departure after lunch on the 15th

Discover anew the transformational power of the Creator’s love ablaze at the moment of creation…becoming the animating life force in all…burning now within, and through you.

This weekend will include presentations based on evolutionary theology and spirituality. It will also provide reflection time, contemplative communal prayer, small group sharing, and opportunities to encounter the beauty and presence of the Divine in the ecology of Mercy Ecospirituality Center.

Presenter: Arlene Flaherty, OP, D. Min. is a member of the Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, NY, Director of the Office of Justice and Peace, School Sisters of Notre Dame.

Location: Mercy Ecospirituality Center, Benson, VT
Cost: $165 - Overnight accommodation with all meals
$90 - Commuter with all meals 
$75 non-refundable deposit requested with registration
Accommodation: 6 people

Mercy Volunteer Corps
Summer Experience

Immerse yourself in learning through hands on experience that connects you with the land and nature. Located in the beauty of Vermont’s Green Mountains, the 39 acres of wooded land, raised garden beds, and animals are ideal for learning and connecting with nature. Primary Volunteer duties are care of the land and animals, tending to vegetable/flower gardens, maintenance of woodland paths, hospitality and welcoming of retreatants and visitors.

For more information and to apply, visit

Mercy Ecology

Saturday, June 18th 2022
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Lunch included

Participate in Mercy Ecology’s BioBlitz, a field study to record all the living species within the land. This will be a second BioBlitz, building on the one conducted in the spring of 2017, to provide an extended picture and count of the plants, animals, and other organisms that live on the land of Mercy Ecospirituality Center in Benson, VT. It is a community event with scientists, naturalists and volunteers doing the inventory to raise awareness of the biodiversity and thus care for it.

Location: Mercy Ecospirituality Center, Benson VT
Cost: Free


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