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Sister Water and the Sultan - lessons from Francis of Assisi
with Len Desroches

How do we live responsibly and lovingly with the natural world? How do we live lovingly with each other - especially as we are divided by culture, nationality, religion and other things? Francis of Assisi lived by the words of the anonymous poem often attributed to him: “Lord make me an instrument of thy peace, where there is hatred let me sow love.” Francis was a medieval friar, deacon and preacher well-known for his love of nature and the environment. He engaged deeply in the political and social issues of his day - including a powerful encounter with the Muslim Sultan of Egypt. Drawing from Francis’s words, the stories of those around him and contemporary sources, course leader Len Desroches will educate, engage and inspire retreat participants. The Sultan and the Saint, a recent historical docu-drama on the meetings between the Sultan of Egypt and Francis of Assisi, will help to draw people deeper into the stories and lessons. There will be five sessions over the three days: Francis and Clare; Francis and the Sultan; Love of Earth; Love of Enemy; Power and Love + “Perfect Joy”. In today’s world, as we struggle with human-caused climate change, as well as violence and divisions amongst people and faiths, the lessons from Francis can be nourishing as well as enlightening. Prepare to be engaged, to be challenged and to grow. As Francis said: “Pace e Bene” - Peace and Goodness.   

Len Desroches is recognized as a leading authority on the life of Francis, and his lessons for today. Len has worked as a trainer with Christian Peacemaker Team and Peace Brigades International. He is author of Love Of Enemy: The Cross and Sword Trial and also Allow the Water - Anger, Fear, Power, Work, Sexuality, Community and the Spirituality and Practice of Nonviolence.   

Course Fee: $200, plus accommodation and meals
This course runs from Friday lunch through Sunday lunch.