Prayer: A Practice of RE-membering Retreat

Prayer: A Practice of RE-membering Retreat

OCTOBER 25-28, 2022

Prayer: A Practice of Re-membering

Learn new ways of being RE-membered to the Divine Mystery and hone your own prayer practice at this special prayer retreat led by Spirit’s faith mentor, Jim Hanson, and friends.

These past two years have been a time of dis-connect, dis-memberment, unlike many of us can remember in our lifetimes. So how does one re-connect, re-member oneself in a world that seems to be falling apart and breaking into factions and tribes? Jim Hanson suggests that prayer is one way to re-connect, RE-member oneself to God, to self, to others and to creation.

This retreat will focus on a variety of ways to be RE-membered through the practice of prayer. It will be more practical than theoretical. Jim has invited two of his own Faith Mentors to join him:  Dr. Tonja Snyder from Salem, Oregon, and Ms. Elaine Averitt from Flagstaff, Arizona. Writes Jim, “These two have expanded my understanding of prayer, and ways of praying. Ways that involve one’s mind, body and spirit. Ways that engage one in creation, music, and movement. Just like there are a variety of learning styles, I believe there are a variety of praying styles. One size does not fit all.”

If you are interested in learning new ways of praying, new ways of being RE-membered to the Divine Mystery and all of creation, or, if you are interested in discovering or honing your own individual prayer practice, this retreat is for you.

Prayer as Creation – Creation as Prayer

Session led by Elaine Averitt. How experiencing the natural world combined with the practice of passage meditation enhances the process of re-connecting myself to all of creation.

Select verses from the Bible as well as passages from non-Christian traditions that celebrate creation will be used to re-member ourselves to nature.

We will travel to a nearby natural area with time to slow down, cultivate one-pointed attention, and celebrate God’s presence in all things.

Prayer as Movement – Movement as Prayer

Session led by Dr. Tonja Snyder. How the martial arts, Tai chi and Qigong deepened my “spiritual well” and broadened my prayer practice. Prayer can be a whole-body experience, and was, initially for our ancestors and indigenous people around the world, but prayer has become a left-brain activity in our culture with the hope of touching a “spiritual” cord.

In this session we will explore:

  • “Prayer as Movement” and how it changes us physically, mentally and spiritually.
  • “Movement as Prayer” and how mindful meditative movement practices can deepen our prayer experience and re-member our whole person to the sacred.


Tuesday, October 25

  • 3:00p Check in, free time
  • 5:30p Dinner
  • 7:00p Overview of retreat and reimagining prayer with Jim

Wednesday, October 26

  • 7:30a Open chapel for contemplation and meditation (optional)
  • 8:00a Breakfast
  • 8:45a – 11:30a Remembering ourselves in creation with Elaine
    • Sonoran Desert walk and prayer
  • 12:00p Lunch
  • 1:15p – 2:00p Small group reflection with Elaine
  • 2:00p – 4:00p Free Time
  • 4:00p – 5:00p Wednesday contemplative communion
  • 5:30p Dinner
  • 7:30p – ? Wine, snacks and conversation

Thursday, October 27

  • 7:00a Contemplation and Meditative Movement with Tonja (optional)
  • 8:00a Breakfast
  • 9:00a Praying the retreat center with Jim
    • Labyrinth, Islands of Silence, Campbell Prayer Pathway, Fountains
  • 10:15a Break
  • 10:30a Re-membering ourselves through movement and music with Tonja
  • 12:00p Lunch
  • 1:15p Re-membering ourselves through scripture reading as prayer with Jim
  • 1:45p Break
  • 2:00p Small group reflection with Tonja and Jim
  • 2:45p Break
  • 3:00p Prayer enhancements with Jim
    • Beads, Singing Bowls, Taizé Music
  • 4:00p Free Time
  • 5:30p Dinner
  • 7:30p – ? Wine, snacks and conversation

Friday, October 28

  • 7:30a Open chapel for contemplation and meditation (optional)
  • 8:00a Breakfast and check out
  • 9:15a Re-membering your prayer practice with Tonja and Elaine
  • 10:00a Break
  • 10:15a Small group reflection with Tonja, Elaine and Jim
  • 11:00a Re-membering ourselves through worship
  • 12:00p Lunch and sending


Tuesday – Friday, October 25-28, 2022


Price per person:

  • One person, private room : $565 per person
  • Two people, two in a room : $465 per person
  • Three people, three in a room : $400 per person
  • Commuter, meals w/o room : $285 per person

Price includes: Four days of programming, three nights lodging and 9 meals (3 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 3 dinners).

Guests may arrange with Spirit in the Desert to arrive early and depart late for an extra fee.


Click red button above, call 480.488.5218 or email to register.

All are welcome to this Desert Sojourn Retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, Arizona!

Retreat Leaders

Jim “Bro. Jim” Hanson currently serves as the faith mentor at Spirit in the Desert. One of the many ways Jim shares his gifts with Spirit is by hosting Spirit’s weekly contemplative service, Wednesday Respite. His popular Touchpoints are available online as text, PDF or recording on Soundcloud.

Elaine Averitt is a botanist specializing in desert plants, a retired city planner, and a local treasure. Elaine is often called upon by retreatants at Spirit in the Desert to lead contemplative walks through the desert, teaching history and botany along the way.

Among many accomplishments in her storied career, Tonja Snyder, PhD has a Masters in Counseling, a doctorate in Learning and Instruction, and holds a 1st degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo Tum Pai, a soft style kung fu that emphasizes internal energy development.

One Comment

  1. Jane R. Sassenfeld

    This sounds amazing!!!!!!
    I am unable to attend this year, however, WOW, keeping this on my radar.

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