AwakeningSoul 2019


In This Great River
Presence, Deep Listening, and Discernment

November 7-10, 2019
Lutheridge Conference Center
Asheville, NC

Fran McKendree responds to "What's an armchair conversation?"

Imagine ...

an Oprah SuperSoulSunday or Terry Gross’ Fresh Air in an intimate setting, surrounded by beautiful art, a community of seekers, graced with inspiring music, all set in the mountains of western NC in the autumn…

When I think back on conversations I have enjoyed the most and have learned the most from, they are the ones that have happened informally. Sitting with a dear friend or colleague in a casual setting, we let the direction of the conversation be moved by what was stirring in our hearts, which is often a surprise, and always a blessing. This is not to say that these are always easy or soft moments. More often the real learning and depth are ignited by the spark of a question I could not have articulated or even thought of prior to giving myself over to the flow. Great conversations flow like a river, as my friend, poet Judy Brown, describes in her brilliant poem, Currents ;
The current pours within us and through us….
We have a choice, not of the current,
but of the way we turn ourselves,
within its strength.

We cannot foil the tides
but we can learn the timing
and the grace of turning so that force of water
gives us strength,
and helps us on our way to some new place we
didn’t mean to go,
yet where we can arrive in safety, with exhilaration,
gratitude, relief,
still whole and even more ourselves
for having found a way to be in partnership
with currents
we had not anticipated.

I have found that some folks have a natural gift for sensing where the deep, still water of truth is and are not afraid to venture over rapids or around snags to guide us there, to articulate the questions that lie deep within us.  Larry Maze is one of these folks. Quiet and intense, brilliant, with wondrous insight, not needing or seeking the spotlight, Larry is a trusted river guide. With him you feel safe enough to go to those places you’ve not been before and emerge with new awareness and a shared sense of exhilaration. 
Last year, AwakeningSoul added the "armchair conversation" format to our design. Larry was invited to host an hour of unscripted conversation with each of our presenters. He led us to amazing places with Ed Bacon, Heidi Kim, and Catherine Meeks while offering nuggets of wisdom from his life and ministry. Our participants loved the nearness, the intimate candor, the tears and laughter... the soul baring honesty of those conversations.

Now imagine ...
Larry with Barbara Brown Taylor , whose observations about God and life touch her readers so deeply

and with Jacqui Lewis , whose deep love for the Jewish Rabbi, Jesus, leads her to be a fierce advocate for racial equality, economic justice, and LGBTQ rights.

Following each of Barbara and Jacqui's presentations, we’ll have an extended period of silence to reflect on what’s been offered. And then, later in the weekend, Larry will host a one-on-one ‘armchair conversation’ with each of these amazing women. Just the two of them sitting together in an hour-long chat, guided only by the wisdom and grace of the Spirit. We’re all invited to lean in and listen deeply, as if our lives depend on it … because in the crazy world we live in, perhaps, they do.

We invite you to join us for ...
sanctuary ~ a sacred space of hospitality where we can find rest, respite, and renewal
sustenance   ~ abundant food for hungry souls; intellectual and spiritual nourishment that both challenges and nurtures
inspiration ~ deep conversation, uplifting music, evocative art and spirit-filled worship, encouraging us to look deeply into our lives and choices, energizing us as we return to our communities
Remember - you can save 50.00 if you register before July 1st
COST … All packages include the entire four day event, all presentations, workshops, nine meals, and the concert on Saturday night by the AwakeningSoul Ensemble.
Commuter 505.00

On site lodging 625.00 - 685.00 depending on housing choice
All on site lodging is WAITLISTED

Off site housing when Lutheridge is full 705.00 - 805.00 at the Fairfield Inn, less than 10 minutes away, shuttles available

Group and young adult discounts are available.

AwakeningSoul Is the collaborative partnership of Fran McKendree and Ann Holtz. Fran is a gifted musician based in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Ann is both a spiritual director and an independent consultant. She lives in Waynesville, NC. Together they have formed AwakeningSoul to offer spiritual events to feed hungry souls. Ann can be reached at or 865-414-8509.

AwakeningSoul Banner Images are used by permission ~ Rara Schlitt (c) and Mary How (c)