Greetings!

Fran McKendree and I so grateful for our AwakeningSoul Community. We are especially grateful to those who have registered for AwakeningSoul 2020 in the last three months. What a declaration of hope. We feel so affirmed that what we create at AwakeningSoul really matters. Please know that we want/need to be with you, too!

We want to give you an update on where things stand for AwakeningSoul 2020. As with so many aspects of our lives amid the Covid 19 crisis, we do not have a definitive answer for you. And we are okay with that for now. What we do know is:

  • We are committed to making AwakeningSoul happen in November 2020
  • We are committed to the safety of everyone involved with AwakeningSoul 2020
  • We are exploring all options for hosting the gathering
  • We will listen to the best science has to offer and will adhere to all state, municipal restrictions imposed
AwakeningSoul 2020 will happen. We hear that “being together,” especially at the end of this very, long year is something that we all need. We need to be challenged and inspired and nurtured. We need to sing along with the ensemble, look deeply into the art, and be enfolded by prayer. We need something to look forward to. ( Click on the photo of Fran and Lindsey for a reminder of why we need to be together)


Safety for all involved is critical. This means being concerned for those who travel to be with us, those who prepare the space for us at Lutheridge, those who sing together whether on stage or in the audience, those who prepare the meals, and all of us who share them. If AwakeningSoul were to be held next week, we know that we would not be holding an in-person event. We are not ready to give up on the hope that we can indeed gather in person – we pray that there is still time to learn ways to keep us safe in community. 

Fran and I are looking at a number of scenarios. Nothing is off the table at this point – we are exploring ways to have a safe in-person gathering, a virtual event, or a hybrid event where some can be on site and others join via their computer. We have both participated in several virtual gatherings in the past two months and are beginning to develop an understanding of what works well and what does not. We have lots of support from friends and colleagues who are up to speed with the technology required if we do have to move toward a virtual gathering. We will develop detailed plans for the various options through the month of June. Hopefully, when all the puzzle pieces come together we will have a clear picture of how to move forward.

Fran and I are led by the spirit as we host AwakeningSoul gatherings. I assure you that the spirit is leading and will continue to lead us to listen to scientists, public health professionals, and state officials as we move forward. Our decisions will be informed by the best information we can access (and trust). 

All assembly, housing, and dining decisions will meet state, county, and municipal requirements - at a minimum.

We hope and pray that you are willing to live in this uncertain space with us as we gather information and formulate potential plans.

Meanwhile, hug a loved one if you can and send a message to someone you love who isn't with you, stay safe, and be well,

Ann
Meanwhile, changes to note ...
We have made two changes to the registration process.
  • We have implemented a low risk registration policy. A $200 dollar deposit is still required at the time of registration. However, the non-refundable portion of the of the deposit has been reduced to $50. If you feel you need to cancel for any reason we will, if requested, refund all monies paid to us minus $50/participant.

  • We have extended the early registration discount through June 30. Anyone registering before July 1st will get a $50 discount on registration.
In response to the world ...
We realize we’ve just given you a lot of information regarding the conference in November. We feel that it is important to support and affirm voices that are speaking to the current state of affairs. It is in that spirit that we offer this 2017 Sojourner's Article so that perhaps, as author Courtney Ariel says “my prayer is that when someone asks you the question 'how can I be a stronger ally?' you might choose to save your breath/energy and send this in its place”

May we all continue to do our own work to help make our world safer and more just for ALL.
This week's gift from Fran and friends- 
I know everyone is happy to see Fran's smiling face as he makes music with with Isabel Castellvi, River Guerguerian, and Chris Rosser. This was recorded last Saturday in River's teaching studio in Asheville for the Haden Dream and Spirituality Conference.

There is a Spirit Running - words by Brian McLaren and Fran McKendree, music by Fran McKendree.

As a reminder you can follow Fran's cancer treatment journey on CaringBridge.


We'd love to have you join us for ...

AwakeningSoul 2020
November 5-8
Lutheridge Conference Center
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 annawakening@gmail.com or 865-414-8509.