I often tell people that until I write about a subject I really don't know what I think about it. And some of my readers will tell you that even after I write about some subjects they still have no idea what I think. But let's ignore them for the moment.
At Ghost Ranch, (pictured here) a national Presbyterian conference center, people who participate in my seminars get to do both -- write and talk.
Earlier this week the ranch administrators confirmed the dates on which I will teach my next class there, Aug. 11-17, 2014. The subject will be "Turning Our Pain Toward Hope Through Writing."
I've been teaching at the ranch most summers since 1995 and once or twice have offered a class with a similar title and goal. But because the subjects of pain and hope are so deep and richly layered, each class feels like an entirely new adventure for me -- and I hope it does, also, for those participants who have been in some of my previous clases.
Participants need not be Presbyterian or any kind of Christian, though in this class I plan to spend a bit of time unpacking what Christianity means by hope. And I anticipate that participants will be writing about not just personal pain but societal ills, too.
If you've never been to Ghost Ranch, about an hour north of Santa Fe in northern New Mexico, you have a real treat in store for you there in the gorgeous red rock hills that the late American artist Georgia O'Keeffe made the subject of so many of her paintings.
So I hope you'll think about joining our class for a week next summer and adding your wisdom to the folks who, like me, will be learning from one another. The 2014 online catalog isn't available yet for you to register, but stay tuned here and I'll let you know when it is.
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SIKH-ING POLITICAL OFFICE
The son of the slain president of a Sikh community in Wisconsin plans to run as a Democrat against Rep. Paul Ryan next year, it's reported. The welcome diversification of America continues.
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P.S.: My latest National Catholic Reporter column now is online. To read it, click here.