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Program looks at prayer, nature, through camera lens
New SpiritLife classes announced
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A pool on the convent grounds at the Dominican Sisters of Peace motherhouse in Great Bend provides a quiet place to reflect. An upcoming retreat will combine nature photography and contemplative prayer. - photo by Courtesy photos

The Heartland Center for Spirituality in Great Bend will combine prayer and photography for a one-day nature retreat on Saturday, Oct. 12.
Participants will meet at 9 a.m. that morning at the Center, 3600 Broadway, in Great Bend, and the workshop will conclude at 3 p.m. The focus will be contemplative prayer in nature, through the lens, said facilitator Ann Axman. No fancy camera equipment is needed, and even a cell phone camera will work for this exercise in finding God in nature, she said.
“Our day of retreat will begin with a brief introduction on contemplative prayer and how it fits in with your current spiritual practices,” Axman said. “Then for the remainder of the morning you will have time to wander the convent grounds with your camera, taking pictures of what speaks to you and allowing you to have time with God. After lunch we will travel to the Axman family farm and find what in nature speaks to you there. At the end of the day we will travel back to the Heartland Center and share our pictures and experiences.”
Axman said spiritual practices such a Lectio Divina help individuals open their awareness to the presence of God. Participants may, for example, go on a contemplative walk and consider a seven-step reflection. Taking one or more photos may provide additional insights or a reminder of the moment, such as a photo of a sunset, which Axman took one evening using her cell phone camera.
“I was outside and I looked up and said, ‘Look at that sunset – what a wonderful thing God gave us.’” Axman continued, “I think a lot of people really feel the presence of God in nature.”
Cost is $25 per person. To register call Ann Axman at 620-792-1232 or email

New SpiritLife classes announced
Heartland Center for Spirituality will hold Spirit-Life classes on Saturday Oct. 19, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Classes for the day are as follows:
- 9:30 a.m. Anthony and our Desert Fathers and Mothers, Jane Belanger OP
Radical Christians, eccentrics, wisdom figures are all ways to describe our desert fathers and mothers. They sought to live the original, unedited life of a disciple of Jesus after Emperor Constantine made Christianity a part of the status quo. These early spiritual seekers/spiritual magnets have much to teach us about spirituality. We will explore the lessons we can learn from Anthony and the other desert fathers and mothers.
- 10:55 a.m. Traditional Christian Perspectives - I. Philip St. Romain, D. Min.
From the earliest days of Christianity, patterns of spiritual growth were noted. In this class we will review some of these writings to better understand how our ancestors in the faith understood the Christian journey.
- 2 p.m. Models of Discernment. Marcia Bercheck.
What does it mean to be a spiritually discerning person in our daily lives? We will overview some ways of practicing discernment for individuals and faith communities.
Cost for the seminar is $50 for the day rate, which includes lunch, or $75 for Friday overnight, which also includes breakfast. Semester rates are available for commuters and overnight.
See or email or call 792-1232 and ask for Ann Axman.