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More recent Spirit Movement programs

A number of programs followed the development of the religious and cultural courses of the Ecumenical Institute (EI) to be: for today’s reality, inclusive. secular, and for all faiths and non-faiths.  These programs include:  Journey Reflection, Profound Journey Dialogue, Interior Mythos, Realistic Living, Shaping an Intentional Life of Service (SAILS) and Artful Contemplative Retreats.

Journey Reflection:  John Cock creates an online daily reading called Journey Reflection, which presents meaningful quotes and a related photo or graphic to the public. The student (“Journer”) comments and the guru  (“Nez”) responds, to create a dialogue and deeper reflection with the reader. Using a language of ecumenical spirituality, the topics are varied with a heavy emphasis on care for the Earth. Initiated in 2004, there are now over 5500 blogs searchable by author, artist, contributor, and key words.

~~  John P. Cock,  Email for the free daily readings and Journey Reflection archives.

Realistic Living.  Gene and Joyce Marshall continue their decades-long wisdom sharing with leadership training, lectures, courses, books, and blogs and many insights for a Next Christianity. Download a study outline for an updated RS-I with accompanying lesson plans and teaching materials that can be done in ten sessions or two weekends. Good for both secular and open-spirited persons.

~~  Gene Marshall.


To view their updated website, click here. You can also subscribe to the “Citizen Call” monthly blog for individual and group studies.

To view their current events on Facebook, click here.



Interior Mythos Journeys is a contemporary curriculum derived from original source material developed by the Christian Faith and Life Community and Ecumenical Institute (e.g., Religious Studies IThe OdysseyThe New Religious ModeThe Other World). Presented in video modules the curriculum is designed to nurture solitary practitioners and encourage group discussion.  The curriculum foundation rests upon 10 sequential Life Journeys of which the first four are currently available:


  • Life Journey #1 – The Ultimate Encounteris contextual and provides initial steps into the practice of approaching all of life from the perspective of a contemporary contemplative posture.
  • Life Journey #2 – The Ultimate Realityis a re-creation of the Ecumenical Institute’s Question of God Lecture and Bultmann Seminar.
  • Life Journey #3 – The Ultimate Entanglement, is a good place to start. It explores the nurture and practice of an intentional interior life within a contemporary context.
  • Life Journey #4 – The Ultimate Storyplaces the context and contribution of The Ecumenical Institute within the last 180 years of humankind’s existential history beginning with Kierkegaard and delivering us into the personal and collective experience of today.


For a brief context, watch What is This?


Many of the original teaching faculty of the Ecumenical Institute have contributed to these materials.

~~  Michael D. May, Interior Mythos Journeys and Ecumenical Institute Student and Faculty, 1964 – 1979

~~  Maryellen May, Transparent Works Art Forms

Shaping an Intentional Life of Service (SAILS) was a course designed by Denver colleagues inspired by an ICA course The Vocational Journey Lab.  The course was designed as a typical 44-hr weekend retreat, but was also tailored as 2 one-day events for various audiences, and used in congregations, with groups of service providers and for college students, all ending with a festive potluck dinner.

This file contains the Beginning Planning, a colorful brochure, a detailed Participants Guidebook,  Resources, and  Suggested Revisions.   An outline of the Vocational Journey Lab is also included.


Ellen E. Howie is a registered nurse, spiritual director and folk artist concerned with the healing of individuals and communities through the artistic expression of day-to-day experiences of death and new life.  In a magazine article “The Art of Everyday Life”, Howie, an untrained artist, shares her  journey of experimenting artistically, using poetry and an ancient circular artform, a mandala, as a base within which to create.  She invites and leads others to join in this adventure of creativity and reflection through personal reflections, overnight retreats as well as brief interludes in any group session.  All examples can be adapted for various groups and situations.

Examples of retreat formats and exercises for church groups:

Art of Prayer

It’s a Wonderful World, Our Faith Journeys

Pilgrims Path

Examples for secular settings, long and short exercises:

Mandala Creation Template and Mandala Reflection    

Art of Change  

Journey of Care (10-page booklet)