Autumn Hope Conference 2013

Native Place: Disruption and Healing

Fri., September 20, 6 p.m. to Sun. the 22nd, noon

How do we understand ourselves in relation to the land that we inhabit? Are we natives, settlers, owners, immigrants, or something else? How can we live more peaceably and justly as members of the community of creation?

On our hikes, we will examine the disruptions that Merry Lea’s 1,189 acres have experienced in the past 250 years, and the varied communities that have shared this land over time. In our discussions, we will interact with ideas from Cherokee theologian, Randy Woodley, and consider how people with varying worldviews can communicate with each other and live in peace on this planet.

The cost is $125 for the weekend, including meals. Saturday only, or the equivalent, is $85. Students pay $30. Dorm lodging is available for an additional $20 per night. Camping is available for $5 per night.  

Registration Form


Friday, September 20, 2013

Supper                                                                6 to 7 p.m.

Introduction to Theme                                    7 to 8 p.m., with Luke Gascho

Into the Darkness: A Night Hike with Three Guides

Experiences of disruption are sometimes described as dark times. What can we learn from darkness? In this night hike, we will explore the nighttime world around us with three guides: scripture, Native American tradition and the eyes of a naturalist.                         with Miami Elder Dani Tippmann and Merry Lea staff

Saturday, September 21

A History of Disruption    Saturday morning, 8:30 to 10:45 a.m.

Like most landscapes, the acreage that is now Merry Lea has seen many disruptions in the past 300 years. By turns, it has served as a wetland pantry for the Miami people, as mint and onion fields for European settlers and as a nature preserve. In this hike, we’ll visit several parts of the property where clues to the past history of the land are still evident and ponder the transitions that shaped and reshaped the landscape.                           with Lisa Zinn

Group Reflection with Luke Gascho   11 a.m. until noon

Lunch   noon until 1 p.m.

Flourishing in Spite of Disruption: Learning from the Plant Community   1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

In every ecosystem, there are plants (and animals) that thrive on disruption. Whenever land is plowed, trampled or in some way altered, certain species rush in to colonize the troubled area. Often we call these plants weeds. Sometimes they are invasive species. Nevertheless, they play an important role in healing scarred land. What gifts do these plants have? How do they function to restore an ecosystem? What parallel human gifts are needed to heal disruptions?   with Jonathon Schramm

 Panel Discussion   2:45 to 4 p.m.  

                        with community representatives           

Break or personal reflection period   4 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.                       

Supper   5:30 to 6:30 p.m.                       

Tracing your Personal History as Native and Immigrant   6:30 to 8 p.m.        
with Luke Gascho

Dessert/break   8 to 8:15 p.m.           

Coffee House   8:15 to 9:30 p.m.               

Sunday Morning, September 22

Coffee and Muffins   7 to 8:45 a.m.

Worship   9 to 10:15 a.m.                                
with Lisa Zinn and Aaron Sawatsky

Wrap-up session   10:30 to 11:30 a.m.                       
with Luke Gascho

Closing brunch   11:30 a.m.    



Monday, September 23, 2013 - 10:00