By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
Located in north central Oklahoma, Turtle Rock Farm, a Center for sustainability, spirituality and healing, will kick off the 2017 variety of retreats, themed ‘In Times Like These,” this month.
“We invite you to Turtle Rock Farm in 2017 to retreat in the hermitage or farmhouse on the prairie, or to spend a day with others during one of our day retreats on the prairie or in our place in town located in the CommonWealth Urban Farm in Oklahoma City,” said Pat Hoerth, co-owner and spiritual director of Turtle Rock Farm. “We will also lead a longer retreat, in March, at St. Francis of the Woods.”
Hoerth runs the facility along with her sister and co-founder Ann Denney.
Ann’s focus is on the farming projects: beekeeping, the pecan and walnuts groves, gardening. Pat’s focus is on workshops, retreats, and presentations, which bring the community closer to nature.
“A Turtle Rock Farm Retreat is a gift we want to share,” said Hoerth. “While it is still a working centennial family farm, it is also a wonderful refuge, with pastures and creeks to hike and explore, wildlife to observe, and ponds that contribute to the beauty of this place.”
On Saturday, January 28, the first retreat of the year will be, “Keeping an Interior Life.” Led by Hoerth, this workshop will explore the topics of mindfulness, meditation, nature, and spiritual support. It will be held at the Turtle Rock Farm in Town, 1000 NW 32nd Street in Oklahoma City from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The retreat fee is $75 and includes lunch.
“These times call for a sound, strong interior grounding,” Hoerth stated. “It is from there that we can respond at any given moment with compassion and justice. So, as this new circle around the sun begins, we will come together, review, practice, grow into the spiritual practices from many traditions that help us connect and stay grounded in the force of goodness and life.”
On Thursday, February 2, a special event will take place as part of “An Evening of Listening” series called “Learning How to Talk About Changes in Nature.” The series is held from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 127 NW 7th Street, in Oklahoma City. Sponsored by the Oklahoma Conference of Churches, this event will be led by Hoerth, Nathaniel Batchelder, director of the Oklahoma Peace House, and Jane Wheeler, co-chair of the OKUMC Environmental Coalition.
The program will model a method for talking with groups about changes in nature, and teach individuals how they can participate. It is free and open to the public.
On Saturday, February 25, the “Active Hope: Living Our Values” retreat will explore the ‘Living Systems Theory’ and how change occurs within that system. The event will be held at Turtle Rock Farm in Town from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fee is $75 and includes lunch.
“We will explore our values and make decisions about our lives so that we live the values we hold, including concrete things we can do to cut our greenhouse gas footprint,” Hoerth said.
On March 16-18, a two-day, two-night retreat, “Holding on to Hope: Building Communities of Resistance and Resilience…In Times Like These” will explore what can be done to cultivate resilience in one’s inner life and in the community. This event will be led by Hoerth and Mark Davies, the Wimberly Professor of Social and Ecological Ethics and Director of the World House Institute for Social and Ecological Responsibility at Oklahoma City University.
This event will take place from 5:30 p.m. Thursday, March 16 to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 at St. John’s Lodge, St. Francis of the Woods Retreat Center, in Coyle, OK. Registration is $280, which includes lodging and six meals.
“What we learn, including specific strategies, helps us continue the good work of living and working together through challenging times,” Hoerth added.
“Plan to join us once a month on retreat, or join us when you can,” Hoerth said. “We’re going to be doing what we can to keep strengthening our inner lives, live our values, build communities of resistance and resilience, age as sages, observe and create beauty, communicate compassion and care, celebrate life on this magnificent planet. We know that standing together is the best way to live In Times Like These.”
For a complete list of events for 2017 or to register, visit turtlerockfarmretreat.com. Checks can also be mailed to TRF, 5900 CR 90, Red Rock, OK, 74651. Include name, email address, phone number and the name of desired retreat.