August 11, 2016

Prophetic Immersion

Ours is a world in need of deep transformation. This is a political task, to be sure, but it is also a spiritual task. To bring transformation, we need to be transformed, to bring healing to a sick world, we need to become medicine.

Increasingly, the last place we look for transformation is the church, but many of us still feel in our bones that Jesus shows us a path for deep human thriving. Whether we worship him as God or merely recognize him as a prophet or sage, we suspect he holds truth necessary for the transformation we seek.

And so, we are inviting you on a journey through five encounters with Jesus to be transformed and become agents of transformation…to become immersed and initiated into the prophetic ministry of Jesus.

We’re inviting you into the wilderness as Jesus encounters Satan. We’re inviting you into the margins of the Empire as Jesus heals the sick and speaks words of liberation to the oppressed. We’re inviting you up to the mountain where Jesus is transfigured…and veils of perception fall. We’re inviting you into the Temple during Holy Week, where fueled with Holy anger, Jesus chases the bankers from the temple and speaks truth to the powerful. And finally, we’re inviting you to embrace Jesus’ death and new life, as you come to the end of yourself and find a new way to encounter the world.

Each of these experiences will be drawn out of the pages of the Gospel texts and re-incarnated into our own society. We will draw upon the wisdom of spiritual directors and activists, teachers and storytellers, wilderness guides and urban artists. Together, we will embark on a journey of soul transformation that will re-shape our way of seeing and engaging the world so that, like the prophets, we might become people of action who are deeply rooted in the presence of God.

Who is Prophetic Immersion For?

Are you looking for greater sense of clarity and purpose in your life? Do you feel a growing sense of urgency about the problems facing our society and our world? And do you feel, deep in your bones, that the life and teachings of Jesus shed light on how you might be able to respond to the world’s cry while also living into your purpose? If you can answer “yes” to all of these questions, Prophetic Immersion may be a fit for you. 

If you’re not sure if you’re ready…and would rather dip your toe in the waters rather than immersing yourself, our weekend Introduction to Prophetic Imagination retreats may be for you.

Here’s information on the 2017/2018 Prophetic Immersion. Registration closes on August 1. Early Registration ends on May 15.


1. Wilderness

In the first intensive, we will follow Jesus into the wilderness. Camping along the wildly beautiful Lake Superior, we will encounter our own shadow as we learn to both resist the imperial narratives we’ve internalized (the voice of Satan) as well as respond to God’s invitation to enter more deeply into the prophetic vocation (the work of the Spirit).

How has the Empire–both the structures and stories without and within–kept us from full human thriving?

How have we been alienated from God, from Creation, and from each other?

What seeds of liberation are buried deep in that place where we fear to look?


Tuesday, August 29th at Noon to Monday, September 4th until 4pm (2017)


Tettegouche State Park

This intensive will take place at Tettegouche State Park, a hiker’s paradise on the North Shore of Lake Superior, a place of inland bluffs, waterfalls, and boreal forests. Lake Superior is generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area. It is the world’s third-largest freshwater lake by volume. This region has long been the home of the Ojibwa. Watch for moose, deer, bear, and wolves. Participants will need to bring camping equipment. 


2. Solidarity

In the second intensive, we will follow Jesus as he loves the marginalized. Jesus wasn’t interested in mere charity; he challenged oppressive social relationships. We will learn how to see the ways our political and economic systems oppress people and how we may begin to challenge those systems as we build relationships of deep compassion…sharing the sufferings of those most crushed by Empire.

We are conditioned to ignore the pain and longing of others. And, as we are cut off from the pain of others, we are cut off from our own deepest passions. Finding our own deep humanity is intrinsically bound to recognizing the deep humanity of the dehumanized. Jesus is found among the oppressed, and it is the oppressed who offer healing to the deep soul sickness found among those in the place of relative dominance.


Thursday, November 9th at Noon to Sunday, November 12th at 5:30pm


Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Minneapolis

Minneapolis grew from the early settlements near Fort Snelling, which was established to subjugate the Dakota. Fort Snelling was built in 1819 at the convergence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, which is a place sacred to the Dakota. Few Dakota remain in was once their homeland. Much of the population of Minneapolis today are the descendants of earlier settlers–primarily from Scandinavia, but also from the rest of the world. Today, the largest new immigrant populations have come from Latin America and the Horn of Africa.


3. Transfiguration

Jesus took Peter, James, and John with him onto the mountain where he was transfigured before them. On the mountain, Jesus begins to shine with bright rays of light. Then the prophets Moses and Elijah appear next to him and he speaks with them. Jesus is then called “Son” by a voice in the sky, assumed to be God the Father, as in the story of Jesus’ baptism. Jesus is revealed to be a bridge between humanity and the divine. In this intensive, we will engage in contemplative practices that help us see the the world in a new light, in the light of Jesus’ transfiguration.

What if we could see Jesus as he truly is? Or the world around us as God see it? Or even see ourselves for who we truly are?

The first real step in transforming the world is transforming our way of seeing the world.


Thursday, January 11th at Noon to Sunday, January 14th at 2pm (2018)


Minnesota Institute for Contemplation and Healing

Located on over 200 acres of rolling prairie, quiet woods and refreshing river banks, the MICAH Retreat Center offers a place to seek God in northwest Minnesota. This prairie land is in the Red River Valley. The Red River empties into Lake Winnipeg, whose waters join the Nelson River and ultimately flow into the Hudson Bay. The sky is large and the sunrise and sunset are full and brilliant. We’ll be here during the middle of winter, where snowshoeing and cross country skiing with be possible.


4. Resistance

After his Transfiguration, Jesus set his face towards Jerusalem, where he would confront the Powers—those systems that enslaved people. In Jerusalem, the center for political, economic, and religious bondage was the Temple. It was a place where people at their most vulnerable were exploited by those in positions of power. In this intensive, we will name and confront the systems of oppression in our day, just as Jesus did when he entered Jerusalem, exposed the hypocrisies of the elite, and shut down the Temple. Just like Jesus, we will create a prophetic direct action that incorporates social critique, spiritual depth, and drama.

Where do we find economic, political, and religious exploitation intersecting around us? How can we, empowered by the Spirit, disrupt the flow of oppression and help wake people to the holy alternatives?


Thursday, March 22nd at Noon to Sunday, March 25th at 5:30pm (2018)


Gethsemane Episcopal Church in Minneapolis

The Twin Cities are home to over a dozen Fortune 500 companies, including Target, 3M, US Bancorp, and Xcel Energy. It is also home to Cargill, the largest privately held corporation in the United States. There is a great deal of wealth flowing through the Twin Cities, but, like all major cities, their is a great deal of economic inequality, with people of color among the poorest. It is no surprise that the Twin Cities have seen a number of high profile cases of police brutality and murder.


5. From Death to Life

Jesus’ prophetic words and deeds marked him for death. He was betrayed and summarily executed by the state. He decomposed in a tomb for three days and then rose from the dead, imperishable. In this intensive, we will ritually identify with the death and risen life of Jesus. We will say goodbye to the life we once lived as we embark upon a deeper sense of our vocation in the world as participants in the prophetic ministry of Jesus.

This will be a journey of descent—an experience of katabasis—designed to help you leave behind your old way of belonging to the world, uncover buried things about your self and vocation, and return with the sacred gift that is yours alone to bring to the world.

This intensive is centered around a three day solo retreat, where each participant will ritually identify with the death and entombment of Jesus. After their underworld journeys, participants will be welcomed into a new posture of living.

What must we bring to the underworld? What new life awaits us on the other side?


Friday, May 25th at Noon to Thursday, May 31st at 5:30pm (2018)


George Crosby Manitou State Park and Cascade River State Park

A north-country wilderness area along the North Shore of Lake Superior (the largest freshwater lake in the world). Laugh with the waterfalls as they cascade through ancient volcanic canyons surrounded by boreal forest. Find solitude along trails carved through fir, cedar, spruce, and northern hardwoods. Group camping will be at Cascade Park, which offers some of the best hiking opportunities for those who love waterfalls. Solo camping will be at George Crosby Manitou Park, which offers challenging hikes with spectacular views. Solo campsites are secluded and available through hiking only. Special hiking and camping equipment will be needed. 


Your Guides

Check back soon for full bios. Currently, confirmed guides are Mark Van Steenwyk, Ellen Morey, Julia Dinsmore, Lena Gardner, Jim Bear Jacobs, Bob Klanderud, and Daniel Wolpert.



Cost of Program

Tuition is sliding scale. This covers food and lodging during the intensives (about 25 days total). You must arrange travel to and from Minneapolis on your own. Scholarships are available on a limited basis.

Since this is the pilot year of the program, we’re keeping costs low. Prophetic Immersion costs us around $27,000 to offer, so participant fees are only expected to cover around 70% of the overall costs.

We will not turn someone away for inability to pay. However, we will work with participants to explore alternative sources of funding…like congregations and grants. We will also consider payment plans. So, if you want to do this, but don't know how to afford it, don't be afraid to ask us to help figure things out.

Once you have submitted your application, and been accepted, we will contact you to arrange payment for the intensive: either in one payment, or two equal payments, unless another arrangement has been made.

The suggested tuition varies based upon income and membership status. You can find out more about membership here.

Registration closes on August 1. Early Registration ends on May 1.
 Cost for Members Before May 1Cost for Members After May 1Cost for Non-Members Before May 1Cost for Non-Members After May 1
unemployedcontact uscontact uscontact uscontact us
make up to $25,000/year$1440$1640$1600$1800
make up to $40,000/year$1800$2000$2000$2200
make up to $60,000/year$2250$2450$2500$2700
make over $60,000/year$2790$2990$3100$3300