Cultivating a Cross Cultural Heart

Wednesday, August 19, 2020 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Register Now

These are difficult times. Our nation, neighborhoods, even our families and faith communities, seem to be torn apart. Increasing polarization, based on exaggerated differences circulated through social media and partisanship,
creates fear and discouragement. Our faith is shaken. In these times, we ask ourselves, “Is there hope? Where can we find hope?”

The Cultivating a Cross-Cultural Heart Day Apart offers us hope. This retreat provides an opportunity to step outside our fear and go beyond our doubt, to hope. How? Together we will discover and actually celebrate our
differences, while joyfully finding commonality, understanding, and profound compassion across our identities and cultures.

Join us in this cross-cultural adventure, virtually traveling to a Malaysian village with Retreat Facilitator, Emily Kearns, to learn lessons from her life-long love affair with her Malay, Muslim host family that began in 1977 when
she lived with them for one year as a high school, foreign exchange student. As a very religious Catholic girl from Andover, suddenly living in a devout Muslim family and village, Emily experienced a challenging cultural awakening that ultimately cultivated profound, cross-cultural understanding and compassion – a cross-cultural respect and love that has already impacted many families and several generations.

Through vibrant mixed media, including photos, video, and a ZOOM visit with Malay family members, Day Apart participants will learn how Emily and her host family grew a cross-cultural heart and how this has impacted
them, their family and friends, and even their communities. Participants will also explore how to apply lessons from this and other examples of cross-cultural sharing and love in their own lives, cultivating a cross-cultural heart.

Together we will explore themes and practices that can effectively change our individual, family, and community lives, embracing and celebrating our human differences and fundamental sameness.

“Walk together, talk together, all you people of the earth. Then and only then, will we have peace.”
- an ancient Sanskrit proverb

There is NO CHARGE for this online offering, however REGISTRATION is necessary.  Once you register, you will receive an email with a ZOOM meeting ID.  Donations are graciously accepted amidst the COVID19 shutdown, and will assist us in the ongoing ministry of Rolling Ridge.  Thank You.

About the leader(s)

Emily Kearns

Emily Kearns, is the Founder of Balik Kampung, which began as a mixed media installation, shown at Merrimack College’s, Thagaste Gallery, last summer. More than an installation, however, Balik Kampung aims to create and facilitate opportunities for cross-cultural sharing and understanding, cultivating cross-cultural heart. Emily was an American Field Service (AFS) foreign exchange student in 1977 and spent the year with her beloved Muslim Malay host family in a Malaysian Muslim village, Kampung Melayu Majidi, Johor Bahru. During the year she attended Lower Form Six at English College. She has returned five times to the same kampung to visit host family and friends and continues her relationship through social media. Recently, Emily joined her Malay family celebrating the end of Ramadan with the holiday, Eid. Through a cross-cultural family ZOOM session, bringing together family from the Malay village, Andover, California, and Virginia, she participated as their “eldest daughter,” in their important ritual of forgiveness and reconciliation. It is truly her heart’s home. Emily is a sociologist with a life-
long interest in culture, ritual, and identity. She earned her PhD at Boston College and her Executive MBA at Northeastern. She is an installation artist, Reiki Master, and dementia specialist. For more information, visit