Unpacking the Pandemic

Tuesday, March 16, 2021 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM

March 15 marks one year since we moved into “lockdown” mode and began coping with the realities of a global pandemic. In the ensuing year our senses have been pummeled by far more than we ever expected to have to deal with: the specter of the disease that spread more rapidly than others and that had deadly impact; having to mask up and keep our distance from each other resulting our feelings of being starved for meaningful contact; a plethora of disinformation and outright lies that cause us to now have to question everything we see or read; and as if that weren’t enough, we have countless hours on zoom and the internet such that we are suffering from physical ailments – stiff necks and zoom fatigue!

On the surface this looks like a lot. But beneath all of that our very being – our souls – have been disrupted and disturbed. Collectively, societally and perhaps even globally we are suffering what might be called a dark night crisis. Approaching our experiences of the last year through the lens of the dark night provides us with a meta-structure to digest and discern what is really happening.

In this two-hour experiential discussion, we will unpack the lessons of the dark night of the soul and see how we have been moved or even matured through this one- year ordeal. It will be a time for us to reflect and recalibrate our experience and to answer the question of “Where is God or where is the spirit within all of this?” What can we learn from the sages: Rumi, John of the Cross, and Merton to name a few, that will support us in seeing the growth such that we aren’t simply hoping to “return to normal” but rather to step into the new now on the other side?

NOTE: This session is the first of three sessions on how we can realize the lessons of the dark night of the soul in our spiritual development. The second, set for May 25, uses the theme of Pentecost as the theme of how these spiritual “surprises” both rock our logic and open us to new understanding. The programs, while part of a sequence, can be taken separately and are net seen as requisites for further sessions. The third in the sequence will be offered in late July and will focus on discernment of the experience of growth and development.

There is no charge for this event, but a free-will offering will be graciously accepted to support the ongoing ministry of Rolling Ridge.

About the leader(s)

Kris Girrell

Kris Girrell is an author, speaker and leadership coach who has presented a TEDx talk and has written two books on the dark night experience (Wrestling the Angel and Stations in the Night). He holds a Master’s degree in Theological Research from Andover Newton and advanced degrees in Psychology and Counselling from Penn State University. He and his wife Sarah founded and operate a charity, Operation ELF, for the past 22 years, where he still serves as the event manager and as a member of the Board of Directors. Kris has been a program presenter at Rolling Ridge and is a member of the Ridge’s Board of Directors, co-chair of the Program Subcommittee and the Faculty Liaison for the outside presenters of the Ridge’s Day Apart series.