Category Archives: Events

May 21st Webinar – John Thomas West on “Sacred Space, Body, Movement and Worship”

Join us for the May Webinar on the 21st of the month at 1 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. CT and 10 a.m. PT

Webinar Description:
Sacred Space, Body, Movement and Worship

What does it take in worship environments to support embodied prayer through ritual liturgical movement, sacred dance, or theater? John Thomas West, Artistic Director of the Valyermo Dancers, shares insights into the historic foundations of movement and theatre in Christian churches and discusses ideal conditions needed for professional dance, theatre troupes, and diverse congregations to pray and praise with movement. Topics will range from congregational processionals, preludes, rites of incensation and sprinkling, and dressing of the altar to more dramatic proclamations of the Word through dance and/or spoken word.

John Thomas West, Obl.OSB, B.A., M.Ed., M.A.John West is the founder, artistic director and primary choreographer of the Valyermo Dancers, a dance-theatre company whose mission is the preservation and translation of biblical narrative and poetic traditions into contemporary dance. Writer, lecturer and educator at the international and national collegiate and university levels, he facilitates and designs thematic sacred dance workshops throughout the year. John serves on the Sacred Dance Guild Board of Directors, on the L.A. Religious Education Congress Liturgy Committee, and as a member of the North American Academy of Liturgy.

Visit John and the Valyermo Dancers at www.


You can register for the webinar at this link:

Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum’s 2019 Symposium

The Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum is hosting its 2019 Symposium in Taliesin West (Scottsdale, AZ), an internationally recognized icon and destination for most architects, landscape architects, and designers. Illuminated by the visionary and mystical figure of Frank Lloyd Wright, one of the most influential architects of the 20th Century, Taliesin West offers participants a place that is naturally and architecturally beautiful and inspiring. It is the perfect context where to meditate, sense, discuss, and even plan how to best harness the continuous interactions between nature, design, and spirituality. It also permits attendees to consider the little-addressed yet important legacy of FLW’s spiritual sensibility, belief, and practices vis-à-vis his work. Spending time within and without the remarkable Taliesin West will surely make participants better understand this contribution (60 years after his passing) in light of the mission of ACSF and the huge challenges facing the world today.

Although the Eleventh Annual Meeting will be held at Taliesin West (May 16-19, 2019), conference accomodations will be at the Franciscan Renewal Center, a peaceful, confortable, and friendly place only a few miles away from the symposium venue.

As in previous symposia, ACSF 11 is structured around a main topic (in this case “Continuity in/of Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality”) but also open to ideas, works, and proposals relevant to the Forum’s areas of interest. The number of attendees will be kept small to secure an atmosphere conducive to personal connections and in-depth dialogue. Optional meditation will be offered each morning and there will free time for connecting to oneself, the surrounding desert, and, of course, Taliesin West. The three keynote speakers will be:  renowned architect Will Bruder, Frank Lloyd Wright scholar Michael Desmond, and internaiontally recognized Finnish architect Juhani Pallasmaa, the recipient of the 2019 ACSF Award for Outstanding Achievement. Part of the symposium activities will include a elective visit to Arcosanti.

Established in 2007, the Architecture, Culture, and Spirituality Forum provides an international forum for scholarship, education, practice, and advocacy regarding the cultural and spiritual significance of the built environment. ACSF believes that the design and experience of the built environment can assist the spiritual development of humanity in service of addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

For more information, click here.

2018 ACLS Retreat at Lake Geneva with John Buscemi

The ACLS Board is planning a Retreat for June 25 – 28, 2018. The purpose of the retreat is to strengthen ACLS as an organization, facilitate camaraderie among members, and conduct educational and inspirational learning opportunities.

The Retreat will be held at The Ridge in Lake Geneva Wisconsin. Lake Geneva is located in southeastern Wisconsin in a resort area known for its beautiful lakes and scenery. We have chosen the location in Wisconsin to accommodate the participation of John Buscemi in the retreat. John is one of the leaders instrumental in the liturgical renewal movement of the latter part of the last century, in liturgical consulting and in the formation of the ACLS. John will be a facilitator for the retreat. We are pleased he is interested to be a part of the event!

Attendees would arrive on Monday, June 25th. We will hold workshops throughout Tuesday and Wednesday of that week. There will also be a banquet one of the evenings of the retreat. Attendees would leave to travel back home on Thursday, June 28th.

The Ridge in Lake Geneva is 90 minutes (75 miles) from O’Hare International Airport, 60 minutes (50 miles) from Mitchell Airport in Milwaukee, and 90 minutes (80 miles) from Dane County Regional Airport near Madison, WI. Attendees can likely find opportunities to carpool from airports with other attendees.

We are asking members to commit to the  ACLS Retreat by paying registration fee of $125 by March 1, 2018. This commitment covers the costs of the overhead expenses associated with the Retreat, scheduled snack breaks during the retreat, and the banquet.

Attendees will be responsible for covering costs of rooms directly with The Ridge in Lake Geneva upon arrival at the retreat.
The projected cost for the room rental at the Ridge is: $444 for single room occupancy (total for three nights) and $222 for a shared room occupancy (total for three nights).

Travel costs to Lake Geneva and the cost of meals other than snack breaks and the banquet, are not included in the cost projections. Attendees will be responsible for covering costs of rooms directly with The Ridge in Lake Geneva upon arrival at the retreat.

Following receipt of commitments by attendees, the ACLS Board will reserve the meeting spaces and rooms necessary for the attendees who have registered. It is important that we are able to reserve the right number of rooms early in March. The Ridge will fill for the summer months and we want to be able to provide rooms at the Ridge for attendees at a reasonable rate.

If you are interested in attending the ACLS Retreat, please provide the registration fee in the amount of $125 by the end of the day on March 1, 2018. Please also indicate if you would like to have a single or double occupancy at the retreat. To pay the registration fee and reserve your spot use the PayPal link below.


If you plan to attend but not sending the payment today, please send an email ASAP to Robert Habiger @ I will send you an invoice from our PayPal account for the registration cost. Alternately you may let Robert know by email that you will be forwarding a check to him at ACLS Treasurer, 2101 Valencia Dr NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110.

Following receipt of deposits on March 1st, we will follow-up with confirmation of the retreat and additional information to those who have registered.

Select one



The Arts and Ecumenism: What Theology Risks in Artistic Creation




On the occasion of the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, Mount Tabor Ecumenical Centre for Art and Spirituality together with the Institut Supérieur de Théologie et Art of the Institut Catholique de Paris, the Faculté de Théologie Protestante of the Université de Strasbourg, the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore (Florence) and the Facoltà Teologica dell’Italia Centrale, the Yale Institute of Sacred Music and the Community of Jesus present an international symposium with sessions in Paris, Strasbourg, Florence, New Haven (CT) and Orleans (MA).

The symposium will discuss Catholic and Protestant approaches to art through history, theology, liturgical contexts, and post-Vatican II developments, with specific references to areas of exchange between American and European viewpoints.

The final weekend of the Symposium in October 2017, in Orleans MA, will be the culmination of the exploration of sacred arts and ecumenism: a celebration of “The Word in Color and Form” focusing on the creativity behind and expression in both the visual and performing arts. The Community of Jesus will host live workshop demonstrations of mosaic, fresco, and Gregorian chant; lecture presentations of papers and panel discussions; exhibits of contemporary sacred art by artists Susan Kanaga and Filippo Rossi; liturgies of Compline, Choral Evensong, and Eucharist; and a fully staged presentation of Vaughan Williams’ opera, The Pilgrim’s Progress, performed by the internationally-acclaimed choir Gloriæ Dei Cantores, in the Church of the Transfiguration.


Paris, France (May 12 & 13)

Strasbourg, France (May 19 & 20)

Florence, Italy (May 25, 26 & 27)

New Haven, CT, USA (Oct. 21 & 22)

Orleans, MA, USA (Oct. 27, 28 & 29)


May – October 2017

Registration and more Information:

The Word in Color, Action, Music, and Form


The Arts and Ecumenism: What Theology Risks in Artistic Creation


Among the contexts of Christian experience open to the arts and music, today as in the past, monastic life has particular importance, its contemplative dimension predisposing the free creative act in which the Holy Spirit is present.

The final session of our symposium thus unfolds in an ecumenical monastery in the Benedictine tradition, the Community of Jesus, known for its commitment to sacred music and art. The session combines academic papers with examples of contemporary artistic production and musical performance, within the typically monastic framework of solemn liturgical celebration.

At the Community of Jesus’s monastery there is a second edition of the collaborative ecumenical exhibition inaugurated in the month of May in Florence, with works by Susan Kanaga, American and Protestant (a member of the Community of Jesus), and by Filippo Rossi, Italian and Roman Catholic


Monastery and Church of the Transfiguration
Community of Jesus
5 Bay View Drive
Orleans, Massachusetts 02653


October 27, 28, 29

Registration and more Information: