Zephyr Experience

Zephyr Experience

Registration will open January 2018

June 24-29, 2018

View a PDF of the brochure, please click: Soon to come

Transformation: Awakening the Spirit to Empower Wholeness

Join a community of progressive Christians

Learn from scholars and church leaders

Probe more deeply together for answers

Celebrate in worship and song

Enjoy Lake Tahoe at your footsteps

Zephyr Experience 2017 offers five days of morning classes for adults and children. Afternoons are free to explore a choice of activities and evenings offer a time to worship together, watch the sunsets, and play games.

Adults May Choose Two Classes, One From Each Session

First Session

Leader Details
Jane Spahr Surprised by God's Diversity
Ben Daniel Advocating for Peace, Becoming a Peace Church
Nancy Wiens Neuroscience and Christian Spirituality of Transformation

Second Session

Leader Details
Beth Brown Hospitality as Contemplation and Action
Greg Love The Change Toward Wholeness
Beverly Brewster Personal Transformation in Beloved Stories of Sacred Text, with Story Sharing, Art, and Song

Children and Youth

Age Details
5-9 Zephyr Point Day Camp
10-18 Until You Climb Into His Skin and Walk Around in It, by Jeanette Banashak, Ph.D, Ed.D

Description of Courses

Session One Classes


Surprised by God’s Diversity

by Jane Spahr

A sacrament was described to me as an outward sign of an invisible grace. This holy/wholly pilgrimage of searching for one’s identity journeys us to explore how our insides might match our outsides and vice versa.

Amidst descriptive and prescriptive definitions in our cultures, how does this transformational exploration break open our perceptions of who we are and who we might become? What does it mean to be non- binary? What do we mean by the fluidity of gender?

Through video, resources, music, and story, we will listen in to the wonder of the diversity in God’s creation. What might this exploration tell us about ourselves as people of faith? What might this exploration tell us about God?

Rev. Dr. Jane Spahr is a mother of adult sons, grandmother, and a twin. Former ED of Spectrum Center of LGBTQ Concerns in San Anselmo, CA. Minister Director of That All May Freely Serve, Rochester, New York, Presbyterian Minister in Presbyterian churches in Pittsburgh, PA, San Rafael, CA and Oakland, CA.

Advocating for Peace, Becoming a Peace Church

by Ben Daniel

Advocating for Peace, Becoming a Peace Church” will explore the history of Christianity’s relationship to violence and war and will consider the
ways in which modern church bodies can embrace nonviolence. The workshop is born of the conviction that the church needs new ways to express a commitment to nonviolence that are rooted in tradition, while addressing the modern military technology, perpetual warfare, and the 21st century’s economics of violence.

 Rev. Ben Daniel is the Senior Pastor of Montclair Presbyterian Church in Oakland, CA.

He also is a writer whose books include Neighbor: Christian Encounters with “Illegal”Immigration, The Search for Truth About Islam: a Christian Pastor Separates Fact from Fiction, and Thoughtful Christianity: Faith and Action in the Way of Jesus.

Neuroscience and Christian Spirituality of Transformation

by Nancy Wiens

For years, a perceived war between science and religion has kept the insights of science far from how a Christian might describe her daily experiences. Now, a robust dialogue between science and religion and an outburst of neurological research has changed that. Together they bring an increasing bounty for curious Christians to explore their experiences in daily life. Even more empowering, neuroscience research offers many practical resources to those who long for transformation—freedom to choose God’s love.

John the Baptist’s call to repentance is one way to describe this transformation: the turnaround from that which does not bring life, from patterns that deplete personally, relationally, socially, and ecologically. In the places we find ourselves longing for something to change, fresh insights from neuroscience can support our daily lives to live more aligned with the God of Love, Justice, and Peace. Together let’s explore transformation.

The Rev. Nancy S. Wiens, Ph.D., Christian Spirituality & Natural Science, teaches Christian Spirituality at Wake Forest School of Divinity, offers spiritual direction, and leads wilderness rites.

Session Two Classes


Hospitality as Contemplation and Action

by Beth Brown

In this class we will explore the transformative nature of hospitality as a spiritual practice. Using Rev. Nanette Sawyer’s book Hospitality – The Sacred Art: Discovering the Hidden Power of Invitation and Welcome as a guide, we will explore the themes of Hospitality to God, to Self, to Neighbor, to Strangers, and to Enemies. As we meet together we will use a format that will encourage both contemplation and action.

Rev. Dr. Beth Brown has been a pastor in the PC(USA) for more than 25 years and has more questions than answers. She is the proud mom of Emily and Anna, who have kept her honest. She has a wonderful partner, who keeps her growing. Beth is an extrovert who has learned how to cultivate her contemplative side and she has learned a great deal from the LGBTQ and ally community in the Presbyterian Church including how to be an activist. She is a trained spiritual director and mediator. She is passionate about transitional ministry and believes all churches are engaging in transitional ministry during these changing times.

The Change Toward Wholeness

by Greg Love

Both the New Testament and psychology speak of a person’s change from brokenness toward wholeness.

But how does that change happen? Do we just “set our mind to it, and make the changes”? Or is it more difficult… and if so, why? Further, what is God’s role in creating this change in us, and what is our role?

This course looks at how we change, from different angles of recent psychological studies on willpower; biology and neurology; and the New Testament’s view of change rooted in the human spirit and in God.

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Love is Associate Professor of Systematic Theology at San Francisco Theological

Seminary. Also a Presbyterian pastor, Dr. Love brings together the best of contemporary Reformed theology with the issues of Christians in the pews. He specializes in questions of divine providence, and how God acts in the world. His most recent book, on the meaning of the cross, is Love, Violence, and the Cross: How the Nonviolent God Saves Us through the Cross of Christ (www.wipfandstock.com).

Personal Trasnformation in Beloved Stories of Sacred Text, with Story Sharing, Art, and Song

by Beverly Brewster

How many times have you heard someone say, “People don’t change”? And yet much of the power of the Bible, the Qur’an, and other sacred texts comes from stories of personal transformation through encounters with God.

With sacred art and song for inspiration, we’ll explore beloved and meaningful sacred stories of personal and communal transformation. We’ll also share our own turning point stories, and learn the healing art of re-storying.

Rev. Beverly Brewster is the Pastor of the Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church. She is a child of the South, a storyteller, and story lover, a former trial attorney, and a lover of sacred art. She believes that storytelling and Spirit transform lives and communities in amazing ways.

Children (Ages 5-9)

Fun and Adventure in Day Camp

Leaders: Zephyr Point Summer Day Camp Staff
Monday – Friday 9am-4:00pm

Zephyr Summer Day Camp offers fantastic camp experiences. Children will have fun and adventures within the Zephyr Point grounds. Activities include: swimming, canoeing, archery, nature hikes, arts and crafts, fun skits, singing, and group games.

Safety is a priority. Supervision and direction will be provided by caring, college-age role models. Red Cross certified lifeguards will be on duty when children enter the water. Additional CPR and First Aid certified staff will be onsite.

With parent consent, children may leave the day camp at any time during the day to rejoin their family. Must sign child in and out each day! Costs for the camp are included in the Zephyr Experience children’s fee.

Children ages 5-9 MUST register for Zephyr Point Day Camp and fill out the 2017 Day Camp Medical Form. For information and a registration form, call our program office at 775-588-6759 x 107 or e-mail program@zephyrpoint.org. Completed registration forms for Day Camp must be submitted by June 26th.

Youth Class (Ages 10-18)

“Until You Climb Into His Skin and Walk Around in It”  by Jeanette Banashak, Ph.D, Ed.D


In Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird Atticus Finch teaches his daughter, Scout, empathy. Atticus tells

Scout, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from their point of view.”

This famous piece of advice is one that we will explore this year at ZE. How do we develop and nurture empathy? Why is it important? How do the Bible, traditions, and the Church practice it?

When not playing games or music, Jeanette Banashak, Ph.D., Ed.D. teaches Spanish and Education at Grand Valley State University, Michigan. She is a trained spiritual director and leads retreats and workshops for youth among pine trees of Michigan.


Daily Schedule


Time Activity
7:30am Morning Light
7:45am Breakfast
8:45am-10:15am First Session
10:15am Break
10:30am-12pm Second Session
12:15pm Lunch
1pm-6pm Freetime
6pm Dinner
7:15pm-8:15pm Worship

Morning Light: Begin the day with meditation, movement, and prayer by the lake.

Afternoon Free Time: The afternoons are free to explore, swim at the lake, hang out at the beach, bike or hike. Organized crafts & activities will be available and One Hour Overviews of the Sessions will be presented by our leaders.

Evening Program: Worship services Monday and Wednesday, Sunset Sing on Tuesday, and Variety Show on Thursday. All ages are invited to participate in our variety show with songs, skits, or special talents.

There is quiet time for gazing at the Milky Way every night.

Communion: Friday before lunch, there will be a communion service to complete our experience.

Room and Board Per Person*

Tahoe Center

Age Rate Rate After 5/16
Adult $ $
3-18 $ $


Age Rate Rate After 5/16
Adult $ $
3-18 $ $

To Register click on the “Register Now” button at the top of the page. Be sure to make a note of all dietary needs, mobility issues, and roommate requests during the registration process.

Additional Details

  • Includes Sunday dinner through Friday lunch
  • Non-refundable deposit due at time of registration
  • Balance due 14 days before event start date
  • If you in need of a scholarship to participate in Zephyr Experience please do not hesitate to inquire by contacting our Program Ministry Coordinator: Kelli Ramsay at 775-588-6759 ext. 114
  • If you would like to make a donation to Zephyr Point or contribute to the general scholarship fund to help enable others to enjoy a Zephyr Point experience, please click here to open our online donor application.