Zephyr Experience

Zephyr Experience

Registration for Zephyr Experience is now open!

June 23-28, 2019

Register Now


We are All Stewards of the Earth: Interfaith Approaches to Earth Consciousness

Join a community of progressive Christians

Learn from scholars and church leaders

Probe more deeply together into pressing issues

Celebrate in worship and song

Enjoy Lake Tahoe at your footsteps

Zephyr Experience 2019 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. The 2019 Brochure will be posted soon.

To Register for Zephyr Experience:
Click the above Registration button or print and complete the 2019 Registration Form and return it by mail (address included on the form). To register over the phone or if you have previously attended and are having difficulty registering online, please call our Program Coordinator at (775) 588-6759 ext. 107.

Adults May Choose Two Classes, One From Each Session

First Session

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Second Session

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Children and Youth

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Description of Courses

Session One Classes (8:45am-10:15am)

EcoSangha in an Age of Earth Crisis with Jason Wirth
This class will be an historical, philosophical, and practical introduction to Zen practice as a spiritual resource in an age of earth crisis. We will discuss the historical and cultural development of Buddhism, the philosophical and spiritual force of its Zen element, and we will learn some of the fundamentals of Zen meditation. Finally, we will discuss the emergence of EcoSangha––spiritual community as a deep and inclusive ecological practice with all sentient beings. (This Sangha is the community of those who practice together. We will extend this elemental notion to interconnected bioregions.) The ecological crisis is also a profound spiritual crisis and we will attempt to build upon our capacity to respond to it.

Dr. Jason M. Wirth is professor of philosophy at Seattle University, and works and teaches in the areas of Continental Philosophy, Buddhist Philosophy, Aesthetics, Environmental Philosophy, and Africana Philosophy. His recent books include Mountains, Rivers, and the Great Earth: Reading Gary Snyder and Dógen in an Age of Ecological Crisis (SUNY, 2017), and the co-edited, Japanese and Continental Philosophy: Conversations with the Kyoto School (Indiana, 2011). His forthcoming manuscript is called Nietzsche and the Other Buddhas (Indiana, 2019). He is an ordained priest in the Soto Zen tradition and founder and co-director of the Seattle University EcoSangha.


The Spiritual Roots of American Environmentalism with Susan Stephenson
Have you ever been frustrated that religion, the Bible, and particular scriptures are held up as justification for anti-environmental practices and policies? That some religious approaches seem to reinforce the idea that humans are separate from and superior to nature? That God’s Creation was simply given to us to use and exploit? In this class, we will build the case for why that approach is wrongheaded and that in fact, religion, spirituality, and caring for God’s Creation are inextricably linked. Join us to explore how the American environmental movement, from Emerson to Wendell Berry, has been inspired by religious and spiritual existence, and how helping Americans reconnect with a sense of the divine in nature is now necessary to renew the movement––and save Creation itself.

Susan Stephenson is executive director of Interfaith Power & Light. With a network of 40 state affiliates and more than 20,000 congregations, IPL is the nation’s largest interfaith organization mobilizing a religious response to global warming.



Earth-Based Judaism––an Environmental Ethic for Our Time with Rabbi George Gittleman
The class will explore the varied and rich environmental teaching embedded in 3,000 years of Jewish tradition. We will trace the source of those teachings in the Bible and learn how they have been developed over the centuries into a compelling, though underutilized, Environmental Ethic for our time.

Rabbi George Gittleman is the spiritual leader of Congregation Shomrei Torah in Santa Rosa and is a leader in the interfaith community. He is a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem, a graduate of the Institute for Jewish Spirituality Rabbinic Leadership Program, and is a certified Jewish Mindfulness Teacher. Rabbi George prays as much in nature as in worship, and his love of nature permeates his teachings and drives his interest in religion and environmental ethics.


Session Two Classes (10:30am-12:00pm)

Sufi/Indigenous Sacred Geography: Wisdom/Practices with Arthur Scott
This class will weave the spiritual and ecological traditions and teachings of Islam/Sufism and Native Americans with an emphasis on exploring their respective interlocking beliefs, symbols, practices, and rituals revolving specifically around stewardship, community, and earth consciousness. A central theme is that the ecology of self––the collective unconscious––mirrors the well-being of Mother Earth. Sessions will involve reflection, meditation, pipe ceremony, and simulated vision quest. Drumming, sacred music, and healing exercises will all be employed.

Arthur Scott has taught at Dominican University for more than 20 years with an emphasis on Islam/Sufism, and indigenous cultures. He is an author who has offered a wide range of courses on spirituality and culture. Professor Scott has served on the Marin Inter-Faith Board and is an active member of the International Association of Sufism.


Earth Consciousness in the Life and Teachings of Jesus: Re-discovering a Gospel of Healing and Hope for the Church with Beverly Brewster
Traditional Christian teaching directs our focus away from the natural world to a risen Lord in an otherworldly heaven. But Jesus’ life and teachings as revealed by the four gospels are grounded in His sacred connection to and respect for Creation. From fields of lilies to fields of wheat, from speaking stones to healing mud, on the mountain, on the stormy sea, Jesus teaches and preaches a gospel of healing and hope for the Earth and all her creatures. We’ll let Earth speak as we talk about Jesus, and rediscover a gospel of healing and hope for the Earth.

Beverly Brewster is the Pastor of the Sleepy Hollow Presbyterian Church in San Anselmo, CA, a former human rights lawyer, a social justice activist, and a retreat leader. Her classes are experiential co-creations with storytelling, art, dance, inspiration, and community building.


Achieving Earth Consciousness to Become Earth Stewards with Andrew Kang Bartlett
Albert Einstein famously said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” During the week, we will be introduced to alternative “levels of thinking” and begin to cultivate our own earth consciousness. We will do this through videos, meditation, group exercises, journaling, art, and dialogue. Woven in will be explorations of how racism and other ‘isms’ create barriers to our path toward greater freedom and unconditional love. Finally, we will learn about current initiatives experimenting with new approaches to promote climate justice and food sovereignty and perhaps decide to join them!

Andrew Kang Bartlett has served the PC (USA) for 20 years, three of those accompanying Koreans in Japan in human rights work and the last 17 with the Presbyterian Hunger Program. While in Japan, he met his wife Haeja, a practicing Buddhist, and they have two twenty-something boys. Previously, Andrew worked with sustainable development, health, solidarity, and organizing efforts in the U.S. and abroad.


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 2019 Child-Youth 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)

Taking Care of the Planet is Our Job, Too!”  by Mary Jo Blazek

Using the beautiful Lake Tahoe setting, plans for Zephyr Experience 2019 Youth will focus each day on different aspects of Earth care. Using interactive games, activities, and arts and crafts, participants will deepen their connection with our place on the planet. There will also be time to practice for participation in the annual talent show.

Mary Jo Blazek has been the children’s coordinator at the Stone Church of Willow Glen for the past 8 years. She has been a Children’s programming coordinator for Ronald McDonald House. She is a mother of three daughters and loves working with children and youth of all ages.


Daily Schedule


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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, Double-Occupancy only*

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Conference fees and meals only

If you are in a family group or would like to stay in a group with others, consider renting a cabin for the week. Zephyr Point is holding four cabins for our use until May 15th. Please contact Zephyr Point directly at (775) 588-6759 ext. 107 to make lodging arrangements. Those who are staying in a cabin or who have made arrangements off site can attend the conference and join us for meals at a reduced rate.

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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 are in need of a scholarship to participate in Zephyr Experience please do not hesitate to contact our Program Coordinator at 775-588-6759 ext. 107
  • 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 Experience, please click here to open our online donor application.