Half-Day and Full-Day Experiences of Nature

Come and explore what creation means to us and our spirituality by hearing fascinating true stories of the natural world. We will have a hands-on outdoor activity that will help create a soul memory of our time with the earth. It will be a time to think, share and experience the effect that creation has on our spirituality.

Further integrate and enhance your experience through a quality time spent in nature combined with a choice of meditation, journalling, artwork, simple yoga postures or breathing exercises, music or ritual to provide a delightful day of rest and refreshment.

Eight - Week Nature and Spirituality Course

For description see brochure

Exploring the importance of nature for our spiritual journey. Through lectures, guided meditations and experiences of nature this eight-week course will explore the importance that nature has to our spirituality from the perspective of science and scripture. Examine questions such as:

Ways to Pray in Nature

“Ask the plants of the earth, and they will teach you”. Job 12:8

“If I spent enough time with the tiniest creature -- even a caterpillar -- I would never have to prepare a sermon. So full of God is every creature.”
-- Meister Eckhart

ONE DAY experiential workshop can transform and awaken your prayer life to new depths. You will learn 7 practical tools to nurture your prayer life.

Walk and pray the earth using the profound reflections of Hildegard of Bingen;

Experience the practice of walking with intent, meditatively and silently;

Allow the earth to inform your prayer gently as rocks, trees, flowers, shrubs, of water, insects, birds are presented for your caring attention;

Practice the long lost art of listening to nature -- expectant of wisdom and insight;

Experience the integrative practice of praying the five aspects of self in nature -- emotional, physical, mental, spiritual, life force energy.

These and other ways of praying in nature are practical tools for the nurturance of our spiritual lives. Come and experience the beneficial effects of praying in nature.

Weekend Earth Awareness and Spirituality Course

Choose to do the eight-week Nature and Spirituality course in a weekend format or as a combination of two weekends and two evenings.

Explore the roots and richness of the Christian biblical perspective on creation together with the insights of the new sciences. Re-kindle love for your creator and experience the healing effects of being with the earth through a quality experience of nature.

Winter Nature and Spirituality Retreats

As a participant in this Winter Retreat you will have a unique opportunity for nourishing your spirituality through the cultivation of a deeper connection with the earth.

Learn to enjoy and appreciate the beauty of winter, reflect on the meaning of winter and dormancy in your life of the spirit.


See nature and the wonders of Canada through the eyes of award winning photographer Malak Karsh. These slide shows, especially designed for Earth Day celebrations, can be enjoyed any time of year. Periods of reflection and sharing about what these images of the earth invoke in us follow each slide showing.

The evening ends with words of thanksgiving and care for the earth. Cherish memories of these beautiful images of the earth for your life journey.

Know Your Bioregion

“ Of primary importance in North America is identifying the various bioregions. To do that requires a sensitivity akin to that of the shamanic personality of tribal peoples”.
--Thomas Berry

As a research scientist with over 10 years extensive field experience in Northern and Southern Ontario, Newfoundland and Iceland, Marianne Karsh can help your community identify the important plants and animals in your bioregion.

Learn to recognize and value 10 species of flowering plants and trees in the areas where you walk and pray. Learn about their gifts to us and their special properties of healing. Learn about 10 animals and 10 insects that live with you on the land and find out what they have to teach us.

Specialty Workshops or Seminars

If you have a special theme to your course, conference or gathering, Arborvitae can design workshops or programs appropriate to your theme.

For example, a group in Prince Edward Island wanted a lecture on the theme ‘kinship’. For this talk Marianne Karsh drew on the life and work of a remarkable scientist, Barbara McClintock, and her own study and reflection on “How we would do our forestry differently if we viewed trees as kin”.

Other topics of interest might be “The Natural Step: An ecological model for business that works.” Talk about forestry issues with a   practicing forester and discern ways to do our forestry in a caring and ‘obedient’ way.

Ecumenical and Interfaith Dialogue on the Environment

As a deeply committed Christian for many years and an associate of the Sisters of St. John the Divine (Anglican) for the last 5 years as well as a student of yoga for over 10 years and a student of the Sweet Medicine Sundance Native North American Tradition for 1 year, the director of Arborvitae feels committed to opening up interfaith dialogue on the environment.

Together we can study the position of other faiths on the environment and experience practices from those traditions that may contribute to or enhance our own experience of the earth. Find out some common threads that link different faiths and churches to the care and commitment of the earth.

Jointly-Ventured Workshops

Arborvitae is seeking opportunities to co-venture with retreat centres, religious communities, chaplains, professors, facilitators, educators, trainers, hospitals, social service agencies, schools, eco-tourism and other groups and professionals to offer joint programs to help deepen peoples awareness and understanding of our commitment to creation.

Arborvitae would make a wonderful contribution to Jubilee Study Groups or to Earth Day/Week Celebrations and will travel to your location.