Join us in-person or via Zoom for a very special Day of Spirit!
Saturday, October 22nd
10th Anniversary Celebration begins at 2:30pm!
Day of Spirit is being offered via donation so that all may participate.
Schedule of Workshops
10:00 - 11:00am
Keynote Address (In-person and via live-stream)
So much more than bouncing back: Reflections on resilience in community
Led by Danielle Rousseau & Rev. Dr. Debbie Clark
Over the last two years, as individuals and as a global community, we have faced uncertainty, fear, loss, isolation, and trauma. We have also created new ways to connect, discovered inner strength, and experienced growth. What have we learned from this time of transformation? During 2022, we asked members of Open Spirit and Edwards Church to reflect on this question—with a survey and follow-up interviews. As our opening conversation, Dr. Danielle Rousseau and Rev. Dr. Debbie Clark will share survey outcomes and insights from interviews, highlighting the wisdom that has emerged from our own community. This exploration of resilience will be rooted in both data and experience. The session will engage collaborative discussion examining the role of community in resilience building during challenging time.
Danielle Rousseau is an Assistant Professor at Boston University. She is a licensed therapist and certified yoga teacher. Dr. Rousseau’s professional focus has been in trauma service and gender advocacy. She is a scholar activist and justice educator. Dr. Rousseau worked in the field of forensic mental health as a therapist in correctional facilities and served communities doing crisis response and victim advocacy. Her research, teaching and practice focus on justice, trauma, gender, mental health, mindfulness, inclusivity and resilience. She is an advocate of integrative, holistic approaches that support embodied self-care. Dr. Rousseau has received multiple grants including a grant to develop, implement and evaluate an opioid specific yoga curriculum. Her work is published in many academic books and journals. She is the editor of Yoga and Resilience: Empowering Practices for Survivors of Sexual Trauma. Dr. Rousseau is a sought-after national speaker and trainer and has developed a diverse range of curricula and training.
Rev. Dr. Debbie Clark has been ordained in the UCC for 25 years and pastor at Edwards Church for 19 years. She is the founder of Open Spirit, serves on the Steering and Advisory Committees and is the Interfaith Coordinator.
Debbie’s travels to Kenya and India in the year after college fueled her deep interest and commitment to interfaith conversation, especially at the level of spiritual practices, as well as encouraged her keen desire to learn about other cultures. These experiences led her to become a Certified Yoga Teacher (200 hour) and shape the way she teaches her Gentle Yoga classes.
11:00 - 11:15pm
(In-person and via live-stream)
Lifting and Opening the Heart for Healing, Energy, Peace: A Community Qi Gong Practice
Led by Kathleen Sakovitz
Join us for a 15-minute Qi Gong practice, honoring harmony with nature and the Universe. Experience healing energy through gentle movements that help our inner selves and bring oxygen to our hearts. The motions lift hearts and minds while creating a "circle of life." Qi Gong's circular motions bring energy, lifting the heart and spirit and allowing the mind to be creative. Suitable for all.
Kathleen has continued to study, practice and teach qi gong, tai chi, and tai chi fan over the past 20 years. Prior to that she studied Chinese Martial Arts and achieved the status of black belt. She writes, "I am grateful and love to share the energy healing, disciplines, movements which have helped me in my life, and healing." She has performed and taught ballroom for over 30 years.
11:30am -12:30pm Selection of Morning Workshops
Hearts Beating Through History: A Walk through Historic Saxonville
Led by Paul Bakstran
Join Saxonville native Paul Bakstran for a walk through historic Saxonville. Listen for the hearts beating over millenia of history: Nipmuc and Massachusett people who came to the river to fish for salmon, English people who settled and built the first mill, Africans who were forced to come as slaves, Irish and Italian immigrants seeking a new life, more recent immigrants from Central and South America, Russia, and Asia. Hear stories of struggle, discord and hope. We will walk from our Open Spirit heart (at the corner of Edwards and Maplewood), down Elm Street to Danforth to the heart at the Danforth Bridge, pausing to reflect along the way, and then returning together. The walk is approximately one mile round trip.
Paul Bakstran is a descendant of the Bakstran and Hunter families who lived here from the 19th century onwards. He is the first born son of five boys of Arthur and Norma Richer Bakstran and has in Framingham for the first 24 years of his life. He is a graduate of Marian High School in Framingham, Boston College, and Bentley College. A retired CPA, Paul serves on the Board of Sudbury Valley Trustees and served on the Board of the Nature Conservancy for 15 years. His wife Annette is also a CPA; they have one son, a retired Naval Officer, and three grandchildren. Paul's passions are conserving wild lands for the enjoyment of people and wildlife, training his Labrador Retriever, Jake, fly fishing, and travelling with his wife and studying history.
Heartbeats of the Open Spirit: A Heart-centering, Paper Collage Workshop
Led by Deanne Joy
What touches your heart? What makes your heart sing? Who is near and dear to you? Express yourself in colors, patterns, shapes, and a few words by making a heart block for our community artwork. Participants will spend time in heart-centering meditation and chose a few words to express their heart. Then they will make a paper collage “heart block” that will be added Open Spirit Center’s community artwork entitled: Heartbeat of the Community. This is a living, beating visual documentation of the precious souls of Framingham.
Deanne Joy comes to Open Spirit Center with a background in K-12 education. She began her art education career as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ghana, West Africa. After teaching in both Africa and the United States, she homeschooled her own children for 12 years. She is currently a master’s in divinity candidate at Harvard Divinity School where she is studying ecumenicalism, women and children in Christianity, and the integration of faith into daily life. She is also an American heritage story quilter who focuses on stories of exceptional Americans. She is founding Patriots Heart, Inc., a nonprofit which provides educational programming to accompany her quilts.
Opening our Heart Chakras
Led by Donna Warren
Via Zoom only
In this workshop we will focus on ways to access and open our heart chakra. There are a series of ways using hand mudras, breath work, sound, visualization techniques and a guided meditation! Come explore these techniques and learn to live a life centered around love. It has been sung before “ what the world needs now is love, sweet love, no not just for me, but for everyone!” This workshop will help us all live a more heart centered existence and i am very happy to asked to lead it.
Donna Warren has been teaching yoga for 15 years. She taught many different forms of exercise, until a mountain bike accident led her to yoga. That, in turn, led to deeper practice and to teaching. Donna blends elements learned through her kundalini and hatha yoga trainings in her classes. She also works with healing crystals, leads meditation, and does Shamballa Reiki.
Her dedication to laughing led her to be certified as a laughter yoga leader as well. She brings a bit of that training into everything she does!
Journaling on the Heartbeat of Community
Led by Michelle Goldhaber
Via Zoom only
Spend some reflective time considering your place and role in your community/communities. What is rewarding, and what might be challenging? Join Michelle and explore these questions and more. No writing experience necessary! Make sure to have something available to write with.
Michelle Goldhaber, MSW, MDiv has a background in social work, multi-faith ministry, facilitation and peacebuilding, entrepreneurship and experiential education. She has worked in a variety of settings locally and internationally, and is currently a 2nd year rabbinical student at Hebrew College in Newton, MA. Michelle loves nature and the outdoors, especially the ocean, and helping people make meaning in their lives. She has been leading meditation for Open Spirit since the fall of 2020, and is delighted to be a part of the community.
12:30 - 1:15pm Break for Lunch
Relax during lunchtime by taking a walk, visiting a local coffee shop, chatting with a friend or enjoying one of our campus gardens.
There will be tables set up outside for those wishing to enjoy lunch on our campus.
1:15 - 2:15pm Selection Afternoon Workshops
Finding Your Rhythm
Led by Shira Moss
In this workshop we will use drums and percussion instruments to awaken the inner sense of rhythm that each of us possesses by virtue of our own heartbeats, which accompany us through our entire physical lives.
Many people walk around thinking they “have no rhythm” when in fact rhythms are constantly at play within us and around us. Just about anything in life can be expressed musically and we’ll delve into some engaging warmups and world rhythms to tap into ideas and inspirations for the coming year.
All levels encouraged. Instruments will be provided, but if you have your own favorite percussion instrument, bring it!
Shira Moss is a professional musician, artist and teacher who has been sharing the power of personal self expression in the arts for over 20 years. As a professional drummer and percussionist, Shira plays in several bands ranging from Jazz Fusion to Classic Brazilian to Country and loves encouraging others to live as fully as possible.
Following the Wisdom of Your Heart: A Gentle Yoga Workshop
Led by Sandra Dennis
(In-person and via live-stream)
Join us for an hour of heart centering gentle/restorative yoga & relaxation! Allow your heart to lead the way as you explore a gently guided yoga practice! No experience needed. All levels are welcome. If attending in-person, please bring a yoga mat and towel. Exercises can be adapted for the chair.
Sandra Dennis is a veteran yoga teacher of 30 years+. She trained in the Kripalu style of yoga and has been honored to receive sprinklings of heartfelt wisdom from other teachers and traditions she highly respects!
"It is really important to me as a yoga teacher that each student is welcomed, understood and respected, and is given the opportunity to explore yoga that fits their own individual needs. Working mindfully with an open heart, breath, modifications and props, students grow their innate knowledge, trusting when more effort is necessary and when more ease is desired!"
"Love as the Heartbeat of Community" A Guided Meditation Workshop
Led by Katherine McClean
Via Zoom only
In our hour together we will move to gentle music, sit with the mudra of communion and listen to Tibetan bowls as we receive Divine Nectar. We'll join in a guided meditation to aid us in deepening the experience of our joy and appreciation of the Community of Love.
Katherine has been teaching yoga and meditation for over 20 years and has practiced the art of meditation much longer. "Because meditation has been such a supportive and transformational practice for me," she writes, "I'm passionate about sharing it with others." In addition, Katherine is a licensed nutritionist and certified personal trainer. She offers private supportive sessions which include comprehensive evaluations and tailored strategies to support diet and fitness goals. A graduate of the School of Conscious Healing, she provides transformational counseling sessions and facilitates energetic healings.
2:30pm Open Spirit 10th Anniversary Celebration!
Drumming our heartbeat, celebrating the light! We will gather to celebrate Open Spirit's 10th Anniversary!
Light refreshments will be served.
In this time of uncertainty, we are committed to making this Day of Spirit as safe, inclusive, and connected as possible. We invite you to join us in-person or by Zoom. Weather permitting most in-person workshops will be held outdoors.
Your registration allows you to attend however you are most comfortable. Upon registration you will receive the Zoom links to join us for our live-streamed outdoor workshops or Zoom only workshops.
*Dial-in audio only is not available for our workshops. A computer, tablet or smartphone is needed to participate via Zoom.