Cradled in Creation, Cultivating a Reciprical Compassion

Cradled in Creation, Cultivating a Reciprical Compassion

Dec 09, 202306:00 pm

Dec 10, 202312:00 midnight(GMT+0)


In-Person at Mercy Center Burlingame

Event details

When I am among the trees … they give off such hints of gladness, they almost save me daily.

- Mary Oliver

“All creation has been groaning together as it suffers together the pains of labor, and not only creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly whiles we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies.” - Romans 8

In one of her songs, musician, Alexa Sunshine Rose, asks or prays,

Mother of the Plants, take me in your arms…”

Fr. Richard Rohr and others speak of creation as the first sanctuary.

There is a universal recognition throughout the wisdom traditions that sacredness is held in nature. The ways in which we are intricately woven together, more in a circle than a hierarchy - human beings and all the other realms of creation. During this Advent season of waiting, watching, and wondering about how the Divine grows new life over and over again in each of us for, the birthing of that into the world for all of us, come ponder such things in terms of our relationship to all creation.

Come for a day experiencing and contemplating the ways creation compassionately coaxes and calls us into new life. Come ponder the ways we may be called to reciprocate that same compassion shown to us, out toward the rest of creation. The sound of ocean waves, creation imagery set to music - both classical and the music of Alexa Sunshine Rose, the wisdom and invitations of scripture and other holy texts, poets and authors such as Joyce Rupp, Judy Cannato, Robin Wall Kimmerer and others, silence, sharing, space for wondering and walking and more will be woven together to create this contemplative Advent experience.

Come receive some of the gifts of love and healing creation so generously gives, and ponder our part in the seeding of that same sacred new life among us all.


Erin Matteson is a spiritual director, retreat facilitator, musician and Boundless Compassion Facilitator. She is ordained and spent nearly 25 years as a pastor in the Church of the Brethren before transitioning to more focused spiritual formation work with persons of various stories and belief systems. Erin received certification as a spiritual director from Mercy Center several years ago and has also been trained as a supervisor for spiritual directors. She has served as staff for Mercy Center for both the Art and Practice of Spiritual Direction and Sacred Journey programs. She currently serves with a team of staff for The Bread of Life Center preparing for the training of spiritual directors this coming spring. Erin has also attended numerous events with Joyce Rupp including the four-day Boundless Compassion Retreat and a facilitator training where she became a certified teacher of the Boundless Compassion program. She now leads events focusing on various aspects of compassion, with a particular heart for encouraging self-compassion, and compassion for creation and those marginalized. Erin has a passion for creating sacred space for deep listening and compassionate companionship for the greening and growing, ripening and becoming of each one, and so, all creation. She works companioning individuals and groups toward this end. Erin loves spending time with creation gardening, at the ocean or in the woods, walking or running. She also loves spending time with family, especially her life partner, Russ, and her daughters and their partners, with friends, and watching the Chicago Cubs play baseball when she can. Learn more about Erin and her leadership at and


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Mercy Center requires notice of cancellation in writing (email to 1 week prior to the event for a full refund by check or 50% of the total program cost if the notice is received 3 days or less prior to the event.

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